Bible and Homosexuality: Does it Matter?

From Queering The Church:

August 26, 2012

By 

For Christians, the Bible is obviously important, but on homosexuality, responses differ. For traditionalists, it is a given that scripture “obviously” condemns all forms of same – sex activities, and that sodomy is “the sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance”. For an expanding pool of revisionist biblical scholars, this is a false reading of scripture, based on mistranslations or mistranslations of the original texts, and distorted by a heteronormative interpretive bias. Canon Derrek Sherwen Bailey first questioned the traditional readings back in the 1950′s, have challenged the traditional interpretations of the clobber texts, even labelling them as textual abuse, and more recently begun to promote affirmative, LGBT inclusive passages as an alternative.

But there’s another view,  that even if it is true that the Bible really does condemn homosexuality, it could be simply wrong – just it has been wrong on slavery.

The argument is neatly put by Dan Savage, in his widely reported debate with Brian Brown, of the NOM:

The Atlantic reports it so:

The Bible, if it got something as easy and obvious as slavery wrong, what are the odds that it got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong? I put those odds at about 100 percent. Pat Robertson was recently asked about this. He was asked, “If America was founded as a Christian nation why did we allow slavery?” And his answer was, “Like it or not, if you read the Bible, in the Old Testament slavery is permitted.” That’s a half-truth. In both testaments slavery is permitted and sanctioned. But then Robertson said something uncharacteristically profound: “We have moved in our conception of human beings until we realized that slavery was terribly wrong.” And so what he’s saying there is not just that we realized slavery is terribly wrong. Also, we realized the bible was wrong about slavery. I don’t think LGBT Americans are asking American Christians to do anything that you haven’t already done.

Move in your conception of the value of human beings.

Here’s the full debate, courtesy of YouTube:

Freedom Day in the USA

Happy Fourth of July, folks!

The promise of freedom still beckons in this country, despite the fact that many of us are not as free as others. People are still doing things they don’t want to do because they have no money. People are still being exploited because they have no power. People are being unnecessarily discriminated against because they do not have equal access to a quality education. Race and gender are often obstacles to overcome rather than diversity to be embraced. Persons are still persecuted openly because of their religion. People are still being attacked, beaten and killed because of prejudice. People can lose their jobs because of whom they love, not to mention that marriage for a significant part of the population is mostly out of the question. There’s work to be done, and blessings to be remembered. Many of us can remember the crowded and dark closet of our pasts with co-existing nostalgia and horror. Nostalgia that we survived, horror at what we actually endured. And a sigh of relief that it’s mostly no longer necessary.

I believe that taking my freedom and dignity and doing what I can to create more, for myself and others is the only way to go. This happens in my own awareness and understanding of the beauty and possibility of the world around me- and inside me. Freedom is another word for shamelessly and happily being totally myself- and allowing and encouraging others to do the same. This quote has inspired me to do just that:

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
~ Albert Camus, 1913-1960, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1957

Freedom begins in our hearts and minds. Take your blessings and make freedom a reality for everyone- that’s the American way.

Despite what anyone else thinks.