I just finished watching the MTV special about Matthew Shepard. He was a homosexual who became the victim of a vicious hate crime that killed him. Two young men offered him a ride home, and one of them beat Matthew to death. Each man received two life sentences in prison. After careful consideration, I decided that the two perpetrators should have been acquitted of all charges.

Now, before you begin mentally accusing me of being a vicious monster who wants to personally attack every homosexual in the name of some misinformed belief that brainwashing has been firmly instilled in my psyche, let me explain.

Many people are Christians. Many of these Christians firmly argue that homosexuality is wrong in the eyes of God. Furthermore, they believe that “God” is their perfect Creator who is incapable of being incorrect in any way. And if at any time He may seem to be incorrect, they rationalize the paradox in some way, such as assuming that his ultimate and perfect plan is somehow outside their capabilities of comprehension as humans. Now, there is a book called the Bible that describes, in vast detail, God’s plan and laws. This book is widely accepted throughout this country as an authoritative text that delineates the correct answers to philosophical question such as “why are we here,” “what created us” and “how should we act toward each other.”

On television, in the movies or in real life, courtroom witnesses must place their hand on the Bible and swear that they will “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” This book is a symbol of “truth” and the word of “God,” the entity under which our nation exists (pledge of allegiance: “One nation under God”). Many passages describe laws that originate directly from God who created them for us, his “children.” Yet, many of these laws seem fairly odd to many people living in modern society. But, that is okay because they are part of God’s ultimate plan, and they stem from his infinite wisdom and love for us, his children.

The Bible reads, “the Lord said to Moses… ‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads (Leviticus 10:1, 14).’ ” Thus, God basically stated to Moses that homosexuals “must” be killed. The men who killed Matthew Shepard simply followed God’s word. But wait, we have separation of Church and State. Religion should, in no way, influence our earthly societal laws. Yet, these men most likely swore on the BIBLE in court as a symbol of their commitment to telling the truth. Anyone who testified against the defendants swore on the Bible; that not only condones their act, but directly orders it.

I am not a Christian. I do not in any way support hate crimes or the killing of Matthew Shepard. Actually, it disgusts me. My point is that a book that has such an influence on our society and that is believed by so many people, does promote, to those who take it literally, an action such as this. Granted, the Bible does preach many positive values and infinite kindness throughout its various books; however, it is also taken as an absolute and literal truth by others who use it to rationalize and support the mentality that leads to crimes such as Matthew Shepard’s murder. And, this book and its preaching are firmly imbedded in our government and courts. Ultimately, it just pisses me off to see people demonstrating that Matthew Shepard deserved his fate. And it pisses me off even more that the book that brainwashes these people is such an intrinsic part of society such as our courts.

Constantine Economides is an undeclared freshman.