Religion

Why I am going to Hell #1: I love the gays

June 7, 2010
God hates fags children

(Please take the title of this post for the cheeky fun it’s trying to be; I’m going to be analyzing all of the things that I have been told that I do “wrong” by Christians, and this is the first and most obvious. Or take the title seriously, if you think I’m going to hell. It happens.)

In my experience, there are very few different reactions to homosexuality from Christians. Some people would say “I love the sinner, but hate the sin.” Some would say that they are uncomfortable being around homosexual people. Some would say that they “hate” homosexual people. Most don’t believe in gay marriage, and believe that it would completely erode the definition of marriage. (This is a topic to be explored more in depth later.)

I, however, have never felt uncomfortable around LGBT people. In fact, many of my best friends identify as LGBT, or even an “alternative” sexuality such as pansexualism. I have spent much of my adult life trying to raise awareness for LGBT rights, and equal rights in general.

I love the gays!

But the thing is… I believe that God does, too.

What I am about to post on this blog are not opinions from atheists. They are not opinions from the secular world. These are opinions by ordained reverends and ministers from the United States who have spent much of their time studying the Bible and have come to a conclusion that, while isn’t in accordance with the mainstream, is scripture-based. These are the words that are sponsored by the Metropolitan Community Churches. (I would also like to write one day about my meeting with the Reverend Troy Perry, but this is, also, for another time.) These are opinions rarely heard by many Christians, and so I feel that it is important for me to post this for many of my Christian friends to see.

Debunking Homophobia in the Bible

(The majority of the information quoted is from Would Jesus Discriminate.org, which is sponsored by the Metropolitan Community Churches, and also one of my new favorite resources.)

Leviticus 18 and 20, or The Holiness Code

Classic Christian view: Homosexuality is an “abomination” and the Bible even says that homosexuals should be put to death.

Reinterpreting the misinterpreted:

  • “The text itself gives us a big clue as to the intended meaning. Three different times we are specifically told that the rules set forth in chapters 18 and 20 are meant to prevent the Israelites from doing what the Egyptians and Canaanites did.”
  • “Biblical historians tell us the Canaanite religions surrounding the Israelites at the time of Leviticus often included fertility rites consisting of sexual rituals. …  including homosexual sex.”
  • “And both chapters include long lists of sexual practices common in the cultic rituals we mentioned above. However, neither of them speaks to the question of whether two people of the same sex can live in loving relationship with the blessing of God.”
  • For more information, go here.

Furthermore, some historians believe that these passages only apply to Israelite men living in the Holy Land. Also, as I pointed out in one of my essays for my class on “Queering Religion,” it is important to note that Leviticus is not actually the word-for-word translation of what God said to Moses on the mountain, but rather a collection of laws put together centuries later.

Sodom and Gomorrah: A Tale of Two Unwelcoming Cities

Classic Christian view: Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their sin of homosexuality.

Reinterpreting the misinterpreted:

  • “From archeological records, we know it was also a common practice in the Near East during ancient times for soldiers to use homosexual rape as a way of humiliating their enemies. … When victorious soldiers wanted to break the spirit of their defeated enemies, they would ‘treat them like women’ by raping them. The practice was not driven by sexual desire, but by brutality and hatred toward the enemy.”
  • “Suppose the two angels in the story had been women, but the story otherwise unfolded exactly the same: The men of Sodom clamored to have sex with the two female angels and God destroyed the city. Do you think anyone would conclude this story was a blanket condemnation of heterosexuality? Of course not! Instead, we all would conclude (correctly) that the wickedness of Sodom was shown by their desire to sexually violate two strangers in their midst.”
  • “One of the most extensive references to Sodom is found in Ezekiel, which says, ‘This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.’ (Ezekiel 16:49-50 (See note 5.)) It is clear from this passage (and others like it (See note 6.)) that the abomination of Sodom, according to the Old Testament prophets, was that they behaved with callous indifference toward the weak and vulnerable — the poor, orphans, widows, and strangers in their midst.”
  • For more information, go here.

LGBT Persons In The Bible: Ancient Pride

Classic Christian view: The only gay people in the Bible are punished for being gay.

Reinterpreting the misinterpreted:

The Power of God’s Love

Classic Christian view: Love the sinner, hate the sin

Oh really?: I think that what is most telling is not the reinterpretation of passages that are classically anti-gay, but looking at the importance of the passages that are previously not identified as gay, but show positive, loving relationships. David was a man after God’s own heart, and also a man who, very likely, loved another man. Ruth and Naomi’s relationship was looked upon as one of the most positive examples of pure love in the Bible. The first convert to the Christian church was a Eunuch, who could either be interpreted as a gay man or as a transexual. Finally, Jesus himself said that the person who had the most faith in Him was a Roman centurion, a man who had a young, male lover. If Christians should be Christ-like, when why would a Christian show hatred towards a person whom Jesus rewarded? Why would a Christian deny equal rights towards a people greatly honored by God?

Finally,

2… if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. …

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

-1 Corinthians 13

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