Comments on Paper One

Make sure that you use Courier New 12-point and that you print on one side of each piece of paper. See the other requirements in the assignment sheet and in the "Format for Papers" section of the syllabus.

Many of you are relying on the the idea that homosexuality is a sin. Do not stop there. What assumption underlies the conclusion that homosexuality is a sin?

Many of you struggle with the paradoxes in scripture (condemnation vs. love), but perhaps the point is that the Bible offers suitable entry points for a wide variety of readers. Why do you read the Bible the way you do? What lies at the bottom of your conservative or liberal approach to scripture?

Literalism: Many of you invoked the biblical idea that all sins are equal. You might fruitfully do further critical thinking here. Cf. Catholicism's distinction between venial and mortal sins (alternative interpretation).

Note that straight vs. gay is black-and-white thinking. Sexuality is not a binary; it is actually a continuum. The concept of sexual orientation includes many alternatives between straight and gay.

Also note that if you say that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, it follows that moral condemnation of any orientation other than heterosexuality is justifiable. The alternative assumption, of course, is that homosexuality is just the way one is and not a lifestyle choice. Think carefully about why you advocate one assumption or the other.

Do not analyze your paper. In other words, do not say stuff like "The purpose of this paper is to. . . ." Instead, analyze your world view. Thus: "The purpose of my positive/negative/mixed view of X is to. . . ." Also, make sure that you ask a Q @ I that is about your view rather than your paper. It might be as simple as the following: "What is my view of X view?" Then your conclusion can be as follows: "My view of X is positive/negative/mixed."