Veronica Roberts

July 2, 2011]----The historic marriage equality legislation passed in New York last Friday that now gives Gay and Lesbians the right to marry, has set off a promise of impending Domesday-like fire and brimstone punishment of biblical proportions for our State.

Many opposed to same-sex marriage have been avidly quoting the Bible as the reason for their strong aversion. One young Facebook friend posted this quote, "Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them." Powerful stuff.

Another wrote, "Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." Hmmmm. Leviticus certainly seems like a fire and brimstone kind of chapter, doesn't it?

But what about the part that says," For God so loveth the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." (Or something like that, It's been a while since my avid church days)---and "he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Don't these verses cancel out Leviticus? Just wondering, cause it gets confusing.

Can we or should we take the Bible and all it's chapters--from Genesis to Revelations--literally? Can one truly live by all the teachings of the bible in its entirety?

The Bible also say adultery, lying, covetousness, fornication, stealing, avarice, taking the 'Lord's name in vain, is a 'sin' That carries equal severe punishments. It also says 'all men are created equal except a "slave to his master." Many 'religious, Godly' plantation owners and slave traders justified the Holocaust of slavery by the using the Bible.

'An eye for an eye,' still used today in some Muslim societies, was justifiable punishment sanctified by the Bible's Old Testament. We say it is barbaric to stone people to death as legal punishment today but that was the order of the land centuries ago, again sanctioned by the Bible.

How do you reconcile the conflicting teachings of the Bible if you live by it? Some oversimply by saying the Old testament was before Jesus Christ came and died on the Cross. The New Testament is what we are really supposed to live by today. Hmmm.So why quote Leviticus as holy armor against homosexuality, isn't it in the Old Testament?

You see, I attended church religiously as a girl, sometimes going as much as five times a week. I lived and breathed the Bible, until I became a teenager and started to ask questions that couldn't be answered satisfactorily.

Questions like why do many pick and choose what verse to use to bolster their arguments and then turn around and ignore large portions of The Good Book?

And what happens if one does not believe in the Bible? Has a totally different philosophy or religion to the Christian one? Who decides whose 'God,'' Jehovah,' 'Allah,' 'Jah' 'Buddha,' etc. is the real One?

What if one believes in a Supreme Being but does not take the Bible as God's words, literally?

What if the Bible is a scholarly text, written and influence by the time period in which it was compiled? A time when a certain phrase meant something completely different to what some of us interpret it to mean today?

There is overwhelming evidence that life evolved. That the earth and the rest of the Universe was not created in six days. Is not a couple of thousands years old but billions.

'God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.' We all have heard this catchy phrase shouted or written boldly on placards or Tee-shirts everywhere. But was the first human on earth really a male? Or was she female?

It's 2011 and many still live in oppressively patriarchal societies in several parts of the globe. The Adam story certainly fits into that sort of male dominance and control, doesn't it? Give credence and holy justification.

I don't profess to have the answers. In fact I have more questions than answers. We live in a fascinating world, with different cultures, religion, philosophies, beliefs and opinions. But that's ok for it is the singular thing that should bring us together. Our uniqueness gives life flavor and passion.

What I am extremely leery of, are folks who seem to know it all. Who self-righteously live to impose their ideology on others as the gospel truth but in religion are there truly any absolutes?

And doesn't or shouldn't that simple phrase, "God is love," cancel out all the rabid noise?