An Open Letter to Christians Against Marriage Equality
The postal vote and ‘respectful’ debate are drawing to a close, and I realise most of what I'm going to say was said in my previous letter, but I had a few more points that affect you more than the other ‘no’ voters. Even though the postal vote will end soon, I have no doubt that hateful sentiments will continue well past the final tally announcement and hope that something I say here will change some part of that. Once again, since freedom of speech is a thing, it's ok for you to vote ‘no’ but I'd like to remind you that your ‘no’ vote is homophobic and discriminatory and not what Jesus would want.
But let's not get into what we believe Jesus would want and focus on what was written down.
It is true that Leviticus in the Old Testament said ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable’ which could mean homosexuality is a sin (or it could mean that treating a man the same as you treat a woman is a sin, the Bible is open to interpretation in many places and this is what provides scholars with the most difficulty[3 4]. But before you stand high and proclaim that you have the right to judge homosexuals based on this singular passage, there are two things you need to remember.
Point 1- Leviticus also states that many other things that are common in Western Culture are sins; such as divorce, clothing made of two materials, practicing magic, interacting with a woman when she in on her period, having tattoos, making racist comments, and eating shrimps. But don't despair because point 2 explains why you, as a Christian, don't have to live your lives based on the words of Leviticus.
Before I get into point 2, I would like to explain that I went to a Catholic High School, I learnt about the Old and New Testaments and who they are meant for. You see, (and this is point 2), Leviticus is part of the Old Testament which is the Jewish Bible and isn't relevant to the majority of Christianity. Christianity is an off-shoot of the Jewish faith, Jesus was born a Jew. The Jewish and Christian God is the same God. The only major difference between these two faiths is that the Jews do not believe that Jesus was sent by God to forgive humanity for the original sin (think Eve and the fruit of knowledge). The book of Leviticus and the rules it lays out was how God wanted his people to live to try to gain forgiveness for that sin. However, Jesus died on the cross to erase that sin from Christian’s souls. So Leviticus is not relevant to Christianity and the Old Testament is really just included for the backstory/explanation it provides. The words that truly matter to Christianity are the ones written in the New Testament. And there is no mention of homosexuality in the New Testament at all Jesus does however say two things which are relevant to this debate. One being “love thy neighbour.” If Jesus’ life was a film, I think ‘love thy neighbour’ would be the tag-line at the bottom of the poster. The second thing Jesus said which I think is really important to note is that in John 8:9, Jesus says “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” (in relation to stoning a person which was the usual punishment for most sins). Which means if you haven't ever made a bad decision, if you have never sinned. Then and only then, can you pass judgement.
Additionally, this country is not ruled by your religion. Such attitudes do not create a good country, simply look to Middle Eastern countries that base their laws on their interpretations of the Qu’ran. There were approximately 12,571,730 Christians and 91,022 Jews living in Australia in the 2016 census of about 24.13 million people. These are the people who cannot marry someone of the same gender as them, the rest of us will do either what our religions or our ethical compasses tell us. It is not your place to tell non-Christians what to do. There are many things in this ‘respectful debate’ that has caused me anger, pain, and misery, and I am not directly targeted by your misinformation, lies, and scaremongering. Perhaps you don’t know that what you are saying is wrong but that’s why I am including so many references in my papers. I have spent many years at high school and university being told that references are important and I think that lesson is no less important now, especially in this era of ‘fake news’.
So if you still believe that you must live your life by Leviticus, remember that if you have committed any sin listed in the book, you cannot pass judgement on anyone. That includes judging whether or not homosexuals can wed. But remember that Jesus’ whole life was based around the idea of love and acceptance.