Recently, Jeremy Hardy read out the following on Radio 4's News Quiz. The letter from Mr Duncan was in reply to an article by Max Jones detailing the Bishop of Winchester's opposition to same-sex adoption. Our reply (with a little help from The West Wing) has caused quite a stir...
I wanted to respond to the article in your October 23 edition by Max Jones. As a committed Christian since 1954 and the father of five children, I totally support the Bishop of Winchester in his opposition to couples other than heterosexual being allowed to adopt children. Perhaps this should also include "common-law" relationships proven to be stable. After all, in God's eyes, if one has a sexual relationship with a person of the opposite sex, then you are "bound" to that person. Sadly, our society these days treats sex as entertainment and a commodity, as opposed to the cementing of a special relationship as intended by our Creator.
What you have to consider, is that our God's laws do not change with the passing of time. Throughout the pages of the Bible - the Christian Handbook - homosexuality is condemned. It was the main reason why Sodom (sodomy) and Gomorra were destroyed. Jesus Christ pronounced that it has always been God's design for a relationship to be between one man and one woman, for life. Allowing for the failures in our own lives, divorce and, under certain circumstances, remarriage is permitted. I have been through that situation myself.
Whether or not you voted the Bishop in is not relevant here. The Church must stand for goodness and right-ness. Jesus Christ demanded of his followers - of which the Bishop is one - that we are to be the "salt" and "light" in this world. Salt prevents decay and light shows the way. So don 't knock the man, he is following orders from a much higher authority than any government of this world.
Stuart D. Duncan
Good point well made, Mr Duncan. As you say, 'God's laws do not change with the passing of time', and it clearly states in Leviticus 18:22 that homosexuality is an 'abomination'.
Which reminds me, there's a couple of things I need a little guidance on... firstly, if I wanted to sell my daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7, how much could I expect to make from such a deal?
Also, the newspaper business being what it is, my colleague Pete sometimes insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? Or is it okay to get some outside help?
Lastly, does the whole city really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? And when, as it instructs in the ‘Christian Handbook’, I burn my mother for wearing garments made from two different threads. Do I torch her whole or just a bit?
It's a moral minefield and no mistake.
- J. Bartlett