July 4, 2015
Not Quite the Parable of the Good Samaritan
(adapted from Luke 10:25-37, NRSV)
25 Just then a woman stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” she said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to her, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 She answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to her, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
29 But wanting to justify herself, she asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 Jesus replied, “A gay man was going down from Seattle to Portland, and fell into the hands of Tradition, who stripped him and beat him, and left him for dead by the side of the road, for Tradition disregarded his humanity and worth within the community, and thus denied any gay person the same privileges of marriage as the rest of society. 31 Now by chance a pastor was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side (for the Church teaches that homosexuality is an abomination). 32 So likewise a church member, when he came to the place and saw him, felt threatened, and passed by on the other side (he believed that only the traditional family should be considered worthy in society). 33 But a compassionate judge while traveling came near him; and when he saw him was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having taken care to show love and empathize with the marginalized man. Then he took the man's situation to heart, considered the inequality imposed by a privileged society, and decided to judge lovingly, within the bounds of the law of the land.
35 And when the decision came before the highest court of the land, the good judge voted to end the inequality for the gay man and all who were like him in society, allowing them the same privileges afforded to heterosexual men and women, who have never had to fight for their right to be married to the one they love. 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the gay man who fell into the hands of Tradition?”
37 The woman said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to her, “Go and do likewise.”