Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How Do You Discern The Bible's Stance On Homosexuality?

The following is part of a series of posts that will be a public discussion[1] between myself and the Christian author of a blog called "The Discerning Christian"[2].

The issue I've decided to start with is one where we appear to have a lot agreement[3]homosexuality[4]. Plus, it's a topic I care quite a bit about.  I've never understood the bigotry[5] associated with it.  I understand it slightly better since growing up and learning that it is, as far as I've ever been able to find, entirely from the religious, but that just tells me that one illogical stance comes from another.

For Christians who are not anti-gay bigots, I have a few questions.
In discussing homosexuality with Christians, you will generally find that most of them agree that the Church has treated the LGBT community wrongly, and I would agree.
That has not been my experience.  I suspect that it would not be the experience of my gay friends if they were asked. My experience with Christians and homosexuality tends to be more like the rest of that paragraph.
But unless you’re in a church community which actually accepts homosexuality, you will find that everyone has their own pet caveats for why it’s not okay, even though the Church is not treating homosexuals as it should. You will hear comparisons of homosexuality to addiction to pornography or alcohol. You will hear slippery slope arguments, like how will we say no to one night stands or even bestiality if we can’t say no to homosexuality.
Your post is an admirable defense of homosexuality, something that shouldn't even need defended.  But how do you reconcile your reasonable approach to homosexuality with what the Bible says about it?
Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. - Leviticus 18:22[6]
 If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. - Leviticus 20:13[7]
Do you think you being a Christian, who I presume quotes & reveres the same Bible as Westboro Baptist Church and the countless hate groups whose names contain the word "family", lends credibility to them and others[8] who use the Bible to justify their anti-gay stances[9]?
The ancient people were not stupid, but they did not have the knowledge we have and would have written the Bible in accordance with the way they understood things to be.
Do you think the Bible is the inspired word of your god?  If you can say that the Bible was written by men who were limited by the time they lived in, how do you justify following it?  You clearly think parts of the Bible should be disregarded.  How do you go about deciding which parts to follow and which parts to throw out?
I argue that homosexual Christians should learn to order their desires in the same manner as all other Christians, that they express love and commitment alongside any sort of eroticism. That is the Christian ideal for all sexual desire. That is my hope for homosexual Christians, that they are able to live lives where they can express their homosexuality in a healthy manner and in a way which glorifies God.
You certainly could take a worse approach to it, for instance something like the majority of Christian views on the issue that I encounter.  But I still have a different take on it.  My hope for homosexual Christians is for them to leave the religion that follows a book which says they should be put to death.  My hope for homosexual Christians is for them to abandon the religion that is the driving force behind their status as second class citizens[10].

This probably comes off as harsh, but I don't really know how else to write about this issue.  And it is something about Christianity I've long wondered.

1.  http://aparticularblogbyaparticularatheist.blogspot.com/search/label/Discerning%20With%20A%20Christian
2.  http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/
3.  http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/a-christian-defense-of-homosexuality/
4.  http://aparticularblogbyaparticularatheist.blogspot.com/search/label/LGBT
5.  http://aparticularblogbyaparticularatheist.blogspot.com/search/label/Homophobia
6.  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus%2018:22&version=NIV
7.  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus%2020:13&version=NIV
8.  http://carm.org/bible-homosexuality
9.  http://www.bible.ca/s-homo=sin.htm
10.  http://www.redstate.com/srachui/2013/04/08/why-christians-cannot-support-same-sex-marriage/

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I published my response! I'll be slow in writing for just a few more weeks here as my wedding approaches (2.5 more weeks!), so feel free to ask another question in the meantime before I ask anything in return.