Letter: A pastor's position
Steven Priestly's letter deserves comment. His characterization of Leviticus as "a long-winded, spiteful and seemingly arbitrary tirade" misses the fact that Leviticus 18 not only prohibits homosexual conduct, but bestiality and incest – sexual relations with the same persons mentioned in Maine law (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, nephew, niece, aunt, or uncle). And, for him to say that "homosexuality isn't mentioned again until Paul" misrepresents the frequent places where the Mosaic law is referenced by the Prophets, the wisdom books, and the Gospels. While homosexuality may not be mentioned by name, it is included implicitly.
When it comes to homosexuality, to say that Paul "rails against it (and nearly everything else)" is grossly overstated. Paul condemns what most people would condemn: "Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9b-10 TNIV). And, for all Priestly's confident assertions, it was not Jesus who said, "Know thyself," but Socrates or another Greek philosopher. Jesus is more widely know for his call to love God supremely, and to love others as we love ourselves.
The Rev. Sandy Williams
First Baptist Church, Freeport