To the Editor:
In recent weeks, we have been exposed to publications that quote particular Biblical passages that authors claim are the "unadulterated" word of God. This use of scripture is known as "proof texting" - taking certain biblical verses out of their historical, cultural and biblical context to reinforce one's own personal beliefs. In this letter, I will also "proof text," and ask: Should Christians carry out these Biblical mandates?
Deut. 21:18-21:?"If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, his father and his mother shall bring him out to the elders of his town at the gate of that place. They shall say to the elders of his town, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard. 'Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death. So you shall purge the evil from your midst ..."
Lev. 11: 1-12:?"The Lord spoke ... saying: From among all the land animals, these are the creatures that you may eat: Any animal that has divided hoofs and is cloven-footed and chews the cud. The pig, even though it has divided hoofs and is cloven-footed, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. Of their flesh you shall not eat ... Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, such you may eat. But anything that does not have fins and scales ... they are detestable to you.
Deuteronomy 22:11:?"You shall not wear clothes made of wool and linen woven together."
If you are a biblical literalist, clearly God's answer for our churches, schools and families concerning troubled boys and young men is: They should be taken outside the city of Fairmont and stoned to death.
God's word to all the family pork producers in our county: The animals raised, the pork consumed is unclean.
God's word declares shrimp unclean and removed from menus and meat counters.
Check clothing tags: Wearing a cotton/polyester blend top, pants or skirt is unclean for you.
As a baptized child of God, clergy person, servant of Jesus, I vote "no" to an indoctrination technique selecting only certain Bible verses used without question as weapons of destruction against baptized, Christian, faithful followers of Jesus, gay and lesbian children of God. And I would go so far as to say that God does not approve this message; that is, any message that uses God's word as a tool that claims and leads to, in God's holy name, spiritual, scriptural, and even physical violence toward gay and lesbian people.
Today, the vote no signs will appear in our yard. It is about much more than the Minnesota marriage amendment. I do not worship the Bible - that would be idolatry. I will not remain silent because it may be safe, or easy, or not cause conflict in my family, the church, or our communities.
Rev. Jacqueline A. Ziemer