Upon reading the recent Editorial Board’s editorial, "ND Republican Party platform is shamefully bigoted and divisive," published July 25, it appears that the LGBT movement has reached a level of required endorsement that will no longer allow for any dissent, even when it comes from Mayo Clinic, and from the Bible itself.

For those who identify with and/or support the LGBT lifestyle, I can understand why portions of the platform were unwelcome. The editorial writers, however, outrightly dismissed statements about the health dangers of LGBT practices as “tripe,” even though the Mayo Clinic clearly states: "Men who have sex with men are at increased risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, as well as other sexually transmitted infections." (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/health-issues-for-gay-men/art-20047107)

Also, to claim, as the editorial did, that the "weight of research" clearly shows being LGBT to be genetic, is a claim far beyond what the scientific research itself makes. Even National Public Radio, well known supporters of the LGBT movement, described the most recent major study (UK Biobank) of less than a year ago as follows: “A huge new study finds a faint hint of genetic variation that may be linked to same-sex behavior. The study broadly reinforces the observation that both biology and a person's environment influence sexuality, but the results reveal very little about that biology.” And, even if they had, there still remains the “weight of God’s word” to consider.

What troubles me the most of the Editorial Board’s view, however, is the misapplication of the Bible verses cited: “Love the Lord your God ... and your neighbor as yourself.” The editorial uses this verse to assume and charge a lack of love, and even assign hate, to anyone who disagrees with the LGBT lifestyle. But throughout the Bible, God tells us that true love doesn’t agree with or overlook those things which are contrary to his revealed will.

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And what is that revealed will? It hasn’t changed since I (and others) last included it in letters that appeared on these Opinion pages awhile back - and which received more than a few letters of response, themselves mostly lacking any indication of love. When asked about marriage, Jesus responded: “Do you not know that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said: ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Matthew 19:4-5) When Jesus Himself states this, do you also accuse him of hate and bigotry?

As evidenced by the Forum editorial, I may have to agree that this part of the platform is unfortunately no longer "smart politics;" as much of our area has also gone the way of the world on this matter. However, when people or groups of people attempt to use God’s guidance for civil governance, this is not hate, but rather wise and loving concern for society. One can have love for all persons themselves, as God word commands, while at the same time holding differing viewpoints as to how to best govern civilly.

Finally, Jesus also stated: "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” So no, it is not hateful to speak against those things which God has spoken against. See also Romans 1:24-27. Loving God and neighbors involves obedience, and sometimes warnings.