Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quote of the Day

. . . Nowhere does the Bible actually oppose homosexuality.

In the past 60 years, we have learned more about sex, by far, than in preceding millennia. Is it likely that an ancient people, who thought the male was the basic biological model and the world flat, understood homosexuality as we do today? Could they have even addressed the questions about homosexuality that we grapple with today? Of course not.

Hard evidence supports this commonsensical expectation. Taken on its own terms, read in the original languages, placed back into its historical context, the Bible is ho-hum on homosexuality, unless – as with heterosexuality – injustice and abuse are involved.

That, in fact, was the case among the Sodomites (Genesis 19), whose experience is frequently cited by modern anti-gay critics. The Sodomites wanted to rape the visitors whom Lot, the one just man in the city, welcomed in hospitality for the night.

The Bible itself is lucid on the sin of Sodom: pride, lack of concern for the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:48-49); hatred of strangers and cruelty to guests (Wisdom 19:13); arrogance (Sirach/Ecclesiaticus 16:8); evildoing, injustice, oppression of the widow and orphan (Isaiah 1:17); adultery (in those days, the use of another man’s property), and lying (Jeremiah 23:12).

But nowhere are same-sex acts named as the sin of Sodom. . . .

– Daniel Helminiak

For more of Daniel Helminiak's at The Wild Reed, see:
The Non-Negotiables of Human Sex
Spirituality and the Gay Experience
In the Garden of Spirituality – Daniel Helminiak
Beyond the Hierarchy: The Blossoming of Liberating Catholic Insights on Sexuality (Part 1)

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Bible and Homosexuality
Song of Songs: The Bible's Gay Love Poem
Jesus and the Centurion
On Civil Unions and Christian Tradition
A Christian Case for Same-Sex Marriage

Recommended Off-site Link:
The Bible and Homosexuality – Rick Lowery (The Huffington Post, May 15, 2012).

Image: Artist unknown.


Anonymous said...

Michael, you need to tell that to some of the people at California Catholic Daily. One guy goes on and on about how all the people in Sodom were gay and that is why Jesus (that's right Jesus) destroyed them. The man is a convert to the Catholic Church and I think he brought some of his fundamentalist beliefs into the church with him.

Katy Anders said...

Thanks for all of these links! I never know what to think about this issue. If Scripture is ambiguous on this topic - and I think it most certainly is - Tradition has NOT really been all that ambiguous.

At the same time, the arguments that have been most convincing to ME when it comes to faith and homosexuality really involve the sex-outside-of-marriage-type line of thought.

This particular objection to the gay question is sort of self-defeating if we are going to say a)gay and lesbian folks aren't allowed to marry and THEN b) object to having sex outside of marriage.

The idea of gay marriage would certainly have been beyond the worldview of the ancient Hebrews, though, which would have made equating it with promiscuous behavior at least logical.

[Oh! And have a look at the Apocalypse of Peter (not the Gnostic one), which was mentioned more than once as a possibility for the canon and comes down REALLY hard on lesbians...]

Michael J. Bayly said...

You raise important points, Katy! But I have to wonder: How much of "the Tradition" is built upon Scripture which, I think we both agree, inadequately addresses the reality of homosexuality and loving and committed gay relationships?