When Matthew Vines turned 19, he had a revelation shared by many ordinary teenagers: He was gay. But since he was also a Bible-believing Christian, he knew he was facing a tremendous struggle.
“In my church and so many others,” Vines says, “being gay and Christian wasn’t an option. But I couldn’t give up on my faith.”
A sophomore at Harvard at the time, Vines left school to do some soul-searching. His goal: To reconcile his sexual orientation with what the Bible said about homosexuality.
He spent the next four-years pouring over Scripture, studying what it said about same-sex sexual behavior and relationships. The result is his book God and the Gay Christian. Vine calls the book “an open letter to modern Christians” about why they should support same-sex relationships, and what the Bible really says about homosexuality.
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“My larger argument,” Vines, now 24 and working as a Christian speaker and LGBT activist in Wichita, Kansas, says, “is that Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous, same-sex relationships.”
Queerty asked Vines to put together a list of “10 Bible-based reasons why Christians should support same-sex relationships.” Here is the result:
1. Condemning same-sex relationships is harmful to LGBT people. Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that good trees bear good fruit, but the church’s rejection of same-sex relationships has caused tremendous, needless suffering to the LGBT community.
2. Sexual orientation is a new concept, one the Christian tradition hasn’t addressed. Many Christians draw on their faith’s traditions to shape their beliefs, but the concept of sexual orientation is new. Before recent decades, same-sex behavior was understood along the lines of gluttony or drunkenness — as a vice of excess anyone might be prone to — not as the expression of a sexual orientation. The Christian tradition hasn’t spoken to the modern issue of LGBT people and their relationships.
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3. Celibacy is a gift, not a mandate.
The Bible honors celibacy as a good way of living — Jesus was celibate, after all. But it also makes clear that celibacy must be a voluntary choice made by those who have the gift of celibacy. Requiring that all gay people remain celibate because their sexuality is “broken” is at odds with the Bible’s teachings on celibacy.
4. Sodom and Gomorrah involved an attempted gang rape, not a loving relationship. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is commonly assumed to have been the result of God’s wrath against homosexuality, but the only form of same-sex behavior described in the story is an attempted gang rape — nothing like the loving, committed relationships that are widespread today. The Bible explicitly condemns Sodom for its arrogance, inhospitality and apathy toward the poor, but never for same-sex behavior.
5. The prohibitions in Leviticus don’t apply to Christians.
Leviticus condemns male same-sex intercourse, but the entire Old Testament law code has never applied to Christians in light of Christ’s death. Leviticus also condemns eating pork, rabbit, or shellfish, cutting hair at the sides of one’s head, and having sex during a woman’s menstrual period — none of which Christians continue to observe.
6. Paul condemns same-sex lust, not love.
Like other ancient writers, Paul described same-sex behavior as the result of excessive sexual desire on the part of people who could be content with opposite-sex relationships. He doesn’t have long-term, loving same-sex relationships in view. And while he describes same-sex behavior as “unnatural,” he also says men having long hair goes against nature, and most Christians read that as a reference to cultural conventions.
7. The term “homosexual” didn’t exist until 1892.
Some modern Bible translations say that “homosexuals” will not inherit the kingdom of God, but neither the concept nor the word for people with exclusive same-sex attraction existed before the late 19th century. While the Bible rejects lustful same-sex behavior, that isn’t close to a condemnation of all gay people and relationships.
8. Marriage is about commitment. Marriage often involves procreation, but according to the New Testament, it’s based on something deeper: a lifelong commitment to a partner. Marriage is even compared to the relationship between Christ and the church, and while the language used is opposite-sex, the core principles apply just as well to same-sex couples.
9. Human beings are relational.
From the beginning of Genesis, human beings are described as having a need for relationship, just as God himself is relational. Sexuality is a core part of what it means to be a relational person, and to condemn LGBT people’s sexuality outright damages their ability to be in relationship with all people — and with God.
10. Faithful Christians are already embracing LGBT brothers and sisters.
From denominations like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Presbyterian Church (USA) to organizations like the Gay Christian Network and the Reformation Project, Christians across the country are already putting their commitment to LGBT equality in action. They’re showing their fellow believers what it looks like to be a faithful Christian who fully affirms LGBT people.
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See the trailer for God and the Gay Christian
In my opinion this is complete bullshit and represents the wrong approach to the matter. You should not make any effort to validate a book that has been written by tribes in primitive societies, thousands of years ago. Those books should have historical value only. As manuals of ethical and moral values, they are completely USELESS.
Kinda cute but deluded guy. How can someone so smart be so STUPID as to spend their life trying to reconcile their gayness with a fable? It boggles the mind.
Matthew Vines has expressed Biblically important and sound ways to understand the Bible’s discussion of sexuality.
In my understanding, the Bible and its narrative is not good enough, alone. Many truths can be found in all of scripture, but many things that are not illustrated in scripture are also very important to all of us also.
Paul, the major NT contributor, expressed his knowledge and understanding in the following way —
1. …All that I now know is partial and incomplete…
2. Now we see things imperfectly…
It’s quite possible and reasonable to assume that he was also speaking for all of scripture.
So when and how will we know things completely? When and how will we see things perfectly?
The answers will come in time, as we allow the Spirit of God, which makes things happen, to show us more and more.
LGBT acceptance and the meaningful relationships associated with this acceptance are just one of the things we are being shown today.
@Billy Budd: @Ron Jackson: I am an agnostic, but I have to say this. You two are being kind of douchey. YOUR approach is the wrong one. Trying to convince believers that they are delusional and mocking them like a couple of self satisfied A-holes will not gain us anything and it will only insult them. What he is doing is speaking to them in their own language, in a way that they can appreciate. Why are you two so hard up to consign sincerely believing gay Christians to misery?
@DarkZephyr: I am commited with telling the truth and defending what is right, moral and ethical. If the truth is offensive to delusional people, they must, unfortunately, be offended.
You can’t make an omelette without breaking the eggs.
@Billy Budd: You are just as dogmatic as many Fundamentalist Christians are. Its extremely unattractive.
As for breaking eggs, perhaps you would rather the hateful variant of Christianity just stuck around for a few more hundred years without any opposition from within Christianity’s framework and then it can be our heads that get broken instead? You don’t get to decide what the “truth” is anymore than Christians do.
The Many Attributions of God
by Billy Budd
To the majority of human beings, the belief in God is a central fact of their lives. Great part of the more than 6 billion inhabitants of the planet does not only believe in a God -a supreme conscious being that explains the existence of things-, but also belongs to a religion. Most of modern religions (or modernized, to be more precise), are monotheistic, and each one of them has a series of dogmas, rules, moral concepts and solutions to the questions that afflict us since we began to question the world that surrounds us and our very existence.
This main purpose of religions -to supply solutions- seems to indicate, on a first moment, that they use our most noble capacity, reason, to give us answers to our questions. However, it is the contrary that happens; Religions have very little in common with science; to them, the observation and questioning of the real world has a secondary role. What matters to religions is the obscure world of the spirit; the interior world of the things that are felt, but never seen, measured or proven.
The more primitive were the societies, the more primitive were the solutions that were found. We started from polytheistic religions, with Gods who incorporated aspects of nature, or who were reflections of ourselves, and slowly evolved until the one and only God established his dominion. But even the monotheistic religions that exist today are extremely primitive. The God of the first testament is a furious, vengeful God. The God of the Koran is less favorable to human females. The God of the Jews has explicit preferences for a specific people. The Buddhists reject the ways of survival of the species, dictated by nature. And there are still many millions of people who believe in the existence of many Gods, like the Hindus.
In countries where the majority of the population is in a situation of misery, or without having access to a decent education, it would be normal to expect that a more primitive concept of religion prevailed. After all, it is ignorance that leads us to ready-made solutions, without confirmation, and it is the fear of the unknown that makes us accept them. But even in more developed countries, many highly educated people feel the need to belong to a religion. The explanations of science are not enough to them. Even the belief in a God is not sufficient. They need a full package of solutions, something that leaves no doubts. And they want to belong to a group, to be part of an organization that provides them protection and social acceptance.
The existence of God, as everyone knows (or should know) is not a fact. Nobody can prove it or deny it. It is a matter of faith. It is also known that humans are not satisfied only with seeing God as the creator. In their faith, they provide God with many other attributions. Some examples of these divine assignments are:
-To legislate about human behavior. To say what is right and what is wrong.
-To order people who follow a religion to kill and dominate people who follow another religion.
-To allow certain people to speak in his name, explaining His laws.
-To allow a few illuminated people to perform miracles.
-To punish those who behave contrary to His laws, and to reward those who obey them.
-To manage the coming and going of spirits between the world of the living and of the dead (incarnating, re-incarnating, keeping in limbos, hells, heavens etc.)
-To say which percentage of the income of people should be donated to churches.
-To fulfill the wishes of those who make requests through prayers and/or sacrifices.
All these mundane attributions are given to God by religions. However, if we take all these assignments away from Him, one basic attribution will remain, which is to answer the following question:
“What is the meaning of existence?” or, “Why do things exist?”
If we think in a totally logical and rational way, we will conclude that it would be more reasonable if nothing existed. If there were no universe. If the matter were not subject to any rule; if no law governed it, and that there existed no life at all. But the fact is that things are not like that. And it is essentially because of this existential paradox, and because of the fear of death, that we tend to believe in some supreme being, that is behind everything that exists. But does this explanation really solve the paradox, or just puts a curtain in front of our eyes, preventing us from seeing the issue with the necessary clarity, distance and focus?
Well, if there is a God, where did he come from? Who created him? This question is usually answered by religions with the following sentence: “God doesn’t need an origin; He has always existed and always will.”
This solution is quite reasonable, but there is another solution, a simpler one, that could be equally valid. If God, a conscious being, doesn’t need anything to explain His origin, then
Why does the universe itself need such an explanation? Wouldn’t it be more logical to conclude that if a conscious being doesn’t need an origin, then space and matter don’t need one either? Isn’t it simpler to attribute this divine feature to the universe itself, without creating an intermediary, a buffer endowed of consciousness, to explain everything that is mysterious and unexplainable?
There may be a God. It is not possible to prove that he doesn’t exist, or that he does exist. But it is simpler, more logical and rational to believe that he doesn’t exist, until proof in contrary arises. “The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent to us; but if we can come to terms with this indifference, then our existence as a species can have genuine meaning. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” Just because we would like it to be true, we cannot suppose that there is someone or something that wishes our good and protect us from the hardships of life. What makes us special is not the attention of a superior being, but our own qualities.
These basic philosophical reflections are ignored by many people; there is a tendency in society to easily accept the conventions that are taken as “correct”, and there are very few individuals who have the courage or disposition to express ideas against these conventions, even when they are very much convinced of their inadequacy. For example, sexuality is an aspect of human life that is frequently connected to religious ideas. Almost all religions establish patterns of sexual behavior that would be, in their vision, in accordance with “God’s Law”. These ideas are flawed because human behaviors should be considered “natural”, because we are an animal species like any other, and our behaviors and characteristics are a result of our life experiences and/or our genetic inheritance. There is no doubt that some characteristics are more successful than others, and because of that, during our evolution, we developed a series of attributes which are shared by all or almost all individuals. But the mere fact that a behavior is expressed by the majority of the population does not mean that a different behavior is wrong, or that it is condemnable in moral terms. Morality is an abstract concept that does not depend on religion or on the existence of God.
A set of rules of conduct which are taken as correct should take in account only the potential of being harmful or beneficial to others, and never be based on what is done by the majority, or accepted by the majority. It is known that the diversity that is found in nature enables the survival of species and the equilibrium of ecosystems. Homogenization leads to stagnation and decay. Endangered species are condemned to stagnation exactly because their diversity couldn’t possibly be recovered, even if the remaining individuals reproduced in large quantities. Nature rewards differences. And this nature has to be considered an expression of the “divine will”, necessarily. Many of the human behaviors that are condemned by religions are found in abundance in nature, in other species of mammals, for example. And some of the behaviors that have been condemned by our society during the last few centuries were extremely fashionable and widely praised by other societies, including some of the most advanced ones.
If God really existed, would he worry about the minimum details of the lives of us, human beings, inhabitants of a tiny planet among the billions of planets of the universe? Would he worry, for example, about condemning the use of condoms by the couples who do not want to have children? Would he condemn the catholic priests who have sons, the Jews who eat pork meat, or the Muslim women who decide not to wear the burka?
Only when we learn to give to God His real attributions, these questions will be solved. We must put God in his proper place.
@Billy Budd: Christianity, is a cult of mentally ill humanoids who have murder millions. Christian are mental ill.
@Billy Budd: What offends me is people who think they have exclusive possession of “The Truth”, whether it’s right-wing religious zealots or “my” people.
I doubt the points listed in the article will convince anyone determined to believe otherwise, but they are a thoughtful, sensitive and spiritually affirming exploration. (Even for those of us who remain unconvinced of the underlying supernatural premise)
@Mezaien: Yikes, then we better start impeachment proceedings against the President. Mental illness IS one of the grounds, isn’t it?
@Mezaien: It is not a mental illness. There are scientific studies that suggest that the belief in god and religiousness are hard wired in our brains. I mean, they are an evolutionary trait. Please read the works of Steven Pinker, a Harvard Professor:
I think what he is doing is great. I struggled as a christian with being Gay and having any kind of support to help kids growing up in this enviroment is benificial. I stuggled along time and finally realized its about my own personal relationship with God and this is how God made me and I am happy to be a gay christian today without struggling like I did growing up.
You cannot use reason on the unreasonable. Much easier to accept who you are and leave the dusty book behind.
This is lovely and all, but ultimately I’m getting really tired of the requirement that I respect, even celebrate, other people’s delusions and ignorance. There is no rational basis for religious beliefs, especially not highly-detailed religious beliefs like Christianity and Islam. As a basis for cultural norms, Christianity is a poor substitute for rational humanism and has, over time, provided the basis for slavery, discrimination, and murder. A lot of humans seem to have this need for a personal diety that’s really little more than a glorified parent-figure designed to both provide the illusion of control and order to the chaos we live in and at the same time provide an “objective” truth (it’s in the book, it must be true) with which to oppress, vilify, and/or convert the Others, increasing the comfort in numbers. The fact that there is a “struggle” between being gay (a natural state) and being Christian (an artificial, man-made construct) just shows how powerful this delusion is, and how insistent its institutional embodiment is about making people feel bad about themselves, in need of spiritual improvement, and thus more likely to continue to support the institution and the delusion financially and physically. It’s really kinda sad, and I’m tired of the social expectation that I have to respect this nonsense.
I refuse to submit or justify my existence because of a bunch of superstitious supernatural hooey written down in a book of MYTH by a bunch of bronze age nobodies from nowhere who stole material from earlier cultures. there is no supernatural, PERIOD.
I have no use for schizophrenic vengeful mass murdering gods or zombie messiahs who never existed in the first place.
@jazz4108: there is no such thing as the supernatural. you could have saved yourself a lot of time and trouble accepting that fact.
@Billy Budd:@Billy Budd: it is an ENFORCED cultural belief in a LIE. people aren’t hardwired to believe in bullshit. this enforced belief in something which is obviously not true is the cause of mental illness.
The thing that is not easy to understand is there are people who insist that they do not believe in any kind of organized religion, and yet, they have very detailed opinions. Many gay men and lesbians have been victims of many forms of abuse, violence and ridicule throughout history. I’m glad that as a gay man, I have never discounted the teachings or beliefs of individuals or religions. I believe we become the person or people we loathe when we begin to take away their rights to voice their opinions. To tell someone their religion is wrong, in my opinion, is worse than those who have said homosexuality was wrong.
I found that this article could certainly be useful to a great many people. I do subscribe to a specific religion, however, I do try to live a spiritual life and try to live the way I believe the God of my own understanding would have me live. For a very long time I had abandoned God from my life simply because of the teachings of organized religion. Because of this, I led a lonely existence. I have since been able to find my way back to God and did so without utilizing a specific religion.
There are many Christians and other religious people that have felt unable to have God in their lives because of such teachings that were more clearly defined in this article.
KUDOS to Matthew Vine for having the diligence to stand by his beliefs and continue to allow God a place in his life. And KUDOS to Matt for having shared his experience to help others to maintain who they are and let god into their hearts. Men like this are the type of men who change the world!
God bless him! “Well done, Matthew!”
And very well put, LCVitacco !
I’m glad Matthew has done this I have people in my family who worship the Bible of all else. Of them, this can speak to their language and perhaps might change some minds.
Yes, I would much rather that these people understand the Bible is not to be worshiped literally. Yes, I wish people would open their eyes and not be slaves to a belief system that’s just crazy. Yes, I wish people could see the real world for what it really is.
But with these people it just ain’t going to happen. and so I would rather reach out to them and try to get them to support gay relationships however it works for them. It doesn’t matter how we reach our goals so as long as we get them.
To think that explaining out the bible is going to make someone less hateful is a bit naive. First most don’t even know or care what’s even in the bible. They get their information from their pastors. I’ve tried this path. Just doesn’t work.
Take for example the various laws that are against say wearing mixed fabric to killing disobedient kids to adulterers. You show them the inconsistency of their hate and they don’t care for the most part. They’ll just pretend you never asked them the question.
There’s a reason why you find such a cozy relationship with right wing extremely bigoted places and Christians.
Charlie in Charge
@Billy Budd: “I am commited with telling the truth and defending what is right, moral and ethical.”
So you have exactly the same mindset as the door-to-door Bible thumpers. The world doesn’t need more sanctimonious egotists telling people what they can believe.
This guy has taken the approach of advocating for greater love and compassion for gay people within his religion and you deride him for it. There are gay Christians and Christians with gay friends and family members that sometimes find themselves in a quandary and his work will help heal wounds. I’m not a Christian but I would rather spend my time with Mr. Vines than someone with such a Victorian absolutist approach to science.
Although I agree with the sentiment, “Human beings are relational” is not strictly speaking a Biblical argument.
But, come on now, let’s be real: THERE AREN’T ANY Biblical “arguments” because the Bible is not really a single book but a rich and diverse collection of texts written from many different spiritual perspectives over the course of many centuries.
As a Christian who loves the Biblical tradition very much, it kind of enrages me to see it simplified into some kind of magical Scouts’ Handbook.
I can’t stand Matthew Vines. He is a sanctimonious little twerp, and I would tell him that to his face
I have given up on even debating spirituality and religion with most people. As an atheist, I find it impossible to have a logical conversation about a topic that is illogical. I imagine it is equally frustrating for the other point of view.
Besides…a majority of my family and friends believe in a higher power and the last thing I want to do is insult or hurt them…especially when they have NEVER used their faith to make me feel badly about myself.
@DistingueTraces: It can be a Biblical argument; you just have to move a few verses before one usually used by the other side (which doesn’t say what they use it for anyway.) In the story of the Garden of Eden, what reason is given for the creation of Eve? It’s not reproduction; it’s because Adam was lonely.
To some others who’ve commented (and who invariably say the same thing every opportunity they get): Look at this practically. Given only the two options of having religious people cease to object to gayness or continuing to be enemies on these issues, without their abandoning their beliefs in general either way, which would you choose? Those who will cease believing will do so anyway; if anything, your deliberately denigrating and abrasive approach discourages their listening to anything you have to say, same as for the other side, and pretending you’re *only* being honest, as if it weren’t possible to do so without also being obnoxious and insulting, isn’t honesty. It’s deliberate nastiness for its own sake.
Queerty: a good article; I just wish you’d leave things like this up once you’ve posted them *even if you meant not to post them until the next day.* It’s aggravating for things just to vanish for no good reason. At least you put this one back up, unlike one a few months ago that was an important update to an earlier story; I think the one removed was the one showing the receipt woman to be lying.
Despite all his research and rationalization, it all comes down to reason #11: “Guys are hot, and I like having sex with them.”
“My larger argument,” Vines, now 24 and working as a Christian speaker and LGBT activist in Wichita, Kansas, says, “is that Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous, same-sex relationships.”
Monogamy is just as much a choice as celibacy or any other approach to relating to someone else, and just as much only the business of those in the relationship. Allowing the Bible to require monogamy is just as illogical as allowing it to deny same-sex relationships.
@Billy Budd: I agree with you, but I still welcome this, because getting rid of religion is most likely a pipe dream. At least this approach allows for the possibility of integration of religious belief with those who are LGBT.
You know, if someone were to say to me, “I have no use for Aesop’s Fables because in real life, ants and grasshoppers and lions and mice don’t possess the faculty of reason and can’t talk like people can, which means that Aesop’s Fables are a bunch of supernatural hooey,” I certainly wouldn’t applaud and say: “Oh my gosh, what an insightful point, you beacon of rationality! You must actually be an android with a positronic brain millions of times faster than humans have, like Data on Star Trek!!!”
Instead, I’d say: “Stop being so damn PROUD of your slack-jawed ignorance and total inability to distinguish mythology from bullshit, you doofus loser. Have you been eating Down Syndrome children for breakfast, or something? Here, let me spell it out for you: homeopathy and Scientology and astrology are useless bullshit; the Bible’s mix of fictionalized history and mythology is a cultural treasure that well-educated atheists ought to read carefully, for their own intellectual benefit.”
Also, to repeat an excellent Russian proverb that I think I’ve mentioned before:
A fairytale is a pile of lies
But with hinted Truths
For discerning eyes!
Some of you loudmouthed dopes just can’t read with discernment. This is an educational failing of your teachers, and is nothing that you ought to wave around gleefully, expecting congratulations on how S-M-R-A-T you are.
God, I despise ignorant slackers who think they’re boner-fied Intellectuals because they memorized some vocabulary from a Word-A-Day desk calendar and don’t believe in “silly superstitions.”
Stupid-ass fakers who probably resented and bullied the “curve-breaking” students who actually studied, back when they were in high school.
If you don’t wanna read the Bible, I’d recommend Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather (available on DVD from Netflix) as an excellent and hilarious primer on how to read mythology with intelligence and discernment.
@Throbert McGee: People are not using Aesop’s fables to screw us over.Also, you claim that the bible’s fictionalized history and mythology is a treasure. Christians have done their damnedest to stamp out for the past 2000. Do you not consider the beliefs of indigenous peoples to be cultural treasures? Christians are rotten turds, they always have been and always will be.They are worthy of nothing but contempt and hatred.
I’ve heard about Matthew Vines for months; he’s gotten a lot of publicity from his publisher and has been groomed to be to the Christian (and queer population) what Larry Kramer became for AIDS: a media-genic talking head trying to deal with huge issues. The sad fact is that more people in American now believe without question the “facts” of the Bible than they did when I was growing up in the Deep South in the early 1960s. More people don’t believe (or understand) Evolution than they did 50 years ago—in other words, in an extremely insecure world, Christianity has become a refuge (and crutch) for tons of people. So I’m glad Matthew is trying to reach those people. Religion is important to big groups of gay men for many reasons—it always has been, ask any Catholic priest who will tell the truth. The Catholic priesthood as just one branch of Christianity is full of gay men—with some estimates at more than 70%. What is good is that a lot of us have religious feelings outside of the usual Old and New Testament myths, in fact, we are following our own life myths and created a religious world that is supportive, loving, and good. You can see that at https://groups.google.com/d/forum/angellust
@Mezaien: Thanks for this thoughtful posting. I hope you’ll join me on https://groups.google.com/d/forum/angellust.
@BitterOldQueen: I agree, but our cutie pie Matthew has done us a huge favor by trying to tackle the subject in their language and has cracked a few eggs in the process. If just one religious zealot changes his view on Homosexuality it’s a job well done. As a child you are taught by your parents and if they are believers in all this nonsense and we help them see the light so be it. I commend Matthew for his tenacity and courage to speak out. Again we need dialog the more we educate the ignorant the sooner they will realize we are not different and no need to fear. It’s basically we are trying to force our views on them likewise.
Confusing personal opinions or “however I feel about it today” with Truth is poor logic at best. To trade in your spiritual birthright is a tragedy.
For those who have shut the door on the landmarks of Christ’s teachings, this will certainly bore you to tears.
For those who are still questioning, wondering, or (as a large, less mouthy segment of GLBT Christians do) believe – there’s a really fun and steady book for us. I pick it up when I need to remember what it is to be gay and Christian. The author lived here in Austin, and is an openly gay Roman Catholic priest – Daniel Helminiak: “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality”. About 5 bucks on half dot com. There’s an interesting web site about queering the church dot com.
Keep the faith, love the haters – it’s authentic pain that causes the hate…
I’m a Christian, Episcopalian, which means that most evangelicals wouldn’t recognize me as a Christian and that’s fine by me. The Bible is a great book but a human book that God sometimes speaks through. That’s my take on it anyway. You have to approach it with some common sense and not necessarily take it at face value. You have to approach it, the Fundies would love this, like a cafeteria. Take what’s healthy and good and leave the crap!
The story of Sodom has nothing to do with gang rape. It is a mistranslation from the Hebrew. The word is used in only two places in the Old Testament and is translated to mean “know” as sexual. The many other times it is used it always means to “get to know” or “learn about,” etc. The first time in when it is used to describe a young lady brought to the dying King David to keep him warm, “he did not know her.” Any wonder, he was likely had dementia and was on his death bed. Remember Lot had an odd view of sex and had intercourse with his own daughters in a cave. Christian, Jewish, and Moslem passages against homosexuals may derive from the stories of “Sodom and Gomorrah” and “Ham.” Based on many Bible passages, the most illustrative to explain God’s wrath at Sodom and Gomorrah are found in Ezekiel 16:”49. Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them, when I saw it.” (RSV) Homosexuals per se are not mentioned either in the original story of Sodom and Gomorrah or in later biblical explanations. Linguistic scholars of Koine, Aramaic, classical Greek, Latin, and Hebrew convincingly argue “temple prostitutes” and being unclean during religious ceremonies–not homosexuals per se were the topic of biblical discussions regarding “unnatural” sexual practices. It is unlikely St. Paul or the rabbinical scholars he studied understood the relationship between differences in brain anatomy and natural sexual orientation. In biblical times, natural sexual practices based on brain sex/gender would have appeared unnatural–particularly because procreation was not involved. It has been argued that St. Paul may have been condemning heterosexuals who engage in homosexual behavior (e.g., Ted Haggard, etc.). How a professed former homosexual could pronounce a total cure and heterosexuality on behalf of Rev. Haggard is unsupported by objective data. St. Paul writing to the Romans who were surrounded by idolatry and pagan religions (Romans 1.23-32) appears to renew and augment the Old Testament prohibition against homosexual behavior found in Leviticus 20: “. If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.” (RSV) The use of “abomination” in the Bible in both Hebrew and Greek referred to sacred ceremonies, idolatry, and pagan worship.
@Billy Budd: I completely agree
If you have to come up with 10 reasons, you are overthinking it. The only reason that counts is “god don’t make no junk; and (s)he made me.” DONE
Approval is neither desired nor required. I don’t care what any religion says. And for myself, I look upon my fellow GLBT persons who want or need that approval in the same manner I look upon the African American community who have taken on the religion of the white man, that same religion used to justify the enslavement of their ancestors, and I have only this to say. “Don’t get in bed with your enemy.”
@Billy Budd: It’s a shame Vines didn’t reason things out and see that it is belief in God that is the problem, not the solution. The only god there is is the one between his ears.
Charlie in Charge
@hyhybt: Hear, hear.
@DarkZephyr: Exactly. You said exactly what I was thinking. Thanks!
Wow what a lot of jaw yammering.
The REAL “intelligence” of the Universe – that which somehow created all that’s currently being illustrated on the new COSMOS, for instance, is not a sweet OR a crazy/vengeful gigantic (but translucent) WHITE MALE wearing a beard, and waving a magic wand to create physics, chemistry, astronomy, all natural laws, Evolution, etc. That divine intelligence is NOT a “HE,” and may or not even be a “Being.”
Our human minds, no matter how well educated, simply CAN NOT comprehend the breadth, scope, age, complexity or dare I say it, creative love — that The Universe (and the “divine intelligence” it reflects)IS. In the absence of such ability to comprehend the Universe (which science is ever-more observing, to its stun and awe), most humans fall back on a horrendous substitute — “Belief Systems.”
ALL of them laughably “blaspheme” whatever The Universe is, because they are so pathetically reductionistic. However The Universe doesn’t give a fat crap that we do this, and if — as is highly likely — the combination of our new technologies and our competing, totally invented “Belief Systems” kill us off, The Universe may or may not shed a tear for us.
All of this babbling about Belief Systems is a colossal, ridiculous waste of time. Most of it is “My god can beat up your god” — i.e., represents a 5-year old mentality. Belief Systems are DESTROYING HUMANITY, and THAT INCLUDES the “belief systems” of Atheism, Agnosticism, etc. — which are just as rigid and reductionistic as any other asinine “religion.”
But all the above posts are arguing at the wrong level. For The Universe (and its intelligence, creativity and its BEING) IS, and our Belief Systems are irrelevant to IT (which is hard for Egoistical human beings to grok).
I’m a Harvard graduate. Too bad Vines didn’t finish his education and possibly learn that all Belief Systems are inimical to the actual observation of self, culture, the world and The Universe. By the say, science (when conducted properly) is NOT a “belief system,” it is a system of inquiry.
I doubt that any of you posting here will have a clue what I’ve just said. Happy diatribing.
@Billy Budd: Spoken like a true right-wing, fundamentalist nutcase. Congratulations.
bmwblonde, You know nothing about atheism. The religious make claims and I don’t believe them. That makes me atheist. There’s nothing reductionist about it.
@ ALL you egotistical douchebags who constantly slam the beliefs of others: You’re entitled to YOUR OPINIONS, which is all they are, with no more absolute Truth to them than those of religionists. Your forceful condemnation of others’ beliefs is so very offensive to many of us, and your general attitude, intolerance, and belittling of things contrary to your ideas shows your own bigotry and hate. Whatever you people think about Matthew’s work is totally irrelevant, because it wasn’t done for you! I say Bravo, and I hope it works, for some, anyway.
Religionists always like to pretend that all belief systems are created equal. They’re not. Evidence-based belief systems have proven empirically to be superior. The evidence is that we can create useful technology based on it. Nothing useful can be built on top of religion, because its claims are not reproducible.
By reading some of the comments above, what you guys say about Christians, they say about us. You’re really no better. At this rate, we’re destined to be the new Palestine and Israel for the next couple of centuries or millenia. Christians have to understand and accept us, but we also have to meet them halfway and make an attempt to understand and accept them. Also, Christian (or any other religion) and gay are not mutually exclusive.
@Merv: Merv, Hear Hear.
Sejjo, As a former Christian I understand Christianity, and I also know why it’s complete bullocks along with all the other religions. We shouldn’t have to meet religious people half way. They have a responsibility to reality to cope with how the world really is rather than relying on their religious fantasies insisting that everyone kowtow to their bull-crap.
@Merv: “Evidence-based belief systems have proven empirically to be superior.” There is no such thing as evidence-based belief systems because once there is evidence it becomes a theory or fact, not a belief.
At the end of the day, I don’t care what anybody who is subscribed to organized religion thinks or believes. I only care about how they act. I don’t waste my energy trying to intellectualize why religion is illogical because I don’t care about others’ belief system; I only care about their action that arise from that belief system. If someone’s belief in the Bible causes them to “love their neighbor as they love themselves” (I think the real underlying lesson of the Bible), then bully for them! For others, there may be some level of thinking that homosexuality is wrong, but they act in a live-and-let-live manner, which, for me, is also fine. These two groups far outweigh the religious haters, so I tend to not have problems with other persons’ religious beliefs because they don’t harm me for the most part. Even with the religious haters, I don’t concern myself with what they think. It is only when they try to act in a way that is detrimental to me and the community that I am called to action. But even then, it is because of their actions not their beliefs. Just my 2 cents.
Jeepers!Creepers! Surveys, reports, and studies routinely relate that the (tense, dramatic, conflicted, …) relationship of religious faith/non-faith in public policy discussions in American society produce the greatest volume and highest intensity of comment among the many topics that occupy us. The comments following this story, and the comments on comments, suggest that it as much true among the queers as other communities in American society! One wonders, why, then, discussion of these tensions have so few outlets in the common life of queer communities?
We see that HRC wants to spend a lot of money on advancing rights of queers in the American South. Well, my dears, you cannot possibly do that – in the American South – without engaging the relationship of religious faith/non-faith in public policy discussions. Where is the well trained, and well supported cadre of discussion leaders in this arena? Many of us are formally trained as facilitators of ‘difficult conversations’ in the South – particularly on race, faith and moral life, sexuality, etc. We’re willing to be involved.
One additional point: it is astonishing that the comments from the story deal not at all with one of the central conclusions from this particular analysis and rubrics: what is and what should be the status and uses/non-use of pornography in queer communities?
I applaud Vines for trying to reach out to his base of Christians and open their minds to a more enlightened way of thinking. We need more people like him working to help make the world a better place. Personally, it’s hard to wrap my head around all the loud fuss about what God thinks – assuming there is a God, but I’m leaving it wide open. Isn’t all this god worshiping a bit pointless, not to mention so yesterday? I mean really, who wants to worship a god who wants to be worshiped? It’s like tripping over yourself for that hot, narcissistic boyfriend whose only interest is in you licking his black macho motorcycle boots while snapping a leather cat o’ nine tails over your head and yelling out “bitch”. Gotta move on, people…unless, of course, you like that kind of stuff; then I say go for it, but ride it like a bucking bronco and have fun doing it. Just saying.
Charlie in Charge
@Merv: Proven to be superior… how, darling?
Growing up in the rural South and raised in an extremely conservative church, I can understand what Matthew Vines went through coming to terms with his religion and his sexuality. If I had been honest with myself at the time, I would have come out long before I did, but fearing eternal damnation made me absolutely lie to myself about my sexuality. It wasn’t until I moved away from that conservative environment after college that I was able to have some perspective and start dealing with the truth. I spent several years trying to reconcile how I felt with what I believed. It caused a large amount of emotional pain to have to live in a way that was contrary to what I believed and it took years for me to finally found a way to reconcile the two. It would have saved me a lot of pain to have had a book like this when I was going through this process. I am grateful that Matthew has put this together and know that there are many, many young gay people who will be helped in coming to terms with who they are by the information provided in his book.
@Charlie in Charge: Your computer doesn’t run on faith, your doctor hopefully doesn’t medicate you with faith, you hopefully don’t let dead men named Jesus actually take the wheel. It’s patently obvious that and I quote, “Evidence-based belief systems have proven empirically to be superior.” The world runs on evidence, not faith.
Your kidding right? As a post-operative transexual woman, a Jesus Freak in the 1970’s, a United States Marine in Vietnam, my condition (sin) between me and me or me and my god is nobodies business nor do I feel a need to accommodate the religious media or the professing christian conglomerate by putting myself in the position of defending myself, explaining away my “sin”. They create the “sin” police, don’t fall prey to their scrutiny. Don’t let them tell you how you have to “fit” into their box. You tell them, your box is “here” and it fits “right here”!. And demand of them your equal part of the gift of salvation and sanctification if you want to be christian. Please, don’t try to conform by twisting around scriptures trying to say ” See! I fit”! If I fit into their box, I know I’m destined to hell already. They have to open their doors a little wider, to “all”, the biggest little word in the bible. Keep your foot in it.
They try to make the scriptures concrete but they are not, they are like water.
@NiceNCool1: Well, my confidence runs on faith. Does a high jumpers confidence, believing in the positive, “I can do it, I can do it”, help him over the bar along with concentrating on mental performance of his timing? I see them praying when they are next up, or is that just “concentrating”.
As for doctors, if my case is that serious, I would hope that “Doctors” would conference in a room together and “concentrate” if someone could come up with a possible solution “out of thin air”, like I have done a thousand times fixing my cars. But maybe doctors ask and they seek and they find answers. I think the opportunities of doing good opens many doors to solving that problem, but without living in peace with “our neighbors”, whom ever that may be at any given time, we won’t need doctors much longer.
@PhyllisMs: That’s an absurd and fool hearty way to live. I think we can dispense with the ridiculous extremist examples like “high jumpers” because they don’t live in confidence, but on the excitement of danger and their adrenaline rushes. Let us also stop pretending that praying to some deity is the same as concentrating. It’s not even remotely the same.
People don’t come up with solutions out of thin air. Even when their conscious mind isn’t working to solve a problem their subconscious mind certainly is. But only an idiot would attempt to doctor someone based on no evidence whatsoever unless killing their patient is of no consequence to their sensibilities.
You can try all you like, but the world runs on evidence, unless you don’t really care about the outcome of any endeavor.
New discoveries are found every day, based on experiments and suggestions. We’re led to discoveries, just like Darwin.
Uh, I don’t think high jumping rates high on the “excitement of danger” and “adrenaline rushes” guage. The “flying squirrel men” who jump off mountains I think fit into those categories along with extreme snow boarding and bull riding.
@PhyllisMs: Discoveries are not the same as solutions, and most discoveries like medical science, require a great deal of hard work based on empirical evidence.
@PhyllisMs: Forgive me, I thought that’s what you were referring to. “High jumping” and “jumping from heights” are different but sound similar.
Ideas, day dreams, have made many rich while others scoffed.
I meant the “high jump” or how about pole vaulting.
Ever wonder how many people call out to god when life threatens death? When all hope is lost? When that river over the road is pushing your vehicle sideways into swollen river or any number of scenarios? Between me and you, you’d better come up with something quick and it better not involve a lot of thinking. You need an idea quick and that river isn’t just ying there until you get empirical evidence.
@PhyllisMs: People do all manner of dumb things. It’s a common human condition to be irrational. Some of us however, have no fear of death. I’m not looking forward to it, but I accept that it is inevitable. I suspect it will be no different and no more of an inconvenience than it was before I was born. That same nothingness from which we all have within us to recall. There was a time before our existence in which we did not exist, and eventually we will return to that time, just like every living thing on this planet. We are not special.
@PhyllisMs: You mean when death threatens life. I think you’d want to be doing a whole lot of thinking during that time. Of coarse that’s just me.
That’s what I mean, it’s time to fish or cut bait.
Well, think of where all our domestic animals would be without us. Why are humans the only animal that is different from the others? We have to wear cloths to cover our bodies, we hoard and store up food. This world is made perfect for the animal kingdom, but humans? They have no hide to protect them from the elements. Their skin is too tender. We don’t live within nature, we scape off nature and build cement. Humans are separated from god and nature.
NOTHINGNESS ! SPEAK FOR YOURSELF ! IF THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE FINE. I AM ETERNAL!
@PhyllisMs: Why are humans the only animals that is different from others? Because it is us, and we put on airs and graces and think of ourselves with more highly than we ought to, but we’re just animals and that’s all their is to it. Other animals hoard and store up food…not all, but others do.
You write, “We are separated from god and nature”. Well no, it’s hard to be separated from something which you invented and we are part of nature like it or not.
@PhyllisMs: You write, “NOTHINGNESS ! SPEAK FOR YOURSELF ! IF THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE FINE. I AM ETERNAL!”
You still have not grown up then. You have yet to cope with the reality of the finality of life. Sad.
@PhyllisMs: I hope that one day you get to the point that you accept that Santa Claus isn’t real either.
Humans destroy and consume the earth. They are not content.
@PhyllisMs: SOME humans destroy and consume the earth. Those people are not content. That doesn’t mean it is true of us all. It’s mostly a problem of culture. The French knew what to do with people who for profit made it impossible for people to live.
@Billy Budd: Does @BillyBudd really have the need to comment on EVERY posting Queerty puts out? Please, Billy. Do us all a favor and get a new hobby. You’re really irritating to many of us.
The poor young Vines has taken verbatim contextual doctrines, stripped what he didn’t like from them, ignored what disproved his concepts, and then taken what was left and extrapolated that to a desired result.
Point 1. “Hurtful and harmful”? You’re kidding, right?
The citations from Jesus of Nazareth have him telling the religious/political leaders of the day that they were ‘vipers’ (poisonous snakes which kill when they bite, or in the case of the r/p leaders, their words kill spiritually and create misery for those listening to them), ‘walking graves’, ‘thieves’, ‘liars’, ‘hypocrites’.
Do ANY of these words/phrases remotely sound ‘nice’, ‘loving’, or helpful?
NO! He was being honest with them (contextually speaking) from a doctrinal point of view, but contextually, Jesus didn’t even remotely consider the FEELINGS (hurt or otherwise) of the people to whom the comments were made.
Strike one against Vines.
Point 2. New or not, the issue is doctrinally irrelevant: same sex sexuality was WELL known, had been for millennia, so attempting to drive this line of inane argument is utterly useless and does a disservice to the wider argument involved.
Point 3. Chuck the celibacy line, it’s lost leader from the word go; the issue is homosexual behaviour in light of biblical doctrine, not marriage.
Point 4. This one has been hacked to death, reheated, relabeled, rehashed, and tormented beyond any sense of recognition using the tools of logic, honest reasoning, and contextual face value hermeneutics, by Vine and those who continue to push this clearly uncontextual view.
Reading the texts involved, CONTEXTUALLY, specifically the interaction between the mob of men demanding Lot throw out the two visitors so that the men of the mob could ‘know them’, provides a clear meaning to both the term and the immediate intent of the mob: same sex rape of the two visitors.
How can I make this assertion, rejecting completely the ‘lack of hospitality’ argument?
Easily and honestly: CONTEXTUALLY, Lot’s response to the demands of the mob gives us the clear meaning; Lot offered to hand over both of his VIRGIN daughters to the men of the mob, so that they may ‘do with them as you see fit’.
What this tells us is:
1. Hospitality was not the issues, because Lot’s daughters are citizens of Sodom.
2. The nature of the demand by the mob was SEXUAL, because Lot clarifies in no uncertain terms, that his daughters have ‘never known a man’, specifying their SEXUAL state of purity.
3. The men of the mob REJECT Lot’s offer of the girls, because they want the MALE visitors in Lot’s house: they are QUITE clear in the language they use in their repeated demands.
Point 5. Vines’ attempt to use a sleight of word, choosing to mix ‘entire Leviticus’ codification is a non-starter as a valid contextual argument: portions of the Levitical codes can be used (voluntary status vs mandatory) by biblical Christians; this is part of the aspect which Vines attempts to use in his ‘freedom’ argument in conjunction with his misnomered ‘entire’ usage.
Point 6. The argument he makes here is utterly laughable, contextually and doctrinally speaking. Pertaining to same sex sexual acts, ‘love’ never comes into the picture contextually, it is never mentioned. Further, Paul describes same sex acts as being ‘abominable’ and ‘unnatural’ (to his credit, Vines admits this openly) to God and God rejects both the acts and those who commit them, whereas in comparison, long hair on a man is indeed seen as a cultural convention, frowned upon by MEN, NOT God.
Big difference and the comparison Vines is attempting to make simply does not work, is not convincing, and is contextually invalid.
Points 7,8,9. These 3 points of argument are, contextually and doctrinally IRRELEVANT, because the subject matter is the sexual interaction of SAME SEX COUPLE within a SEXUAL INTERCOURSE CONTEXT! Commitment, marriage, etc. are irrelevant to the issue under argument.
Point 10. The number of people who refer to themselves as Christians, who are embracing Vine’s points and his view on these matters is also irrelevant: biblical doctrines do not hang (nor do any secular doctrines for that matter)upon how many people believe or disbelieve in them; they are to be understood in a contextual manner and either accepted or rejected on the face of the matter. Doing otherwise simply makes people dishonest.
The bottom line is that everyone is free to agree, disagree, accept, or reject, discount, or simply believe all of what is written are a set of fables from an ancient people writing from a limited scope of view.
People are also fully free to believe that what is found in the bible is from God, reliable, and to be considered honestly.
It’s up to the individual to choose, but taking the road Vines does, is simply a disservice to us all.
@Neanderthal75: All this from someone who calls himself “Neanderthal,” defined as “a man who is stupid and rude”; “a person who has very old-fashioned ideas and who does not like change.” Perfect name choice.
Your ‘brilliance’ is highly illustrated in YOUR archaic understanding of my cognomen. Do you still read anything other than porn novels, thrill sheets/rags, and escort mags?
The latest anthropological and archeological evidence once again highlights just how ignorant people like you are of me and my people, our attributes, and most certainly our skills.
We were using sophisticated hunting/caping/leather working tools (some of which are STILL in use today….gee, I wonder where homo sapiens sapiens got ‘their’ idea for those kinds of tools, huh?)some 100,000 YEARS before your sorry lot showed up……..so on that point, bite me.
I would also note that instead of actually addressing the FACTS of my POINTS which I made, clearly, concisely, and specifically, the ‘best’ you could do is to make a personal attack.
Responding in such a fashion clearly illustrates your lack of intelligence, lack of ability to reason, lack of ability to debate honestly-openly-factually, and last but not least, it points all to clearly to the bankruptcy of your position on this issue.
Cheers and I hope you have a really nice day.
@Neanderthal75: That’s the best laugh I’ve had all day. Thanks for that. I hope you have a really nice day too. Oh, and don’t forget to go fuck yourself. Hugs and sloppy wet kisses!
Oh hai! I’m kinda playing catch-up on this thread because my parents were just recently visiting DC from the West Coast for the occasion of my sister’s B-day and a cousin’s wedding.
Ogre Magi, your ignorance runs as deep as the Marianas Trench. I do think that the beliefs of “indigenous peoples” are often cultural treasures — you may have noticed that I enjoy quoting from traditional Russian fairytales. Also, I was born in Thailand, went to elementary school in Turkey, and junior high in Okinawa, so I know a bit about and appreciate Thai, Turkish, and Okinawan/Japanese cultural treasures, too.
But although “cultural treasures” come from around the world, the beliefs of the “indigenous peoples” of the ancient Middle East have particular significance and importance for everyone who grows up in “Western Culture” — because so much of the modern West was built on a fusion of Athens and Jerusalem, as visualized in Michelangelo’s sculpture Cristo della Minerva.
Furthermore, you can be an agnostic or atheist as I am, and still have respect for traditional “Judeo-Christian” values. This is something I learned as a Boy Scout — one of the 12 values in the “Scout Law” is “reverence”, and this includes reverence for other people’s faith as well as for one’s own religion.
(Of course, I totally disagree with the BSA’s ban on atheists, because I fully understand that one can be an “atheist” while also being “reverent” at the same time. So I think that the BSA should change this policy.)
P.S. Ogre Magi, you are a pseudo-intellectual poseur and also a bigot.
Neanderthal75, I think you and I mostly agree, but you’re getting into some really controversial territory, so I’ll just try to sum up my own thoughts.
First, I am openly and cheerfully homosexual, and also an “apostate” Roman Catholic who was learned a lot about Jewish analysis of the Old Testament, but I haven’t converted to Judaism and I tend to identify as “agnostic Deist.” (Specifically, a “Southparkian Deist,” because I suspect that *if* G-d actually exists, His/Her/Its true form might well resemble a wall-eyed hippopotamus/cat, for all I know. I also suspect that elsewhere in our 50-billion-year-old Universe, the dramas of Cain & Abel and Moses & Pharaoh might have played out with ammonia-breathing Lobster-Jews who have exoskeletons, but still keep kosher.)
Now that you understand my own background and biases, let me offer a few opinions about the Hebrew Bible (Earth version):
Homosexuality was only a secondary issue in the story of Sodom, which really was more or less about “hospitality.” When the Men of Sodom wanted to “know” the handsome young men who were really angels, they weren’t interested in checking ID (despite what some gay apologists claim). They wanted to “know” the guys/angels by violently futt-bucking them.
HOWEVER, a very ancient anecdote in the Jewish Talmud says that once upon a time, a Girl of Sodom (who was more kindhearted than all the other people in the city) shared a portion of her own dinner with a starving foreigner who had collapsed outside the city gates. When the Men of Sodom discovered that the young woman had shown lovingkindness to an outsider, they seized her and GANG-RAPED HER TO DEATH, as an example for others who might try to be nice to strangers.
In short, the “it was really about ‘hospitality’, more than sexual offenses” interpretation of the Sodom story is NOT an invention of modern liberals, but has very ancient roots. (Source: JUST ASK ANY ORTHODOX JEWISH RABBI!!)
Furthermore: the phrase “to lie with a man as with a woman” in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 was an ancient euphemism for “doin’ it in the man-gina” — i.e., using another dude’s cornhole AS THOUGH it were a chick’s va-jay-jay.” So, the Leviticus verses were very specifically about anal sex, and not about homosexual behavior in general. Orthodox Jewish law does say that all kinds of same-sex erotic practices are sinful, but male/male anal sex was in its own category as a particularly “abominable” sin worthy of the death penalty. (Again, ASK ANY ORTHODOX JEWISH RABBI.)
Finally, as you may already know, the Hebrew word qadesh in Deuteronomy 23:17 is really best translated as “male temple prostitutes who served false pagan fertility gods like Ishtar, Aphrodite, and Dionysus”, and not “sodomites.” (Of course, male prostitutes usually take male clients, not female ones, so the average qadesh was likely to be homosexual — but they could be hetero guys, too.)
I would add, to Neanderthal75: Vines’ attempt to invoke the Leviticus bans on pork, shellfish, and cotton/poly fabric is hilariously stupid, because Jesus and Paul were Greek-speaking 1st-century Jews…
…and well before the lifetimes of Jesus and Paul, Jewish “rabbis” (though the actual term “rabbi” wasn’t commonplace back then) had made a clear distinction between the “ritual purity” laws that were only binding upon Jews (such as not eating shrimp, squid, or pork), and the “ethical” laws that were binding on all mankind, Jews and goyim alike (such as not committing murder, adultery, or theft, and not eating beef or lamb that had been painfully sliced off of cows or sheep while they were still alive!).
So, the ancient Jewish interpretation — that Jesus and Paul would’ve been familiar with — said that the “Old Testament” passages about homosexual behavior applied to all mankind, and not only to the Jews.
But keep in mind my point above that Jewish law considered male/male anal sex to be an especially disgusting and horrible transgression — but if two ancient Jewish men gave each other handjobs, or if Jewish women engaged in lesbian “scissoring,” that was still a serious sin (just as masturbation is a serious sin), but no one got stoned to death for it. Once again, you can ask any Jewish rabbi, even the most conservative and Orthodox rabbis.
@bmwblonde: I’ve previously disagreed with you on some points, bmwblonde, but I think you hit it out of the park, here!
And, finally — in case anyone wants to put a face and a voice to my username, here is a short edutainment video I made for YouTube, offering my opinions on how LGBT people can most effectively respond to homophobic provocations from religious fundamentalists. (If you remember Highlights magazine, I took a “Goofus and Gallant” approach in the video.)
@Throbert McGee: I’ve heard this interpretation before regarding anal sex, which likely explains why gay male sexual activity is still so heavily stigmatized above and beyond anything else. Regardless of how you interpret Scripture, these laws must be viewed in the context of the time in which they were written. In addition, there was no understanding of homosexuality as an orientation, which is something we’ve learned in modern society.
The book should’ve been called “Cognitive gymnastics 101 for cognitively dissonant”.
Hey there LobBob,
Thanks for the seriously enjoyable and well thought out replies to my points!
I disagree with you on a couple issues, but today shan’t respond; had a long night with bad health and so am just in my standard ‘lounge lizard mode’….trying to recoup fast enough to engage in job level energy for the coming week…..but I shall reply!
I would also like to thank you for the Southparkian insights into the crustacean mindset…..it did give me a much needed chuckle.
Lastly, it’s nice to interact without the usual vitriol so widespread on boards like these…..it seems that the concept of ‘agree to disagree’ and in an amicable mindset, has become as scarce as hen’s teeth and the Dodo……much to my chagrin.
Cheers and babble at you soon oh critical thinking crustacean.
First of all, christianity is over. In fact, all three of the devil children of Abraham are over (chrisianity, judaism, islam–such hatred as preached by those three “religions” simply cannot be sustained). Second, the sin of Sodom was inhospitality to the stranger, not rape, not “homosexuality”. It is stated as such in the Old and New Testaments. Third, there is not one verse, one utterance of Jesus that addresses either gay people or same-sex love. Not one. In fact, Jesus’ comments to the Roman centurion, who was concerned for his young lover’s malaise, showed Jesus to be very accepting of same-sex love and used the centurion as an example of faith. It is time to toss christianity on the trash heap of history, where it belongs.
“Using logic and reason isn’t enough. You have to be a dick to everyone who doesn’t think like you.” — 26th-century United Atheist League leader in South Park episode Go God Go XII.
Ummmm, okay, then — Christianity belongs on the trash heap of history, but for some reason you want to lecture people on what the non-divinely-inspired Bible actually says; and you think it’s worthwhile quoting Jesus as though he were some sort of relevant moral authority, rather than some run-of-the mill messianic pretender from the trashy devil “religion” known as Judaism; and although the Roman centurion’s slave (Luke 7:1-10) was really his gay lover and Jesus approved of this, Jesus never said anything at all about same-sex love.
jamal49, were you high when you posted this? Are you old enough to vote? Are you pissed off because your religious family doesn’t accept your homosexuality? Did you just discover the Internet Infidels atheism forum two weeks ago, and are still totally jazzed about your new-found lack of faith?
Nothing inherently wrong with “the zeal of new converts,” but sheesh, get a grip and think before you post.
Of course, the heavy stigma attached to male/male anal sex wasn’t invented by the ancient Hebrews — the ancient Romans and Greeks also looked upon the practice with a certain disdain, even though their societies were relatively homo-tolerant. (In Greece, a free adult male who “bottomed” wasn’t put to death, but he could lose certain citizenship rights — because receptive anal sex was a Very Special Privilege reserved for slaves, male prostitutes, POWs, and women, but not for adult male citizens or upper-class boys on a citizenship-track.
And to me, the reasons for this stigma seem quite obvious: while we all know that it’s possible for anal sex to be gentle, loving, and egalitarian, in practice anal sex can easily get into Dom/sub, S&M territory at the expense of the Bottom. (That’s why I jokingly say that anal has a tendency to become “The Owl and the Panther” sex.)
In contrast, it’s not at all easy to do “frottage” in a totally un-egalitarian, power-imbalanced way. That’s why homoerotic Greek pottery shows the adult Man and the teenage Boy doing between-the-thighs frottage — anal sex was something that a Man did TO a whore, male or female.
P.S. As barbaric as Leviticus 20:13 seems today, at least it rejected the pagans’ double standard for Tops and Bottoms — both guys were to be put to death. (Although, incidentally, Orthodox Jewish law is very clear on the point that the ancient death penalty for non-violent sexual offenses wasn’t mandatory — rather, capital punishment was allowed for incorrigible offenders or when there were “aggravating circumstances.”)
As I said above, the primary sin of Sodom was its lack of “hospitality” (here meaning the very basic hospitality of giving foreign travelers food and water — or letting a man and his pregnant wife take shelter in the barn if the inn is full!), and “(homo)sexual offenses” were relatively secondary. (See Ezekiel 16:49-50)
Nonetheless, it’s a wild overstatement to claim, as some “LGBT Christians” do, that the Sodom account had nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality — the attempted gang-rape of the hunky male angels is there for a reason, and is not just an incidental detail.
I would suggest that the take-home message of the Sodom story is, in a nutshell: “If you don’t share a bit of your surplus food with a desperate starving man, or if you can’t be bothered to assist a man who’s been savagely beaten by highway robbers, then you might as well just go ahead and ass-rape the dude, because you’re no better than the butt-pirates of Sodom.”
P.S. Note that although the destruction of Sodom purportedly happened long before the lifetime of Moses, the books of Genesis and Leviticus were “revealed” to the ancient Jews at the same time — thus, they didn’t need the Sodom story to tell them that butt-piracy was a Bad Thing, because this was already made perfectly clear in Leviticus.
Nice try but FAIL. He should have stayed in college although he probably made a few bucks writing his book after (poorly) studying the Bible for 4 years. Most religious bigots will quickly reject all 10 of his points as well as his desire for Christian acceptance.
100 Scriptures proving this article a false doctrine and twisting scripture for one’s own desire.
God will always love us. God will always hate sin. Homosexuality is one of them.
@Throbert McGee: this is false doctrine. The lustful men wanted to ‘know’ the angels. When the men tried to tear down the door, the angels blinded them with their holy light and the men went away. Sodom: sodomy, anal intercourse. To ‘know’ in the bible is having a sexual want or intercourse. God loves us. God hates sin. Homosexuality is one of them.
100 scriptures of homosexuality is an abomination to God.
Man lying with man like lying with a woman
Woman lying with woman like lying with a man is an abomination to God.
Bravo, very well written. I see a few evil haters have wandered in.
For there is no just man upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth not..
For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God.
Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven.
But I say to you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, the Son of man will confess him also before the angels of God;
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
I’d honestly hate to say it, but every single one of these points are really weak and easy to argue against. I’ve seen stronger points in favor of LGBT brought up on Tumblr than here. Of course, the fact that he’s trying to reconsile his sexuality with a fiction that’s not only been mistranslated but also edited from the original script makes the whole thing weak on it’s own.
At the very least, you’d think he’d have enough sense to have found out what the original translation says if he cared so much about arguing against Christianity’s bigotry. Even without taking the New Testament in mind, Jewish scripture reads differently. (Or so I’ve been told) Shouldn’t it all boil down to ‘judge not, lest ye be judged’ anyway?
I. NOBODY is going to be resurrected until Jesus returns!
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
II. Jesus won’t return until all written concerning him
in the law of Moses,
and the Prophets
and the Psalms are fulfilled
III. Romans 11:25 can’t come to pass
until Isaiah 56:8 comes to pass
Lest you be self-opinionated (wise in your own conceits),
I do not want you to miss this hidden truth and mystery, brethren:
a hardening (insensibility) has temporarily befallen a part of Israel
to last until the full number of the ingathering of the Gentiles has come in
Thus says the Lord God, Who gathers the outcasts of Israel:
I will gather yet others to Israel besides those already gathered
IV. The full ingathering of Gentiles MUST include EUNUCHS
V. EUNUCHS are defined by Jesus to include
and BORN EUNUCHS (aka lgbt people)
VI. God said LGBT people will be given Holy Communion,
that He will accept our offerings on His altar,
and that we will be made JOYFUL in His House of Prayer
VII. Until LGBT people are affirmed in Church,
and are receiving Holy Communion,
and are bringing our offerings to Church,
JESUS CAN NOT RETURN!
VIII. Paul ordained Same Sex Marriage
But to the unmarried people and to the widows,
Apostle Paul declared that it is well (good, advantageous, expedient, and wholesome) for them to remain single even as he did.
But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire. 1 Corinthians 7:8-9
IX. The Holy Spirit warned that faux Christians would forbid Gay Marriage
The Holy Spirit distinctly and expressly declares
that in latter times some will turn away from the faith,
giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach,
Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized),
Who forbid people to marry…
1 Timothy 4:1-3
X. The Holy Spirit said forbidding Gay Marriage is doctrine that DEMONS teach
XI. Demons teach homophobia to prevent Same Sex Marriage,
to prevent the fulfillment of Isaiah 56:2-7
to prevent the fulfillment of Isaiah 56:8,
to prevent the fulfillment of Romans 11:25,
to prevent the fulfillment of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
NOBODY gets resurrected until the Church gets over homophobia!
Full Video Exposition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_zE0jhE5cQ&list=UUxSAzCQ0vBmNNeSFkaYoBNg
Full Text Exposition: http://brianbowenministries.com/pharisees-anonymous-12-step-recovery-program.html
….No, Hell no I won’t let it go! Read the comment section after you read this article. How can so many assholes that claim to be associated with a community that is FIGHTING for acceptance be so intolerant? Who cares if your an atheist, or nonbeliever, Why are you even bothering to read this article? Because they used the word “Homosexuality”? Gay or not, you are just showing what an intolerant asshole you are. After serving in ministry for over 10 years and running away from it, I have found the courage to start my studies anew, not just christianity, but All religions. And I have yet to meet an Atheist that had a good word for others beliefs. with that said, I will climb off of my soapbox and go back to puppies and kittens…..Carry on.
So, I thought it would be good to give a rebuttal to the statements by the homosexual community. As a born again Christian I have come here to debate the subject Of Homosexuality. First and foremost i want to say I have not heard anyone defend the actions of Homosexuality without first attacking those who disagree. Homosexuality is not new. The current attack against Christians does not change anything. Unless you can show a history of Homosexuality being good throughout the centuries your disagreement would be legit. But to Christians not only has Homosexuality been judged for thousands of years so has all sexual immorality. See may sell but it has never been right and it never will be. History always shows an evil end to all cultures that are decidedly immoral. This has been done before and ultimately the same will occur. Though you know this I will still remind you all. How many homosexuals did God destroy in Sodoma? All of them. Not one survived.
@tankstar:Either you’re a complete diphshit or just a willful idiot. Either way if you truly believe it then I advise you to actually take the time to understand the story behind it. Doubt you will though because your fake as shit.
The story of Sodom (not sodoma) is about inhospitably and turning away from God. Had nothing to do with Gay Men. If you’re actually interested in it check this out..
Biblical scholars who are well – studied would agree that the Sodom story has nothing to do with homosexuality at all. One obvious reason for this was Lot’s solution to the problem. If the men who came to Lot’s house were homosexuals, why on earth would Lot offer his own daughters to them? If they were homosexuals, he wouldn’t have done that. This story had nothing to do with homosexuality, but rather the people of Sodom wanted to humiliate Lot’s male guests. For what reason though? For no other reason then to be inhospitable.
What was the most humiliating thing a male could do to another male back in the days of the ancients? It would have been to treat a male like a female. Males were considered to be superior to females. The most humiliating thing a male could do to another male is to penetrate them like they would a female.It would be to treat them as an inferior; to dominate them. The men of Sodom did not reject Lot’s daughters because they[ the men of Sodom] had the hots for men; they rejected his daughters because they were not looking for sex, they were looking to humiliate.
The Sodom story is totally about gang rape with the intention to humiliate. It is all about the grievious sin of inhospitality. If you dont think God considers in hospitality a grievious sin..read your Bible again.
As a former posted stated;
‘Based on many Bible passages, the most illustrative to explain God’s wrath at Sodom and Gomorrah are found in Ezekiel 16:49. “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them, when I saw it.” ‘
First, I want to apologize for my earlier rant. If I offended any [email protected] I am deeply sorry.
Having said that. tankstar, What are you even doing here? What concern is it of yours?
I tend to disagree with Matthew’s take on the biblical, BUT I do agree that he has the right to believe as he sees best for himself. I stand with him on his ‘support’ of all LGBT people. At least he’s not one of the ‘cured, reformed homosexuals’ thumping that bible and condemning ue even worse than the FAUX Christians do.
Adrian Nunez R
Why cant we just love eachother mane
@Adrian Nunez R:
” Why cant we just love each other… ”
Great comment. Even the scriptures say the same thing —
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins……..1 Peter 4:8
@Lance Mullholland: Lance
Surely you know that to be a Christian means to understand the meaning of sin? Jesus will forgive your sins if you ask him. I’m sure you know in your heart it’s not just about murder or stealing etc, the Bible talks about sexual sin as well. From 1 Corinthians.
“Surely you know that people who do wrong will not get to enjoy God’s kingdom. Don’t be fooled. These are the people who will not get to enjoy his kingdom: those who sin sexually, those who worship idols, those who commit adultery, men who let other men use them for sex or who have sex with other men, those who steal, those who are greedy, those who drink too much, those who abuse others with insults, and those who cheat.”
May God bless you!
@Billysees: Yes Jesus emphasised love, but he also hated sin. Have a look at 1 Corinthians which touches on sexual sin for example.
‘Surely you know that people who do wrong will not get to enjoy God’s kingdom. Don’t be fooled. These are the people who will not get to enjoy his kingdom: those who sin sexually, those who worship idols, those who commit adultery, men who let other men use them for sex or who have sex with other men, those who steal, those who are greedy, those who drink too much, those who abuse others with insults, and those who cheat.’
” Surely you know that people who do wrong will not get to enjoy God’s kingdom. ”
Let’s consider that whatever scripture says may not be useful or applicable for everyone.
Here’s why —
Paul, who authored most of the NT and most of the negativity about gay people, says this about his own knowledge and understanding —
1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
2. …we see things imperfectly…
3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…
(1 Corinthians 13:9,12)
Those are excellent examples that ‘teach us’ that scripture can be too partial, too incomplete and too imperfect to be meaningful for everybody in every situation.
We therefore must reason out anything and everything in scripture ‘as necessary’. That will help us to ‘effectively’ judge and evaluate a matter or people based on all reasonable, ‘current or modern’ attitudes, experiences and knowledge.
The search for new and better ways of accepting and understanding LGBT people using scripture is a worthy effort.
Surely it can be said that any LGBT issue is allowable, lawful and permissible according to 1 Corinthians 6:12…and 1 Corinthians 10:23.
Also, it can be said that —
‘Blessed’ are those who don’t feel guilty for being or doing what they have decided is right…….last part of Romans 14:22
The continuing and modern work of the ‘Spirit of God’ is alive and well ‘in many of us’.
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