I read the scripture passages cited by a July 8 letter writer in the Readers' Forum. It seems strange to me that he did not refer to the other sins listed: sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, male prostitution (I guess female prostitution is OK), thievery, greed, drunkenness, slander, and swindling.
There is no rank order to sins; some better than others. Yet homosexuality is the sin most people focus on.
Later in the same chapter, a female prostitute is mentioned but the sinner discussed is the man who unites himself with a prostitute (I Corinthians 6:15-16). Look around you, your church, your workplace, your community. You will find more evidence of the other sins listed than you will homosexuality.
I am a "born again Christian" but I have often been greedy and a slanderer and a thief. I am thankful that I will not be judged as to how I comply with church doctrines, as the letter writer says, but by whether or not I have accepted Christ as my savior and have my sins covered by his blood (John 3: 16-18).
So yes, I do support homosexuals. I have read enough to know that homosexuality is not a choice. I love and support my homosexual friends and family members. I will also continue to love and support my friends and family members who sin in the other ways mentioned. Come to think of it, all of my friends and family have committed one or more of those other sins.
I'd like to meet the letter writer sometime. The only perfect person I have met before I heard about you was Jesus Christ. Yes, he changed my life, but he also left me human.
Study finds brains wired straight, gay
Picking on gay people because they are in the minority and are different is easy, as is saying it's a lifestyle choice. But what if they are born that way?
A new Swedish study that utilized both MRI and PET scans of the subjects' brains has provided the most definitive evidence yet that gay people are born with a predisposition to the condition.
The study found that gay men's brains are constructed like those of straight women. Both have highly symmetrical brains, with equal-sized right and left hemispheres.
Also, both have an amygdala rich in connections that allows for a sophisticated interplay between stored information, thoughts, feelings, and emotional reactions.
They also found that straight men and lesbians have similar brains. Their brains have the right hemisphere that is larger than the left hemisphere. And, in straight men and in some lesbians the amygdala shows more "fight or flight" responses. It is more action oriented.
Researchers believe that the brain differences develop in the womb of the mother during pregnancy. Exposure to abundant male hormones allows a straight male or a lesbian to form. Low amounts of male hormones during gestation yields gay men or straight females.
This new knowledge makes it especially repugnant and cruel when normally well-intentioned people disparage or condemn gay people for acting naturally, just as God made them.
Pastor should modify position on sinners
In a July 1 letter to the editor, the Rev. Russ Merrin of the Monclova Road Baptist Church suggested that opening churches to gays is misguided.
As a God-fearing man myself, I do not support or condone the gay lifestyle. But in my opinion, Mr. Merrin is the misguided one. Since Jesus came to save sinners, what better way are we to hear the truth than through the ministry of the church that preaches and teaches God's way?
The last time I checked, God does not categorize sin. We're all sinners, Mr. Merrin.
I'm reminded of the adulterous woman brought into the temple. As was the custom, the leaders wanted to stone her. Jesus, exemplifying His unconditional love, suggested to the locals, "If anyone of you is without sin, let him throw the first stone."
Unless you are the appointed judge or you require perfect people in your sanctuary, I suggest you modify your thinking.
Jesus never taught about homosexuality
An answer for the pastor at Monclova Baptist Church: Zero. The question: How many times did Jesus teach about homosexuality? We should follow His example.
Get over focusing on others' bedrooms
The Bible teaches that people who do any work on Saturdays should be put to death, that a woman should have her hand cut off if she wins a fight by grabbing a man's parts, and that everyone who follows Jesus Christ should give away all their property.
God says nothing about homosexuality in the New Testament. Paul writes some stuff about sex, but nothing that compares easily or translates well to modern-day homosexuality. Furthermore both God and Paul say nothing in the New Testament about either homosexual marriage or homosexual car repair.
I admit, biblical marriage is traditionally one man and as many women as he can get. But just as we have moved beyond polygamy and slavery, we can move beyond this obsessive and diversionary attention to the bedrooms of others. The part of the pants that gets the most attention in the Bible is the pocketbook.
Perhaps the Holy Spirit might direct our attention to matters more peaceful and just. How about a little 'Love your neighbor as yourself'? There is no mention in that of the neighbor's nationality, class, color, gender, or orientation.
Still I have great respect for my sisters and brothers in Christ and support their efforts to understand and follow God's will with courage and conviction.
And if anyone actually wants to give away all their stuff to the poor as Jesus said to do, there are plenty of good charities around who would be glad to help.
The Rev. Ed Heilman
Oregon made richer by choice of Zalar
The Oregon City Schools just became richer, not from a financial windfall, but by the selection of Michael Zalar as its next superintendent.
As a product of the Oregon City Schools and a Clay High School alumnus, I could not be more pleased for my family still residing in the district, attending its schools, or employed as educators.
They, along with the other district stakeholders, will benefit tremendously from the wisdom of the Oregon Board of Education's decision to select this top quality individual as the district's new leader.
In the years that I have known Mr. Zalar, and have had the opportunity to spend time talking with him - learning about his leadership style and passion for children, and hearing his creative ideas regarding the educational process - I felt it was only a matter of time before he would step forward to lead the district. That time is now, the time is right, and they have the right man.
I ask the residents of Oregon, the community I lived in for 14 years and where my mother, grandmother, uncles, aunts, niece, and cousins still reside, to support the Oregon City Schools and Mr. Zalar as the district's superintendent, knowing that this man is genuine, bright, caring, compassionate, innovative, and one who will serve the district's children in the manner they would expect.
Congratulations to Mr. Zalar, the residents of Oregon, and especially all the children.
Editor's note: The writer, a former Oregon resident, is principal of Pettisville High School in Fulton County.
As a Republican, I'd like to ask the local party a question. We have an election coming up in a few months, so when are you all going to quit fighting and get to work?
I don't care about John McCain, but I'd like to see and hear more about the Iraq veteran who is challenging Marcy Kaptur. Toledo needs a change in government, badly, and all across the board.