Gomes Harvard Minister Rev. Peter J Gomes Dies, 68Truth Wins Out will miss Rev. Peter J. Gomes, a celebrated openly gay minister who taught at Harvard and authored books countering anti-gay biblical abuse. Our hearts go out to the friends and family of this incredibly influential pastor.

The work of Gomes has helped shape the mission of Truth Wins Out. For example, we are in total agreement on the danger presented by the growth of religious fundamentalism:

“Religious fundamentalism is dangerous because it cannot accept ambiguity and diversity and is therefore inherently intolerant,” Gomes declared in an Op-Ed article for The New York Times in 1992. “Such intolerance, in the name of virtue, is ruthless and uses political power to destroy what it cannot convert.”

In his 1996 best-seller, “The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart,” Mr. Gomes urged believers to grasp the spirit, not the letter, of scriptural passages that he said had been misused to defend racism, anti-Semitism and sexism and to attack homosexuality and abortion. He offered interpretations that he said transcended the narrow context of modern prejudices.

“The Bible alone is the most dangerous thing I can think of,” he told The Los Angeles Times. “You need an ongoing context and a community of interpretation to keep the Bible current and to keep yourself honest. Forget the thought that the Bible is an absolute pronouncement.”

Amen.

If heaven exists, I’m sure you are there.  I am also certain that you won’t be the least bit surprised by the absence of leading religious right figures that were so certain of their holiness.