Religion and homosexuality

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Barbi_Queue, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. D_Barbi_Queue

    D_Barbi_Queue Account Disabled

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    The "Lookie what the Catholics are doing" topic got me to thinking about this....

    First off, I never read the Bible but have always respected it. I feel that I'm religious, but in truth....I'm sure I don't qualify as a good Christian.

    Second, the little that I know about religion came from some "Bible thumpers" in my family which would most likely be classified as "conservative Christians."

    As a young lass, I was pretty naive and always thought that if a person was homosexual, they didn't believe in God or the teachings of the Bible. I had heard that the Bible teaches man that it was wrong to lie with another man. (referring to Leviticus 18:22 (KJV): "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind it is abomination.")

    So I guess the question that I wonder is how do you get around this? I know that some have different interpretations of the Bible and that conservative Christians interpret it more strictly than liberal Christians, but I guess I am looking for more than just that.

    One website I found that tried to address this issue claims that people are not born homosexual. And that "People become homosexuals because they yield to abnormal acts or lust." I personally disagree with that and I base this on a family that I know very closely. Of 5 boys born to them, 3 were gay. And the younger one was born to a different mother and raised differently than the older two. I feel that's a pretty strong argument for nature vs. nurture, nature winning that one.

    I want to also state that in no way am I trying to say that homosexulity is wrong, nor am I trying to offend anyone.
     
  2. jakeatolla

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    I guess it depends on which religion you're refering to.
    The Roman Catholics, and for that matter all Catholics
    condem homosexuality. As do the Anglicans (or episcapalians
    as you americans call them).
    But the United church accepts homosexuality, as do
    other mainstream religions.
    I don't mean any puns here, but its a sticky wicket, no matter
    how you look at it.
    I was raised a Roman Catholic, but don't consider myself a
    pratising one. To quote a friend, I'm a recovering Catholic.

    Its pretty ironic that the Vatican bans priests from marrying
    or even consorting with women, but for years covered up
    pedophiliac priests.

    I'm thinking this thread could go on for years..
     
  3. Irvy

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    This subject is something very close to my heart, as I was raised a strict Baptist (Baptist is different in the UK than it in is in the States, it's closer to the Brethren Church!). For years I struggled between my belief in God and my desire to "do what was right", and the knowledge I could deny to everyone but myself, that I was gay.

    For years I viewed it as a trial, a temptation to be overcome. I figured God would be pleased with me if I could destroy the "gay demon" and settle down as a nice heterosexual, with a wife and kiddies and an estate car. However, that just doesn't work, with or without electro shock treatment. I really can understand how so many gay guys turn their back on God because of it.

    However, I did a lot of study, and I discovered a rather frightening fact. God doesn't appear to have any problem with responsible, moral homosexuals (and yes, they do exist!). The Bible does talk about homosexuality, in a way, but not as sternly as we are taught. It's also worth remembering that in the days when the Bible was written, everything was different. Marriage was little more than slavery, with the wife (or wives) being the property of their husbands, and love was not an important factor in who you married.

    The Bible, as it was written originally, does condemn certain practices. Male prostitution, promiscuity, adultery, all those things the Bible says are wrong whoever you are. In different places it discusses those practices between men and women, and between men and men. The problem is, when the Bible was translated into English, the people doing the translation were against homosexuality. Men and women get together, they have children, the church grows. Men and men get together, no children, no growth. They left the verses singling out specific practices in heterosexual relationships, but when it came to the homosexual ones, they "broadened" the admonishment to cover the whole thing, and condemn every aspect of homosexuality.

    However, there are gays in the Bible, it would appear, and God blesses them. David and Jonathon, if you read carefully, are discussed as a sexual couple. Jonathon's father, Saul, blames Jonathon's mother for him turning out the way he did (a common reaction from fathers even today), and trys to get rid of David, as he fears what the relationship will do for Jonathon's reputation and future King-ship. He at one stage trys to enforce a marriage between David and one of Saul's daughters, so that he would be his son-in-law "in the twain", or twice, suggesting he was already viewed as his son-in-law through Jonathon.

    When that didn't work, he tried to kill David. David ran, Jonathon chased him, and when they found each other, David began to weep, and the original says that Jonathon kissed David "until he became large". The translations we have really didn't know what to do with this verse. Most of them render it as them kissing tenderly until David calmed down, bringing images of the good friend, gently kissing David's forehead until he stopped crying. One more modern translation runs from it entirely, instead saying that the two men "shook hands somberly, tears running down their cheeks".

    David did refer to his relationship with Jonathon, saying that their love was greater and purer than the love between a man and a woman. With the language used, this kind of seals the deal. In that culture, men and women that were not married or related by blood could not have any kind of relationship. The only love that can be inferred by the word used in David's remark is romantic, relationship, sexual love.

    My apologies, this post is much longer than I intended. I do go on a bit! I would be very happy to discuss this with anyone who is wondering about how their sexuality fits with their religious beliefs, whatever side of the fence they're on! Check my profile for my msn. I'm by no means an expert or scholar, but I believe that we're all on this earth to learn, and to share our knowledge.
     
  4. DC_DEEP

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    I was raised in a fairly conservative, christian home. Funny thing, when I actually realized I was gay, I started doing more reading, research, and study of religious texts in order to find out exactly what was being taught; after reading The Holy Bible cover-to-cover several times, in several translations, there were many issues that troubled me greatly. In the end, the book of Job most likely is what severed any remaining religious beliefs I had previously held.

    My family, incidentally, accepts me, and the understanding seems to be that condemnations in the bible are almost certainly the work of man, not god.
     
  5. Imported

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    orionsword57:
    The Episcopal Church in the States is divided on the subject, hence the flap when a gay Bishop was ordained. The anti-gay element of the church is in the minority, I believe. I left that church many years ago for reasons not related to this issue, and now am a member of a New-Thought church called Unity, a relatively well accepted group which accepts gays warmly.
     
  6. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    I have expressed my views on homosexuality and religion, especially Catholicism, on the board many times before, and they are pretty well-known here, so I won't bore everyone with reiterating the Church's doctrine of conscience. Suffice it to say, I am a practising Catholic and a practising homosexual, and I have no conflict.

    I do, however, have a comment on the overused quote from Leviticus. Consider the purpose of the laws set forth in Leviticus. They were two-fold:

    1 - The Jewish people would set themselves apart as a people distinct from their geographic neighbours, and thus not adopt pagan customs. Homosexual acts were used in the fertility rites of the Philistines and Canaanites, thus such acts were seen as blasphemous in nature.

    2 - The descendants of Abraham, i. e. the Jewish people, would be as numerous as the stars as foretold by God Himself, therefore any sexual act that did not result in conception of a little Jewish baby was seen as an improper use of sex. That would include masturbation, homosexuality, bestiality, oral sex, etc. Contraception would also be condemned on such grounds.

    How many of the precepts in the book of Leviticus are thrown by the wayside by those who continue to spout Leviticus 18:22 as proof of God's condemnation of faggots? Do those people advocate burning furniture that a menstruating woman has touched, separating meat from dairy products, stoning adulterers, abstaining from eating pork and shrimp, abstaining from wearing two different types of fabric at once, and all the other practices set forth in that book?

    I'm not Jewish, and I'm not bound by the laws of kosher. If I did procreate, unless the mother were Jewish, the resulting child would not be a descendant of Abraham, so how does that apply to me?
     
  7. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree? Sex
    religion is gay.
     
  8. D_Barbi_Queue

    D_Barbi_Queue Account Disabled

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    Thanks for addressing that DMW. I did some further research on my own last night and discovered the same thing. I also learned that Jesus quoted only one passage from Leviticus: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (19:18) That tells me that that was probably the one quote that he felt was the most important to abide by.
     
  9. DC_DEEP

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    DMW and TAG, that's another reason I got so turned off by the mainstream religions: the ones I call "pick n choose faithful."

    They thump on one canon/verse, and conveniently ignore the next one. Oddly enough, the worst examples I see of this are coming from people who use their holy scriptures to cause harm to others. If you spout leviticus or deuteronomy at me, then dammit you better be living your life by the entire book. Don't quote isolated passages from the quran regarding jihad, unless you demonstrate strict adherance to the five pillars...
     
  10. madame_zora

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    I've just done this one to death, but I agree with DC. If someone KNOWS their religion, they will find a way to love their brothers, regardless of differences. I think that's true of most major religions, of the ones with which I am familiar enough to speak. If they are a Sunday Christian (substitute any religion) and only go by the sound bytes their preacher spouts out or media ringleaders, they neither deserve nor get my respect. Hatred and judgement are not the stuff religion should be based on.
     
  11. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree? Sex
    whew, good thing I'm not religious
     
  12. madame_zora

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    whew, good thing I'm not religious
    [post=346019]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]


    Dr. Rock, I nominate you the man we most love to hate. Actually, I just want you to glare at me like you are doing in your avatar pic.
     
  13. Matthew

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    Hate? I dunno ... I enjoy the sarcasm too much. Maybe he could be nominated for anti-hero instead. It would be like anti-christ, except not religious.
     
  14. madame_zora

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    Hate? I dunno ... I enjoy the sarcasm too much. Maybe he could be nominated for anti-hero instead. It would be like anti-christ, except not religious.
    [post=346078]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]


    Okay, but can we still worship him?
     
  15. Matthew

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    Fine with me, but watch out - he seems to have a following of some very strange people already.
     
  16. Freddie53

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    This is a wonderful post. It is well written and researched and a I agree with every word in it. I will add some clarification. The abomination was the practice of male sex acts in the worship of other Gods other than the Jewish God. This has been pointed out. It is a correct understanding of the Bible as I see it.

    The marriage vows state that you will be faithful to one another. So until the couple, striaght or gay, dissolve the union, both partners should remain faithful to one another. Adultery is sex by a married person with someone who is not his or her spouse. Some define adultery as sex by a married person without the permission of their partner. It is impossible for single people to commit adultery.

    These are two points I wish to clarify. I agree with Jacinto's post as well.
     
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