The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



RE: “A Christian Perspective on LGBTQ+ and Homosexuality” on page 1 of the December 2022 Print issue of Expressions


The second issue of the 2023 school year is out now. Check it out by scrolling down the right side of this website. Photo courtesy of Adviser Scott Nairne.

I am a student at San Luis Obispo High School. You can call me a SLOHS sophomore. I take issue with both the content of the most recent issue of the school newspaper that you run (hence why I am writing to you), as well as how it was presented and handled. Specifically the front page and the article, “A Christian Perspective on LGBTQ+ and Homosexuality” by Expressions Reporter Josiah McCarley.

I feel that it is somewhat insensitive to start off the “LGBTQ+ Feature” with an article that is negative towards the community and is written by a straight, cis, white, boy with zero outside input.

This issue is supposed to be a spotlight on the LGBTQ+ community members at our school, so why should the first thing people see (and often the only thing since many people only read the main story) an article such as this?

  In addition to it being a highly offensive portrayal of the community, it is also a bad introduction to the rest of the paper as many of its points are directly contradicted in later articles. This is especially true in regards to relationships. In this article, the author says that relationships and sex have to be exclusive and committed. Whereas in the article “Teen Couples” it is stated that their impermanence and lax nature is the entire point and that it is healthy to experiment and have many relationships.

Now that I have addressed the placement of the article, this leads me on to my second point, the content.

To put it simply, the message of the article is harmful.

Not only is it harmful to members of the community, but it is also harmful to christians and women as well. Despite the author’s half-hearted attempts to convince you otherwise, this article demonizes the community and attempts to speak for all of christianity when that is not in fact what it is doing. 

First off, the use of the bible passages is both disingenuous and offensive. It is disingenuous as it purports that this is “the bible” when in fact there are many translations of the bible and this passage specifically is a highly contentious one. Your reporter is using a biased, recent translation that supports his view of the community and religion. It would have been far more responsible of him to address this discrepancy or use a more widely used translation (such as the King James Bible used by around 60 percent of Christians) that isn’t nearly so offensive. He attempts to create a monolith of Christianity to make his argument seem more credible when it is in fact not so.

I also find the author’s explanation of his views and the bible very hurtful.

He essentially says that homosexuality is a sin just like stealing or lying but that it is ok because god forgives all sins and he can quote unquote “fix you.” Just because god forgives you for it doesn’t mean it’s ok to call it a sin or that it needs to be cleansed or fixed. You cannot just compare homosexuality to “drunkards, revilers, swindlers, and the greedy” it is not evil. It does not need to be fixed. And you can’t just nullify the hurt you cause by spreading those ideas by saying you’re sorry for any hurt Christians cause. That’s not how it works. The author then goes on to demonize non-marital sex and same sex relations as well as non exclusive and non committed relationships even going as far as saying “sex outside of these contexts is a misuse of it and fails to live up to the picture it is meant to paint.”

In their attempts to condemn non Christian-heterosexual marriages, many Christians use logic like his and state that there should be another equal but separate alternative to marriage so as not to destroy the “sanctity of marriage.” That seems harmless on the surface but in reality that is quite literally segregation. That is what the government said about racial segregation during the twentieth century.

When you separate people and restrict their rights based on identity, people like this will try to restrict those rights.

Separate almost never means equal. In addition, the idea of marriage christians fight so hard to protect was not the original purpose of marriage anyway. Initaly marriage was nothing holy or sacred, it was purely an economic proposition similar to a business partnership or company merger. If you applied the same logic that Christians use today about defending traditions and “preserving their sanctity and purity” then they wouldn’t even have any of their traditions. The bible would not exist in its current form, Christmas isn’t even Jesus’s birthday, christians wouldn’t be able to divorce. Whether they like it or not, traditions change. And refusing to change things is just an excuse to exclude people.

This article is not only harmful to those within the community, but also to other groups as well.

For example, this article heavily relies on sex over gender and in doing so excludes non-binary and transgender people as well as being sexist towards women. When the article says things such as “Each sex has specific strengths and weaknesses, but also specific roles in romantic and sexual relationships” and “the relationship between god and man is one of two incredibly different entities. This diversity is represented in romantic relationships by the diversity of two sexes.”

In conclusion, if you won’t listen to me (an Atheist, non-binary bi-person) about the harm this sort of rhetoric does to women and LGBTQ+ people, please consider the harm this does to Christians.

Towards the end of the article, the author states that, “It is not a Christian’s place to judge non believers. Christians should call out other Christians.” and supports this with another passage from the Bible. And while I agree with his first statement (even though this whole article seems to run counter to that very point) it is also harmful to people within the community. It turns them against each other and leads to a scenario where people are constantly fighting each other over who is the most pure and righteous in God’s eyes. And it also leads to Christians hating themselves for something they cant control and/or hating other people and discriminating against them for being themselves. Being gay or bi or trans etc. is a part of who we are. We can’t change it, nor should we. and I think people need to be more conscious and responsible of how their words affect other people. 

All I ask is that you be more mindful of what you publish and how you arrange it in the future. And perhaps issue some sort of statement in the next issue if that’s not too much to ask. Because it does have real life consequences. Thank you so much for your time and I hope you will take what I have said into consideration

View Comments (4)
More to Discover

Comments (4)

All Expressions Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Josiah McCarleyDec 5, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    Dear, SLOHS Sophomore

    I appreciate you taking the time to read my article and write out such a thorough response to it but I believe you misinterpreted my article.

    The San Luis Obispo High School journalism class contains a very wide group of students that have lots of very different opinions.

    In your letter, you wrote, “many of its points are directly contradicted in later articles.” SLOHS Expressions is not trying to push an agenda and prides itself on diversity. It is filled with students with a broad array of opinions and viewpoints. Consequently, different articles can contradict each other and that is ok.

    You state: “It is disingenuous as it purports that this is ‘the bible’”, and go on to criticize my choice of translation. I chose the English Standard Version translation rather than the King James Version translation you suggested because most students at SLOHS do not have much experience reading the Bible and the KJV is full of old words like ye, thou, thy, along with many other words that have fallen out of use or changed meaning. To someone who is reading the bible for the first time a more modern translation is much more digestible.

    I understand that 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 has contested interpretations. While some translations do not specifically condemn homosexuality in these verses, all translations have others that do. A couple of verses you could read if you are interested are Romans 1:26–27, or Matthew 19:4–6. I chose 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 despite the variation in some translations because it is not as heavy-handed as many of the other verses on the topic.

    When you become Christian God doesn’t just magically make you solely attracted to the opposite sex It’s just like anything else, Christians aren’t going to suddenly never feel the urge to sin again. All Christians are tempted to sin and all still do sin. I’ve met several Christians that are attracted to the same sex. They have decided to have heterosexual relationships or remain celibate. Jesus is not going to magically turn everyone straight or as you said “fix you.”

    It is important to state that I don’t support segregation or any form of racism.
    You also said my article was “sexist towards women”. I believe men and women have the exact same amount of inherent value. The usage of the Bible and Christianity to justify racism and sexism is horrendous.

    I recognize there is a small minority of Christians that disagree with me on whether or not homosexual behavior is considered sinful or not but this is true of any belief.

    If one person is writing an article representing a larger group some people in this group will disagree. It is inevitable and there is nothing wrong with that. I did however before publishing it show the article to multiple Christian students asking for their input to give an accurate representation of Christianity.

    The entire idea of Christianity is that you are saved by grace not by works. No person has the ability to live up to God’s standards. He saves us out of grace and love; we do not save ourselves. Only those that are misled spend their life “fighting to be the best and most holy in God’s eyes.” It can’t be done. Christians follow God’s law in response to their salvation, not so they can be saved.

    I would like to address your main claim, my “article is harmful.” What harm does it cause? Is it offensive or counter-cultural? Absolutely. But harmful? My article does not incite violence nor does it encourage hate, in fact, it does the opposite multiple times.

    I wasn’t trying to force my views upon anyone or even persuade anyone of my viewpoint, I simply wanted to share a different point of view with respect.

    I may disagree with your view on this topic but I still am in strong support of you being able to share your opinion with the world. I hope you can support freedom of speech even if you feel it is offensive.

    SLOHS Expressions should have all opinions on a topic represented regardless of if all students agree with them. When I suggested my idea for the article all the newspaper advisers (many of whom are LGBTQ+) seemed very excited about it and decided to make it cover. SLOHS Expressions values freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Silencing anyone’s views is counterproductive to democracy.

    I send this response with respect and apologize if my article was perceived as hateful or rude.

    I hope you have a nice day,

    Josiah McCarley

  • A

    anonymousDec 2, 2022 at 9:15 am

    but it is something you can control. being gay isn’t a sin, acting on that temptation is. that was the authors point regarding sex before marriage, its no different than if an unmarried couple has sex before marriage.

    • C

      Charly ElstonDec 6, 2022 at 10:47 am

      Why? Why is acting on gay thoughts so wrong? Who is being harmed? I truly do not understand the thought of having gay sex being sinful. As long as both people are consenting adults, what is the harm? It truly doesn’t make any sense to me on why queer people should limit their lives and not exist to their fullest when no one is being hurt.

  • A

    ANONYMOUSDec 2, 2022 at 9:13 am

    I mean it is something you can control, abstaining is always an option. Being gay isn’t a sin, acting on that temptation is.