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I am writing in response to John Bennett’s letter printed on Sept. 19. John makes many interesting points, which must be addressed. Our God is indeed a God of love, but that love does not mean that he allows his children to do whatever they want; just as a good parent, out of love and concern, guides and teaches their child. Also, our love of God in return necessitates that we follow what he says, that we obey his laws.

The laws are clear and easy to understand. There are 10 of them. One of them, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” clearly prohibits any sexual relationship outside of marriage. I am not allowed to change or twist that law to suit my own passions. To say that God made someone a certain way, and that excuses them from following the rules is just that — an excuse. If, as a heterosexual, I desire a relationship outside of my marriage, can I use the excuse that “God made me that way,” so it’s not immoral? Can we use that logic for someone who is attracted to children? How about animals?

We can take this argument out of the sexual realm. What about serial killers? Are they excused from their crimes because “God made them that way,” so for them, murder is not immoral? What about those who are inclined to steal? If God made them that way, then stealing can’t be wrong. This argument is completely illogical.

Fortunately, although we all have inclinations to do wrong, we do have a choice. John Bennett and Judith Plaskow are correct. “God would not demand of human beings something they could not obey.” We are asked to do the right thing, even when it is difficult and challenging. For those who are not married, there is a virtue called chastity. Like unmarried heterosexuals, homosexuals are called to chastity. Chastity does not deny love or relationships to anyone. “Homosexual persons are called to chastity … by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection”(Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2359).

The author quoted by John Bennett, Margaret Farley, has been denounced by the Vatican, because her book and teachings are not consistent with Catholic theology. Ms. Farley’s writings should not be used by Catholics. While Catholic teaching fully embraces the homosexual person, it has always held that the homosexual act is intrinsically disordered and contrary to natural law. The teaching does not ever condemn the person, just the act.

Just as we cannot twist the 10 Commandments to suit our own desires, we cannot twist the meaning of the Bible to suit ourselves. I don’t know where Margaret Farley or John Bennett were looking, but my Bible clearly states that homosexuality is an abomination. Look at Leviticus 18:22-30, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and Jude 7 for just a few examples. There are many others. As for the prohibition on same-sex unions, one need only go back to the beginning, Genesis, to see that God designed marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Love does remain. We will continue to go to Dr. Bennett. He is a fine physician, a good neighbor and friend.

Mary Stevens, California