Like a lot of you I’ve been horrified by the recent suicides of gay teens in the wake of cruel bullying they endured until they couldn’t take it anymore. And as if it wasn’t bad enough that children were torturing fellow children for their perceived homosexuality, Clint McCance, an Arkansas school board member, was so opposed to being asked to wear purple in support of spirit day he went on facebook and said that all the gay kids should commit suicide. What?!
He’s since apologized and retracted his statement but words are a lot like bullets – once they’re out of the gun it’s too late to stop the damage they cause. Clint, if you’re not sure what I mean by ‘gun’ in that analogy I’m comparing your mouth to a firearm. Words can and do hurt people.
In case you’re wondering how such bullying has been allowed to happen unchecked by people who should know better, well, I’ll tell you what I think. It’s because churches across the country are preaching that homosexuality is a sin and that the people who choose (emphasis added) to be gay are sinners on a direct route to hell. So if your church is telling you that the bible, and therefore God, think homosexuals are evil people then who’s going to tell you it’s wrong to target them for harassment, bullying, torturing, beating and murder?
We all know that what we learn in church is sacrosanct and is what God wants us to understand, right? It’s like the song says, “for the bible tells me so.”
Because people put so much stock in what the good book says I wanted to know exactly what the bible says about homosexuality. I mean, what does it say in there that has church officials and their parishioners up in arms these days, when it was never really a big deal until a few generations ago?
Does the bible say that God want us to hate people he supposedly created in his image because they love people who have the same set of sex organs?
And so I embarked on an adventure in research. I didn’t go researching where the faithful go – to the bible and only the bible, I went all over the internet looking for the actual words in every translation of the bible (you remember that none of the writers of the bible wrote it in English. Everyone knows that, right?).
And then I looked to find out when every reference that pertains to homosexuality was added to the bible. (You know the bible was written and rewritten, translated and re-translated, over time by people with different political and religious agendas, right? The bible has been rewritten more often than a studio screenplay.)
But I also kept my search limited to what anyone with a job and a life, like I have, could find in a short time frame. I’ve lined up a few of the links below with a brief quote from each one. It’s fascinating and enlightening reading. I highly, highly recommend taking some time to familiarize yourself with the context, history and original meanings of biblical passages currently interpreted as condemning homosexuality. This is important because lives are literally at stake over these words.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_year_did_the_word_homosexual_first_appear_in_the_Bible (The words “homosexual” and “homosexuality” do not appear in the Bible-at least they are absent from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. The authors of the Bible did not understand sexual orientation; this concept was only developed in the late 19th century.)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/488222/The-Bible-Christianity-Homosexuality (There is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew that is equivalent to the English word homosexual. The word was coined only about 100 years ago… )
http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian (Yet the assumption that the Bible condemns homosexuality is passed down from generation to generation with very little personal study or research. The consequences of this misinformation are disastrous, not only for God’s gay and lesbian children, but for the entire church.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_homosexuality (The story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis has traditionally been interpreted within Christianity as a punishment for homosexuality; Judaism, however, regards it as a story about the need for hospitality.)
http://thesop.org/story/religion/2007/04/16/homosexuals-in-the-bible.php (Why are same-sex acts so repulsive to our religious beliefs? For this answer, we have to go back to the Old Testament. Leviticus 18:22 prohibits the type of activity that was quite acceptable in ancient world cultures. “Why,” you may ask? Well, as every Biblical scholar knows, Israel’s repudiation of same-sex arises out of the doctrine of creation and would frustrate the divine purpose of being fruitful and multiplying the creation.)
This is just a short list of references. There are soooo many and they were so easy to find. If this is a topic of interest to you or you’ve ever called anyone a fag, spend a few minutes online finding out whether or not there is any legitimacy to current religious doctrine against homosexuality.
After you’ve done that think about why people you put all of your faith and trust in would want you to hate a certain group of people in the first place when the fundamental tenet of Christianity is supposed to be that we should love and care for everyone because we are all God’s creatures. Right?
Sounds like maybe some political agendas have been introduced into the mix. Or maybe someone is trying to distract people from problems within the church by drawing believers’ attention elsewhere. Now, what could the church possibly have to hide?
Worship responsibly, my friends.