Letters to the Editor

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MARRIAGE: Bible shouldn’t be taken literally

Letter by Molly Kathleen Howard, Tacoma on May 15, 2012 at 10:41 am with 33 Comments »
May 15, 2012 1:19 pm

Re: “Don’t lightly impose beliefs on others” (letters, 5-14).

The writer makes an inarguable statement that there is a distinction between holding a personal belief about marriage and the desire to impose that belief on others. As pointed out, not all religious institutions oppose same-sex marriage.

We are currently bombarded by an attempt to merge religion, morality, and law, using religious scripture showing that God tells us heterosexuality is the “rule.”

The Bible has gone through many transformations. The popular claim of the Bible as the literal word of God, and the selection of specific scripture as proof of God’s positions, is a practice that began approximately a century ago. Prior to this, a tremendous amount of scripture was never interpreted in a literal sense. It would be lunacy to literally follow all scripture instructions; it is hypocritical to selectively choose specific scripture in an attempt to impose beliefs on others and to restrict, through legal measures, an ability for some to experience their full humanity, sharing of societal values, and everything else contained in what should be their civil rights.

Everyone is free to practice their own religion and to share their beliefs in gatherings of their choice. To pull out the trump card arguing that the legalization of same-sex marriage will harm children by legitimizing it, is crossing the line of decency in a demonstration of arrogant righteousness. Since “being right” does not allow an ability to reason, this mentality must simply be ignored.

Leave a comment Comments → 33
  1. charliebucket says:

    great great letter.

    I will reiterate, or say another way, that the last 75-100 years has seen a meteoric rise in American Fundamentalism and it should scare the pants off people of reason. Bible literalism is getting more and more entrenched and more mainstream, especially susceptible are “new” believers……IMO. People need to speak up and share, like writing this letter. So, thank you Molly.

  2. menopaws says:

    Yes, Molly Kathleen!!!!! Amen and just a wonderful letter………Clear, concise and absolutely correct……

  3. RLangdon says:

    Well, for the most part you can take the words attributed to Jesus literally, and use that as your guide if you’d truly like to be a good Christian. Because Jesus was the Christ, and he is the font of Christianity, and everything written before The New Testament is Jewish. And much of what is written after The Book of John is suspect. And The Book of Revelation is nonsense.

    So, there you go. Want to be a Christian, follows the “words” of Jesus the Christ. That’s simple. Forget all that other stuff. J.C. is all you need.

  4. Oh, Jesus Christ

  5. When it comes to public policy and civil rights, the bible…just shouldn’t be.

  6. Like Aesop , much of what Jesus said was in the from of parables – i.e. stories used to teach by example.

  7. bobcat1a says:

    Most, if not all of what the alleged person Jesus said was in Aramaic, which I doubt anyone on this post speaks. Therefore, none of them have a clue what he? said.

  8. Frankenchrist says:

    The Holy Bible sits right there with Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Dr. Suess.

  9. notimetobleed says:

    Great letter Ms. Howard! I am glad to see logic and sanity it still alive in Tacoma!

  10. BillBrewster says:

    Thanks for the thought provoking letter. It helps me to realize that the literal interpretation of marriage from a Biblical point of view has always been between a man and a woman. Therefore to introduce the Bible into the discussion of gay marriage is apples and oranges.

  11. RLangdon says:

    BillB… You need to read your Bible again my friend, because you’ve got it all wrong.

    Genesis and Adam & Eve

    In spite of what you may believe, from a cursory glance at The Old Testament or what you heard years ago in Sunday School, the first pairing that most people consider to have been considered a marriage in The Bible was that of Adam & Eve, which was actually a pairing of a Male with a Male and YOU CANNOT REFUTE THAT!

    THE FACT IS, we all know that Eve was fashioned by God into the form of a woman, after He took a rib from Adam’s body as the source material. We all know about DNA, and that any RIB or other body part taken from Adam’s body will have the same exact DNA as the rest of Adam’s body. Thus, the DNA is MALE. That God fashioned Eve from MALE DNA logically follows that EVE would have been made of MALE DNA, thus Eve, though fashioned to look female was essentially scientifically a MALE. (Just like RuPaul!)

    On the other hand, you may believe that a woman named Lilith was actually the first female God gave to Adam, and you may consider that a marriage between Adam & Lilith, a Male to a Female. Unfortunately, that Male-Female bonding between Adam and Lilith didn’t quite work out as planned, so God divorced them and made Adam a new BOYFRIEND named Eve (or perhaps it was really Steve) to replace Lilith.

    There’s nothing twisted about any of these facts. READ YOUR BIBLE!!! (Don’t just go by what you were told in Sunday School years ago. Actually sit down and READ The Bible?) These are THE FACTS as presented in The Book of Genesis!!! If YOU believe that The Bible is “God’s Word”, then… who are YOU to refute “God’s Word”?

    That’s why I personally only go by the words of Jesus as recorded in the Books/Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, because I am a Christian, NOT a Jewish/Christian. I’m just a plain old Jesus loving Christian. And, being that, I’d like to tell you now what Jesus had to say about homosexuals and same-sex marriage.

    I’d like to, but I can’t, because Jesus didn’t say anything about them or it! So, if it’s OKAY with Jesus, it’s okay with me. And if you got a problem with that, take it up with Jesus!

  12. RL? Genetically, we all start out female, becoming a male is a mutation. As far as WWJD? You have it right. He said nothing.

  13. cadana1961 says:

    Hmmm … Read my bible? Unless I can get an autographed copy, I’ll pass … I find it full of hate, bigotry, conflicting and narrow-minded views, no matter what version I read …

  14. Theefrinker says:

    Come on now… we all know that we came from a magical unicorn named Equinilia. Three thousand years ago, our father Equinilia (who art in Unicornia)gave life to three special uniques (baby unicorns)who would eventually set out in search of the Sapien Kingdom, where they would be granted humanship. However, only one of them made it: Jequin. Lord Equinilia felt bad, for Jequin was lonely in his humanship. So he gathered some hay and created Subordinequine, a female companion for Jequin. Now, I know you’re probably wondering…. “if we came from unicorns, then why are there still unicorns?”

  15. Oh, Jesus….

  16. RLangdon says:

    Frida, in natural birth perhaps we all start out genetically as female. However, when cloning a being from another being, the fully developed and sexually determined DNA is present and remains as such. Thus, Eve was really a Steve!

    cadan…, I just say that if you are going to quote The Bible as the source of your argument, then you really need to quote it truthfully. And, to do that you really need to read it first. Thus the example of Adam & Eve. (According to scripture, Eve was obviously cloned from Adam’s rib. Thus DNA is DNA.)

    This is why I go with what Jesus said (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), because so much of the rest of The Bible (including Revelation in The NT) is conflicting, confusing and confounding. I call myself a Christian, because I believe in what The Christ (Jesus) taught us.

    Others who call themselves Christians, but still quote scripture from The Old Testament are really Jewish-Christian Hybrids. Their electric motor may be Jesus when they want it to be, but their backup gas engine is The Jewish Old Testament and that’s what they fall back on when the going gets tough and Jesus won’t support their bigotry, biases and prejudices.

  17. philichi says:

    Gosh I hate to wreck your little agreement party. However, if many of you knew some of the truths from the old and new Testament, you would be blown away. Orthodox Jews were taught to wash their hands after touching open flesh well before germs were ever discovered in the 1800s. Far more babies were successfully born of Orthodox Jewish Physicians because of this practice. Rabbis were taught to use the ashes of a cow to filter water. This was the basis of the modern day charcoal filter. The list of facts could go on and on.
    By the way, would you ever be this critical of the Koran? Or would you be scared?

  18. charliebucket says:

    rlangdon I like your explanation. It works for me. Here is how I always explain my Christianity, for what it is worth: I try to live as Jesus taught/teaches me to live. (end of story really but I will elaborate a bit). that makes me a follower of Jesus and I feel it is a lifelong journey to try to even come close to understanding ALL of Jesus’s teachings and to even attempt to put them into practice. No man on a could, no waiting to get to heaven someday or taking Jesus as my personal savior or any of that for me. I want to live like Jesus lived and acted and thought. My job is to make life on earth, heaven. To be free, unafraid and full of joy. To have a right relationship with my fellow man. To serve others. To love others as I love myself. To be at peace with myself and all of creation. Getting bogged down in staring at the rules or trying to decipher what the literal meaning of the Bible is to Lord it over others like many Christians do, is a waste of time, to me.

    Love is the answer, don’t matter the question.

    I could go on and I am sure some here will feel the need to call me ‘not a real Christian’ but that is their truth, not mine. I hope you get my point. I enjoy your POV.

  19. RLangdon says:

    charlie… You got it right! God Bless you!!!

  20. Phillchi – most who post here are even more critical of the Koran.

  21. charliebucket says:

    welp, langdon, since what I love about living like Jesus I also see in Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and every other religion and sound philosophy out there, yes, I know I have it right. Sound spiritual living is not about organized religion or rituals or laws or doctrine etc, those are all man’s mostly feeble attempts to try to bring the concept of the Divine down to human terms. and boy if we haven’t failed miserably and gotten so far off track with fundamentalist and other tangents sometimes!

    No wonder so many are turned off when spiritual matters or GOD comes up. I can’t blame them! How in the world faith got boiled down to crazy sounding talk about a man on a cloud sending punishment or rewards, is a crime, to me, for example. Just like the indulgences of old. Sad really, what ‘belief’ can do to people. History is chock full of religion gone wrong, to put it mildly. And why I feel it our biggest task in America today, to keep religious beliefs out of our government.


  22. BlaineCGarver says:

    I’m pretty sure you will find the Old Laws of the Jews were for Health and Welfare reasons. Por exemple, the proscribing of Gay sex might have been a preview of HIV and AIDS. When the Old Laws mentioned “death” it was not always God doing the smiteing, but Mother Nature and a disease….

  23. RLangdon says:

    All good point again charlie! Kudos to you for your clear understanding spirituality and the real goal of spiritual living.


  24. philichi says:

    “Sad really, what ‘belief’ can do to people. History is chock full of religion gone wrong, to put it mildly. And why I feel it our biggest task in America today, to keep religious beliefs out of our government”

    Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, were all atheists in the end.They death that they compiled was at least 20 million. We have become more secular now than ever before. If your thesis was correct, shouldn’t the world be more peaceful? Have you read the paper lately?

  25. RLangdon says:

    phillyboy, your latest comment is nonsense.

  26. philichi says:

    “phillyboy, your latest comment is nonsense”.

    Please inform me. Am I wrong about Mao, Lenin, stalin, and Hitler being athiests, or wrong about the world being less peacefull in the secular present?

  27. bgc – re the Old Laws;

    proscribing gay sex – more likely to channel all available in to reproduction to increase the jewish population.

    a lot of the smiting was in the form of stones hurled by very human hands (maybe a shared guilt or community spirit thing).

    General Winfield Scott in the War of 1812 began imposing strict camp sanitary and hygiene rules based on old testament kosher law.

  28. RLangdon says:


    Who’s thesis?

    What thesis?

    What are you referring to? Be specific.

    So you mention some dictators who were atheists at the end of their lives. That’s only logical. To do some of the things some of them did, they would first need to abandon all sense of right and wrong, and that means abandoning all forms of religion.

    What does reading the paper lately have to do with anything? News comes from many sources. Some is good, some is bad, just as it always has been. But, to answer that dumb question, this is a Newspaper Blog is it not? Thus, apparently I have read a newspaper lately. Duh!

    How do you know that we (I presume you mean: the world at large) is more secular than ever. Do you have facts or statistics to prove this assertion? Just because some people are not Christian, does not mean they are not religious. There are many religions and many many people belong to them. Prove that the world is more secular than ever before. Give us stats from “before” and now.

    Your comments are specious at best, but mostly (as I said before) NONSENSE.

  29. “phillyboy, your latest comment is nonsense.”

    Her latest??

  30. averageJoseph says:

    LMAO, would you ever be this critical of the Koran… of course not. The “progressives” seem all to eager to put their neck out for the muslims.

  31. littleroundtop says:

    Strange with all the social ills that have gotten worse the past 100 years , the massive increase of children being born out of wedlock and poverty, children doing drugs , crime rates , spousal abuse , etc , and the letter writer is worried about Christians accepting the word of god literally ? Because they don’t vote your way ? What the heck have they done , be not as smart and tolerant as you ? Good grief .

  32. scooter6139 says:

    I wonder if all those who claim to live life as “Christians” even know they are missing out on so much historical info pertaining to the life of Jesus. Just how much did the first Council of Nicaea ignore when creating the Catholic Church? Out of all the writings done by 325AD, why did they only choose the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? We know there were many more written, possibly several hundred. Why those four? Did only they fit the narrative they were trying to impose on the faithful? Why did they relegate women to much lesser roles? Why did Mary become a virgin after 325AD? Why did Mary Magdalen suddenly become a prostitute when she most likely was not? Why was the life and teachings of John the Baptist rewritten by early Christians?

    So many historical questions with so many inadequate answers. The Bible is a good book to try and find some answers but most of the times just raises more. I love how it can even argue/disagree with itself!

    (FYI – Just in case RLangdon states I have no rights to say anything pertaining to Christians (and Roman Catholics in particular), I was Baptized and Confirmed a Roman Catholic many years ago. I have evolved out of the faith though because I started asking questions many priest couldn’t/wouldn’t answer. I was chastised for even asking and not taking it on faith.)

  33. RLangdon says:

    scooter… Why on Earth would you think that I would challenge your rights to bring up such issues? Where did you get that impression?

    I too was baptized, confirmed and was an Alter Boy (Knight Commander, red cassock) in the Catholic Church. Like you, I asked questions that evoked recriminating responses from the priests and nuns. That, and specific other issues led me to walk away from The Catholic Church.

    I know of the Books of Mary Magadalene, and the Book of Judas, and others that are still kept hidden from the world by the powers that be. I know about the two Councils of Nicaea, and how they limited the amount of information allowed to be shared with laypeople.

    All I have really ever said about The Bible, is that for me personally I look only to the first four Gospels in The New Testament. My belief is that everything before them is Jewish, and everything after them is suspect, and that The Book of Revelation is pure nonsense. I haven’t read everything that was ever written about Jesus, but I don’t need to. Nobody does.

    There is enough in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to provide anyone and everyone with enough guidance from Jesus to be a better person and live a better life. Can we be Christlike? I don’t know. I, for one, am not arrogant enough to believe that I could ever be Christlike. I simply try to be a good person by following the guidance given to us by Jesus, as described in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

    You have every right to say what you want about Christianity and The Catholic Church scooter. I would never deny you or anyone else that.

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