Thursday, 5 September 2013

"It says so in The Bible"

Thanks to this video, "gay marriage" is once again being debated.
Now, although R.E. was one of my strongest subjects at school, I'm no theologist and my knowledge of The Bible is limited but it has occured to me that Christians overstep the mark if they use The Bible to justify their homophobia.
To explain what I mean, here follows, in my experience, the most quoted Biblical texts used to decry homosexuality and defend prejudicial acts against it...
Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."
Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
Romans 1:27 "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."
So, using popular interpretation of those texts, it looks pretty clear that The Bible has some pretty grim opinions about homosexual acts.
Those opinions are:
  1. A homosexual act is an abomination.
  2. The expected outcome of a man commiting a homosexual act is for that man to be put to death.
  3. A male homosexual act is unseemly.
  4. Males commiting homosexual acts shall be punished.
However, nowhere in those texts does it encourage any action towards homosexuals.
Those texts merely state opinion - divine opinion, perhaps, but opinion all the same.
So no person, Christian or not, can use those texts to justify their action(s) towards homosexuals.
Leviticus 20:13 does not say that it is justified for us to put a man who has committed a homosexual act to death and neither does it encourage any of us to put a man who has committed a homosexual act to death. It merely states that this is the expected outcome and, because The Ten Commandments forbade us from killing, presumably God is the one to carry out the action rather than ourselves.
Similarly, Romans 1:27 does not justify nor encourage us to punish any male committing a homosexual act. It states that such a person shall receive in themselves punishment for their act. So, again, we are required to do absolutely nothing towards homosexuals.
In fact, if any Christian were to look a little further they would find sandwiched in between Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 the following instruction...
Leviticus 19:18 "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbour as yourself."
and if we looked a little further past Romans 1:27 we would find this instruction...
Romans 13:8 "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another"
Now, I am not a Christian and nor do I believe in the Christian God and so The Bible is all words to me. Some of those words form sentences I agree with more than others but, really, they're all just words. However, none of those words justify homophobic action and so I can only conclude any homophobe claiming to be Christian is a heretic.
I don't want to be a doom monger but it stikes me that a heretic pining for the times of Christ is a bit like a turkey pining for the times of Santa Claus. Sure, Santa Claus may bring them lots of presents and general happiness but others may want them at the supper table for another reason.