Christianity: A Gay Religion?

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This topic contains 49 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 12 months ago.

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  • #47062

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Matthew Vines gave an incredible speech about this very subject. The link below is a transcript which is well worth a read.

    The Greeks and Romans, along with other societies of biblical times, believed that a man’s natural, customary role was to be active in sexual relations, whereas a woman’s was to be passive. When either of those roles were inverted – when a man was passive or a woman was active – they labeled that behavior shameful and “unnatural” in the sense of violating customary gender roles. That is why they commonly called same-sex unions “unnatural.” But just like Greek and Roman attitudes about appropriate hair length, their views about gender roles are specific to those patriarchal cultures.

    He pretty much admits that the prohibition against homosexuality is because of the sacredness of the male-female pair-bond, and the corresponding invalidation of any other lifestyle, which is “impure”.  Right-wing evangelism is also a patriarchal culture, as is most of religion.

    I think that in times gone by, the rest of the population didn’t care about the suffering of gay people when they were persecuted and not allowed to marry.  The majority were unsympathetic to the plight of the minority because the minority were violating “natural” norms, therefore they were seen to deserve their suffering.  Now, those norms have changed or don’t exist, therefore norms are not being broken and there is no crime.

    #47063

    rhonjon
    Participant

    Then again there was the unnamed disciple whom Jesus loved, who laid his head on Jesus’s breast. What was that all about?

     

    Reading Plato’s Symposium, it’s clear homosexuality was a norm in the Greco-Roman world. When Rome adopted Christianity to save its crumbling empire in the fourth century the Greeks posed a problem. How could they get people to believe a book that said the Earth is flat when it was common knowledge that the Earth is round? Vilifying homosexuality was an easy answer. Along with murdering Hypatia and burning the library at Alexandria. To destroy knowledge.

    #47065

    We need to bear in mind that Biblical attitudes towards human sexuality have a tendency to incline many Christians towards a hideous sense of moral piety. This inclination leads many of them to appear as if they spend every waking minute thinking about the sex lives of other people. To any rational human being this obsession appears as an objective disorder. We atheists may not approve of their lifestyle choices and know that such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided  which is a quote from one of their Popes. This is not easy to do as these Christians are seldom slow to anger and are often filled with hatred towards people they don’t know.

    We can gently remind them of their first and greatest commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself  but not to stand too close to them when suggesting this. I often ‘suddenly’ produce a well-worn KJV Bible when I doth spake like that to them, to help cure them of this intrinsic disorder to their ‘Christian Identity’. We need to help them understand that they were not born this way and that it is ok for them to change their identity once they have some counselling to heal them of their dysfunctional and harmful views.  I have found that most, if not all of them, can then live very happy and meaningful lives loving themselves and those that they meet.

    #47066

    @rhonjon – I often recall the sad story of Hypatia:

    The following is a description of a religious riot which took place in Alexandria during the early days of the Church: “Among the many victims of these unhappy tumults was Hypatia, a maiden not more distinguished for her beauty than for her learning and her virtues. Her father was Theon, the illustrious mathematician who had early initiated his daughter in the mysteries of philosophy. The classic groves of Athens and the schools of Alexandria equally applauded her attainments and listened to the pure music of her lips. She respectfully declined the tender attentions of lovers, but, raised to the chair of Gamaliel, suffered youth and age, without preference or favor, to sit indiscriminately at her feet. Her fame and increasing popularity ultimately excited the jealousy of St. Cyril, at that time the Bishop of Alexandria, and her friendship for his antagonist, Orestes, the prefect of the city, entailed on her devoted head the crushing weight of his enmity. In her way through the city, her chariot was surrounded by his creatures, headed by a crafty and savage fanatic named Peter the Reader, and the young and innocent woman was dragged to the ground, stripped of her garments, paraded naked through the streets, and then torn limb from limb on the steps of the Cathedral. The still warm flesh was scraped from her bones with oyster-shells, and the bleeding fragments thrown into a furnace, so that not an atom of the beautiful virgin should escape destruction.” The cruelty of man when spurred on by the mania of religious zeal!

    #47068

    rhonjon
    Participant

    I believe this disorder will slowly fall out of favor in the Christian community. The same bible that condemns homosexuality also forbids women speaking in church. Just as the church found a way to get around this when sexism became “socially obsolete,” as gay people gain more acceptance in the larger society, the church will find a way to ignore biblical prohibitions against homosexuality.

    #47069

    Unseen
    Participant

    I believe this disorder will slowly fall out of favor in the Christian community. The same bible that condemns homosexuality also forbids women speaking in church. Just as the church found a way to get around this when sexism became “socially obsolete,” as gay people gain more acceptance in the larger society, the church will find a way to ignore biblical prohibitions against homosexuality.

    I assume that few Christians who seemingly abhor homosexuality nevertheless eat shrimp cocktails and neglect to check the tags on their garments to make sure there’s no blending of cotton with silk so the way of getting over gayness would seem to be clear. However, I don’t see it happening in the more rabid quarters of fundamentalism anytime soon.

    #47070

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    as gay people gain more acceptance in the larger society, the church will find a way to ignore biblical prohibitions against homosexuality.

    Good luck with that.  They will ignore Biblical prohibitions about just about anything, except this.  Christians have other strong reasons for not ignoring it, that they might not even understand.

    Anyway, isn’t it like pulling a thread?  Once this scripture is done away with, what about the rest?  Religion is anti-gay as part of its identity.

    Religion is inherently conservative and patriarchal.  That spells anti-gay.

    #47072

    rhonjon
    Participant

    Individuals often leave Christian fundamentalism once they realize the keyword is mental. But your use of the word “rabid” is on the mark.as Douglas Adams said, their grasp on reality is like trying to grasp a bar of soap in the shower.

     

    I remember in the nineties they were saying that Jesus would cure gay people from their homosexual tendencies. My remark that he hadn’t cured Jimmy Swaggart from his heterosexual tendencies went unnoticed.

    #47076

    Unseen
    Participant

    It’s always been a mystery to me why some people even would want to be Christian. Like blacks and gays. Blacks perhaps felt that Christianity was the source of their owners’ power. Gays on the other hand? I draw a blank other, perhaps, than thinking they want to be accepted. I don’t see how trying to be Christian wouldn’t induce a degree of self-loathing.

    #47077

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    It’s always been a mystery to me why some people even would want to be Christian. Like blacks and gays.

    Presumably for the same reasons as everyone else.  In the right hands it’s a way of having hope and living a good and upright life.  Also for Black people, there’s “liberation theology” or religious-inspired civil rights.

    Gay people were probably mostly born into a religious environment, which must cause a lot of self-loathing and confusion.

    I don’t see how trying to be Christian wouldn’t induce a degree of self-loathing.

    I can see your point.  Christians and Muslims are given a lot of reasons to hate themselves and to hate the human being in its natural state.

    #47081

    rhonjon
    Participant

    Self-loathing is an integral part of Christianity. To even become a Christian, you must accept that you are a sinner in need of salvation.

     

    I don’t think that a gay man who has a strong sense of himself without a strong religious background would want to be a Christian. He’d have to change his world-view from “I am gay. Accept me.” To “I am gay. Forgive me.”

     

    As for blacks—it’s not one thing. But mostly during slavery Christianity was beaten into us while our African religions and languages were beaten out of us. It was also easier to hide messages within hymns. I think this is in part where liberation theology came from

    #47082

    rhonjon
    Participant

    Simon Paynton{

    “Good luck with that.  They will ignore Biblical prohibitions about just about anything, except this.  Christians have other strong reasons for not ignoring it, that they might not even understand.

    Anyway, isn’t it like pulling a thread?  Once this scripture is done away with, what about the rest?  Religion is anti-gay as part of its identity.

    Religion is inherently conservative and patriarchal.  That spells anti-gay.”

     

    Then let us hope that Christianity becomes so irrelevant that it doesn’t matter if they accept gays or not. I started this topic to expose the discrepancies in the biblical paradigm. Not to suggest that gays should become Christians. Catholics, protestants, and evangelicals have taken the simple belief of the early church too far  out field for that.

    #47083

    A letter highlighting fallacies in Biblical anti-homosexuality arguments was sent to radio personality Dr. Laura Schlessinger:

    Dear Dr. Laura,

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

    a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

    g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

    i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

    Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

    Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

     

    Fact Checker here.

    #47085

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen wrote: It’s always been a mystery to me why some people even would want to be Christian. Like blacks and gays. Presumably for the same reasons as everyone else.  In the right hands it’s a way of having hope and living a good and upright life.

    Christianity, which largely abhors gays, would seem to be a poor choice of a religion. How about Buddhism?

     

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  Unseen.
    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  Unseen.
    #47088

    Strega
    Moderator

    If I was going to choose a religion, I’d pick the Sikhs.

    These guys live by the standards their religion proclaims. They feed the hungry and clothe the needy of any or no religion. They have enclaves where food is given to everyone, no questions asked.

    They literally live their lives the way their religion tells them to. They’ll give shelter to any stranger and they do not ever attempt to convert anyone. If you want to know more about Sikhism, they’ll guide you to a teacher.

    The reason we don’t hear so much about Sikhism in our day to day lives, is that they’re just quietly good people and there’s nothing particularly newsworthy about niceness 🙂

    So yes, I’d pick Sikhism.

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