published Thursday, June 7th, 2012

"Article contained misrepresentations" and other Letters to the Editors

Article contained misrepresentations

Among the misrepresentations contained in the Perspective article (June 3) by Rhonda Swan, "Lost in Translation: Remove the Bible from debate about same-sex marriage," were two of special note.

First was the idea that government, which admittedly regulates the administration of marriage, may not regulate in a way that's informed by Scriptural teaching. To err here, according to Swan, is to bind government to an unreliable standard (because, in her view, the Bible has been made to support dubious causes).

But this is preposterous. It supposes that human relations (such as marriage) can be declared acceptable and virtuous without reference to anything higher than the dictate of government. Was the federal government acting on nothing higher than itself when, objecting to the practice of polygamy, it opposed Utah's being granted statehood until 1896? No, this opposition was rooted in the conviction that laws governing human relationships must stand in some definite relationship to transcendent principles given to humanity by heaven.

Second was the premise that no single reigning conception of human sexuality is provided in the Bible. Genesis 3 (affirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19:4) relates that the original couple was man-woman joined in permanent union.

"Lost in Translation" at very least needed a matching counter-argument.

DR. KENNETH J. STEWART, Lookout Mountain, Ga.


Bible belongs in marriage debate

In response to the article by Rhonda Swan in the June 3 Perspective section, Christians strongly disagree with the statement that the Bible should be removed from the same-sex marriage debate. The Bible existed prior to the U.S. Constitution, and the framers of the Constitution were influenced and directed by their knowledge of the Bible.

The Bible speaks of homosexual relations many times in Scripture as a perverse and detestable sin.

Leviticus 18:22 states, "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, that is detestable."

The Bible is very clear that homosexuality is not a reasonable or acceptable lifestyle. We should not remove the Bible from same-sex marriage.

WILMA HOLBROOK

School makes positive headlines

I write this letter on behalf of the entire student body at Signal Mountain Middle High School. I don't know whether to feel flattered or concerned over the endless publicity, both past and present, that has been given to our young school by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. I'm amazed that with everything happening in the local, state and national news, Signal Mountain Middle High School continues to be your headline.

I personally invite you into our school, and allow me to show you everything that's positive. Our test scores are in the top 5 percent in the state. Our five state championships earned in four years. Our numerous awards received by The Signal Corps Marching Band. I would happily introduce you to art students who would be proud to show you their work. I would invite you to our next theater production by our outstanding drama department.

The students care for each other. We work hard at what we do academically, athletically, and through extracurricular activities. We have pride in our school and each other and continue to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We are a student body of over 1,200, each of us making positive headlines every day.

THOMAS GAUTHIER, SMHS Student Council president


Article based on inaccurate info

In the diatribe (Perspective, June 3) regarding the removal of the Bible from the debate about same-sex marriage, I find it very confusing that an editorial writer (Rhonda Swan) based such a piece on inaccurate information and pro same-sex marriage professors who don't have the facts.

In response to the reference to Jennifer Knust's book about the Bible's contradictions about "Sex and Desire," I would reference the response to the article from Robert A.J. Ganon's Ph.D. and associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (my-take-the-Bible-really-does-condemn-homosexuality).

Knust's statement regarding "no such thing as a single, biblically based view of legitimate marriage" is inaccurate. Marriage was given by God; it's his institution, not men's. (Genesis 2:18-24).

(Hebrews 13:4) " Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."

I hope that Rhonda Swan can get the facts accurate regarding homosexuality and the Bible. God condemns homosexuality and all sin. But Jesus has provided a way of salvation. (Romans 5:8). The Bible is "the Truth" and defines an accurate account of marriage.

TIMOTHY BITTENBENDER


Writer rejects Bible as God's word

The only thing good about Rhonda Swan's Perspective piece (June 3), "Remove the Bible from debate about same-sex marriage," is that it reveals what's really at stake in that debate: the authority of Scripture. Not wanting to accept that God condemns homosexuality as sin, Ms. Swan adopts a twofold strategy:

First, she denies the Bible is God's word, claiming, (a) the Bible is "filled with contradictions," and (b) the translations are inaccurate. She failed to provide examples of (a), because, as anyone who has challenged such assertions knows, the alleged contradictions fall apart when examined closely. Readers of the original languages know that (b) is wrong, but even non-experts can see that the translations agree with one another on all important points.

Second, she denies that Scripture says homosexuality is evil, claiming that God destroyed Sodom for another sin rather than its depravity (Genesis 19:5). But she ignores many other Scriptures on that topic, such as Leviticus 18:22, "You (masculine) shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."

Homosexuality is curable: "Such were some of you (but Christ washed you)" (1 Corinthians 6:11).

D. RUSSELL HUMPHREYS


We can't handle more 'change'

Hey folks ... remember Obama's 2008 campaign promise? ... "A change you can believe in." Unemployment is higher and rising again, food prices are higher, we're trillions of dollars more in debt. Now he wants more, with plans to cut the military budget in this age of terrorism. Can America survive four more years of this "change"?

ObamaCare health care has never worked in any other country; it won't work here.

I am fearful of the path Obama is leading us down. See 2 Timothy 4:34 (KJV). Now he has flipped-flopped on gay marriage, pandering for votes. Read Leviticus 20:13. America was founded upon Judeo-Christian beliefs. We must not turn away from that.

Obama has a plan: Bankrupt America of our financial, moral and spiritual beliefs, declare himself king of NWO of United States of Socialist Republic ... no more elections. Vote Obama and his administration out of office. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).

Mr. Obama, please read Romans 1:27 and also Revelation 22:18-19. Be the Christian you claim to be.

JOHN BOHANNON

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Wow, so many letters lambasting Rhonda Smith, and trying to make Biblical Law the law of the land. Some of them even asserting based on the Old Testament. Huh. Guess we'll have to obey all of those stricture then.

DR. KENNETH J. STEWART, actually, Reynolds v. Sims and Beacon v Davis (Supreme Court decisions against Polygamy) was decided independent of Christianity, with no reference to Biblical law, but instead with explicit references to civil society. Do read them. They are relevant.

You might also find that the reason anti-polygamy laws were passed was because they equated such marriages with slavery, as the women in such relationships were abused and exploited. Not by relying on the Bible, but on actual observable problems.

D. RUSSELL HUMPHREYS, or maybe she didn't want to clutter her editorial with irrelevancies, if you want to look up inconsistencies in the Bible, I refer you to Isaac Asimov, who compiled a reference himself that should be sufficient.

JOHN BOHANNON, so you admit unemployment was going down? You want to know why we're trillions more in debt? Because Republicans refuse to pay for any of it, and your dogmatic insistence on more military spending is evidence that you won't do anything to genuinely cut spending.

If the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act doesn't work in other countries, why did Republican propose it? It is their ideas. What systems do work in other countries?

Your references to Biblical laws show that you have a plan. Destroy American secular virtues and declare a Dominionist Christian Theocracy in its place.

Please read some yourself, and realize why that's a bad idea, and unacceptable to most Americans.

June 7, 2012 at 12:29 a.m.
Easy123 said...

KENNETH STEWART,

The government should not regulate in a way that is informed by Scripture. It's unconstitutional.

A marriage can be deemed acceptable and virtuous without reference to anything higher.

WILMA HOLBROOK,

The Bible doesn't belong in the debate. Why is it even a debate? Who are we to say who is allowed to get married?

The Bible also outlaws other things like eating pork. You don't follow that. Why this? The Bible also promotes slavery. We don't do that anymore. Why do we hate gays?

The framers of the Constitution based nothing off the Bible. It didn't influence them when writing the Constitution whatsoever.

TIMOTHY BITTENBENDER & D. RUSSELL HUMPHREYS,

The Bible is filled with contradictions. Read about it here: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

The translations are inaccurate. Read about it here: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_bibl.htm

The translations don't agree. Heck, the Gospels don't even agree.

Homosexuality is curable? Hogwash. Is heterosexuality "curable"?

JOHN BOHANNON,

I think cutting defense will be ok. They spent $739 billion on defense in 2011. Cutting it 22% won't hurt ANYTHING.

ObamaCare was based on RomneyCare. It did pretty good in Mass. And socialized medicine does really well around the world. Look at France, Israel, Australia, Canada, Finland and the UK. They all rank high than the U.S. in world healthcare. And they all have universal healthcare.

America wasn't founded upon Judeo-Christian beliefs.

Your last paragraph is psychotic.

June 7, 2012 at 12:32 a.m.

Forgot to mention, the highest spike in world food prices was in 2007-2008. Then there was a drop through 2009, which only recently has been reversed.

Blaming Obama for it is strange, what do you want him to do, order agricultural lands into production or something?

I'd also point out that we've spent trillions since 2001 fighting the War on Terror. What has that accomplished?

June 7, 2012 at 12:56 a.m.
Fendrel said...

Dr. Stewart,

What is preposterous is to think that the very people who comprise our society are incapable or unwilling to declare for themselves what they consider to be acceptable and virtuous.

Whatever basis you wish to use to define marriage, certainly believing that a magical, omnipotent being created the first two humans and then declared that his work was "good", in a fashion similar to which a father tell his kids, "because I said so" when asked to give a logical reason, must be among the more preposterous in existence.

Can't we, as a society, look to ourselves and find a more rational source for shaping our futures. One that, at the very least, can be defended with more than belief in a children's fairy tale?

June 7, 2012 at 9:36 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Until someone shows me upon what our laws/Constitution is based, I would appreciate people stop bashing the Bible, which has been used as a standard for centuries and likely influenced some of the development of our civil society. Secondly, I would like to see what would happen if we had not had the Bible, godliness, and moral principles to which at one time many held. Now, we just seem to want to do what we want to do and claim it as our "right way" or truth as "our truth." There have to be standards. As they break down so does the society. No one can look at history and claim that when a society completely embraces homosexuality as correct, as right, as designed by nature, that society is headed for complete demise. Let the debate continue but let's try to be respectful. When homosexuality is completely legitimized in this nation we are very very near the edge of complete moral collapse. Look now, and you can see the abyss comeing at us.

June 7, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Why do you believe that our laws or Constitution are based on the Bible?

http://godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/TenCs.htm

Without the Bible, we probably wouldn't have had slavery, the KKK, the Holocaust, the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch hunts, etc.

There are basic moral standards that everyone can agree on, religious or not. Such as: Do not kill, do not harm others, don't steal, do good things, help other people. These ideas are not specific to the Bible or exclusively Christian claims.

You are a fool if you believe homosexuality is not natural. It occurs in the same incidence in the animal kingdom. That is evidence enough for how "designed by nature" it is.

Canada does well and homosexuality is legitimized there. Great Britain, Argentina, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Spain. All these countries accept homosexuality. Are they on the edge of complete moral collapse?

Deriving your morals from a book written two thousand years ago by people that you never met, in a time you never lived in, and under circumstances you have never faced is asinine. If you can't see that, then you are incompetent.

No one should be respectful to your holy book that teaches immorality and to hate/kill others because of their nature. YOU ARE MORALLY BANKRUPT.

June 7, 2012 at 11:41 a.m.
Fendrel said...

Livn4life,

"post hoc ergo propter hoc", it's the title from one of the early episodes of a TV series called "The West Wing". The phrase, from Latin, translates to "after this, therefore because of this" and in that particular episode they discuss the notion that simply because something occurs after a particular event it does not necessarily mean that it occurred because of that event.

My long winded point being that because a particular society permits two men or two women to marry or engage in sexual intercourse and then at some time in the future declines into disarray does not imply a cause and effect relationship.

There are many more probable causes for the ultimate fall of the Roman empire than the fact that Bob and Larry, oops that would be Augustus and Marcus, had sex.

June 7, 2012 at 11:44 a.m.
riverman said...

Nice letter Mr Gautheir. As you go further through life you will discover there is a certain segment of the population that is anti-achievement and resents anyone actually working hard and achieving things. They resent the fact that Signal Mountain has parents who actually take an interest in their community schools and don't depend on Government hand-outs to improve those schools. Good luck to you and all the SMHS graduating seniors.

June 7, 2012 at 11:50 a.m.
LibDem said...

"No one can look at history and claim that when a society completely embraces homosexuality as correct, as right, as designed by nature, that society is headed for complete demise."

Exactly. No one can make that claim. Excellent point, Livn4life.

June 7, 2012 at 5:21 p.m.
Easy123 said...

LibDem,

I noticed that too. I addressed what he MEANT to say! LOL.

June 7, 2012 at 5:48 p.m.
LibDem said...

Dog acts in mysterious ways, Easy123.

June 7, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Please provide these secular reasons. Because everything you just said has been addressed DIRECTLY on these threads before. But please, elaborate.

June 8, 2012 at 3:19 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Ken Orr: Lying for Jesus yet again, using points already addressed and found wanting.

June 8, 2012 at 6:47 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Ken, you should be ashamed.

If God did look like an elderly white-bearded Charlton Heston, and cared about your thoughts and feelings, AND personally possessed all of our human-emotional perspectives, he would be very embarrassed and quite upset to hear you mention him in your hate doctrine.

June 8, 2012 at 7:02 a.m.
dao1980 said...

It is not.

June 8, 2012 at 8:06 a.m.
Easy123 said...

We have proved all your arguments to be false or misinformation. There are several different arguments against you that you never address.

I'm not "anti-" anything. "Christ" would have to be real in order for anyone to be "anti-Christ". I don't believe in Allah, Zeus, Thor or vampires either.

Your (chosen) behavior shows exactly how blind to reality, facts and reason you truly are.

June 8, 2012 at 11:10 a.m.
Easy123 said...

I'd guess homosexuals have a higher suicide rate because people outwardly hate them.

They place value on their own lives.

Riding a motorcycle is dangerous too. Is that bad?

How are homosexuals highly dangerous to the general population?

We already debunked your "gay by choice" claim.

We already showed you that your CDC facts mean nothing.

You haven't presented anything that even addresses gay marriage.

June 8, 2012 at 1:57 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Wow... Ken... that's pretty rough, you truly should seek counseling.

You say: "These Individuals, Who Have No Value For Their Own Lives Due To The Dangerous, Unhealthy, LifeStyle They Have Chosen, Are Also Highly Dangerous To The General Population."

Lets assume for just a moment that you are the pure lilly-white angel you imply that you are with every post.

You still fit your own negative description here, based solely on your tendencies toward intellectual dishonesty, spiritual and emotional laziness, and the purely evil hate towards those who differ from you in their existential views on life, physical makeup, geographical circumstance, or philosophical perspective.

June 8, 2012 at 2:05 p.m.
Easy123 said...

"I Solemnly Affirm, "Homosexual Individuals Are Indeed My Neighbor." I Can Proclaim That I Have Nothing But Pure Honor and Love For The Homosexual Individual."

This is proven false by every post about homosexuals that you have put on this site.

June 8, 2012 at 3:09 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Some more of that pulpit style double speak.

You are truly a dodgy critter Ken.

The conscience you claim to have must be in constant utter agony.

June 8, 2012 at 3:13 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Homosexuality isn't a choice pal. We've gone over this.

June 9, 2012 at 12:39 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Jesus didn't create me. And "sin", "Jesus Christ", "Savior", and any Bible verse don't resonate with me.

June 10, 2012 at 3:58 a.m.
koscheiman said...

I find it really interesting that so many believe that actual contradictions exist in the Bible. The fact is that no true contradiction exists within the text of Scriptures, unlike other so called "holy writ." What some have perceived as contradiction is usually scribal error, or is no contradiction at all not meeting the criteria in order to be classified as such. It is also remarkable to see so many who haven't a clue about American history. The fact is that our founding fathers were very religious men. Their Christian background is seen in almost everything they wrote. Just because they endorsed religious freedom does not mean they endorsed immortality or a godless society.

June 17, 2012 at 1:07 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

does not mean they endorsed immortality

Why not? Sounds great to me!

June 18, 2012 at 9:34 a.m.
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