Misconceptions on the Bible – NOT 100% Infallible.
This first segment deals with the translations in Leviticus, specifically of the verses supposedly condemning homosexuality and others.
ty_ping and Philisophical_Paradox
Leviticus has to do with homosexuality as a general construct.
To start with: Leviticus is part of the old law, as one should know, and is non-binding to Gentiles and modern converts to Christianity, as we are
given grace and the new covenant via Galatians, Acts 15, and Colossians 2 (particularly verse 14). Thus to apply this to Christian homosexuals
slavishly, is quite frankly a poor use of scripture.
While we are requested to abstain from sexual immorality one must ask what is sexually immoral, since the OT doesn't distinguish between Moral and
Cerimonal law we only have what Paul and Jesus say on the subject. Paul on the one hand is VERY clear when he wants to include a Levidical Law into
the "Moral Christian Code" but still in his letters emphasises non judgement and Christian Liberty. Homosexuality is one of those things he was
never clear on and considering in most of his letters he is writing to a group of new converts who are NOT familiar with Levidical law for him to
vaugly say "Sexual Immorality" won't make them thing "Ahh Levidicus 18, RIGHT"
Sexual Immorality is not code word for Homosexual Sex.
Secondly: The Hebrew for the verse is as follows:
Va'th zakar lo thi shakab mishkaby inshah, toeb'eh hava
וְאֶ֨ת־זָכָ֔ר לֹ֥א תִשְׁכַּ֖ב מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֑ה תֹּועֵבָ֖ה הִֽוא׃
Of the verse, the two bolded words are the ones I will address in this response.
First there is zakar זָכָ֔ר,
Zakar is not a commonly used word for man. It's a complex word since it can mean a male, or to remember (in a sacred sense to record to make a
Zakar could refer to only the first born son of a family (Since he is the one who will continue the family line) or a man of distinction (A preist
either of the Jewish religion or another religion) or even specifically an old wise man.
The definition of it says:
"Zakar A Male as being he through whom the memorial of his parents is continued"
(It gives a few exceptions of this rule but thats the basic choice of the word and these exceptions refer to animals)
Basically Zakar, if being used to denote "All men" is a really strange word choice. like trying to use Chairman to refer to all men or Preist to
refer to all men. All Chairmen and Preists are men, but not all men are Chairmen or Preists. This word for man is usually used to refer to someone or
some men of distinction.
(It is used to refer to Adam the *First* man, occasionally it is used when for men who are circumcized ((Or will be circumcized because they will
become men of distinction an example here is Gen 17:23 it says "Every Male (Zakar) among Men (enowsh)" Enowish is a more common word for man or
mankind as is the word 'iysh and adam ('iysh being the MOST commonly used word for anything male))
Just to illistrate:
Iyish is used almost 100 times in referance to men in Levidicus alone, Zakar is used 18 times in levidicus It is used to refer to a perfect male
animal to be used in sacrifice, To the temple priests, to first born sons, and to men who are... Sactifying their possesions? I'm not quite sure
whats going on in Levidicus 27 where Zakar is used the most. (3, 5, 6 and 7 the word MAN is Zakar every other one is Iyish) Adam and Enowsh are not
Next there is toeb'eh תֹּועֵבָ֖ה, which is abhorrently translated as "abomination" or "Detestibel Sin."
Its usage elsewhere suggests quite clearly a closer tie with this word to ritual uncleanliness (which while being an abhorrent practice to God, is NOT
a disgraceful act due to the act itself)
((Basically it's ritually unclean but not immoral, examples of other acts of Toeb'eh?
Seeing any of your family members Naked (the rest of Levidicus 18 )
Looking at or being in the presents of the statues of other Gods or taking the silver or gold of these statues for any other use. Deu 7:25
Eating Unclean food Deu 14:3
Cunsulting someone who can speak to the dead or see the future (ever read your horoscope) Deu 18:11-12
Women wearing pants and men wearing makeup (No more stage acting for you boys Orlando Bloom and Jhonny Depp are just as bad off as them Gays) Deu
When translating into the Greek, the authors chose the word bdeglyma, which is closer to the latter, not the former's meaning. Grave sins in Hebrew
were termed Zimmah, something the author did not apply to Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13.
Finally, looking at the scriptural and cultural context of the verse, a strange thing is noted. Whlie the beginning of chapter 18 certainly deals with
sexual sins (incest, prostitution, adultry etc.), a change occurs in verse 21, preceding the verse in question. It references the Mesopotamian fire
god, Molech, and denounces those who sacrifice children, or quite literally give their seed to this god. This is not your run-of-the-mill sex
sin...but a quite specific subset of idolatry related sex sins. This vice list is enhanced by the verse following 22, relating to women's sexual
concurrance with beasts (beastiality was common mainly in fertility cults). Thus, all the pieces are in place for verses 21-23 to be a new vice list
completely...as vice lists in Hebrew are very carefully constructed and do not break/meander without cause. So given it addresses ritual uncleanliness
with men of note/worth, it seems far more likely that the verse in question deals with a much more specific condemnation than homosexuality as a
general construct. Best option? Gender transcendence in terms of Mesopotamian fertility cults, particularly the cult of Innana/Ishtar...and later on
Isis in Roman times. I'd suggest reading Will Roscoe's Priests of the Goddess, as it is quite the informative article about the practice of gender
transcendence in this time and how it might relate to the passage at hand. Briefly- a priest would dress up in feminine garbs, and take the guise of
the goddess to whom he was devoted. Local farmers would be well aware of these priests, as they and they alone seemed to have the power to bless the
crops through intercession with the goddess (like Innana/Ishtar, since she has direct access to the Wheat God). Being the intercessor, the priest
would demand sexual services in exchange for the goddess' blessing on the crop. This would be idolatry to God, as it placed another being before Him
and detracted from worshipping Him...in short, a ritually unclean practice not to be done, with a person of esteem in the culture...fitting the bill
of the Hebrew in verse 22.
As well Jewish Law is very specific, looking into the chapter you can see how within the other sexual laws it outline that male AND female are not to
partake in certain acts. Except this one which only seems to pertain to men, why would God make a law against homosexuals, but only have the law apply
to men? And how could a Christian use this as blanket condement when it does not at any point refer to women?
In short, arguably does it have anything to do with a general condemnation of homosexuality as a whole, but rather a specific subset of it...though it
is moot as per the taking away of the Old Law by the verses already mentioned, and non-binding resolution by one of the early Councils of Jerusalem as
strictures against Gentiles and modern converts.
Now, this is an excerpt given to me by Gaian Ome9a, the original source being unknown. It’s quite long, so if you just wanna hear what I’ve got to
say, find the really long line of dashes. I will probably come through at a later date and edit this in favor of a smaller, simpler post.
To my fellow Gaians, especially those who find homosexuals and homosexuality in the wrong:
All over the Extended Discussion and Chatterbox, a wave of pro- and anti-homosexual sentiment has hit. I can understand that the moderators have had
it with idiotic threads and "repeats." However, yours truly has something to say of this.
I wish to restate my theory for the error of homophobia, which is as follows:
Homophobic arguments of all sorts - including scientific and psychological - are among the fruits of religious homophobia, which in itself has been
caused by, among other things, biblical mistranslation.
Allow me to clarify. This said "biblical mistranslation" is both of willful ignorance and blatant misunderstanding. The Bible and certain passages
are loaded with possibilities for mistranslation.
I'd like to elucidate my statements.
1) The "evidence" used by homophobic religious zealots is, in general, a rather unfortunate mistranslation or misinterpretation.
2) There cannot be such a thing as "scientific" homophobia. Such statements reek of religious backing.
Now, I am for gay marriage and all, but that is NOT the point of my paper. If you come into my dissertation thinking that, you are completely in the
wrong, my dear friend.
My being Catholic may or may not restrict room for intellectual debate with Catholic doctrine, but being human allows for me, as a human with free
thought and free will, to be able to debate with his faith's theological arguments.
"Evidence" vs. Evidence
First off, THE BIBLE WAS NOT ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN ENGLISH.
In fact, the languages used in the Old and New Testament are, in respect to time written, Hebrew, Aramaic, and a dialect of Greek called "koine."
Note that the Latin translation by St. Jerome was written in the time period between 300 and 550 CE (please excuse my erroneous dating of the
People tend to read through the Bible with prejudiced learning (in this case, "I know what it says and means" sort of thinking). However, this sort
of doctrinaire prejudice (coined by someone whose name I cannot recall) is wrong in and of itself. We place our own thinking onto something that was
not created by our own thinking, but another's. We place modern learning/prejudice onto previous cultures and writings, and use this
In this section, I'll be going through the most often cited verses of the Bible when it comes to homophobic arguments as is noted in the New American
Bible. Translations are from various sources, but I will dutifully cite each quote as I can.
Now, I need to get this out of my system, but I've heard the phrase "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" so many times that, if it were oil, Iraq
wouldn't have needed to invade Kuwait in the early 1990s.
There is SUCH a great deal of illogicality in the assumption that, since the "first" couple on Earth happened to be heterosexual, so should the rest
of us. That is about as erroneous as saying all Africans, Asians, Native Americans, Hispanics, and so forth are doomed to eternal damnation simply
because they don't lack melanin.
Now, Rev. William H Carey encounters a major problem. Quoting:
God said that it was not good for the adam to be alone (Gen. 2:18 ) and went on to say "I will make a help meet for him." (King James Version) But
what the Hebrew says here, and the manner in which God made this "help," tell us volumes about the creature He was about to present to the man. The
words translated as "help meet" are E-zer k'NEG-do. The word "ezer" means "helper." But there is more to it than that. You see, Hebrew has no
neuter gender; every word is either masculine or feminine. Most nouns referring to people have both a masculine form and a feminine form, like
"actor" and "actress" in English. Ezer is masculine. The feminine form would be ezrah. But God didn't say He would make an ezrah. He used the
masculine form, ezer. The second half of this, k'negdo, means "as opposite him," that is, as a mirror image.
In this case, "the adam" refers to the first man - "Adam," or as this man-creature calls himself more properly, "enosh."
In fact, the creation of "Adam's" companion is significant in itself.
Instead, we find that He took a rib from the man and made the woman from it. This is very significant. From what we now know about genetics, we can
understand what God did: Although it sounds frightening to say it, the plain fact is, God cloned another "adam" from the rib. Because the new
"adam" was made from the first adam's DNA, she was genetically identical to him in every way. (Was Eve also called Adam? In Genesis 1:27, the
Hebrew tells us that "adam" was made both male and female. Genesis 5:1-2 tells us the same thing, and that their name was called "adam." When God
made this new person, the Hebrew text of Gen. 2:23 tells us that Adam called her "inshah," which is simply the feminine form of enosh. It means
In fact, the name which is bestowed upon the woman is merely a statement that she is the mother of all humanity - Chavah, or Eve.
In all honesty, it is more likely that "Adam" and "Eve" had no true sexual knowledge until they gained their mortality by eating of the Forbidden
Fruit. They were just created, and very likely were curious about the things around them and each other. The "differences" between these two people
were bound to show up, but they likely had no idea how to use these "differences" until after the Fall.
Certain words for certain phrases, events, people, or emotions are ultimately lost in translation. For instance, there are multiple Hebrew words for
"know." Take the example of Sodom and Gomorrah.
This WILL sound ridiculous, but the verse in Genesis (forgive my paraphrasing) basically says, "Let us get to know your visitors." The exact verse
is found in Genesis 19. Now some Christians, take this to mean "Let us have sex with your lovely male friends."
However, note that there are MULTIPLE words for "know" in Hebrew - yada happens to be one of them, and is in fact the one used in the said verse.
A form of yada is used here and hundreds of other times in scripture. Only about ten of those times refer to sex, and in each case, the sexual meaning
is clear by the context. (Example: Adam knew his wife and she conceived.) To try to make this word mean sex everywhere will get us in a lot of
trouble, because the scripture tells us that God knew David, and uses a form of this word.
Like I said, it sounds ridiculous, but transference of that meaning upon other usages of the word(s) for "know" shows how equally ridiculous such a
translation of the verse would appear.
As for a better historical reference,
Leviticus 18:22 states: "Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination." The term abomination (to'ebah) is a religious term,
usually reserved for use against idolatry; it does not mean a moral evil. The verse seems to refer to temple prostitution, which was a common practice
in the rest of the Middle East at that time. Qadesh referred to male religious prostitutes.
Leviticus 20:13 states: "If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they should surely be
put to death....". The passage is surrounded by prohibitions against incest, bestiality, adultery and intercourse during a woman's period. But this
verse is the only one in the series which uses the religious term abomination; it seems also to be directed against temple prostitution.
Now, I have heard PLENTY of counterarguments talking about how tattoos, eating shellfish, eating rare (the cooking state) meat, sowing fields with
multiple varieties of seed, and so forth. I've even read the letter to Dr. Laura Schlessinger that has circulated over the internet. However, these
statements aren't the point of my argument here. It is the verses' being used alone that is wrong in this case. The whole of Leviticus concerns the
Jewish Holiness Code, a code which, though the basis of Christian moral canon, is basically null and void. See the Acts of the Apostles (10:1 - 11:18,
As to lying with another man as with a woman ... now there's a bit of a problem here. It is likely that the prohibition thou shall not lie with a
male as with a woman came about for one of the following reasons:
> Only sexual acts which could lead to procreation were valued as the tribes needed to grow in numbers in order to survive.
> Male homosexual sex may have been connected in the Hebrew mind with idolatry. Notice that Lev. 18:2 deals with idolatry. In fact many of the
prohibitions in the Holiness Code were probably connected with idolatrous practices, see 19:26-29.
> Women were second class citizens in the Hebrew culture and were generally treated as property. If a man was penetrated in sexual intercourse he was
being treated like a woman and so was degraded in the Hebrew mind. The offense was not that this was a homosexual act, the offense was that a MAN was
treated like a WOMAN. If this line of thinking is correct it would serve to explain why there is no prohibition against female homosexual acts in the
Old Testament. Women could not be degraded by such an act as they were already not held in high esteem. there is a theory that the Hebrew people
believed in a perfect order of creation and anything that violated that order was considered unclean or an abomination. A probable example would be
that fish were considered the perfect sea animal, hence anything in the sea that did not have scales and fins was unclean. (Lev. 11:9-10) Cattle were
the perfect cud chewing animal, hence anything that chewed cud, but didn't have hooves was unclean. (Lev. 11:6). If this theory is correct then the
prohibition against male sex acts would be violating the role of the perfect ideal human: man. It would seem to mix the sex role of the imperfect
woman with the ideal role of the man.
Deuteronomy 23:17 states (in the King James Version) "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel . This
is an "error" by the authors of the KJV. The word qadesh in the original text was mistranslated as sodomite. Quadesh means "holy one" and is here
used to refer to a man who engages in ritual prostitution in the temple. There is little evidence that the prostitutes engaged in sexual activities
with men. Other Bible translations use accurate terms such as shrine prostitute, temple prostitute, prostitute and cult prostitute.[
In this passage, the actual word that is being translated is "qadesh" which means "holy one" or "someone set apart for a holy purpose." In this
case the word is referring to people who commit ritual acts of prostitution in order to honor their deity. The clearest translation of this concept
would simply be "temple or ritual prostitute". For example, Deuteronomy 23:17 should be translated thusly: "There shall be no ritual prostitute of
the daughters of Israel, or a ritual prostitute of the sons of Israel". Any translation which translates qadesh as pervert or sodomite is blatantly
mistranslating. An example which shows this clearly is found in the New King James version which translates qadesh in its male form as 'perverted
one' but translates qadesh in its female form as 'ritual harlot', both should be 'ritual harlot or prostitute!' [
St. Paul's letter to the Romans, specifically chapter 1, verses 26 and 27.
Now, according to the King James Version (one of the first "modern" translations), the verses read as follows:
(26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27) And
likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and
receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
However, this is a MAJOR mistranslation from the Greek. The following is a straight-from-Greek translation:
(26) For this cause God gave them up unto disgraceful passions: for their women exchanged the instinctive use (sexual intercourse) into that which is
contrary to native disposition. (27) And likewise also the men, laying aside their instinctive use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward
another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
These verses, in a somewhat clearer translation, does not mention "true homosexuality," much less condemn it. Excuse me - when I mention "true
homosexuality," I am really pointing out Paul's phrase "native disposition." The apostle to the Gentiles is stating that it is a sin to go against
the nature (in this case, sexual) that God instilled upon us. In truth, it was of the Roman heterosexuals that Paul spoke. The sort of behavior which
Paul is concerned with is similar to the 19th century Boston marriages - which two heterosexual women are "married" - only the difference in the
former is more carnal than social.
The bottom line is, God created each of us with a sexual orientation. To attempt to change it is, in effect, telling God that He created us wrong. The
creation (us) does not have the right to "re-create" itself.
Some may think it unlikely that heterosexuals in the first century would force themselves to engage in homosexual relations simply because society
expected them to. And yet, today, in many parts of the world, homosexuals are forcing themselves to engage in heterosexual relations for the very same
reason: Society expects it. But if it was wrong for heterosexuals in the first century to tamper with their sexual orientation, then it is equally
wrong for homosexuals today to tamper with theirs. (Lighthouse Ministries)
It must be remembered also that Paul was referring to homosexual ACTS, not homosexuals. AND NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HOMOSEXUAL ACTS PAUL WAS TALKING
ABOUT... NO ONE KNOWS THE BACKGROUND... We must ask ourselves "what type of homosexual acts was Paul talking about?" Was he talking exclusively
about homosexual acts connected with idolatry? (Perhaps that was the only kind of homosexual activity he was familiar with.) Was he talking about
pederasty? Was he talking about homosexual acts committed with slaves? Was he talking about people of heterosexual orientation committing homosexual
acts? Just exactly what type of homosexual acts was he concerned with? Do people have the Right to just ASSUME that these verses were a blanket
condemnation of homosexual sex in every context? (Whosoever)
1 Corinthians 6:9 -- "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not deceive yourselves: Neither fornicators, nor
idolaters, nor adulterers, nor soft ones, nor those who have sex with men."
Please pay attention. Why "soft ones" are separate from "those who have sex with men" is a very simple explanation. THEY AREN'T THE SAME
"Soft ones" refer to those of who really don't give a rat's ###### for other people - in other words, the rich who'd rather bathe in acid than
give money to charity with full sincerity or don't do what Jesus Christ spelled out in Matthew 25 - the parable of the Goats and the Sheep, to be
specific. If you have a Christian Bible on you, read it.
For the rest of you who aren't familiar with what I'm saying, The King of Heaven (God) spelled out that whatever we do to others "lower" than us,
we do to the King. This would include visiting the sick, welcoming the visitor, giving food and drink to those in need, and doing acts of kindness in
As for "those who have sex with men," no one is really sure WHAT group Paul is directing this towards, but many scholars are very sure that it
refers SOLELY to sexual relations outside of marriage, heterosexual or not.
It is amazing the number of times that you will see the word "sodomite" or "homosexual" or "pervert" in different translations concerning this
text. It is amazing because no one knows exactly what the words of the original text mean! The layperson, unfortunately, has no way of knowing that
interpreters are guessing as to the exact meaning of these words. Pastors and laypersons often have to rely upon the authority of those who have
written lexicons (dictionaries explaining the meaning of words) of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic words. The authors of scriptural lexicons search for the
meaning of the word within the scriptures themselves and also go outside of scripture and research literature written around the same time the
scriptures were written. If the interpreter is already prejudiced against homosexuality they can translate these words as condemning homosexual sex
even based upon little usage of that word in the Scriptures and little if any contemporaneous usage of that word.
The truth is that the word some translators "transform" into "sodomite/homosexual/pervert" in I Corinthians 6:9-10 is actually TWO words. Some
translators combine them because they "think" they go together but they DO NOT KNOW. This uncertainty is reflected in the fact that other
translators keep the words separate and translate them "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind".
The two words in the original Greek are "malakoi" and "arsenokoitai". Malakoi is a very common Greek word. It literally means "soft". It is used
in Matthew 11:7-18 and Luke 7:24-25 in reference to soft clothing. Scholars have to look at material outside of the Bible in order to try and figure
out just what this means. The early church Fathers used the word to mean someone who was "weak" or "soft" in their morals and from the time of the
reformation to the 20th century it was usually interpreted as masturbation. In Greek this word never is applied to gay people or homosexual acts in
general. "No new textual data effected the twentieth-century change in translation of this word: only a shift in popular morality. Since few people
any longer regard masturbation as the sort of activity which would preclude entrance to heaven, the condemnation has simply been transferred to a
group still so widely despised that their exclusion does not trouble translators or theologians." (See Christianity, Social Tolerance, and
Homosexuality, John Boswell, University of Chicago Press, 1980, page 105-107). (Whosoever)
There were a number of Greek words to describe homosexual sex acts and the two words "malakois" and "arsenokoitai" do not appear among them (on
"arsenokoitai" see Boswell, pp 345-346.) [members.cox.net...
Biblical translations and interpretations do indeed happen. However, a COMMON and VERY DANGEROUS "sin" of interpretation, as coined by Peter J.
Gomes, is that of culturism - the worship of the culture, in which the Bible is FORCED to conform to the norms of the prevailing culture (Gomes p. 36,
Gomes points out that a prevailing theme in the Old Testament is the intolerance of, in the words of the said author, cultic idolatry, which we take
to represent in part a moral impatience and a desire to possess as one's very own the word and works of God (38 ).
Culturism ... is the notion ... that we read scripture not only in the light of our own culture but as a means of defining and defending that very
culture over and against which scripture by its very nature is meant to stand. In other words, scripture is invariably used to support the status quo,
no matter what the status quo, and despite the revolutionary origins and implications of scripture itself. (47)
In basic and unfortunate truth, "followers" of culturism use scripture to justify current conditions and events - of what has been, is, and
"should" be. The danger of culturistic reading of the Bible is the great temptations ... to use it as the moral sanction for our own culture (48
Culturists do not worship God, nor do they idolize the Bible; rather, they force the scripture into servitude under the master Culture - a neo-Mammon
of sorts. The Bible itself had been used to support Apartheid in South Africa, a Christian country.
It should be carefully noted that the scripture used to maintain status quo will eventually destroy that same status quo and forward a new era. This
can be said for the end of American slavery, the fight against Communist Russia, the Civil Rights movement, the Apartheid era, and so forth.
On to the scientific/psychological attacks.
Stating that homosexual beings are unnatural is about as asinine as the following experiment performed in the late 19th century. A scientist, whose
name eludes me, had compared the cranial space of the skulls of a white person and a Negro person. To measure the volume of the Caucasian specimen's
space, fine sand was used so to get an accurate measure. As for the Negro specimen, pebbles, considerably more voluminous than sand, were used, and
such usage allowed for space to be in between these pebbles, as opposed to the usage of sand.
The scientist concluded that Negro peoples have smaller cranial spaces than Caucasians, and thus were naturally inferior to whites.
The same is applied to homosexuals, but not by usage of skulls.
Reasons for the unnatural existence and behavior are numerous, but in a good deal of "research," homosexual behavior is deemed "unnatural" due to
its non-procreative nature.
Please do note, readers, that this is NOT a scientific statement, but rather is rooted in a theological statement.
By St. Augustine of Hippo, a former Manichaean, and other Church Fathers.
Now, going back to Gomes' work, he points out that when it comes down to cases, homosexuality is not about the Bible or texts. It's all about the
sex. (Gomes p. 166) However, the early Christians were raised under the notion that the primary function of sex was procreation. However, when the
writers of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) commanded the human race to multiply, the writers meant that from "Adam's" descendents would the
Messiah spring out from. Any child could be the Messiah, in this logic, and thus any wasting of the seed - masturbation, coitus interruptus, and
"homosexual" activity - was considered sinful.
Mind you, St. Paul did not pick up this notion and run with it. Rather, he preached celibacy, given that he believed that the Christ would return
within the era of the Apostles - why make more kids when the end times are near?
The emphasis on procreation was made by the Church Fathers, who, seeing that the end of the world was not yet at hand and that the church needed to be
replenished, grudgingly gave the mandate of sex for procreation. ... they, like Paul, held celibacy to be a higher vocation than marriage ... by keen
observation [of the pagan pleasures of sex] ... they wished to separate "Christian sex" from "pagan sex" by imposing a strictly moral purpose on
It was St. Augustine of Hippo who used the theology of shame on sexual behavior. He himself, who was once a wild child, changed up the Eden story to
make the disobedience sin into one of "discovery of sexual shame" (ibid), thus making sex itself the cause of the Fall. In this logic, Augustine
made marriage itself a sign of weakness of the persons involved.
What the homosexual did was different, and hence the homosexual was different, and in a religious world that increasingly prized conformity in all
things, but particularly sexual manners, the difference branded the homosexual a threat to the moral order, the equivalent of a heretic in the church
or a traitor to the state. (169)
The Bible itself was used to enforce the moral strictures on sex; however, it was also used as evidence for the same system. A homosexual, in this
belief system, was considered with masturbation and other non-procreative sexual activity to be deviant and were all the more in the state of sinful
What is illogical about this argument is the source for counter arguments - what of infertile couples? Andrew Sullivan points out in the March 1996
issue of The New Republic that, "if homosexuality is an objective disorder, then what is infertility?" (Gomes p. 170)
According to Sigmund Freud, in "Letter to an American Mother" (1935, documented on page 128 of Pim Pronk's work), he stated that it is certainly no
advantage to be homosexual, but neither is it anything to be ashamed of; it is not a vice, nor degeneracy, let alone a crime; and "it cannot be
classified as an illness; we [psychologists and sexologists of the era] consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain
arrest of sexual development." It is even stated by Freud in his "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality" that "A person's final sexual attitude
is not decided until puberty." It is "the result of a number of factors, not all of which are yet known; some are of a constitutional nature," but
others are social in character. Freud does not deny than qualitative differences in the end products exist but "the differences between their
determinants are only quantitative"(Pronk 128 ). Freud even states in these essays that humans are psychically bisexual, "as apparent in childhood"
It is a very interesting "coincidence" to point out that Pope John Paul II has many NON-Catholics agreeing with his stance against homosexual
However, this should be pointed out.
"Naturalness" in a moral sense depends on the prior acceptance of a normative view of man in which reproduction is regarded as the purpose of
sexuality. It is this view of man, not the naturalness of it, that makes the intention to reproduce oneself a moral obligation. Now, if naturalness in
a moral sense is not applicable to heterosexual because of reproduction, then the counter-notion of "unnaturalness" is not applicable to
homosexuality because of non-reproduction. Therefore, the concepts "natural"/"unnatural" have no discriminating value and we cannot do anything
with them in our ethical reflection. (244)
A final question of this logic of unnatural behavior.
Are we able to get beyond this notion of "procreation only" sex?
The answer is yes. In fact, the 1958 resolution of the Ninth Lambeth Conference - the decennial meeting of Anglican bishops - stated that sexual
intercourse is "not by any means the ONLY language of earthly love, but it is, in its full and right use, the most revealing" (171, emphasis added).
In this logic, we would be wrong to say that the only purpose of sex is a willing conception of offspring.
To conclude this section, not only is the "scientific" argument of "procreation only" heavily on the UN-scientific side, it is also a wrongful
assumption to make, when God gave us the gift of love so we can share it with others and our partner.
This is not a very good closing thesis, but in short, most, if not all, homophobic arguments are essentially flawed, thanks to mistranslation,
misinterpretation, and misapplication of the Scripture.
Peter J. Gomes. The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart. New York: HarperCollins, 1996
Pim Pronk. Against Nature? Types of Moral Argumentation regarding Homosexuality. Grand Rapids (Michigan): Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1993
Lighthouse Ministries < www.apostolicrestorationmission.4t.com...
Whosoever < www.whosoever.org...
Now, that post takes the Biblical homosexuality issue on a slant of mistranslation, or poor translation. Let’s face it. When things are translated
from one language to another, ideas and meanings are lost. Watch Pirates of the Caribbean with Spanish subtitles and you’ll see what I mean. But
aside from that tangent, there are other problems with literal infallibility of the Bible. If one were to read the Book of Revelations literally, one
would be doing something comparable to shooting oneself in the foot. Also, you’ll note that modern Bibles use the word homosexual, a word not even
coined until the late 1800s. Greeks did not have a word for what we call homosexuals. Finally… The story of Noah and the Ark. Passed down orally
through generations, as everything until around Deuteronomy was, this story claims that everyone in the world died, with exception of Noah, his sons,
and their wives. Now, if one were to rewind a bit and look at the story of the Tower of Babel, one would note that man was scattered across the earth.
Historically, we know that there were humans in other places than the Middle East around the time of the flood. In fact, the flood story is the only
story shared by almost every single ancient culture. The Iroquois have one, derived from an Aztec one. The Chinese have one, the Japanese, and many
others. It can be guessed that through oral tradition and English translation, some things were lost. Such as the possibility that the “World” as
they knew it was merely the Middle East.
At any rate, looking into the New Testament at the writings of Paul, you are not to take his words as God sent or perfect. In fact, he often mentions
that things are of his own opinion, not God’s. The Holy Spirit can guide, but it can be mistranslated. Paul’s strict Jewish upbringing definitely
had influence in his writings… See his passages on women.