Religion, Homosexuality, the Usual

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AuthorTopic: Religion, Homosexuality, the Usual
Off With Their Heads
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Because all the other topics on General stink right now, I'm making my own. Bear in mind that I am the peak of all ignorance and I am not even remotely Christian or Jewish. The question is just out of curiosity.

That said, I've heard it claimed that the Bible does not actually condemn homosexuality. I was reading through the other day (don't ask why), and I spotted Leviticus 18:22. In the NKJV, it reads: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination." And while Jesus and the disciples threw aside a fair number of Old Testament rules (keeping the Sabbath, for instance), they were pretty intent on sexual immorality (see Acts, for instance 15:19-20). One of the major sources for Old Testament concepts of sexual morality and immorality is Leviticus, chapter 18. So...

Doesn't a Biblical-based Christianity (and even more directly, Judaism) necessarily condemn homosexuality? Or do the Hebrew and Greek read as something rather different than this?

Again, I am not a follower of either religion, and therefore I feel free to accept homosexual people on my own terms, whether the Bible says to do so or not to. I'm just curious. And I figure since there are a goodly number of well-educated religious types on these boards, people might have some interesting answers.

I'll be gone for about 24 hours. I expect the flame wars to have started by then. IMAGE(tongue00.gif)

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Leviticus also provides all sorts of absurd laws of conduct. Its inclusion in the Bible is odd because it's a code of morality specifically directed at the Levites. The most you could possibly extend it is to holy men in general -- the Levite tribe being the religious leaders of the Hebrews at the time Leviticus was written -- and expecting people as a whole to live by it is deranged.

That's the explanation I got, anyway. Can't recall where from, but I'm pretty sure it holds a decent amount of water.

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Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
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Actually, that explanation holds no water at all. Leviticus is NOT a code for the Levites. Specific sections are addressed to them, and, even more particularly, to the priests. The bulk, however, is addressed to 'The Children of Israel', i.e. ALL the Israelites, and, by extension, all those who claim to follow the Bible.
Posts: 422 | Registered: Tuesday, October 16 2001 07:00
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Who decides which section is aimed at which section of humanity?

Ah, the fun, fun world of pick n' mix theology.
Posts: 269 | Registered: Saturday, May 24 2003 07:00
Agent
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religion confuses me.

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Posts: 1287 | Registered: Thursday, August 14 2003 07:00
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You might try looking at the introduction to each section, where it is specifically stated.
Posts: 422 | Registered: Tuesday, October 16 2001 07:00
Shaper
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I'm sure we've all read the chain e-mail which gives all the absurd laws that Leveticus puts down - selling your child into slavery, I believe, was prominent among those things found acceptable.

Banning homosexuality is a perfectly reasonable thing to do for a fledgling tribe/religion. How is your tribe going to achieve dominance over all the other tribes if a good 10% of their population isn't even bothering to reproduce? Rules like that simply need not apply anymore (the reverse might even be true - it'd be beneficial for places like China to have more homosexual people due to insane population levels).

The upshot being that most Christians that aren't on the lunatic fringe take certain portions of the Bible with a grain of salt.

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KazeArctica: "Imagine...wangs everywhere...and tentacles. Nothing but wangs and tentacles! And no pants!"
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From my understanding of the Old Testament, the 613 Mitzvot are very clear. Leviticus 18:6 is given to Moses to be addressed to all Israel, and it forbids homosexuality. (Specifically, it forbids males lying with males; women receive no similar commandment as far as I can tell.) However, the Bible forbids all kinds of things, including familiarities among family (hugging, etc.).

Thus, if you interpret the Bible strictly, homosexuality is indeed wrong. I don't know what the punishment is supposed to be or where it is stated, but God does not approve.

?Alorael, who does not choose to interpret the Bible strictly. He hugs family, he eats pork, he works on the Sabbath, and he has no problems with homosexuality. Some things change over thousands of years.
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Do you eat squid, shellfish, pork, etc?
Do you not circumcise your children?
Do you forget to offer animal offerings?
Do you crossbreed animals, or use animals that have been crossbred?
Do you utilise intensive farming?
Do you wear clothing with different materials in it?
Do you harvest fruit trees before the fifith year, or fail to give the entirity of the fourth year's harvest as sacrifice?
Do you shave?
Do you allow children who are estranged from their parents to live?

Tut tut tut.

[ Sunday, June 27, 2004 11:01: Message edited by: FZ ]
Posts: 269 | Registered: Saturday, May 24 2003 07:00
Warrior
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Actually, Christianity is very clear on its disapproval of homosexuality. If God had meant for two men to be together, it would be Adam and John. However, Adam and Eve are the origin of humanity so to go against that is to go against God, basic message.

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Posts: 74 | Registered: Saturday, June 19 2004 07:00
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I'd say that in general Christians disapprove of homosexuality. Being a Christian myself, I disapprove, but I don't impose my opinion on others. If I were to vote on the gay marriage issue, I would probably abstain.

As a friend of mine once put it, "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."

Keep in mind, though, that there are tons of branches of Christianity and that every church has its own beliefs. There are some churches where followers make God out to be female. There are others where members worship preserved body parts of saints. There are extremes for every branch and religion, so be sure not to judge the religion or denomination itself by that.

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I am rather sure it was Adam, Eve and John, and his pet dog Spot. Eve wanted some kinky stuff with the snake too, but it was too much for the guys. And why was the apple forbidden? Because God got tired of seeing applese everywhere!

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There are maybethree verses in the Old and New Testaments combined about homosexuality. There are chapters and books about tolerance and social justice. So why in heaven's name do we get so worked up about it?
There is even a lot more about what to do with mildew thatn there is about homosexuality. Go figure! [/rant]

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KazeArctica: Oh yes.
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Posts: 93 | Registered: Sunday, September 30 2001 22:00
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I would say if anything, the bible and other affiliated works of literature have very little to do with actual events and more to present a guide of how some author (more likely a group project though) a thousand years ago thought you should live your life.

All well and good then. But not that useful now.

Though if there really was an Adam and Eve, there had to be another guy called Gunther. Simply because the idea is very amusing.

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How many creation myths do you know where the origin of tribe X is two homosexual men, Nightwurm? Of course it's not going to be Adam and Steve.

You might like to notice that David and Jonathan's relationship might be construed as homosexual, however.

I'd say that in general the Old Testament disapproves of homosexuality (the New Testament doesn't say much, but its strictures on matters of sexuality are prohibitively tough. Deliberately so, I'd assume, since the point Jesus was making was that sin is inevitable and the only escape would be forgiveness from God.) I'd also say it isn't 700BC any longer and this doesn't look like Judah to me. In general, I think it varies from church to church.

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quote:
In the NKJV, it reads: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination." And while Jesus and the disciples threw aside a fair number of Old Testament rules (keeping the Sabbath, for instance),
One of the ten commandments was to keep the sabbath day holy (the 4th one in fact). An example of this is God creating everything within 6 days and resting on the seventh. Now, people looked at that commandment and asked, "Well, how are we to honor the sabbath and keep it holy?" So they started going into specific details, such as how far you can walk on the sabbath and what you can or cannot do. When Jesus and His disciples came along and started breaking the "50 ft walking rule" and they started to eat grain when it was not allowed. Here's the passage:

quote:
Matthew 12
1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."
3He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? 6I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. 7If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, ?Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath??
11He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
13Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
Here are two examples of the conflict with the Sabbath. But Jesus wasn't abolishing the sabbath here, He was still following it. God never said you couldn't heal somebody on the sabbath, neither did He say that you couldn't pick out some grain to eat on the sabbath...those were all rules made by pharisees. And the other thing about the Sabbath is that God presented it for our good...studies have shown that more proficiency in a company is achieved if an employee works for six days rather than seven because they simply get to relax on the seventh day.

Here's one thing I know for a fact, that Jesus came and raised the standard for how Christians should live from the Old Testament, not abolishing it. Here are a few examples of that:

quote:
Mathew 5
21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
Raising the standard...you don't have to murder someone now to receive judgement by God's law, you just have to be angry at them without cause.

quote:
Matthew 5
27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
The standard again has been raised...you don't actually have to have sex with a woman to commit adultery, you just have to look at her lustfully in your heart.

quote:
Banning homosexuality is a perfectly reasonable thing to do for a fledgling tribe/religion. How is your tribe going to achieve dominance over all the other tribes if a good 10% of their population isn't even bothering to reproduce? Rules like that simply need not apply anymore (the reverse might even be true - it'd be beneficial for places like China to have more homosexual people due to insane population levels).
The one thing that the Bible says about God is that He never changes. If God did not allow homosexuality 4000 years ago, He will not tolerate it today. Okay, IF the Old Testament Laws were all abolished and only the New Testemant applied...what then? An example:

quote:
Leviticus 18:23
" 'Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.
This is something called beastology, I beleive, and can only be found in the Bible under the Old Testemant. So if we only live by the New Testemant, does that mean we can have sex with animals? Um...no. Can we have sex with melons, though? I haven't found anything in the Bible about that but formally, fruit and veggies are usually eaten. IMAGE(wink0000.gif)

quote:
I'm sure we've all read the chain e-mail which gives all the absurd laws that Leveticus puts down - selling your child into slavery, I believe, was prominent among those things found acceptable.
I haven't read through the book of Leviticus yet but I shall start on it soon. Can you point out where it says that they should sell children into slavery?

I'll try to get some of these:

quote:
Do you eat squid, shellfish, pork, etc?
quote:
Acts 10
9About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
14"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."
15The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."
16This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
Do you not circumcise your children?
quote:
Ephesians 2
11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Do you forget to offer animal offerings?
No need to, Jesus came and paid for our sins with His death. We don't need to offer up any more offerings for our sins.
Do you crossbreed animals, or use animals that have been crossbred?
Do you utilise intensive farming?
Huh? If you mean to not wear yourself out, yeah.
Do you wear clothing with different materials in it?
Dress standards change with the culture. Moral laws do not.
Do you harvest fruit trees before the fifith year, or fail to give the entirity of the fourth year's harvest as sacrifice?
quote:
Proverbs 3:9
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
Do you shave?
Another Dress code standard thing.
Do you allow children who are estranged from their parents to live?
I looked up estranged and if you're talking about the kids that run away or don't listen to thier parents...yeah, they died. There were a lot less frantic tenagers back then, I'll tell ya. IMAGE(wink0000.gif)

quote:
Actually, Christianity is very clear on its disapproval of homosexuality. If God had meant for two men to be together, it would be Adam and John
No, it would be Adam and Steve. IMAGE(tongue00.gif) But still, there was no Steve, otherwise nobody would be here to share their opinions.

EDIT: It took me an hour...a few more posts came up and I might cover them later.

[ Sunday, June 27, 2004 12:43: Message edited by: Sir Alexander ]

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Posts: 245 | Registered: Tuesday, February 17 2004 08:00
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I hate religion all of them esprcially christianity there I said it feel free to shun me.

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Posts: 484 | Registered: Monday, May 27 2002 07:00
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quote:
The standard again has been raised...you don't actually have to have sex with a woman to commit adultery, you just have to look at her lustfully in your heart.
What are you wasting time posting for, then. Go out and kill all those transgressors!

quote:
12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air.
Shellfish being a four-footed animal? Genius.

quote:
Huh? If you mean to not wear yourself out, yeah.
The various farming rules are broken constantly by most modern farms.

quote:
Proverbs 3:9
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
Nobody does that any more. Do I see good christians throwing away food, and marching into the countryside?

quote:
I looked up estranged and if you're talking about the kids that run away or don't listen to thier parents...yeah, they died. There were a lot less frantic tenagers back then, I'll tell ya.
Leviticus orders the death of all who curse their parents.

quote:
The one thing that the Bible says about God is that He never changes. If God did not allow homosexuality 4000 years ago, He will not tolerate it today. Okay, IF the Old Testament Laws were all abolished and only the New Testemant applied...what then?
So if it isn't mentioned in the bible, its okay?

I don't see anything mentioned in there about child pornography...

quote:
Actually, Christianity is very clear on its disapproval of homosexuality. If God had meant for two men to be together, it would be Adam and John. However, Adam and Eve are the origin of humanity so to go against that is to go against God, basic message.
If God wanted us to have names like John, and Steve, and Mary, and so on, he would have named the first people that. Gee, let's go on the renaming marches.

My perspective: The whole homosexuality thing is part of the ugly way in which people use liberal, selective interpretations of scripture to reinforce their own bigotry. Just as it was used to advance slavery, just as it was used to create war, just as it was used in the cause of racism, and so on, and so forth. The Devil doth quote scripture to his purpose.

If people truly believe that Christianity is so inherently intolerant, that it forces them to take on hateful/irrational points of view, then why on earth do they want to be christians in the first place? Plenty of other gods out there.

[ Sunday, June 27, 2004 14:06: Message edited by: FZ ]
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quote:
Originally written by FZ:

quote:
The standard again has been raised...you don't actually have to have sex with a woman to commit adultery, you just have to look at her lustfully in your heart.
What are you wasting time posting for, then. Go out and kill all those transgressors!


In this type of government? Yah right. But that, too is a good thing because, well, giving people a second chance isn't always bad...but they will still be punished for it someway. Stuff like that can lead to divorce, hatred, bitterness, and so forth.

quote:
12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air.
Shellfish being a four-footed animal? Genius.


Who said that shellfish were in Leviticus in the first place?

quote:
Proverbs 3:9
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
Nobody does that any more. Do I see good christians throwing away food, and marching into the countryside?


Back at that time, fruit was money, and so were animals. Gold and stuff was used as money too but what this verse is saying is to give the first fruits of what you are earning. In today's world, that would be like donating money to the church or charity.

quote:
I looked up estranged and if you're talking about the kids that run away or don't listen to thier parents...yeah, they died. There were a lot less frantic tenagers back then, I'll tell ya.
Leviticus orders the death of all who curse their parents.


Yep. But it's like the non-killing of adulterers in today's culture.

quote:
The one thing that the Bible says about God is that He never changes. If God did not allow homosexuality 4000 years ago, He will not tolerate it today. Okay, IF the Old Testament Laws were all abolished and only the New Testemant applied...what then?
So if it isn't mentioned in the bible, its okay?

I don't see anything mentioned in there about child pornography...


Is fornification not pornography? Because I can definetely see that the Bible clearly says to not be in fornification. I can get a verse if you want one.

quote:
Actually, Christianity is very clear on its disapproval of homosexuality. If God had meant for two men to be together, it would be Adam and John. However, Adam and Eve are the origin of humanity so to go against that is to go against God, basic message.
If God wanted us to have names like John, and Steve, and Mary, and so on, he would have named the first people that. Gee, let's go on the renaming marches.


The point is that man and woman were the first people, not man and man or woman and woman.


If people truly believe that Christianity is so inherently intolerant, that it forces them to take on hateful/irrational points of view, then why on earth do they want to be christians in the first place? Plenty of other gods out there.


Hateful and irrational points of view? What in the world are you talking about? How are we hateful and irrational? Yes, we are the only religion that says that Jesus is the only way to heaven, but have we not defended ourselves with the Bible for 2000 years? The Bible itself has not been proven wrong through two milleniums, and actually even more than that...ever since Genesis was written, which is about 5000 years ago or so.



[ Sunday, June 27, 2004 14:38: Message edited by: Sir Alexander ]

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Posts: 245 | Registered: Tuesday, February 17 2004 08:00
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I don't know why I find this so interesting, but I do. I was reading the Bible because people say that it contains so many different and contradictory things, and I wanted to see what it REALLY said.

Err, anyway. I'm reading a NKJV that has some very, very literalist commentary, which is probably tainting my interpretations here, but whatever. Chapter 15 of Acts presents the question of how the Gentiles should be incorporated into this new Christianity thing. Peter's answer is that they need not become Jews before they become Christians, but just keep away from a few things: idolatry, sexual immorality, and eating blood or things that have been strangled to death (15:19-20, and again in 21:25 and I think another place, too).

As far as I can tell, one needed only to believe that Jesus was the Christ in order to be saved, and then not commit those four big sins. This reminded me of Leviticus's Chapter 18, which lays out sexual morality in (for the most part) pretty reasonable terms. It defines and then bans incest, and bans beastiality... but it has that one verse about homosexuality that is kinda funky. And it's pretty clearly aimed at everyone: "For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people" (18:29) and so on.

I guess the reason that this struck me is that Acts made this sexual morality thing out to be a pretty critical issue. Choosing to interpret loosely (while probably the most reasonable thing to do, practically speaking) seems like forcing one's own interpretation on the Bible, rather than reading the Bible for what it is. Then again, if Saunders is right and there are considerable overriding imperatives for social justice and the like, then the more tolerant interpretation is more reasonable -- but in that case, the Bible seems to fall apart under a mess of contradictions (because this is not the only issue that would become contradictory)!

I s'pose one could take the viewpoint that the Bible as we have it now has been revised by human hands a few dozens times and is therefore corrupted from its original "work of God" status -- thus giving us the weirdnesses that literal interpretation entail.

Meh, I don't know. This is one of the many reasons I am not a Christian or a Jew.

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I determined that the Judeo-Christian religions were, in theory and practice, regressive patriarchal garbage many years ago. This doesn't mean that all Christians are regressive patriarchs, but the book on which they base their theology is a filthy, base one full of racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia.
The only good Christians are those with the courage and the intellect to rise above the dogma of an infallible Scripture.

Edit: T FRAH WHAT UP G

[ Sunday, June 27, 2004 17:24: Message edited by: Andrea ]

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Posts: 999 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:


but it has that one verse about homosexuality that is kinda funky. And it's pretty clearly aimed at everyone: "For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people" (18:29) and so on.

Unfortunately my bible does not have that verse in it. (I'm using a KJV) It is Acts 18:29 right?

quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

I s'pose one could take the viewpoint that the Bible as we have it now has been revised by human hands a few dozens times and is therefore corrupted from its original "work of God" status -- thus giving us the weirdnesses that literal interpretation entail.
Yes, that is a problem many people face that is why I encourage every one that has any questions with the bible to look it up in it original Greek or Hebrew. Obviously most people can not read Greek or Hebrew (I know I can't) but they have bibles out there that translate it word for word from Greek/Hebrew into English for the purpose of study reference. I'm trying to find an online one so I can post the link here, but so far no luck...

Hope that all came out right, and y'all could understand it, I should go to bed... It's been a loooooong day... Be back sooon.... Need res.....
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Hellfire, damnation, the usual.

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Pornography and fornication are not synonymous. And for that matter, where the punishments for murder are listed, implements of plastic are not mentioned. By ommision, this implies that murder with plastic weapons is not murder.

?Alorael, who wonders how are the hatred stacks up with the idea that saving a life is equivalent to saving the world. That's a real conundrum, ain't it?
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Profile Homepage #24
quote:
As far as I can tell, one needed only to believe that Jesus was the Christ in order to be saved, and then not commit those four big sins.
What the whole Bible really sums up to is to love God and love people. But then again, we have to ask, "Well, how do we know we love God or love people?" And then the specifics had to be written out by over forty people with sixty-six books.

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This doesn't mean that all Christians are regressive patriarchs, but the book on which they base their theology is a filthy, base one full of racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia.
I personally do not see any hatred, rascism or anything else of that matter in the Bible unless it came from something like an enemy of Israel or ruther (Or like the pharisees who hated Jesus and wanted to kill him). Now, if you actually see the Bible saying that it is good to hate or be in rascism, please back it up with some scripture and not just say it...do some research so I know what you mean. Thanks.

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Unfortunately my bible does not have that verse in it. (I'm using a KJV) It is Acts 18:29 right?
Please read things more carefully, Kel said it was in Leviticus not Acts.

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Pornography and fornication are not synonymous

By definition, no they are not. But again, in Biblical terms where you only have to look at a woman lustfully to commit adultery...that's not the definition the dictionary gives. But if one who is not married looks at a woman lustfully (porn and such are included), then by Biblical definition, he has committed fornication. (Thanks for pointing out how it's spelled) IMAGE(smile000.gif)

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And for that matter, where the punishments for murder are listed, implements of plastic are not mentioned. By ommision, this implies that murder with plastic weapons is not murder.
I don't understand what you're trying to say with this. Killing a person is killing a person, no matter how you do it, plastic or poison. If you're trying to say something different, let me know.

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Posts: 245 | Registered: Tuesday, February 17 2004 08:00

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