In Memphis, Tennessee, there is a debate going on whether to provide protection to the gay, lesbian, and transgender community from job discrimination in Shelby County. The debate has evolved from a civil rights issue into Biblical interpretation issue. Wyatt Bunker, Shelby County Commissioner, argues sexual orientation is a choice and that the Bible prohibits homosexuality; and therefore, protection should not be provided.
When the concept of equal rights becomes complex, it is less likely that those who hold a simple view of life will be able to draw meaningful conclusions from those with greater capacity to understand.
As a person learns to compare and contrast things, they begin to group those things into categories and classify those groups according to concepts learned previously; thus, labels are born. The simpler the person’s view of life, the less internal mental processing is accomplished. How one interprets the external world is relative to how one is able to process and evaluate information that gives it meaning.
The use of the Bible to enact laws is contrary to all that is American. A person’s personal religion should help guide them toward a decision-making process but should not be the basis for making laws that protect people. How one interprets the Bible becomes the issue when government officials begin relying upon it to do their job.
Wyatt Bunker relies on pre-science reasoning and literal interpretation of a book that has been translated imperfectly by men over thousands of years. Wikipedia lists over 86 versions of the Bible. Which one is he basing his views upon? If literal interpretations were to be made law, then why not ban catfish from restaurants too. One can cherry pick the Bible to support any view wanted. The Bible, original texts, has idioms and concepts which are complex and are culturally and historically specific. Putting them into modern languages over time devalues their intended message.
Homosexuality is a choice. Oh, really? What a tired old argument that one is. In a simple mind, there is choice in sexual orientation which cannot be protected if you are gay; but the choice of religion is protected. Anyone who thinks homosexuality is a choice is brain dead. The only choice involved is whether to accept or deny one is gay. If one is gay, then a denial is a lie, a deviation from the truth.
This is an example of why government, local or federal, should maintain a separation of Church and State and real Americans should consider their choices for government officials carefully.