"Last week, NUVO published a letter by a Mr. Allen Branigan where he lambasted one of NUVO’s fine journalists and her honest review of a mediocre play (Almost Walking a Straight Line by Greg Haskins) (Mail, “Fringe Review Rebuttal,” Sept. 12-19). Though this may come as a shock to Mr. Branigan, I’m confident that readers trust the opinions of NUVO’s journalists over his admittedly biased feelings. Miss Incandela is paid to deliver a balanced, impartial review; whereas Mr. Branigan has shown that he writes because he has an ax to grind.

That said, in the overflow of his passions, Mr. Branigan raised an issue worth addressing when he asserted the lie that he is both a Christian and a practicing homosexual — a dissonance that is also apparently the theme of Haskins’ play (I’ll admit that I’ve accepted NUVO’s judgment of the piece, and have not seen that play).

Are we really supposed to take another angsty, emotional anecdote as the gold standard of truth? We should overturn two millennia of Church doctrine for someone’s bad experience and hurt feelings? The Bible and the Church have always been very clear that sodomy is a sin, and that unrepentant sinners cannot possibly be Christians. Since the days of John the Baptist, the message of the Gospel has always been “Repent, and be saved!” Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will perish.”

The Christian life is a life of constant repentance. Even with repentance, many men will never escape a desire for adulterous intimacy; similarly, even with repentance, Mr. Branigan may never escape his desire for homosexual intimacy. But if you call yourself a Christian, Christ has commanded you to leave your slavery and be healed. You cannot love sin and love Jesus.

Abram Hess

Bloomington, Ind.

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