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The point of Christianity is inclusion

December 21, 2003|by Martin W. Gallagher Jr., MD

To the editor:

From an indiscreet comment by Hagerstown's mayor, to Gay-bashing and on to God-bashing is quite a stretch. Pastor John Miller, of Faith Christian Fellowship may be somewhat disingenuous by feigning some doubt of what is meant by "main-line churches."

Part of my ongoing (hopefully) career was spent in a Catholic religious order called the Jesuits. Of the 33 years there, 20 were as an ordained priest. So I think I am aware of the major denominations within the Christian fellowship as well as the numerous minor off-shoots.

As to nature, scripture and God "wiring" "all areas of life to pursue the opposite sex," I suspect this would be an area of endless and fruitless debate. Certainly, from a scientific point of view, all primates are "wired" for sexuality, but within that rubric there are wide and varied behaviors.

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And since homosexuals, as a group, do not procreate, the persistence of the trait throughout human history, in all, even what we call "primitive" cultures, suggests a genetic constant in the human genome. Homosexuals do not make homosexuals. Heterosexuals do.

What I often find interesting is that many who are called "Christians" continue to rely on the OLD Covenant (Testament) for much of their belief, when throughout the NEW Covenant (Testament) there are repeated references that Christians have been freed from the slavery of the law to a new life of belief in the person of Jesus. His own life was a procession of welcoming into friendship and fellowship all those who, by the law, were "sinners" and outcasts.

These sentiments are repeated by Paul and the Apostles throughout the literature of the New Testament. Certainly much of Paul's understanding of the law came from his own background as a Pharisee and the 613 commands of the law and the casuistic interpretation of the elders who explained them.

It should be also noted, that in all four gospels, there is not a single comment (negative or positive) about homosexuality.

However, as I have grown older (and hopefully wiser) it has become much clearer that the ways to the well are numerous and there are those who thirst and that I am the last one to presume to prescribe how ultimate reality is discovered or revealed to another human being.

In a sentiment that befits the season, I take comfort in the image of a child, whose vulnerability is indeed that of all of us, surrounded by other sentient beings, his "pets" if you will, as a symbol of all humanity, holding on together with our fellow creatures, for our own brief time here on this earth, both individually and together, as a species.

Martin W. Gallagher Jr., MD
Hagerstown

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