Headlines continue to run, it seems almost weekly, of another state trying to hide behind the guise of religious freedom or the fear mongering to discriminate against the LGBT community.
It seems with the revocation of DOMA last year, right-wing conservatives (and a lot of plain old bigots) have reached a desperation level in their fight to stop equal rights. Some have chosen to go the route of a “Religious Liberty” or “Religious Freedom” bill to allow public businesses to refuse service to LGBT (I like to refer to them as humans) people service based on religious objection. (i.e. what we all like to obsess with are wedding cakes & wedding venues but in truth most bills allow ANY business to refuse service if the PERCEIVE you as a member of the LGBT community based on religious beliefs.). Now, in reality, would most businesses refuse service to us? Probably not. I can’t see McDonald’s refusing to serve a paying customer regardless. It would be hard to justify how feeding someone violated your sacred religious beliefs. As far as the cake vendors, etc. my argument is this: Do you also check to make sure the person is not divorced, or that they haven’t been living in sin (that means living together, in the same room, in the same bed ) or that they don’t work on the Sabbath? I seriously doubt it. Let’s get right down to the heart of this matter. Almost the entire argument for the religious community that homosexuality is a sin is based on vague, out of context verses in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Everyone’s favorite reference to the “sin” of homosexuality is the reference to the story of Lot and his visit to Sodom & Gomorrah and how the men of the city wanted him to send out to two angels (men) who visited him so they could have sex with them. It is said that the city of Sodom & Gomorrah was wiped off the face of the earth by God because they were so evil. Yes, they were evil – them asking for the two angels to be sent out so they could have sex with them wasn’t about the sex (heterosexual or homosexual), it was about violence & rape. They were a city well-known for its hatred of strangers. Let’s not forget that in lieu of sending out the two angels, he offered these men his two virgin daughters so they could have sex with them. Does that not strike anyone as equally awful? You offer up your two precious children to men who wish to harm strangers just for the sake of harming them, and you’re okay with that? When you start to look at the WHOLE picture, including the history of the city & it’s people, you begin to realize just how out of context that reference is. Oh, and let’s not forget at the end of that story, both of Lot’s daughters got him drunk on wine and slept with him AND got pregnant by him so they could preserve their family line. Yes, we better focus on homosexuality because clearly that is the only thing wrong with this story.
If you really want to focus on using Old Testament verses to justify that homosexuality is a sin (let alone what has become the most focused on sin), what about making sure you aren’t serving pork at your next BBQ (forget that McRib), no more cheeseburgers either (you can’t mix meat and dairy), oh wait, no meat that wasn’t killed using the Kosher practice either so that nixes most of us that eat meat, except the strict Jews. Let’s not forget the Old Testament also says it’s a sin to commit incest (whoops, I guess the writer of the story of Sodom & Gomorrah didn’t get that memo when he had Lot’s daughters get him drunk and sleep with him). It’s also a sin to rape an engaged female (oops again Mr. Writer of Sodom & Gomorrah – you had lot offer up his engaged, virginal daughters to be raped by the men of the city). I found this one particularly humorous, it’s actually considered a sin to try to convert someone to another religion. (Just ponder that for a minute….let is simmer). Everyone’s favorite of performing work on the Sabbath (is that a Saturday Sabbath or a Sunday Sabbath)?? We also aren’t supposed to be cutting the hair on the sides of our head (oops, that’s where my hair is the shortest!).
I know, I know.. I’ve heard the argument from Christians (and Catholics also) who say “But we don’t live by the Old Testament, the New Testament eradicated the old law.” Oh really? Then stop using the Old Testament to justify the “sin” of homosexuality. It’s not a use it when it suits your needs kind of thing. Kind of like you can’t pick and choose what current laws you follow. Sorry officer, I don’t believe in coming to a complete stop. I grew up in the country and we do a thing called a country stop, you understand don’t you? I’m sure that would go over well.
Let’s step over to the New Testament than and see what it is exactly that you’re following there. There are only three references that could be interpreted as referring to homosexuality in the New Testament. The lack of references to it seems to say that it wasn’t high on Jesus’ worry list. In fact, two of those references are kind of miscellaneous reference like 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 which says that certain types of people “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” That list begins with people such as with fornicators, idolaters, and adulterers, and it ends with thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. In the middle of that are two Greek words that translated mean “male prostitutes” & “Sodomites”. Hmm, doesn’t say anything about a committed, monogamous relationship. Moving along. 1 Timothy 1:8–11 also says the law was not given for good people, but for bad people and the list of bad people included “Sodomites” with no special emphasis, just included in the list. These miscellaneous lists of “vices” were common not only in the New Testament and other early Christian writings but also in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Jewish writings. Remarkably these lists appear to be very similar which leads one to believe they were just copied from one to the other with no real individualization. The interpretation of the two Greek words in to “Male Prostitutes” and “Sodomites” is also questionable.
Romans 1:26–27 most certainly DOES reference not only male homosexuality, but also female. However, when read in context with the surrounding verses, it’s discovered that it is part of a list of unacceptable behaviors supposedly resulting from willful idolatry (that is it was assumed that homosexuality was the “result” of something to begin with). The list it’s included with is once again, very similar to the ones in 1 Corinthians (or One Corinthians if you’re Donald Trump – watch his speech on You Tube at Liberty University and you’ll get it) & or 1 Timothy. By this way of thinking, homosexuality is a punishment then, not a sin. It’s a result of willful idolatry.
I encourage you to read this article https://www.westarinstitute.org/resources/the-fourth-r/what-the-new-testament-says-about-homosexuality/
Also making news are the attempts at banning trans-gendered people from using the bathroom of the sex they identify with.
I’ve heard all the arguments. Here are my responses. LGBT people are NOT the rapists and child molesters of the world, that would be you straight people! Look at the statistics! They aren’t trying to go in to the women’s restroom to get a sneak peek at your wife or daughter. They aren’t traipsing in to the men’s room to watch you and your adoration of your penis. Why is it that you can accept a medical condition called hermaphroditism, where a person is born with sexual organs of both male & female, yet you can’t accept that someone could be born with a brain that is female or male and a body that is the opposite? Now you want them to go to the bathroom that coincides with the gender they were identified as when born. Have you considered how crazy it will be to have someone in a full beard walk into the women’s restroom with you? All because they were born female. Ridiculous. Get over it. Being LGBTIQ (and all of the rest of the alphabet) is not about having sex or wanting sex, it’s about being a human being, just like the rest of you.
I am just me. I am the same person I have always been. I am still your daughter, your sister, your aunt, your cousin, your niece. I am me. I am human.