God’s mercy is for us all

To the editor:

Reading Ms. Platz’s letter, “We Ask For God’s Mercy” and some of the other letters about Transgender people recently brought back painful memories.

As a gay man, I grew up hearing in church that the loving thing to do was to tell LGBTQ people we could not be who we really are and “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Years of trying to conform to that led me to years of self-hatred, denial, fears of hell, and thoughts of suicide. Millions of other LGBTQ people have similar stories.

But, I also learned the commandment to not murder is not limited to physically killing. It is also incumbent to support our neighbor in every need. Ignorance that leads to this type of despair and death for too many LGBTQ people violates that.

Ms. Platz uses a passage from Leviticus 18:22, in English, out of context to justify her position. If that is the standard to live a Christian life in the 21st century, chapter 22 calls for those committing that offense to be put to death. I would like to ask Ms. Platz: where is your stone for me?

Thankfully that is not a sound interpretation. Numerous Jewish, Christian and other scholars will tell you so. My tradition taught me anything in the Bible serves to point to the good news of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection.

I hope everyone, especially LGBTQ people of faith in the position I was once in and people like Ms. Platz learn there is a different understanding of Christian mercy not contingent on harming yourself to deny God’s true, beautiful creation in you.

Chris Russert



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