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Reading scripture

To the Editor:

To those who profess traditional family values, I’d like to point out Malachi 2: 16: “For I hate divorce, says the Lord the God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts” (Revised Standard Version).

As an aside, the New American Bible – the one used in Roman Catholic churches – translates the passage almost identically except that its uses the word “injustice” in place of “violence.”

See the problem with translations? Better yet, see the problem with people condemning same-sex relationships and yet condoning divorce? Why aren’t the churches working with equal or greater fervor to make divorce illegal as they are to preventing same-sex couples from marrying?

To those who believe fervently that every word of scripture is true, I ask how they handle Mark 16: 17-18? “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (RSV).

The last time I checked, our hospitals were still full, and people were not handling serpents nor drinking deadly poison just to prove the veracity of scripture.

Have I amply demonstrated that taking verses out of context does violence to the text? As long as we use the Bible as a weapon and not as a means of living a life of love, we’ll get nowhere.

Toni Weaver

McHenry

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