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Not Azinger’s fault

Several letters unfairly disparaging Sen. Azinger’s op-ed position against LGBQT individuals have been recently published. The writers of those letters hypocritically employ the same bigoted and close-minded attack upon the good senator as he employed in his op-ed vilification of the LGBTQ: they calumny him for behavior beyond his control.

Succinctly, Sen. Azinger wrote that he hates LGBTQ people for three reasons: something to do with Marxism and hatred of white people; violation of God’s law, and the exposed male chest.

His meandering, incomprehensible, rabid rant about Marxism and Critical Theory clearly manifests a mental condition, a condition with which he was born and cannot control. To call such condition a defect would be a judgment I am unqualified to make, but all reasonable people will agree that it is unfair to blame him for his congenital inability to make sense.

Based either upon some apparent insight into the mind of God or acting as His self-proclaimed representative on Earth, the senator then pronounces LGBTQ behavior a biblical crime. Here, again, he does not merit condemnation for he merely engaged in a common and accepted Christian behavior: he selected a biblical snippet that supports his version of life and ignored all the conflicting passages.

Yes, at Romans 1:26 the writer known as Paul wrote something which some scholars interpret as disparaging about homosexual behavior, but at Romans 13:8 he also wrote “Love your neighbor as yourself,” without excluding homosexual neighbors. The Bible contains about 20 entreaties (Leviticus 19:1, Mark 12:31, et al.) for Christians to love others including even one’s enemies. When marshaling the Good Book in support of an accusation of moral wrongdoing, Christians often overlook these Biblical directives to love one another. The senator was innocently following that tradition.

Concerning the senator’s focus on “men’s bare chests, men in thongs, flogs, leashes. etc.,” many men are discomfited by the sight of another man’s naked body, especially if the chest is hairy. That vision, even the thought of it, evokes such a passionate response in some men that they feel compelled to make public denouncements, thus, in their minds, assuring others of their own uncloseted straightness. Although the senator was simply reacting to this innate impulse and should not be faulted, I do have some general biblical advice for such situations: “If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.” (Matthew 18:9).

Patrick Radcliff

Vienna

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