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Joseph Wiltse, Lisbon, N.D. , Published June 24 2012

Church-defined ‘abominations’ tend to become less abominable over time

In response to Joseph Landry’s letter of May 30, “Jesus didn’t support gays”:

It was once an abomination to wear clothes of mixed fabric, according to the Old Testament. Yet today, we have no problem with this.

The idea of two gay individuals living together, loving each other in a committed relationship as one, never existed in ancient times. When there were acts of sodomy in the Bible, it was usually older men with young boys, often within the military system or with temple prostitutes.

Christianity has found ways to reconcile many things that were “abominations” in the Bible. Christianity has also supplied the civil rights movement with a language of universal moral claims, and that black churches gave the movement its organizational power. Yet it was Southern clergymen who opposed civil rights demonstrations. Pope Pius IX expressed solidarity with Jefferson Davis during the Civil War.

It looked as though Christian orthodoxy assumed segregation and then, confronted by the moral and political tidal wave of civil rights, revised its doctrines to embrace the new order and its heroes. Once orthodoxy is ready for a similar breakthrough on homosexuality, it will probably look, in retrospect, like the Catholic Church’s reconciliation with issues such as science or civil rights.

Christianity has a history of naturally framing their critiques of the present-day problems in light of its past. The church’s own traditions, rather than the agenda of the secular world, were stated to provide the natural change for reform in many areas.

I look forward to the day when Christian writers explain how they found, in their faith’s past, the resources to see more clearly God’s intentions for mankind on the question of homosexuality.