This letter is in response to the letter to the editor, “2 issues hurt Biblical family,” in the Sept. 20 issue. The cited issues are abortion and same-sex marriage. The author challenges Christians to have courage and take a moral stand.
It is more likely that the thing that is “destroying” the family is replacing love with control. We can stop destroying our own families right now by accepting members as they are, not who we wish them to be. We each have the power to begin doing this immediately.
The actual crisis is not that members of the LGBTQ+ community are destroying the family, but, due to judgement and shame cast upon them by their families and faith leaders on whom they are counting for support, they are destroying themselves with eating disorders, alcohol, drugs, and suicide resulting from anxiety and depression. I challenge all of us to have the courage to unpack the indoctrination of our childhood and awaken to our faith that affirms the image of God in all people. I challenge Bible professing believers to be educated on the recent introduction of the language of “homosexuality” in the Bible. The word used in the original text refers to child molestation. Words are powerful. Let us examine the origins and intentions of their introduction our faith text before reacting from a literal context. Rather than feel threatened, I challenge us to have the courage to take a moral stand and fully embrace our LGBTQ+ families. We each have the power to do this.
Likewise, highlighting abortion begs the question of root cause. If the goal is to eliminate abortion, let us eliminate primary factors leading to it. This can start with the men of Wilkes County by rebuking any indicator of rape culture. In preparation for such a resistance, ask women how we protect ourselves against rape and assault every day. Ask single mothers raising and funding children alone what it is like to walk in their shoes… and then believe them. Let us have courage and take a moral stand to hold absent fathers accountable. We each have the power to begin doing this immediately.
The author is concerned with the spiritual condition of professing Bible believers. The only issues addressed in his letter were personal matters of autonomy over one’s own body. Consider instead plumbing deeply into the life and work of Jesus himself, whose clear message was to accept, include and value all people, which was a foreign message to a culture grounded in oppression. Jesus lived and spoke a clear message of what this looks like and summed it up in two commandments: Love God and love others. I read in the Wilkes Journal-Patriot that in Wilkes there is a negative earning gap for black families, relative to the general population. Let us have courage and take a moral stand for systemic justice.
Many in our community lack access to healthcare and this is destroying the family. Regarding the opioid epidemic, we must recognize addiction as a disease that energizes a spiritual and physical downward spiral that can lead to despair and suicide. Treatment of this disease requires healthcare. Other areas that reflect poor access to healthcare include family planning which increases the need for abortion. Poor nutrition serves as a barrier to education, as well as healthy hearts and bodies. Let us have courage and take moral stand for healthcare. We each have the power to begin doing this immediately.
As we explore ways in which we can elevate our community, may we have the courage to make necessary changes in our individual selves while extending grace and compassion to others as they do the same.
SHARILYN K. OWENS,
North Wilkesboro, N.C.