Sunday, April 21, 2024

EDITORIAL: Let’s be forgiving and helpful


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IT HAS COME AS NO SURPRISE – the gratitude expressed by Barbados Gays And Lesbians Against Discrimination (B-GLAD) president Donnya Piggott for Anglican Bishop of Barbados Dr John Holder’s most recently declared stand on the treatment of those of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

After all, Ms Piggott has for some time been fighting against the “discrimination” and “religious rhetoric” faced by this “vulnerable group”.

Just last Thursday, at a Press conference, the Archbishop of the West Indies Dr Holder advised that every human being should be treated “as a child of God, irrespective of their sexual orientation”. He did not take kindly to those Christians among us who perceived the LGBT folk as “children of the Devil” and subjected them to “ridicule”. They were “misusing The Bible”, he declared.

The B-GLAD leader, warmed by the stated position of Dr Holder, saw her “vulnerable group” feeling less judged and much safer.

Toeing the line, it seemed, was Roman Catholic Bishop Jason Gordon who offered that the “dignity and humanity” of the LGBT community should be respected by the church. Argued Bishop Gordon: “No matter who they are or what they have done . . . , no one could ever choose to treat somebody with less than absolute human dignity; and anything short of that is really a transgression of the moral law.”

Church Of The Nazarene senior superintendent Dr Orlando Seale, though supporting the other clerics on the acceptance of and dignity towards the LGBT community, emphasised that his church yet took the “biblical position relative to behaviours, including homosexuality”.

Does God create persons with homosexual tendencies and desires? The Bible says people become lesbians and homosexuals because of sin (Romans 1:24 to 27) and surely because of their own choice. A person may be born with a heavy leaning towards homosexuality, in much the same way some people are born with a tendency towards violence and crime; but that does not excuse the person’s surrender to sinful deeds.

There must be meaningful public dialogue and serious debate on the important issues of our day. Crying intolerance and spewing accusations of hate must not be part of any strategy to discredit those whom we disagree with.

According to The Bible, God’s forgiveness is as available to the lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender as it is to the adulterer, idol worshipper and thief. And, God promises the strength for victory over sin to all those who will believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation.

Barbados has long been known to be a tolerant society; by extension this tolerance must be extended to members of the LGBT community.

We are told of the woman who was found in adultery and brought before Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees for his opinion on the law of Moses, which said she should be stoned. On their continued pressing of him, the Saviour advised: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”


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