Are Gays Really Living in Sin? An Examination of the Bible
Rocky Raccoon checked into his room only to find Gideon's Bible (The Beatles)
The first thing I do when I walk into a hotel room is go straight to the night stand open the drawer remove the Bible and toss it in the trash. Then I proceed to rearrange the furniture, clear all surfaces of the usual crap, unpack and finally help myself to the mini bar.
Often I have to do it again the next day because, apparently, every hotel employs a large number of Gideons whose only job is to make sure there is a Bible stashed in every drawer at all times.
Sorry but I can't be in the same room with the book that for centuries has been used as a tool of gay oppression and the most accepted reason for discrimination against those who do not take out a membership card to the 'One Book Only' club.
The hospitality industry must be the last hold out against Political Correctness. Why just the Bible? What about the Torah or the Koran? What kind of powerful lobbying do these Gideons have? I never met one. I don't know what they look like. Are they an ethnic minority who specializes in printing Bibles?
Does "The Book" really and clearly states that Homosexuality is a sin?
Let's take a quick look at the facts:
- It was written a long time ago by many authors, at different times, translated over and over from various languages leaving the translators free to interject their bias into somebody else's thoughts. These men surely practiced censorship, made errors, and provided embellishments on top of it. The latest book by the Pope, for instance, talks about the use of condoms as an assumption of responsibility, but in the German and English editions the text cites the example of a male prostitute, implying homosexual sex while the Italian edition uses the feminine form of prostitute instead. Just by changing a pronoun can lead to a completely different interpretation of the thought of the original writer.
That's called "Lost in Translation" and the Bible must be filled to capacity with this kind of errors.
- The word Homosexual does not appear in the King James Version, in fact the word itself was not coined until the end of the 19th century.
- We finally make our first appearance in the Revised Standard Version of 1946
Let's briefly look at some of the most commonly misused passages in the Bible and weep, plus some of the most ridiculous ones that can break the old Colgate Laugh-O-Meter at any time.
Leviticus - The Holiness Code
Besides the infamous "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination," it also tell us not to shave, or wear fabrics of blended fibers or eat shellfish, and we are also told to stone disobedient children (the latter not a bad idea). The best is when it says that he who touches the skin of the pig shall also burn in Hell. So I guess Hell will be full of homosexuals and football players. If you are a fan of the sport it will be a nice place to be. Like having an NFL package for free 24/7. It seems a little bit too convenient to use Leviticus' Code a la carte and choose only those passages that fit a particular right wing Christian agenda. It's all or nothing.
26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27And 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 recompense of their error which was meet.
Since the time Paul wrote these words the world has dramatically changed. We no longer think that semen is the source of life, you need an egg or two to go with it in order to create it. The Earth is no longer the center of the solar system either.
Paul was referring to pederasty and male prostitution. It was a condemnation of acts consistent with lust, avarice, exploitation, idolatry. None of these acts have anything whatsoever to do with a loving relationship or homosexuality. Paul was a man of his time and if all of his words must be taken literally then:
- We should "beware of dogs" (Philippians 3:2)
- Order slaves to obey their masters (Ephesians 5:4)
- That it is better and easier to be near God if one eschews marriage and remains a virgin (Corinthians, Chapter 7), we never hear any member of "Focus on the Family" or those who crafted and passed DOMA quoting this passage.
To continue on the subject of family so dear to the Bible thumpers:
Exodus 21:7 suggests selling your daughter into slavery.
And for those who have more than one job to support themselves and their families, or are employed by the service industry Exodus 35:2 has no mercy, in fact if you insist working on the Sabbath, you should be put to death. Imagine a world without Happy Hour on weekends and no Sunday brunches.
Genesis - Sodom and Gomorrah (no, they are not a Hip Hop duo)
It is actually a story about nasty, arrogant, greedy, overfed people guilty of attempted rape. Traits that can be found among heteros and homos alike and have nothing to do with sexual orientation.
When they have exhausted the use of the Bible to condemn homosexuality the Christian Right turns to Jesus as its secondary weapon. The interesting thing is that of all the quotes attributed to Jesus in The New Testament, not one mentions homosexuality. These people are more obsessed with "males lying with males" than poverty and injustice - two subjects that were instead a big part of Jesus "socialist" philosophy. Sorry my Republican friends: Jesus was the original "pinko." Many right wing Christians would not befriend him today.
There is not enough talk about love in the Church nowadays. In fact one would think that, for example, God hates homosexuality, but loves the death penalty. If I were God I would be mighty annoyed with the manipulations going on around my name and the words of my son. After all the fundamentals of Christianity are very simply summed up by Jesus when he said: "Love the Lord God with your mind, all your heart, all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself, and on Judgment Day those who encountered the 'least of my brethren', the sick, naked, hungry, thirsty and imprisoned and did nothing for them will be shut out of heaven (Matthew 25).
That throws a big monkey wrench into my eternal expectations. I had no intention of going to a place populated by the likes of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Republicans, Christian Right zealots and religious fanatics of any denomination. I was shooting for a crowd of fun party animals, lots and lots of homosexuals and football players. I envisioned Hell as a gigantic bath house, so I've been ready to go for awhile. Now, after re-reading Jesus' process of selection for the final ticket I'm sorely disappointed.
I might actually end up in Heaven and be bored out of my skull for eternity. Oh well, might as well have fun now before it's too late. After all as Don Koons said recently: "Hell is easy to define. It would be spending eternity with Evangelicals."
PS: "An Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth" will leave you with a bunch of blind toothless people.