Homosexuality in the church still threatens to split the Anglican Church worldwide. Ministers and clergy on both sides claim to hold their views sincerely and after much study. So how can their views have become so contradictory and why is there simply no love on display from some of the very people who claim they believe in the teachings of Jesus?

OutUK columnist L.A.Vess asks why it is that in the 21st Century we are still in many places around the world treated like our families are not real, our love is not real and we shouldn’t have equal rights. We are even murdered in the streets simply because of our sexual orientation.

What is it about gays that provokes such hatred and lack of understanding? There may not be any one answer that makes any sense. At least some of the mythology behind gay hatred is largely based on some numerous religious misconceptions. Christians and non-Christians alike use the Bible as an excuse to hate us, ignore us and even kill us.
How are we supposed to continue fighting against decades, even centuries of persecution? Gay Prides, legal action and civil protest may be part of the answer, but they don’t get to the root of the problem. Before we can take the next step in achieving equality, we first have to debunk millennia of Christian mythology. It is not enough to just ignore what the Bible supposedly says, or ‘interpret it’ for ourselves. The nastiest dilemma for us gays may be found in this one tiny book that has haunted us through the ages. The Bible.
We are all at least somewhat aware of what the ‘good’ book says about homosexuality. We are attacked by biblical quotes from left and right. What irritates me most about those that do this is most of the time, they have little idea what they are talking about. At University, I had occasion to study the Bible in some very revealing classes.

First thing to know about the Bible? Most people are quoting nowadays from the King James version - widely acknowledged by scholars as being full of mistranslations and incorrect text. King James, by the way, was a rather insane, power-hungry man who seems to have re-written the Bible to his own liking in many ways. If someone wants to argue with you about homosexuality in the Bible, I have a simple response. Tell them to throw away King James and get one that is as directly translated from original texts as possible.

The first thing that will probably get brought up in this kind of conversation is Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:8). Let’s get this straight; the punishment in this story is based on inhospitality rather than on homosexuality. God is not preaching on the morality of sex in this story, considering that Lot offers his virgin daughters to be gang banged rather than let his visitors get raped. God toasts the city because the citizens tried to rape his emissaries in disguise, the fact that they were men trying to rape men really has nothing to do with it. Of course, they had committed various other heinous sins - but homosexuality is lumped with a whole bunch of other normal behavior that taken to excess becomes criminal.

The whole Sodom and Gomorrah argument is bunk to anyone who truly bothers to read the story (in a correct translation). It is also very important to note that homosexuality was not even brought into the story of Sodom until after the first century A.D.! The whole thing about the male citizens trying to rape the male guests may be completely baseless. The Bible says they wanted “to know” the men. This phrase, in fact the whole story, did not even have a sexual connotation until after 1 A.D., far after the story was written! The word that was translated in the bible as “to know” actually was used far more often to indicate lying than sex. Something wrong there! Many scholars believe that actions condemned in this story were about abuse or even the intention of murder rather than homosexuality.

From The Mid Hants Observer....

Recently, Jeremy Hardy read out the following on Radio 4's News Quiz. The letter from Mr Duncan was in reply to an article by Max Jones detailing the Bishop of Winchester's opposition to same-sex adoption. Our reply (with a little help from The West Wing) has caused quite a stir...

Dear Editor,
I wanted to respond to the article in your October 23 edition by Max Jones. As a committed Christian since 1954 and the father of five children, I totally support the Bishop of Winchester in his opposition to couples other than heterosexual being allowed to adopt children. Perhaps this should also include "common-law" relationships proven to be stable. After all, in God's eyes, if one has a sexual relationship with a person of the opposite sex, then you are "bound" to that person. Sadly, our society these days treats sex as entertainment and a commodity, as opposed to the cementing of a special relationship as intended by our Creator.

What you have to consider, is that our God's laws do not change with the passing of time. Throughout the pages of the Bible - the Christian Handbook - homosexuality is condemned. It was the main reason why Sodom (sodomy) and Gomorra were destroyed. Jesus Christ pronounced that it has always been God's design for a relationship to be between one man and one woman, for life. Allowing for the failures in our own lives, divorce and, under certain circumstances, remarriage is permitted. I have been through that situation myself.

Whether or not you voted the Bishop in is not relevant here. The Church must stand for goodness and right-ness. Jesus Christ demanded of his followers - of which the Bishop is one - that we are to be the "salt" and "light" in this world. Salt prevents decay and light shows the way. So don 't knock the man, he is following orders from a much higher authority than any government of this world.

Yours sincerely,
Stuart D. Duncan


Good point well made, Mr Duncan. As you say, 'God's laws do not change with the passing of time', and it clearly states in Leviticus 18:22 that homosexuality is an 'abomination'. Which reminds me, there's a couple of things I need a little guidance on... firstly, if I wanted to sell my daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7, how much could I expect to make from such a deal?

Also, the newspaper business being what it is, my colleague Pete sometimes insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? Or is it okay to get some outside help?

Lastly, does the whole city really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? And when, as it instructs in the ‘Christian Handbook’, I burn my mother for wearing garments made from two different threads. Do I torch her whole or just a bit? It's a moral minefield and no mistake. - J. Bartlett



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