In his letter regarding the LGBTQ+ flag, Bruce Luerson made some erroneous statements I would like to correct ("A few questions about Galveston's rainbow crosswalk," The Daily News, June 22).

He doesn't understand that all religions are conflicted regarding certain lifestyles. Divisions are along conservative versus more liberal lines, and aren't denominational. Presbyterians and Lutherans ordain gays and lesbians, as well as welcome them into the congregation.

However not all churches in those denominations agree. Research shows that almost all denominations have both liberal and conservative views on the Bible's interpretations.

Reconstructionist Jewish congregations accept the lifestyle, and even many Muslim countries do too. In Leviticus, only men are mentioned, not women. Paul mentions the issues a few times negatively, and while I'm sure Paul was a great man, he wasn't the Christ.

Jesus never mentioned sexual orientation at all. You think He would have if it was an issue with Him. His issues were with lack of tolerance and love.

While this isn't an easy topic for many, Luerson treats it as cut and dried. His opinion isn't all that simple.

Sharon Tipton

Santa Fe

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(18) comments

Carlos Ponce

Sharon Tipton writes: "Jesus never mentioned sexual orientation at all." Yes he did: Matthew 19: 4-6 "He [Jesus] said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Jesus specifies TWO genders only - male and female. And those two form a marriage.

David Smith

Negatory ghost rider .. the Bible is quite CLEAR on sexual orientation ..Its man who choses to ignore it.

Bailey Jones

What the Bible says (or the Torah, or the Koran, or the Vedas, or the Suttas) is irrelevant. America isn't a theocracy (thank you, Jesus!) Americans decide what America is about - and yes, we are all informed and constrained by our religious and philosophical beliefs and cultural baggage. After a century of accommodating slavery, we change our minds and changed our laws. After a century and half of treating women and children like chattel, we changed our minds and changed our laws. It's what we call "progress". In both cases conservatives used Bible verses to show - with good effect - why God opposed that progress. And it's the same with regards to LGBTQlmnop+/- We, as a nation, have decided that who you love and want to create your family with is no longer the government's business, and no longer a legal rationale for discrimination. The haters gonna hate, and they'll continue to use their holy books as justification, because that's what haters do (trust me, I know - I was raised by good Christian racists). And the rest of us will do the best we can to accommodate their hatred - because change is hard, and conservatism, by definition, is opposed to it.

Wayne Holt

Bailey, I think you got MOST of it right, but I will have to vehemently disagree with your latter statements. You certainly are correct that religious principles have been used to deny women, slaves and those of different sexual orientation basic human rights that NO one has the authority to abrogate as they arise from being human itself. I can't speak to your family situation or your conservative acquaintances but my perception is that the vast majority of conservative Christians are reconciled to the secular acceptance of these rights but now are being asked--no, forcefully told--that THEIR beliefs are no longer relevant and not even tolerated as being protected under free speech rights. Everything and the kitchen sink is being thrown at conservative Christians who simply have a different standard of behavior, who wish to have institutions that limit acceptance to that standard and wish to be able to publicly express their beliefs. You, and those with similar principles, have no idea what is in a person's heart and the fact that the word "hater" is thrown around so cavalierly is every bit as prejudiced as anything a true racist can come up with. The left/right or liberal/conservative split in America is almost to the point of being irreparable. If you want others to respect your right to act and express your beliefs no matter how much they disagree with you, you simply are going to have to do the same in return. It's the only way forward, and we better see to its adoption soon.

Bailey Jones

I only use "hater" to refer to haters. I know many conservatives, some who are Christians, who are entirely accepting of gays and gay rights. I think my point, as much as I can have one at 7:45 in the morning, is simply that the country is changing, and changing for the better, IMHO. And I think I offered up some sympathy for those who are being left behind - because I am sensitive to the fact that change is hard for most people - especially when you've been raised to believe in a set of assumptions that are no longer viewed as certain, or even acceptable. But I think I'm just stating obvious fact. Society changes, what were once majority opinions become minority opinions, and people who are used to expressing those opinions without contradiction may find that those around them are "suddenly" taking offense. The racial views that i was raised with were once ubiquitous, now anyone who still holds to them is a seen as a pariah. And so it goes with views on sexual preference.

Ma Gill

That we disagree does not mean that I hate you. I care not who you (or anyone else) sleeps with. But if you try to force me to use words which violate my beliefs (calling a man "she", for example), I will not cooperate with your fascist tactics.

Wayne Holt

Thanks for clarifying that, Bailey, it's helpful. There indeed are many conservatives and Christians who are far, far from racism or lack human empathy. Not all, but my personal experience has not mirrored yours. We are shaped by what we live through so you have come to other conclusions, and that is fine with me. I guess the executive summary would be, if it's no longer acceptable for conservative Christians to define for everyone what love is, secular liberals need to understand it is no longer acceptable for them to insist only they may define what hate is. Freedom of conscience means freedom to believe whatever it is that you believe and to live in that mold as long as you allow every other person that same expanse of personal liberty. When someone wants to limit MY freedom of conscience, I see no reason to reciprocate with respect for theirs.

Bailey Jones

I tend to agree with you Wayne. Just as the politics of another person can seem unfathomable when they are different from our own, so much more so for sexual preference or gender identity. There is a certain pattern of action / reaction that plays out each time society pushes the envelope of social justice a bit further. Best not to take any of it personally.

Wayne Holt

I think this exchange has been useful in seeing that disagreement does not have to end in demonization of the other. We know what we disagree on but little time is spent in our society determining what we agree on and reverse engineering it from there. Even if we just get two or three principles that both sides can faithfully adhere to in dealing with other beliefs--even when radically different from our own--we would move the ball far down the field toward a social contract that affords full and uncompromising human rights to all of us, no matter where we fall in the religious or political spectrum.

Carlos Ponce

Bailey posts, "I was raised by good Christian racists)." So sad you threw those who raised you "under the bus" as they say. You may learn something from Christian tenants - to forgive. Survivors and relatives of the Charleston African American Church shooting forgave the shooter. Congressman Steve Scalise forgave the man who shot him. To not forgive is to carry that pain with you throughout your life which apparently has happened.

Bailey Jones

Why would you assume that I haven't forgiven my good racist Christian upbringers? I simply see the world as it is, Carlos, it's not a judgement. I have racists in my family - and I love them all. I was brought up in a racist religion - which I left. I went to racist schools - which hopefully have evolved. I worked in racist corporations - where I worked to bring diversity. I've seen the ignorance that is systemic racism my whole life. I don't hold a grudge, it just is what it is. The point is, I see the exact same attitudes and justifications today being used to legitimize systemic discrimination against gays and trans people. Same stuff, different day. There is absolutely nothing original in any of the arguments I've seen here. I appreciate the effort to turn my distaste for prejudice into an attack on my character - it's an old tactic. Been there, done that, I don't hate you for it.

Carlos Ponce

"Why would you assume that I haven't forgiven my good racist Christian upbringers?" Because you call them "racist". In the vernacular you "threw them under the bus". It is unkind, shows you still harbor ill feelings.

David Smith

Call the Bible Irrelevent in one sentence.. Thank Jesus in the next.. lol

Bailey Jones

You got it David. Religion is a personal matter. I don't want to live by yours and I can guarantee you don't want to live by mine.

Jarvis Buckley

If your a racist , how can you call yourself a Christian?

Bailey Jones

I find myself being neither, Jarvis, having rejected both.

Bailey Jones

Jarvis, i think I may have misread your question. If you were asking what racist Christian sect I was brought up in, it was the Southern Baptists. I was happy to hear this last year that they finally renounced the "curse of Ham" as a justification for slavery and racism.

Jarvis Buckley

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