An interesting piece that says much more about fundamental problems of fundamental biblical literalism than it does about any controversy over whether “hell” really exists.
You may have heard that a group of Evangelical, Catholic, and Orthodox folks have signed a document that they’re calling the Manhattan Declaration. It’s subtitled, A Call of Christian Conscience, and it was released on November 20, 2009. (Here’s the Manhattan Declaration itself, and here’s a List of Religious Leaders Signatories). If you haven’t read it — you should.
For an overview of it, read the blog entry from National Catholic Reporter. As NCR reports, there were a number of Catholic bishops and archbishops — including Richard Malone of Portland, Maine and Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC — who lent their support to this historically inaccurate and deceit-filled statement.
Here are a few sections that demonstrate how low those who hate gay people will go, all the while cloaking their animus in the claims of being faithful to Christianity and our two thousand year tradition:
- “The impulse to redefine marriage in order to recognize same-sex and multiple partner relationships is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the marriage culture.”
- “We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorous conduct and relationships, just as there are those who are disposed towards other forms of immoral conduct.”
- “On inspection, however, the argument that laws governing one kind of marriage will not affect another cannot stand. Were it to prove anything, it would prove far too much: the assumption that the legal status of one set of marriage relationships affects no other would not only argue for same sex partnerships; it could be asserted with equal validity for polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even adult brothers, sisters, or brothers and sisters living in incestuous relationships. Should these, as a matter of equality or civil rights, be recognized as lawful marriages, and would they have no effects on other relationships?”
So much for a fair presentation of the issue, because all same-sex marriage efforts have also called for the legalization of “polyamorous” and “incestuous” relationships, right??
I have said before and I will continue to say: the effort to civilly recognize same-sex unions is not about marriage; it’s about seeing God’s gay and lesbian children as fully human and worthy of the dignity of all God’s children — including the right to form loving, stable, and generative relationships.