NPR story on Texas sodomy ruling demonstrates clash of worldviews

Communications Staff — July 1, 2003

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A radical clash of worldviews rang clear in a news story on the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision striking down a Texas sodomy law that aired Sunday on National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition.”

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the ruling damages the institution of family and sets a judicial precedent that could usher in even more radical laws such as the legalization of gay marriages.

“This is a very, very damaging decision, not only to the institution of the family and to the moral fabric of our nation, but to the judicial precedent,” Mohler said. “We can only imagine what could follow from the logic of this decision.”

Reporter Allison Aubrey interviewed leaders from two other religious faiths, both of whom viewed the ruling positively.

While Mohler asserted that homosexuality is a sin according to Scripture, Rabbi Lewis Barth, dean of The Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, Calif., said adherents to reformed Judaism view such biblical passages as outdated, reflecting values of 2,500 years ago. Reformed Judaism embraces homosexuals just as they are, he said.

“We know in this case that between 12 and 15 percent of every human society is gay or lesbian,” Barth said. “Once one knows that, then those people ought to be welcomed into our society because that’s who they are.”

William Sinkford, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Boston, Mass., said homophobia—not homosexuality—is a sin. He hailed the court’s decision as an example of American democracy despite the fact it overturns a law put in place by legislators who were elected by the voters of Texas.

“For us, homosexuality is not the sin, it’s homophobia, which oppresses and harms persons,” Sinkford said.

“The court’s decision is not only a victory for bisexual, gay, and lesbian and transgender people, it’s really a victory for all Americans. As I said, it is an example for me of the best of American democracy, where we are affirming the inherent worth and dignity of all citizens.”

Mohler said the most loving action for Christians toward all people, including homosexuals, is to proclaim the biblical truth of God’s redeeming grace toward sinners.

“What we need to do is have the honest compassion to tell people the truth redemptively,” Mohler said. “Unfortunately, these days, that’s just written off as politically incorrect. But a minister of the Gospel, a Christian pastor, has to be far more concerned with being biblically correct than politically correct.”

To hear the story via RealAudio, click on:

http://discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=1314307

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