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Memo for those who would cast stones ...

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

I’m beautiful in my way, ‘Cause God makes no mistakes. I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way.

— Lady Gaga

When I was in high school, I remember one night a group of four or five guys on the football team bragging about water-balloon-bombing the car of this kid they indelicately called “the fag.”

I knew the guy they were talking about, an introspective — and decidedly effeminate — classmate who might have weighed 130 pounds on a good day. I asked my fellow football players what happened after their attack, and they said, “We took off. He chased us all over town, but we didn’t let him catch up with us.”

I laughed to myself at the thought of that scenario: Five muscle-bound jocks speeding through the streets of Ocilla, trying to escape one lone guy who’d make up about half of any one of them. And I wondered to myself what they were afraid of.

Today, as America overreacts, as usual, to the president’s recent declaration that he favors same-sex marriage and condemnations erupt from all over, I’m drawn back to that relatively innocent night of hijinks all those years ago. And I wonder again: What are people so afraid of?

What is it about homosexuality that frightens people in this country, angers many to the point of violence? What is it about two people sharing a non-traditional relationship that feels right to them that unleashes the hatred and vitriol of people who know nothing about the couple?

I’m sorry, but I’m not buying that argument about Christian values here. Yes, I’ve read the Bible verses that vilify same-sex relationships, but I’ve also read verse after verse after verse in that same Bible that speaks of love for others — all others — of forgiveness, of leaving judgment to God.

I don’t care how “righteous” you self-appointed arbiters of good vs. evil profess to be, who are you to render value judgment on the way others choose to live their lives? I seem to recall Jesus’ reaction to those in a group that clamored to stone to death a woman living outside accepted social mores. I believe He invited anyone without sin to cast the first stone. Perhaps those who would condemn someone for his or her relationship preference might do well to read Bible verses other than the ones that fit so neatly into their personal comfort zone.

In principle, I’m not a big proponent of same-sex marriage. But then I feel I have no solid ground on which to base such a presumption. The only way I can relate is to think of my own personal relationships and wonder how I’d react if someone told me “you can’t do that anymore because it’s wrong.” I don’t think I’d be too keen on giving up something wonderful to me based on someone else’s ideology.

(Incidentally, I also don’t think any couple — of any conceivable combination — standing before a minister or a justice of the peace and swearing vows in any way makes their commitment to each other any stronger than any other couple, no matter the orientation.)

A committed personal relationship between any two people is hard enough without the unwarranted condemnation of total strangers. Maybe it’s time we turned the attention we’re devoting to others’ relationships inward and decided if, as Jesus suggested, we have a right to cast stones in anyone else’s direction. If you think you qualify, you’re a helluva lot better person than I ... or anyone else I’ve ever met.

Oh, and if you do decide to do a little soul-searching, you might ask yourself that question I asked all those years ago as my teammates ran from the guy they’d water-bombed: What are you so afraid of?

Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 4 months ago

I always enjoy hearing from people who never darken the door of a church tell me what Jesus really meant and what's important and what can be ignored in the Bible.

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Kay523 2 years, 4 months ago

I've seen Carlton in church more than a few times. Jesus was all about forgiveness. The Old Testament Jewish leaders were all about condemnation.

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gotanyfacts 2 years, 4 months ago

Carlton, you may be missing the obvious, that you are judging those who argue against gay marriage. Or, would you say that you are judging their actions? There is a difference. To broaden the Bible’s charge that we should not judge another person to not judging behavior would place any behavior, including those described in the Ten Commandments, beyond reproach! Being a very poor example of a Christian, I would not attempt to argue theology. But in my opinion, the Bible is very plain in describing homosexual behavior as a sin, that it is wrong. I also believe that the New Testament tells Christians to stand against sin. Should Christians be silent in the face of sin? Can a sinner repent when ignorant of his sin? There is no religious leg to stand on in reprimanding Christians for arguing against legalizing same-sex marriage. Finding fault with Christians for not being faultless does not purify a behavior the Bible describes as sinful.

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waltspecht 2 years, 4 months ago

In our lifetimes we have seen Divorce become the acccepted norm. We have seen Babies out of Wedlock an expected fact. We have seem Homosexuality accepted as a life style. Now we are seeing Homosexual Marriage accepted. What worries me, is the Man - Child Love Association making Pedophilia an accepted practice. For as sure as we think it would never happen, our Parents thought none of the others would ever happen either.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 4 months ago

Amen, My Brother! All in our lifetimes........those of us that have made the half-century mark.

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ObjectiveEyes 2 years, 4 months ago

I heard a preacher say one day, "...20 years ago if someone came into your home and used the kind of language that we allow our televisions to say, you'd have punched them out..." Soooo many things that we have allowed to happen...

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revolutionnow 2 years, 4 months ago

Carlton, it is interesting that you should use a bit of scripture to prove a point about christians and others being judgmental . The difference in the gay marriage controversy and the episode between Jesus, the Pharisees, and the adultress , is that all of those were in agreement about one thing. There was a sin commited. Jesus pointed out to the rest of us that we all are guilty of sin. The agenda of gay marriage activists is to redifine the institution of marriage and make it appear to be a legitimate lifestyle. The true follower of Christ is aware of their own sin. They are ashamed of it , and wish to repent of it. The apostle Paul talked about his own battle with sin in Romans chapter 7. The part about Jesus not condemning the adultress in John 8:11 is true , but you left out the most important part. " Go and sin no more."

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Cartman 2 years, 4 months ago

Carlton. Who are you to be judgmental of us? Are we not allowed to even harbor an opinion that homosexuality is a sin? If we truly believe in the word of God, must we still embrace the sin of homosexuality just to keep from offending others? I do not tell others what to believe. I do not hate others for having made a different choice. I certainly do not fear them. Why does those who cling to God's word scare you? Jesus embraced a prostitute, but he did not embrace prostitution. He saved an adultress, but he did not condone her adultery. He loves me, but not my ugly sins.

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Outtahere 2 years, 4 months ago

When did disagreeing with someone become HATE? When did agreeing with biblical standards become HATE SPEECH? I don't have a problem with gays; I have a problem with MY views basically becoming a crime. At the rate we're going, it will be against the law to say homosexuality is a choice. Geez! I'm not afaid of them; just sick and tired of them SHOVING their views down my throat!

They (gays) will NEVER conform Strongeveryone to agree with them no matter how hard they try. I think everyone should be treated equally and they should by no means be discriminated against!! However, if I feel that marriage is between a man and a woman, THAT IS MY RIGHT and it should NOT be considered HATE!!

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Outtahere 2 years, 4 months ago

When did disagreeing with someone become HATE? When did agreeing with biblical standards become HATE SPEECH? I don't have a problem with gays; I have a problem with MY views basically becoming a crime. At the rate we're going, it will be against the law to say homosexuality is a choice. Geez! I'm not afaid of them; just sick and tired of them SHOVING their views down my throat!

They (gays) will NEVER conform Strongeveryone to agree with them no matter how hard they try. I think everyone should be treated equally and they should by no means be discriminated against!! However, if I feel that marriage is between a man and a woman, THAT IS MY RIGHT and it should NOT be considered HATE!!

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Outtahere 2 years, 4 months ago

There is a typo in my second paragraph. The computer was timing out; don't know how it happened. That's why it posted twice.

They will never conform everyone to agree .....

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justadawg 2 years, 4 months ago

"Yes, I’ve read the Bible verses that vilify same-sex relationships, but I’ve also read verse after verse after verse in that same Bible that speaks of love for others — all others — of forgiveness, of leaving judgment to God."

Look around you...and you don't call this world in chaos "judgment" of a Holy God? Why do you think Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed? God doesn't argue the point...He just SPEAKS... and it's settled for eternity! And yes I believe in repentance of sin...but there has to be a change in a persons life from wickedness to Godliness!

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buddy 2 years, 4 months ago

God is love....but God is also just! I'm sure judges downtown at the courthouse are loving people, does that mean they should let all the criminals go free? Should we change all the laws so these people aren't put in jail for doing what they feel like? Poor Carlton...typical liberal!

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Albanite 2 years, 4 months ago

Dr. Carle Zimmerman in 1947 wrote a book called Family and Civilization. He studies the decline of several civilizations and empires. He discovered eight patterns of domestic behavior that signaled the decline of a civilization:

1.The breakdown of marriage and rise of divorce.

2.The loss of the traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony.

3.The rise of Feminism.

4.Increased public disrespect for parents and authority in general.

5.Acceleration of juvenile delinquency, promiscuity and rebellion.

6.Refusal of people with traditional marriages to accept their family responsibilities.

7.A growing desire for and acceptance of adultery.

8 Increasing interest in and spread of sexual perversions (homosexuality) and sex-related crimes.


See any parallels in modern America?

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Cartman 2 years, 4 months ago

Sodom. Sodomy. What a coincidence.

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Hawk59 2 years, 4 months ago

I get it Carlton, and to sum it up. You shouldn't throw rocks if you live in a glass house. A sin is a sin. Most people have a problem with Gay marriage, but never goes to church, cheat on their spouses, and commit every other sin you can think of. Sins are not rated by God, but are the same in his eyes. That is why you can ask for forgiveness, but sin no more. Modern America is full of sin. Turn on the T.v., listen to the radio, you can google anything ,or anybody. We take God out of our schools and Federal buildings, but yet keep his name on the almighty dollar bill. Remember he is a loving God, but also a jealous God. Thou shall not have any other God before me! But yet, what do we as Americans worship more?? Remember that dollar bill?

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Twosons 2 years, 4 months ago

Hate the sin, love the sinner. As a Christian, I am not sinless, but I try to sin less.

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