Mr. Brayton's letter is irritating, not because he has such a lamentably narrow understanding of a particular collection of stories or a philosophy, nor because his ignorance of human behavior leads him to regard as acceptable only that with which he thinks he is familiar. No. Mr. Brayton's letter is annoying because he is so deluded as to think that honesty, intellectual and emotional, would ineluctably lead one to conclude that a religion currently famous for homosexual abuse of children could have anything compelling to say about how one ought to conduct one's sex life as an adult. Further, regardless of what Christian zealots have done to harm innocent people for centuries, how Mr. Brayton can soberly maintain that there is anything compassionate in the values of a religion famous for encouraging sexual and psychological abuse of children, genocidal warfare and scientific ignorance is a stunning example of denial.
What exactly does Mr. Brayton mean when he writes "those engaging in sexual relationships outside of marriage will be judged of God?" Of God? Is this like being holy, somehow closer to the supernatural? In that case, we all ought to engage in a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Nor do the passages Mr. Brayton cites make explicit the gender of those Mr. Brayton would expect to be legitimately engaged in sexual intercourse. If anything, Mr. Brayton's selections seem to suggest that as long as people are reproducing sexually, it isn't important how they satisfy their sexual desire.
It is nice to know Mr. Brayton prays for those whom he pities. Personally, I hope he reads some biology and anthropology with "an open mind." Even though scientific research can seem dense and difficult to understand, the basic theories are not at all mysterious, nor do they require something as vague as faith or as inconstant as belief. Honesty rather than denial would require that we all recognize that human beings are worthy of respect, without regard for how they express their sexuality, and that we as a community ought to honor commitments that lovers make, thus contributing to a healthy and diverse society of equals. Would that not be redemptive?
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