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WHY CAN'T PEOPLE BE MORE TOLERANT?

A recent letter writer said: "God said homosexuality is a sin." Where and when? An appeal to the biblical books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy uncovers a few pouted references to men having sexual relations with men and its consequences for the addressed people. But the word "homosexuality" dates to the last century and is unfairly inserted into centuries-old documents.

Today, we can speak to homosexuals and heterosexuals about God and morality without dredging up dated condemnations that don't apply. In Leviticus, Chapter 20, adulterers and children who cursed their parents were to be put to death. Would we apply that sentence today? Hardly. All people are worthy of respect. Prejudice and intolerance is immoral and illegal.

Unfortunately, prejudice against homosexuals exists in many places, including churches. We're working to teach the equality of people and their rights to life in a world free of unfair persecution. The line "love the sinner but hate the sin" is often a mask for deep-seated fear and hate of the "other." More tolerance is needed, not less.

REV. MSGR. WILLIAM J. GALLAGHER St. John Vianney Catholic Church
Orchard Park

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