papa_will (papa_will) wrote in marriage_debate,

Bible "against" gays-- A religion student's take

Our dear moderator has offered 4 passages of Biblical text as to why homosexuality is wrong.

Ignoring that 4/5 of the world is non-Christian, ignoring that religion should not dictate governmental policy, all 4 instances of comdemnation of homosexuality are weak at best. It is important that anyone who feels pressured to be homophobic on the basis of identifying as Christian should understand this.

The passages offered are: Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9

Genesis 19:1-13 The story of Sodom

2 Angels visit Lot, the townsfolk want to rape them, Lot doesn't let them. (He offers his daughters instead.) The town was already slated for destruction.

*Some scholars argue that the problem with Sodom was it's inhospitality. In the desert, travellers have to rely on the kindness of others. Hospitality is an essential to living. Perhaps the "wickedness" of Sodom was inhospitality.

*Whoa, they wanted to gang-rape these guys. Maybe the "wickedness" was rape.

*This story does not "jive" with modern Christian morals, no matter how much mideval scholars used "sodomy" to mean gay sex (plus masterbation!). Lot offered his daughters to be raped. Ew. Lot's daughters got their dad drunk and screwed him, thinking that they were supposed to repopulate the earth. Yet, Lot is called a righteous man. Something is up.

Leviticus 18:22 "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."

Right. Well, Christians generally state that they are free from the law. As in, we can eat pig, and rabbit, and wear clothes of mixed fabric, often don't tithe. If you're not living Kosher, don't even TRY to pick-and-choose. It is an insult to Jews everywhere when you commit such an act of cultural appropriation. Oh, and the threat in Lev. 18? "Lest the land vomit you out". Um, we're not living in Israel, so...

Remembering that everything we read in the Bible has been through interpretation, here are a handful of ways that this verse has been understood by sincere, religious scholars:

*Nobody have gay sex. At all. In any fashion.
*Men can't have gay sex. At all. In any fashion.
*Men can't have anal intercourse with one another.
*Men can't have sex with men "like a woman" (as in, pretending he's a woman)
*Men can't vaginally penetrate men. (Ok, no problem.)
*Men cannot have sex with a man in a woman's bed (this one I don't know as much about, but a learned Rabbi told me, so I thought I'd include it b/c it's neat.)

That's quite a span of interpretations. Oddly enough, the more literal one becomes, the less gay sex is banned by this particular prohibition.

Romans 1:26-27 "26: For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27: and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error."

I've got to say that this passage is one that utterly stumps and confounds me. Not because I don't have anything intelligent to say about it, but because it goes against the very understanding of God that I was raised with (as a Born-Again Christian). This, and Exodus 4:21 (And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.") are in DIRECT, ABSOLUTE contradiction with the idea of Free-Will. Both instances are cases where the Bible says that GOD MAKES PEOPLE SIN. It baffles and saddens me.

In any case, it is a good argument for God making people gay. God wants to punish me for not being righteous? For 'thinking myself wise' (by which, it would seem, any free-thought counts) God "gives up" and turns me to my own sex? So, if I have a crush on someone like me as a child, before I think myself wise.....?

1 Corinthians 6:9 "9: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts..."

Resisting the urge of so many Biblical scholars to simply write Paul off as a sexist, homophobic pig, I'm still surprised that this verse is used. Note, of course, that it is a broken sentance. Verse 10 reads: "nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God." As in, if you've ever stolen a candy bar, you're in the same category as I am. If you party, if you drink, you are in the same category. The chapter (imagine! looking at context, instead of pick-n-choose verses!) is about how Paul wants believers to eat kosher and stop going to prostitutes. So, go fight prostitution. Stop eating pork. That's what a "literal" interpretation would be.

ALL of these are verses pulled out of context.

And all of these are religious answers being put to a civic problem.
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