This first came to my attention because Larry Stickney of the Washington Values Alliance sent me (and may other reporters) an e-mail that accused Rep. Geoff Simpson, D-Covington, of “mocking Holy Scripture.”
I decided to get to the bottom of it. One reason I’m putting this exchange of e-mails in the blog is to give readers an idea of what kinds of exchanges occur during a legislative session in which, on average, 3,000 bills are introduced. Some are more hotly contested than others.
Below is a transcription of a deeply disturbing e-mail message from Washington State Representative Geoff Simpson responding to a constituent’s correspondence regarding the homosexual marriage bill, SB5688.
While Simpson’s personal hostility toward traditional Christian theology is obvious, his letter appears to be a cut and paste variation of a similar one that has been going around the Internet since May of 2000.
It gives me no pleasure to jump all over Rep. Simpson, but if this is his attitude toward Christians, should he be trusted with defending the rights of conscience, dissent, and freedom of religion for tens of thousands of Washington State citizens?
Is Simpson alone in his hostility toward Christian orthodoxy or is he representative of the new “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party?
How would Washington State media react to a state legislator demeaning Islam or the teachings of another minority religion in Washington? Would there not be immediate calls for an apology or even resignation?
Will media react to Simpson’s letter or is it simply okay now to denigrate the faith of hundreds of thousands of Christians?
Larry Stickney, President
Washington Values Alliance
Stickney didn’t send me the letter that provoked Simpson’s response, so I asked Simpson for a copy. It appears below, so you can read what Barbara wrote to Simpson and what Simpson wrote back. You be the judge.
Most of the information in my response to Barbara was cut/pasted from the public domain. I am no theologian but sometimes when a "Christian" writes me a message seeking to deny certain rights to certain people, after never having contacted me to advocate for housing for the homeless, food for the hungry, education for the children, healthcare for the destitute, peace, justice and whatever else Christ stood for I like to send them a reminder of their hypocrisy. Thanks for asking.
And here is the original exchange between Barbara Benson and Simpson. As you can see, the orginal was sent to many lawmakers. I suspect most of them didn’t take the time to give much of a response.
From: Barbara Benson
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 4:59 PM
To: Orwall, Rep. Tina; Parker, Rep. Kevin; Pearson, Rep. Kirk; Pedersen, Rep. Jamie; Pettigrew, Rep. Eric; Priest, Rep. Skip; Probst, Rep. Tim; Quall, Rep. Dave; Roach, Rep. Dan; Roberts, Rep. Mary Helen; Rodne, Rep. Jay; Rolfes, Rep. Christine; Ross, Rep. Charles; Santos, Rep. Sharon Tomiko; Schmick, Rep. Joe; Seaquist, Rep. Larry; Sells, Rep. Mike; Shea, Rep. Matt; Short, Rep. Shelly; Simpson, Rep. Geoff; Smith, Rep. Norma; Springer, Rep. Larry; Sullivan, Rep. Pat; Takko, Rep. Dean; Upthegrove, Rep. Dave; Van De Wege, Rep. Kevin; Wallace, Rep. Deb; Walsh, Rep. Maureen; White, Rep. Scott; Williams, Rep. Brendan; Wood, Rep. Alex
Subject: Say NO to same sex marriage SB 5688
Washington State Legislators
You have the authority to stop this abomination of same sex marriage. I am asking God to give you the wisdom to vote "NO" on SB5688. God definitely declared this wrong when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. If you vote for this, God will surely judge you personally. For the love of God, please don’t bring down His condemnation on our State. We will all suffer for it. Honor Him and He will honor you! Disobey Him and you will be judged for all eternity.
Genesis 18:20 And the Lord said "The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave…I will destroy it." 19:24,25 "Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley and all the inhabitants of the cities".
Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. 20:13 If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.
Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
If nothing else, think of the children that they will bring into these godless marriages. Matthew 18:6 "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and he be drowned in the depth of the sea." V10 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones."
Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; feat the Lord and turn away from evil."
Thank you for your time & consideration. The majority of WA State doesn’t want or need this. Please don’t put this burden on us, our children or our grandchildren.
Here is Simpson’s response
What is it in the bible that leads you to believe stopping gay marriage should top your political priority list? Was there some extra-special emphasis, italics, bold or bold italics in your bible that called your attention to one aspect of god’s law to be the thing you should contact your elected representative about? Or did God himself point you to gay marriage as the issue that should be your tip-top, number one political concern?
Jesus opposed the death penalty, saying “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” – yet George W. Bush set an execution record when he was governor of Texas, and boasted of it. I don’t recall ever getting a message from you opposing the death penalty as Christ did.
Why is your “Christian” political activism concentrated against gay marriage instead of against the death penalty?
In the interest enforcing the laws of the bible with regard to marriage, let’s not forget that;
It’s ok for marriage to consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3: 2-5)
Marriage does not impede a man’s right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives.(11Sam 5:13; 1Kings 11:3; 11Chron 11:21)
A marriage is considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut. 22: 13-21)
Marriage between a believer and a non-believer is forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25: 1-9; Ezra 9:12, Neh 10:30)
Since marriage is for life, nothing in the scriptures permits divorce.( Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother’s widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and by otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)
Finally, I need some advice from you regarding some of the specific laws contained in the bible and how to best follow them.
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?
I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
Lev. 21:17-21 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.