The Conservative Christian, the literalist, have some serious problems with homosexuality. For them, it is a sin, always was a sin, and that ain’t changing. They find themselves at odds with this new movement to allow gay people equal rights in free countries. This is an issue they have been heralding for some 10 years or so…I got a feeling they are going to lose this one.
My problem with the literalist/Conservative is the scripture is not the issue, their prejudice is. I think scripture functions as smoke-screen for another arguement ‘natural desires’…or sex. The problem most of these Christians are haivng is not a biblical one (this is their justification tactic) but an imagery one. These Christians are imaging what LGBT people do behind closed doors in the privacy of their own homes and this attaches an emotional element for them (some type of disgust). The wrestling is actually going on with an imagery in their head about what type of sex these people are having and not about scripture.
I will agree – scripture blatantly says in Leviticus about punishing people for actions that seem ‘gay’…I have read the passages and on first glace I see the determination made by literalists. However, those passages are 3000 years old in a culture and time much different than ours – how can one be sure their interpretation is accurate to the context of the writing? Not everyone takes those passages without much thought and look into them…and they require some serious time to learn about.
Firstly, they are laws. They are found in the Torah and to be used by judges to determine cases. There are no recorded cases of someone being tried for being ‘gay’ in Judaism history (which I find interesting)…which makes the scriptures somewhat suspect to what they mean. Are they tied to something else – this action of intimacy? Is it about worshipping other gods? Is it about demeaning another person? Is it about adultery? What exactly is the ‘crime’?
Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination”
Leviticus 20:13 “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them”
The truth is Judaism does not deny these 2 scriptures talk about gay relations between ‘men’ as problematic via the law (women are exempt – let that be noted). But what is key is to understand the terms used in these passages.
“Much attention has been given to the word “abomination” (to’evah in Hebrew). Though the terminology seems callous, the same word is used in Deuteronomy 14:3 in reference to forbidden animals. Several traditional sources temper the harshness of the “abomination” by citing the lack of procreative potential as the reason for the abominable nature of the homosexual act” (Steven Greenberg)
The term abomination seems harsh but may in fact not be so harsh as we imagine…it can be an abomination in the sense of it’s lack of full potential casuing some ‘awe’ (ie: cannot procreate). In the same way changed termininology about how what we call people with mental disabilities, which were once recorded as being ‘retarded’.
“The Leviticus verses also imply that it is the act of homosexual sex, not the homosexual person, that is abhorred” (Steven Greenberg). Kind of a ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ for it’s time period.
The essence of this denate comes down to looking at a law and interpreting as such. Christians do not accept the law, at least most don’t, so this is of no concern to them one iota (these verses). However, the intent of the law was to something that was ‘unnatural’…and I can see this for someone ‘straight’. Even the sexual act is not the most natural (whether male ot female) and this does not seem like the original intention of our body parts. However, how can one follow a law if they do not have the ability to do so? For straight people it is un-natural to be ‘gay’…but also to be ‘gay’ it is un-natural to be ‘straight’. This is where the law meets it’s problem, asking something from someone that they cannot give (ie: biology).
So although the law prohibits homosexual behavior, this behavior is relating to straight people and how they would propose to use their bodies ‘un-naturally’ (which does happen, ie: an orgy). But we cannot ask someone that is actually ‘gay’ to not be ‘gay’…biologically this is not possible and is asking more than what they were created as. So either the mistake is on God, or on us…I tend to lean in our direction everytime.
Conservatives/literalist, drop this arguement on the law which you obviously have no clue how to look at nor take the time to…and I only covered breif notes on this issue in this blog. Admit, it because you’re straight – your thought of what they ‘do’ is what bothers you, not neccesarily a ‘law’ you both reject and have no use for.