Gay rights interview w Bishop Tobin

Mark Arsenault has a great, and relatively hard-hitting, interview with Bishop Tobin about gay rights.

Some interesting questions, and some awkward answers:

Gay couples married in Massachusetts say they are in love, and that their weddings brought them joy. Are those emotions real?

I’m sure they’re very real. And I love all sorts of people I can’t have sex with. So, yeah, the feelings can be very real and the emotions can be very intense. That does not give me the right to have sex with people because I love them, whether heterosexual or homosexual….

Many people cite scripture to show that homosexuality is immoral. But few quote Deuteronomy 22:11, which commands: “Thou shalt not wear a garment of diverse sort, as of woolen and linen together.” There are also prohibitions against planting two kinds of seed in the same field. Why are some lines in scripture followed, and others ignored?

There are tons of things in the Bible that have to be taken in context. We believe it’s the church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that is properly equipped to interpret the Bible. We need to make the distinction between things that are — how should I say it? — essential moral norms, and those things that are purely accidental, related to a specific time and culture. Who does that? The church does that. We do it in the context of our 2,000-year tradition; we do it, we believe, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You cannot take everything in the Bible literally. The church has to sort that out.

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