Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Sermon [Homophobia & Religion]

¡Hola! Everybody…
I have a post on the Bible -- something positive. I wrote it a while back, but every time I think it’s cool to post, I’m deeply disappointed by The Christian wave. I can’t post it for fear it will encourage more evangelicals… I wrote most of the following four years ago. Since then, Americans have moved closer to recognizing rights for all.

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-=[ Homophobia & The Christian Right ]=-

“Civil unions are about civil rights.”

I’ll just put it out there from the get-go: African Americans and Latino/as in CaliforniaOverwhelming, Blacks voted for the measure, Latino/as were divided. made me feel ashamed with regard to how they voted on Proposition 8, the referendum banning same sex marriage, last week.

Put simply, that vote was bigoted and hypocritical.

How is banning gays from marrying different from similar laws that banned interracial marriage?!!

The same arguments used today about gays are the same arguments used against Blacks not that long ago!

You would think people of color would be able to empathize. That seven out of eight blacks voted to support segregation and bigotry, and that Latino/as were “divided” on this issue is a fuckin’ shame. I am embarrassed today to say that I am aligned with the motherfuckers that voted for this crap. You should be ashamed as well, because if you voted for this, then these are the people you’re aligned with:

Opposition to same-sex marriage, especially in the Bible Belt and among religious conservatives, has been fierce, religion being used as the weapon of choice against homosexuality. Of equal importance, in terms of the national polity, has been the issue of religious extremism, or religious fundamentalism. Unfortunately, we have our own homegrown extremism right here in the states.

Nothing has been more effective in uncovering the dark side of homophobia than the work of researchers. One researcher, who interviewed over 400 men incarcerated for gay-bashing noted that the gay bashers generally saw nothing wrong in what they did, and more often than not, stated that their religious leaders and traditions condoned their behavior. One particular adolescent stated that the pastor of his church had said, “Homosexuals represent the devil, Satan,” and that the Rev. Jerry Falwell had echoed that charge.

Such Christians opposed to equality for homosexuals usually appeal to the moral imperatives of the Bible, claiming that Scripture is very clear on the matter, often citing verses that support their opinion. If others disagree, they accuse them of perverting and distorting texts contrary to their “clear” meaning. However, investigate further and they are not so coherent when it comes to economic conduct (the so-called “free market”), the responsibilities of wealth, and the consequences of greed.

According to my own research there are basically nine biblical citations usually invoked as relating to homosexuality. Four (Deuteronomy 23:17, I Kings 14:24, I Kings 22:46, and II Kings 23:7) simply forbid prostitution, by men and women.

Two others (Leviticus 18:19-23 and Leviticus 20:10-16) are part of what some biblical scholars call the Holiness Code. The code explicitly bans homosexual acts. However, it also prohibits eating raw meat, planting two different kinds of seed in the same field and wearing garments with two different kinds of yarn. In addition, tattoos, adultery, and sexual intercourse during a woman’s menstrual period are also expressly prohibited -- outlawed, actually.

Now, get this: there is no mention of homosexuality in the four Gospels of the New Testament! The moral teachings of Jesus are not concerned with the subject.

In addition to the above, three references from St. Paul are frequently cited (Romans 1:26-2:I, I Corinthians 6:9-11, and Timothy 1:10).But Paul was concerned with homosexuality only because in Greco-Roman culture it represented to him a sensuality that conflicted with his own Jewish/ Christian spiritual upbringing. He was actually against lust and sensuality in anyone, including heterosexuals. To say that homosexuality is bad because homosexuals are tempted to commit morally doubtful acts is to also say that heterosexuality is bad because heterosexuals are like-wise tempted (I delve a little more into this in my second installment on the history of love).

For Paul, anyone who places his or her interest ahead of God’s is condemned, a verdict that falls equally on everyone, gay or straight.

Let’s take Sodom and Gomorrah and recall that the story is not about sexual perversion and homosexual practice. It is about inhospitability, according to Luke 10:10-13, and failure to care for the poor, according to Ezekiel 16:49-50: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

The reason why fundamentalism is so dangerous is that, in the hands of religious conservatives and nut jobs like the Christian Right, Scripture is used to incite otherwise good people to act from an attitude of fear and hate rather than love and compassion.

Fortunately, the religious right does not speak for all U.S. Christians. In fact, in survey after survey, the vast majority of Americans actually disagree with the Kook Kristian Koalition. I would suppose that a good many Christians are included in that group. I would also like to state right here and now that if I am judging any Christian for whatever reason, then I am no better than the very people I am critiquing. Who am I to say who is a good, or “real,” Christian or not? Moreover, isn’t that very same fundamentalism we pretend to abhor -- just another form of self-righteousness?

In any case, advocates of slavery used the bible for justification, for example. Modern conservatives have actually used the very same bible (very convincingly, I might add) to protect their own demented economic self-interests.

Ultimately, the same bible that, on the basis of some archaic (and now useless) social code of ancient Israel and a tortured reading of Paul is used to condemn all homosexuals and homosexual behavior, also includes metaphors of redemption, renewal, inclusion, and love. These are principles that invite homosexuals to accept themselves and take responsibility for their freedom and demands that their fellow Christians accept them as well!



Resources (aka the “Educate Yourselves You dumb Muthafuckas” section)

Anti-miscegenation laws overturned on 12 June 1967 by Loving v. Virginia


First law passed

Races banned





Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated




Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated







Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated



All non-whites







Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated



Blacks, Asians

Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated



Blacks, Asians

North Carolina


Blacks, Native Americans




South Carolina


All non-whites

Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated



Blacks, Native Americans



Blacks, Filipinos



All non-whites

Previous anti-miscegenation law made more severe by Racial Integrity Act of 1924

West Virginia



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