LETTER: Bible shouldn’t be used as weapon of control and discrimination

The Creston Valley Advance published a letter to the editor in the July 4 edition which consisted of several paragraphs of proof-texted quotations from the bible. This letter is in response.

Proof-texting is the art of taking isolated quotations for the purpose of advancing one’s own personal agenda regardless of the original intent or context of the quotation. In this case, the quotations were used to propagate a personal agenda of hate and discrimination. How does this qualify as an opinion piece? I am stunned that the Creston Valley Advance would publish a letter, or indeed any article, which was in direct contravention of Section 3 of the Canadian Human Rights Act which prohibits discrimination based on “race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted.”

I am deeply saddened when I see the Bible being used to propagate hatred of fellow human beings. Regretfully, the Bible has been used for centuries as a weapon of control, discrimination and oppression. I invite your readers to explore the Bible from the perspective in which it was intended: a collection of sacred stories to teach us how to live in right relationship with God, one another, and all of creation. We will never look into the eyes of any being whom God does not love.

Through the lens of Micah 6:8, “What does the Lord require of you? To seek justice, to love kindness, and walk humbly with your God,” I humbly offer my apologies.

To all the people who self identify as LGBTQ+, I am deeply sorry for the way the church continues to hurt you, to regard you as a physical act and not a human being created in love and beloved by God. I am sorry for all the ways people who claim to represent a loving God continue to demean and diminish you, who claim you are broken when in fact you are whole and wholly human. I am sorry we live in a world where you are not affirmed for the wonderful human beings that you are, I am sorry that you need to struggle to be safe in an angry and deeply wounded world.

Please know that there are safe places to be, where you are loved and accepted; places where we can explore together, question together, grow together and live alongside one another in the spirit of peace and mutual respect. Please know that within the small, blessed community of the Creston Valley, there are many places and people where you are safe and loved, and I name but two of those many: Trinity United Church is one, and the community support and fellowship group known as OUTspoken is another.

I challenge all readers to respond and to name the safe spaces in our beautiful valley. We cannot let hate speech win. Proud to be …

Rev. Paula Ashby | Trinity United Church | Creston

The United Church of Canada – an ally since 1988

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Creston Valley Advance. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.


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