Religion and gays issue has run its course

David Stevens

Few topics stir the human spirit more passionately than religion.
Mix religion with homosexuality and you have some great newspaper stories, followed by a never-ending series of letters to the editor.
I love it when the mail is sprinkled with letters from folks expressing their views on local issues of importance.
But there comes a time when we’ve covered all the bases. I think we’ve reached that time in the latest debate on Christianity and gays.
This one started Jan. 2 with a report on a Portales church hosting a series of Bible study sessions “inviting the community to reconsider what the Bible teaches about homosexuality.”
Since then, the Clovis News Journal has published 11 letters on the topic. The writers’ points included:
> Biblical translations are complicated and sometimes slanted to promote agendas;
> The books of the Bible were written and translated by spirit-filled men whose only agenda was to pass along God’s instructions;
> You can’t change God’s instructions to suit human desires;
> Gay people are born that way;
> Gay people are not born that way;
> Gay people may be born that way, but they can turn from sin and follow God’s path;
> Jesus would not recognize the message many Christians preach today;
I’ve received three more letters on the topic this week.
> Peggy Wyatt of Clovis adopted a “love thy neighbor” theme and wrote about tolerance.
“I truly believe that homosexuality is a result of biology, not choice,” she wrote. “Why would anyone choose a lifestyle that brings such pain, hate and prejudice?”
> Carolyn Spence of Clovis weighed in with her second letter: “One’s sexual orientation is a very complex issue, and cannot be explained in such a simplistic fashion as being born that way. One child psychiatrist, H. Ross Campbell, Ph.D., wrote that he never had a male child or teenager with an abnormal sexual orientation who had an emotionally healthy, physically affectionate relationship with his father.”
> And George Langan Jr. of Clovis wrote: Homosexuals “have a right to their spirituality … Sexuality is only a part of a person; it is not the sum of their whole being.” He concluded his letter, as have many writers, citing Scripture: “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”
While the newspaper has received some criticism for reporting on the Portales church members’ Bible study — the usual contention is they’re expressing a minority viewpoint and we’re just trying to sell papers by getting people riled up — I think the exercise has been a healthy one.
I will never understand why some people are opposed to the newspaper providing a public forum for controversial issues. But I also think you can beat a horse to death. Then you should get off and ride another one for a while.
Thanks to all who’ve taken the time to write letters on Christianity and homosexuals. Now that differences have been aired, I’m declaring a cooling-off period where we won’t publish any more letters on that topic — at least for the next few weeks.
Let’s pick another subject:
Let’s say that I think Clovis school teachers should be allowed to wear blue jeans whenever they want … and the same goes for newspaper editors.
What do you think about that?

David Stevens is editor for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. He can be contacted at 1-800-819-9925. His e-mail address is:
david_stevens@link.freedom.com