News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 16, 2014

Readers' Forum: Jan. 17, 2014


TERRE HAUTE — God discriminates, why can’t we?

Prior to the ducky debacle that was the firing of Phil Robertson from (but subsequent reinstatement to) A&E’s “Duck Dynasty”, Susan Estrich wrote a column that appeared in this newspaper's issue of Dec. 23, in which she hoped that Robertson would be fired for his intolerance of homosexuals.

Estrich said that the network has the right to fire Robertson. If that’s the case, doesn’t the United Methodist Church have just as much of a right to punish (or fire) Rev. Frank Schaefer (which she decries in her piece) for disobeying the Book of Discipline, the church’s rules and doctrine, by officiating at his gay son’s wedding?

How ironic that Estrich is being just as intolerant of Robertson and the UMC as they (in her view) are. Why can’t she be fired for intolerance? It shouldn’t be a one-way street.

Bishop Peggy Johnson acknowledges that “(s)everal statements in our Book of Discipline are discriminatory.” Well, that shouldn’t be surprising; God is discriminatory. Someone has to be discriminated against and denied entry into heaven. If everyone were to be accepted into heaven, what would be the point? Heaven is a place of reward for those who please Him.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:21-23 (in part): Not every one who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven … Many will say to me … “Haven’t we prophesied, cast out demons, and done many wonderful works in your name?” And then I will declare unto them, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity.”

Robertson evidently used the term “homosexual offenders” in his GQ interview, and Estrich assumes they are offenders not because being gay violates the law, but because they offend Robertson. I would go one step further and say that they offend Robertson because they offend God. (That’s not hard to figure out.)

I wonder if Estrich is not offended by adulterers, drunkards and swindlers who are also mentioned in I Corinthians 6:9,10 (quoted by Robertson).

God calls homosexuality an abomination (Lev. 20:13), the meaning of which is “something that is disgusting, detestable, vile, and abhorrent.” Romans 1:26,27 tells us that the homosexual act is against nature.

Therefore, the gay person should use self-control in not acting on his/her sexual impulses, just as one should if experiencing the impulse to have sex with a child or someone else’s wife, among other things.

The Bible is quite clear about where God stands on the issue. If Estrich doesn’t like it, maybe she can tell Him so on Judgment Day.

— Randy A. Piatt