To the Editor:
Carl (letter, July 9) thinks it is un-Christian to oppose gay marriage after he and his wife witnessed their gay neighbor care lovingly for his partner dying of AIDS.
As a longtime Christian, I support the proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution banning gay marriage because Jesus made it very clear that he came not to abolish the Old Testament, but to complete it.
Opposition to sodomy in the Old Testament is clear enough, including a commandment that says it is an abomination for a man to lie with a man.
In our day, we also know from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta that sodomy is the chief means of spreading the HIV infection, which causes AIDS.
It is a severe distortion of the truth to say that Jesus approved of sodomy because he approved of the Old Testament commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself.
Gay marriage is nothing more than an attempt to exalt sodomy to the level of lawful intercourse between man and wife. All young men should be warned that sodomy is much more than sterile intercourse; it is potentially lethal and always dangerous to health and well-being. [Carl] is my witness.
Ah, Leviticus. Such a lovely book. That's the one that says slavery is okay but wearing clothes made of two different fabrics isn't, and that it's also an abomination to eat shellfish, right? Yep, it is. I checked. Slavery - Lev. 25:44, Clothing - Lev. 19:19, Shellfish - Lev. 11:10-11. Oh, and I also found this: "You shall not oppress your neighbor." (Lev. 19:13)
So I can see how you would be confused.
I'm no biblical scholar, but I'm pretty sure that when Jesus said to love our neighbors as we love ourselves he meant it. And I like to think that God sent his only son not just to die for our sins, but also to make up for what a dick he was in the Old Testament.
You can follow the teachings of Christ, or you can stick with the vengeful God of the Old Testament, but you really can't have them both.
Now, on to the business of sodomy. (There's a sentence I've never uttered before.)
First of all, nobody said Jesus approved of sodomy. Mr. Hansen was simply pointing out that it's none of your goddamn business how your neighbor likes to get it on, you're just supposed to love him as you do yourself. That means your neighbor gets to have the same rights as you. It's a logical extension of the love thy neighbor commandment. I know logic is not your strong suit, so just trust me on this one.
Secondly, what we know from the CDC is that unprotected sex, both hetero- and homosexual, is the chief means of spreading HIV. According to the CDC, "Through 2004, of all cases of HIV infection in the United States reported to CDC, 34% were attributed to male-male sexual contact, 14% to injection-drug use, and 20% to heterosexual contact." I'll give you that 34% is slightly higher than 20%, but certainly not high enough to run around calling sodomy the "chief means of spreading the HIV infection." I'm sure you didn't mean to, but you're coming dangerously close to that very un-Christian argument that HIV is God's way of punishing gay people for their supposedly aberrant behavior, and that they deserve this punishment. Only Pat Robertson and his American Taliban pals are still making that argument.
Thirdly, gay marriage (or, as people who aren't bigots like to call it, same-sex marriage) is most certainly not "an attempt to exalt sodomy to the level of lawful intercourse." Sodomy was exalted to that level three years ago when the US Supreme Court ruled that laws banning sodomy were discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional. Same-sex marriage is about equality, plain and simple.
And lastly, Leland, I encourage you to look up "sodomy" in a dictionary. You seem to use the term as if it's interchangeable with "gay sex," but sodomy ain't just for gay guys anymore. You may have even enjoyed it yourself on occasion. And if not, give it a try. I bet you'll like it.