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Voice: Priest, Bible do not advocate hate against homosexuals

March 07, 2001

After reading the recent letter from Dominic Signorotti to Voice of the People, I felt compelled to respond. I know Dominic and am not upset with him as I know the rough road he has traveled these past few years.

I too listened to the homily given to St. Mary's congregation by its priest, but I did not walk away with the same conclusions as Dominic. Rather, St. Mary's priest's, Monsignor Vidra, point was to encourage his parishioners to take a stand for God's laws. He was not advocating hate and malice. Rather, he was advocating that we stand up for God's laws with our voices, letters and finances. He did not attack the person, but rather the activity, which according to the Bible is SIN. Dominic, God loves the sinner, but hates the sin.

First, we Christians believe the Bible is the inspired word of God. Yes, Dominic, nowhere in the New Testament (in the four Gospels), does Jesus ever say homosexuality is wrong. But again, neither did He ever say it was right. Silence on the subject does not necessarily equate to acceptance. Further, John 21:25 (one of four Gospels written to reflect Jesus' time and activities on Earth) states, "and there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen."

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Second, we Christians believe Jesus is God and was with God the Father when creation began. Jesus was present when He with God the Father created man and woman (see Genesis 1:27-28, the first book in the Old Testament). God did address homosexuality in Genesis 19:1-25 by destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, where homosexuality was openly practiced. And God gave specific instructions to Moses about purity in sexual practices in Leviticus 18:22, "you shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination."

Third, because the Bible is the inspired word of God, Romans 1:26-27 states, "for this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due."

Finally, as Christians, we believe God gave us "free will." With every choice there is a consequence. The result of choosing not to follow God's laws is sin and the consequence of sin is death (which is separation from God). God does not hate the sinner but God does hate the sin because it separates us from Him.

God created us to know, love and serve Him; he did not create us to lose us. Thus, He gave us rules to follow to be with Him at the end of our earthly life.

To answer your question, Dominic, "What would Jesus do?" I believe Jesus would tell the person practicing homosexuality it is wrong and "go and sin no more." Jesus was compassionate and forgiving, as we also are called to be. Those who have a homosexual orientation are called to exercise the virtue of chastity. If a homosexual act is committed, God stands willing and waiting to forgive the sinner.

God loves you, Dominic.

ALICE M. ABATTI

Seeley

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