Sunday, November 06, 2005

homosexuality vs the bible

There are a number of pasages in the bible that refer to homosexuality a interesting article fro mthe gay christian side is Justin Cannon's paper called "The Bible, Christianity, and Homosexuality", - but it is best not to hear jsut one side - here is my analysis of it.

Passage I: The Sodom Account (Genesis 19:1-9)
This is interesting as one often sees the argument that the term refers to "know" i.e. that they wished to interrogate (probably with force) the people. This of course is a weak argument in the context of Genesis as a whole and the rest of the passage.
The argument in the article that it is homosexual rape that is the problem is correct but noting that does not fully neutralize the argument as the linked site says
"Genesis 19, by itself, does not explicitly and specifically condemn homosexual relations per se. A Biblical ethic concerning same sex relations cannot be based on this passage alone. Nevertheless, we can see here illustrated narratively what is elsewhere taught directly: homosexuality is wrong, homosexuality is of one piece with a complex nexus of behaviors and desires that are wrong and of which we are all guilty, and God through his covenant has mercy on sinful people like you and me."

This conclusion comes from the fact that homosexuality is appearing in a negative context - it is not proof but it is implied by that that it is seen negatively. In the same way that someone might say "you are an Asian [insert bad word in here]!" implies that the speaker views both the former and the later categories as bad. This conclusion of course is pending further information because if it was shown that the bible approved of homosexual relations then that would mean we would have to take him other interpretation.

Passage II: 1 Timothy 1:8-10"
This passage seems to refer centrally to the concept of slavery but that doesn’t stop the fact that it also contains the concept of male/male sex. Again we have no clear refutation or support for the point.

Passage III: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

This seems to imply 1) effeminate men 2) masculine men the former being seen as a "male prostitute"
This seems to be very much the way it would have been seen by a person 2000 years ago who was not a participant as a series of more wealthy dominant people with friends who took the role of their women.
Thus the submissive man might be termed a male prostitute just like one might crassly term a woman a whore or a gold digger.
Of course there is also the possibility that it was a specific attack on temple prostitution but that is quite a specific thing. Again it seems to beg the question if homosexuality is approved of surely one would feel the need to explain it a bit more - i.e. under what circumstances (egg marriage) it is allowed. If it is not approved of and it is seen as a common sin then there is no need if it is not approved of and it is a major sin/abomination there is more need but not as much as in the first case (I would have thought).

Passage IV: Romans 1:24-27
I think this is harder to argue. His quote from peter Gomes is
"But what is clear is that what is ‘unnatural’ is the one behaving after the manner of the other”"
Personally I don’t see the world as full of gays and straight people I think we can say quite safely that it is a continuum. So it doesn’t sound likely you would have a law that tells a person to act according to one or other nature depending on which is natural. And if it just means "act as you feel" that is contradictory to the whole spirit of the passage. Thus I tend towards it being shameful in that it is adultery and an orgy but it also seems it was noteworthy that it was male male. I guess that is a noticeable change/landmark but so it could be a measure of the depravity as opposed to depravity in itself but that seems again to be stretching the analysis.

Passage V: The Creation Narrative (Genesis 1-2)

Again the question is why are not such relations noteworthy? Surely a few might get mention. Maybe they are....

Passage VI: Leviticus 18:22
I am not sure if there was a concrete enough answer to this to address. He seems to be arguing the passage is not applicable anymore. I guess that is a possible argument to anything.

The problem is that basically every narrative, law, proverb, exhortation, metaphor, and piece of poetry in the Hebrew Bible having anything to do with sexual relations presupposes a male-female prerequisite.

I asume from the fact that I cant find much else critical of gays that there are basically no other mentions in the bible. I thought there was some mention of anal sex in relation to sperm. But no one mentions it so I asume that was an argument in error made by someone.


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