In his letter (Reporter, March 1), the Rev. Al Milligan writes, “Everyone who has come into the world, without exception, is the result of a male and female union.” Does this mean he does not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus?
He adds: “. . . but it is self-evident that the purpose of marriage is procreation regardless of the many divergences.” I have known many, even among the clergy of our church, that have married with no intent or possibility of procreation. Should they not have been permitted to marry?
Marlene R. Crowder, laity
Good Shepherd UMC
Fort Wayne, Indiana
If Mr. Robert Garrett is truly interested in using the Wesleyan Quadrilateral in considering the church’s stance on homosexuality (“A layman’s plea on gay issue,” Reporter, March 8), let me offer a few thoughts.
1) Scripture: While there are only a few mentions of homosexuality, as he stated, all are clearly negative. While Mr. Garrett suggests that’s all about Gentile mystery religion practices, that is arguable at best. Mr. Garrett notes in passing there are biblical descriptions of patriarchy, polygamy, women treated as property, extramarital sex with slaves and concubines, etc., but does not mention that these are not usually commanded or approved by God, but simply described. And many of those biblical descriptions also tell of bad results that flow from them. Additionally, the trajectory from Old Testament through the New is away from those practices. Finally, though Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, as Mr. Garrett said, neither did Jesus mention nuclear war or drug abuse. That does not mean nuclear war, drug abuse or homosexuality are of no consequence to him. Jesus did talk about marriage: always heterosexual marriage as from the creation stories.
2) Tradition: Mr. Garrett suggests we have a substantial tradition of “church fathers” saying “live and let live” regarding sexual orientation and behavior. In fact, we have a 2,000-year tradition that uniformly names homosexual sex as sinful . . . until the last 75-100 years, when dissident voices spoke up.
3) Experience: Mr. Garrett asks, “Did the gays you know really choose the path they’re on?” No, but that does not make it acceptable in God’s eyes. The alcoholics I know did not consciously choose their path. But it’s not OK to continue in alcoholism.
4) Reason: Mr. Garrett simply says, “Come, let us reason together.” Yes, and let’s do so fairly and completely.
The Rev. J. David Trawick
Northwest Hills UMC
San Antonio, Texas