The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday March 22nd

Conservative Christians\Should Not Condemn\Over Sexual Orientation

It intrigues me that those who hold conservative Christian positions focus on a select few moral issues while dismissing others. Ryan Larson exemplified this selectivity in his letter about Biblical morality ("Moral Laws Differ From Ritual Rules in the Bible" Jan. 19).

While I agree with him that the Bible is "a source of moral teachings," I question how he and other conservative Christians have brought the issue of sexual orientation to the forefront of their crusade. While there do exist isolated verses in the Old and New Testament which lend support to their anti-gay agenda, those verses, in my mind, are not sufficient to discredit one of Jesus Christ's fundamental lessons as revealed in the Gospels: to love your neighbor.

Because the single most central aspect of the Christianity I practice is the ministry of Jesus Christ, my theology stresses the love and affirmation of the Gospels over the bitterness and condemnation of select verses in Galatians or Leviticus. I read the entire Bible and live my entire life according to the spirit of the Gospels, in which Jesus, by the way, talks extensively about the evils of greed, violence and apathy but utters not a single word about sexual orientation.

Shifting back to the question about why conservative Christians highlight sexuality as so critical a moral issue, my conjecture is that it has to do with the psychological need to set oneself apart as a true follower, a disciple. This world is full of social ills and injustices, about which the Gospels speak volumes. Yet it is hard to condemn the society and world views with which we are presented. So we simply ignore the greed, violence and apathy prevalent around us.

But because homosexuality is seen as a personal vice, it is easier to point fingers and criticize. And the value of criticizing somebody - anybody - is that doing so creates a boundary between you and your neighbor, between the sacred and the profane.

In response to this practice, Jesus asked, "Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?" In the spirit of that question, let us, individually and as a culture, confront the larger social problems of this world with the love and urgency that Jesus commanded of us without being consumed by matters of relatively minor significance.

Dave Premawardhana



To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel's 2023 Black History Month Edition

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive