In the June 21 letter “Biblical view of marriage,” we were told, “The Bible defines marriage as between one man and one woman.”
The only problem with that statement is that the Bible nowhere defines marriage at all.
What we know from the creation story is that both sexes were created equally by their creator. That’s all.
What we know from the Hebrew scriptures is that the traditional form of marriage was between male and female.
We are also told some men had many wives. There are very few stories in the Bible about what makes a good marriage.
There are three texts in the Christian scriptures that are often used to hammer gays.
Romans 1:26-27 is commonly used because of the phrase “women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men.”
What is left out is the fact that this was written in Corinth, the location of a temple of Aphrodite.
Adherents of this religion were required to have sex both ways. So was this a statement against homosexuality or against the idolatry of the Aphrodite religion?
The original readers knew, and it certainly is likely they had the latter interpretation. The other two texts are I Corinthians 6:9 and I Timothy 1:10.
In both texts, the same Greek word is sometimes translated as “homosexuality” and as a behavior of which God disapproves.
However, the word is not the Greek word used for “homosexuality.” The word in those verses represents some form of sexual behavior the Apostle Paul disapproved of, but we are not told what that is.
One point of irony is that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. If it were such a major issue, surely he would have done so.
So, the answer to the claim in the letter is that there is no biblical view of marriage.
The central story of the Bible is about a rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth, who told us what love looks like and how love treats others, even enemies. This same rabbi stood up for those who were oppressed.
He told anyone who would be his disciple to stand with those who are rejected and denied equality and to speak against laws the government uses to maintain oppression.
The Rev. Jay Schmidt
Where eagles have returned
On June 13, I was running on a trail in the city of Hudson when I saw two large birds perched in a tree in a low-lying, swampy area near the trail.
What a surprise it was to see, for the first time in my life in the state of Ohio, two bald eagles.
Nearly extinct in the state in the 1970s, eagles have since made a slow, steady comeback.
Seeing them was something at one time I never thought would happen again.
An amendment full of trouble
I feel I should address the charter amendment that proposes to eliminate all assessments on property owners in the city of Norton for any and all sewer and water assessments and hookup fees.
If the amendment were to pass, would all property owners who have paid these assessments and fees in the past be due reimbursements? I think it is possible.
Also, since the amendment does not differentiate between the cities involved in providing water and sewer hookups and contractors who might be employed by property owners, does it mean it would be against the charter for contractors to charge for their services?
Far-fetched? I think not. I have read about stranger legal items.
Get real, people, do we really think we can have water and sewage service for free?
What about the proposed $35 monthly fee for all water and sewer customers?
Is a person who owns a business that uses thousands of gallons of water monthly going to pay only $35? That’s the way I read the proposed amendment.
If the city is billed by Barberton one fee and can only charge the property owner $35, who do we think is going to pay the difference?
Do we think the city of Barberton is going to absorb the difference? I don’t think so.
If this amendment passes, we will surely see the Environmental Protection Agency or Health Department, or both, order that sewers be installed in the Nash Heights area.
If Norton cannot afford the sewers, then Summit County would put them in, based on the information available to me. The county would assess the full installation costs to the property owners.
It does not matter how our city charter addresses this issue. The city charter does not apply to Summit County or the state of Ohio.
I would recommend that all citizens of Norton read and think about the amendment carefully before their vote is cast on Aug. 6.
I will vote against the amendment and hope everyone does the same. Consider what is best for our children and grandchildren.
Familiar story in Afghanistan
I read on June 19 and June 20 that the United States was going to have talks with the Taliban about ending the Afghan war (“U.S., Taliban to negotiate ending war,” and “U.S. tries saving Taliban talks after Karzai objects”). Didn’t we do that with North Vietnam? That really worked out well.
Does the U.S. really think it will be any different in Afghanistan? Or is this all show? As soon as we are gone, they’re coming back.
Of course, the tragedy of it all is the loss of all those lives and the injuries. The families have lost so much, for what?
Sean K. Scheall
Sagamore Hills Township
Let love be our foundation
In the June 21 letter “Biblical view of marriage,” the writer says that the Bible defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
Where does the Bible say this? In the Old Testament, polygamy was commonly practiced. In the New Testament, Jesus says nothing about a definition of marriage.
(Neither did he address abortion, commonly practiced at that time, or gay relationships).
I would like to know where such a definition is provided because the right shouts this definition from the rooftops, with no foundation.
Who decided that same-sex people could not marry?
Even more important, this country is based on religious freedom. No religion is more important in the eyes of the law than another.
So stop using the Bible as a basis for law. The Bible is a document of faith. It is not fact. This society is based on religious pluralism, meaning not everyone believes in nor appreciates the Bible as the litmus test of all morality.
The best foundation of society is love. Let’s encourage love and support it. Don’t put obstacles in its path.
The current right-wing “Christian” politicians have done more to damage Christianity than any gay couple I know.
Missed by the NSA
As a former intelligence agent, I am keenly aware of the tendency for our intelligence gatherers to claim more “need” while providing often negligible results.
That their massive gathering of data on every American was approved by Congress does not matter. It hasn’t worked and should be dismantled.
The Detroit underwear bomber? He was caught by alert air passengers, even though we learned in hindsight that he was all over radical Muslim websites and making international calls. The National Security Agency’s secret data gathering did not stop him, and it should have.
The Fort Hood shooter’s workplace incident? Despite his sacrilege of using Allah’s name to kill innocents, he had been radicalized for months on the most extreme websites and by online, radical Imams. NSA’s vast algorithms did not alert us to him, either.
The Boston bombing brothers were a wholesale failure of the intelligence community’s alleged “systems.” Even when the Russians warned us they were Chechen terrorists, the FBI cleared them of suspicion. But they were not even a blip on NSA’s vaunted mass-information screens.
There are numerous other terrorist events that NSA’s massive data gathering failed to stop. Of those 50 or so the NSA declassified to convince us of the value of spying on us, all were sting operations similar to the local Route 82 bridge bombers.
It is doubtful any NSA leads took us to them. More likely, good old analysis of informant networks led to most of the alleged successes.
Take it from a former spook, we should terminate and reformulate NSA’s methods. The death of probable cause is what they seek. Don’t allow it.
Duane L. Doyle