You just have to laugh...

IT WOULD take a heart of stone not to laugh at the recent, “Does Jesus hate gays?”, correspondence.

Mr Evans, as I understand it, has found a line in Matthew, that retrospectively rubber stamps a line in Leviticus, by way of the Torah, and thus proveth that Jesus forbids homosexuality. Such a subtle mind might easily unravel the great biblical question,“What did they do in Gomorrah?”. Its citizens were presumably up to something beyond heavy petting to get lumped in with the Sodomites by the almighty pool attendant. We should be told.

How Mr Evans must envy the clarity offered by the Qur’an: “When a man mounts another man, the throne of God shakes,” it says, and, “Kill the one that is doing it and also kill the one that it is being done to”. Tough love eh.

My favourite Old Testament gobbet is from Exodus, “When a man shall sell his daughter as a slave She shall not go out as male slaves do”. Essential advice for every offspring vendor that, and as for the stoning of an adulteress, well, nowadays we get stoned and then commit adultery.

To be serious, I was amazed by Catherine Joughin’s original letter and I understand entirely why Samuel, a young gay man, would react as he has. I hope he will not become to judgemental himself. The Bible is a library not a book and, as I meant to convey, ancient and sometimes poetic texts may not yield their truths in the same literal way as a set of Ikea instructions. Here’s my offering for what its worth …

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”( Corinthians 13:1)

Maybe what we need is not a killer argument so much as that rarer thing, a change of heart.

Paul Newman