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Monday, November 24, 2014 | Last updated: 12:34am


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LETTER: The real tragedy? You using religion as an excuse to discriminate






Let me start by saying that never, not for a second, should the Bible or God be used to determine the fate of thousands of same-sex couples across the state. The Constitution, not the Bible, is the law of the land, and for good reason. I’m also a Christian and have been my entire life. Although this should never be an argument used in court, there’s another side to the story of God and gay marriage.

Derek Kim is just one man. I’m sure he’s taken his fair share of personal attacks and insults in the past week. I ask that while debating with him, you stick to the point and are kind. Personal attacks don’t make for a stronger argument. He spoke for himself and for the others who represent that viewpoint. Those people break my heart. I pray that they’ll see just how wrong they are.

I was raised to believe in a God of unconditional love. Unconditional love for everyone, with no stipulations or requirements attached. Loving someone doesn’t mean that you try to “love” the sin out of them. It means that you love them, and when you love someone, you want to give them the same rights, opportunities and freedoms that every American is provided.

Homosexuality is not a sin. It does say in the Bible that man shall not lie with a man as he lies with a woman. You know what else the Bible says? It says lots of crazy stuff that no one follows anymore. I’m wearing poly-cotton blend yoga pants, but no one’s tried to tell me that was a sin today. Not only that, but I have pierced ears! No one shouts at me on the street because of it. There’s no law to ban shellfish from Red Lobster. Why homosexuality? Because it makes you uncomfortable?

You might think that the definition of marriage came from the Bible. What you need to realize is if you’re looking for that definition, you’ve gone to the wrong place. The biblical definition of marriage is not exclusively one man and one woman. In Genesis 2:24, sure it is. But in Deuteronomy 22: 28-29, it says a virgin who is raped must marry her rapist. Doesn’t that destroy the sanctity of a loving union? Abraham, Gideon and numerous other biblical characters had multiple wives and concubines, all legally allowed by the definition of marriage. So which definition of marriage are we destroying again?

Conservative Christians might not want to acknowledge this, but marriage has already changed. Marriage isn’t a union between a man and a woman, and it hasn’t been for a very long time. Marriage is two people who come to together and accept benefits under the law from their union. These benefits, such as the ability to co-adopt children, visit a dying loved one in the hospital and be their next-of-kin for medical and financial purposes, mean everything to couples. What effect does it have on your life if a couple has those benefits? Denying people access to these rights because you claim to love them is nothing short of bigotry hiding behind a Bible verse written thousands of years ago.

Before you talk about gay marriage, remember that you’re talking about people. People who God instructed you to love above all else. Remember that when you use your religion to hide behind your own prejudices that you’re not sharing the whole story — the story of God’s love. You’re also discounting the validity of other human being’s feelings and rights, which doesn’t sound like something Jesus would do.

Nicky Bates,

social relations and policy senior,

batesni2@msu.edu


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