Homophobic Pope Shocker

If only we lived in a world where the ignorant words of an old man with too much time on his hands didn’t matter; they do. We live in a world where people like Mikey Causer are beaten to death for being gay. Yet again with Pope Benedict XVI we have the Vatican badmouthing homosexuality, transsexualism and every variance from baseline heterosexual behaviour and institutions:

Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Credo, the Church cannot and should not confine itself to passing on the message of salvation alone. It has a responsibility for the created order and ought to make this responsibility prevail, even in public. And in so doing, it ought to safeguard not only the earth, water, and air as gifts of creation, belonging to everyone. It ought also to protect man against the destruction of himself. What is necessary is a kind of ecology of man, understood in the correct sense. When the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected, it is not the result of an outdated metaphysic. It is a question here of faith in the Creator and of listening to the language of creation, the devaluation of which leads to the self-destruction of man and therefore to the destruction of the same work of God. That which is often expressed and understood by the term “gender”, results finally in the self-emancipation of man from creation and from the Creator. Man wishes to act alone and to dispose ever and exclusively of that alone which concerns him. But in this way he is living contrary to the truth, he is living contrary to the Spirit Creator. The tropical forests are deserving, yes, of our protection, but man merits no less than the creature, in which there is written a message which does not mean a contradiction of our liberty, but its condition. The great Scholastic theologians have characterised matrimony, the life-long bond between man and woman, as a sacrament of creation, instituted by the Creator himself and which Christ – without modifying the message of creation – has incorporated into the history of his covenant with mankind. This forms part of the message that the Church must recover the witness in favour of the Spirit Creator present in nature in its entirety and in a particular way in the nature of man, created in the image of God. Beginning from this perspective, it would be beneficial to read again the Encyclical Humanae Vitae: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against sexuality as a consumer entity, the future as opposed to the exclusive pretext of the present, and the nature of man against its manipulation.

It’s a whole load of unscientific, mostly meaningless garbage of course, but what’s important isn’t so much the content as who’s saying it. For some drunk in a pub to come out with such archaic nonsense is one thing – for the leader of one of the world’s organised religions it’s another. People do and will listen to him, and although I don’t believe for a moment that he speaks for all the world’s Catholics, when he legitimises bigotry through religious intellectualism, or even via the modern language of environmentalism, he is dangerous. Homophobia isn’t an inherent quality in human beings, it’s a value which is transmitted and legitimised, and people like Josef Ratzinger should know better:

It is an instructive exercise to take Pope Benedict’s latest homophobic outburst and substitute the word “Jew” for “homosexual.”

The Pope’s detractors are always quick to point to his service in the Hitler Youth as a teenager.

I fully accept that his Hitler Youth membership was probably compulsory, even that his views on homosexuality may not have arisen from his membership of the party – he has shown a propensity to over-intellectualise anything. But his unique position as Pope should make him particularly mindful of the origins of hate and the role his office can play in either fostering it or inhibiting it:

Gay people are a serious threat to the existence of humanity, as serious as global warming. Does any of that rhetoric sound familiar?

Even the most casual observer of history cannot help but be struck by the chilling parallel.

Yet instead he capriciously couches his homophobia in the terms of environmentalism to legitimise it to his wider audience. The last point is equally salient though, and more concerning. The leader of the Catholic Church actually uses the language of social Darwinism, of Nazism, that we’re ‘against God and nature’, to justify his attack on everyone who doesn’t conform to baseline heterosexuality. A man who has lived through the Holocaust should know better – such words will only help to justify the ignorance of those who hate us. Peter Tatchell remarks:

Free market capitalism, and its culture of greed and consumerism, is a far greater threat to the ecological survival of our planet than homosexuality or transsexuality.

Is the Pope ignorant or malevolent?

The suggestion that gay people are a threat to human survival is absurd and dangerous. It is poisonous propaganda that will give comfort and succour to queer-bashers everywhere.

Homosexuality is a part of human ecology. It has existed in all cultures in all eras. At a time of global over-population, by not having children gay couples contribute to population stabilisation and thereby reduce pressure on over-strained natural resources. We are an ecological asset to humanity.

He may rhetorically overstate the counter-argument, but he’s obviously right in slamming Benedict for linking environmental protection with ‘gender protection’. With capitalism uniquely responsible for the destruction of the environment, as well increasing poverty during this ‘credit crunch’, it’s a disgrace that the leader of the Catholic Church should find time once again to prioritise blaming us for the world’s ills. He has indeed learned nothing from his time as a Nazi.

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49 responses to “Homophobic Pope Shocker

  1. The Mindful Cynic

    Blah, Blah, Blah.

    Look, could someone please tell me why gay people are so shocked that “Mr. Pointy Hat” spoke out against homosexuality?

    I mean, he is the leader of the Catholic church. You people know that, don’t you?

    Let me break it down for you: The Christian faith believes in God. God does not approve of homosexuality. Given this information, only a complete moron (or a group of morons) would be shocked that the Pope spoke out against homosexuals. So tell me again why you fruit cakes are so shocked by his objection?

    Is this really news??

  2. If you want a tabloid style argument then I agree with pretty much all you say. I’m not one for organised religions, find their prohibitions against everyone and everything they don’t like or are scared of pretty reprehensible, but not all Christians are homophobes and the hardline crap Benedict comes out with is not the only possible approach for a Pope to take.

    I’m not remotely surprised he said what he said – he has form, after all. My point I wanted to part with was my conclusion – for him to prioritise gay bashing at a time when the environment is under threat from capitalism (no gripes there from Rat Singer), and poverty is out of control in the developing world (and increasing in the developed world), is an appalling example to set. Rowan Williams may have appeased the most appalling homophobes this year, but his message at this time of year wasn’t that homosexuality was the cause of the world’s ills!

  3. So you believe that a religious leader prioritizing morality and the state of people’s souls over material and earthly concerns is invalid?

  4. Well no, but the case he’s making is a fundamentalist one, and we don’t live in fundamentalist times. Andrew Sullivan seems to argue that Benedict is advocating that we should be, except that marks him out (Benedict) as an idiot.

  5. Yes, I see it now… unfettered (compulsory?) procreation will save the world… rainforests and all…
    NOT!

  6. The biblical case against homosexuality is fundamental; that’s true, but not in the connotation-laden way that your statement implies. It is fundamental to the whole of the Abrahamic faiths that homosexuality is a grievous sin. That is an incontrovertible fact.

    The only area for argument is what a Christian’s response to this – or any – sin in others should be.

    It is not unreasonable for a spiritual leader to put grievous sin on an at least equal level with any of the material woes facing our species.

    Of course that doesn;t mean that you or I have to agree with him or Christianity’s precepts…

  7. As with most statements and views emanating from a religious faith-based “analysis”, it’s a fairly pointless activity to analyze and respond to it an a rational way, since the whole basis is irrational.

    If he wants to equate us with the bigger of the evils and problems facing the world today, bloody good for him, and I don’t give a damn, except to hope that the Catholic Church slides into complete irrelevance.

  8. @jonolan: You say “It is fundamental to the whole of the Abrahamic faiths that homosexuality is a grievous sin. ” Firstly I don’t agree it’s fundamental – there are a few passages that condemn homosexual acts but the one in Leviticus is alongside other laws such as “it is an abomination to eat shellfish”. If it is fundamental to Abrahamic faiths that homosexuality is a greivous sin then so is consuming shrimps!.
    I used to be a Christian and now I’m an atheist. I’m professional ecologist . I’m also gay. So I think I’m on pretty firm ground when I offer the following view on what the pope said about homosexuality being on a par with the environmental degradation of the earth. IT IS PERNICIOUS, MEDIAEVAL, BIGOTED NONSENSE.

  9. I’d like to agree with you Scoobs, however I think there are far too many equally as unpleasent and dangerous people who hang by his every word.

    Just the sheer ignorance and startling stupidity of the comment above yours in which the commenter suggests that the biblical case against homosexuality is an”incontrovertible fact” – leads me to believe that Dawkins was spot on when he said “faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.”

  10. J0hn Smith wrote ….IT IS PERNICIOUS, MEDIAEVAL, BIGOTED NONSENSE.

    I wholeheartedly agree John. It also has absolutely no logic. I mean how on earth can the amount of sex relationships have any bearing on the amount of heterosexual couples marrying and their subsequent child bearing activities? There isn’t a correlation.

  11. James,

    You must be being willfully illiterate; no other explanation presents itself. That’s a sad thing since it poisons the viewpoint that you hold.

    I said that the Abrahamic faiths all say that homosexuality is a grievous sin and that is an incontrovertible fact.

    Can you honestly say that the Abrahamic faiths do not say just such a thing? Care to try sodomy in Iran? Israel? Or to a significantly lesser extent in much of the US South or Utah?

    Whether those faiths are preaching fact or not is a point for contention, but not whether or not they teach such laws.

  12. Jonolan, Christianity is also an Abrahamic faith and the issue of homosexuality splits that group in two. I certainly don’t see Christian objection to homosexuality as an ‘incontrovertible fact’.

  13. You know what I love about blogging? I’m just about to stand up for religion, and I’m an atheist. Fantastic stuff.

    @jonolan – You reply again with a straw man argument. Noone’s disagreed that the Abrahamic faiths have scripture which labels homosexuality as a sin. But having some scripture (in the case of Christianity very little scripture) as James points out doesn’t make the entire organised religion essentially homophobic.

  14. Jonolan. I think the answer is to wait until the (unfortunately likely) future scenario of total ecosystem collapse as the bloated human population faces a Malthusian catastrophe. At that point we will be able to objectively compare whether homosexuality and environmental damage are on a par. We can also examine what amazing solutions the Abrahamic faiths will offer…

  15. cosmodaddy & James,

    I was specifically responding to the “Just the sheer ignorance and startling stupidity of the comment above yours in which the commenter suggests that the biblical case against homosexuality is an ‘incontrovertible fact’” part of James’ comment.

    While various nominally Christian people are split over the homosexual question, their holy book is quite specific on the matter. Again I must state that the area for argument among Christians over homosexuality is over how to respond to it, not whether it’s sinful or not.

    My original point – if anyone remembers – was that the Pope, as a religious leader should be expected to place moral concerns – as defined by his faith – at least on par with material concerns.

    John Smith,

    Yes, that’s the answer.

  16. @jonolan – I don’t agree for a moment that the Bible is quite specific on homosexuality. There are indeed passages there which are prohibitive, but they don’t by any means speak for the book as a whole. A scholar quite as respected as Benedict would be mindful of this fact, unless of course he were bigoted himself…

  17. Jonolan, thanks for re-clarifying that, but I still don’t agree.

    The nub of religious debate on this matter and many others is the very fact that the holy book is not specific. Clearly if you read the words literally some people could reach the conclusion that homosexuality is a heinous sin, but it’s long been established that these words need some historical interpretation not least for the fact that God’s word was supposed to be about meaning, not just letters on a page.

    However, it is most common for people to just pick and choose which parts of the book to take literally and which need careful interpretation depending on their own prejudices.

  18. Cosmodaddy said “I’m just about to stand up for religion, and I’m an atheist.” A bit of role reversal always spices things up!!

  19. It is true that the Abrahamic faiths condemn homosexuality as a grievous sin. They also encourage their people to procreate as much as they can.
    I think the recent comment from the Pope in relation to ecological issues (either rainforests or human) highlights the fact that unfettered procreation (something religions consider a virtue) is the greatest threat to the longevity of the species, and granting marriage rights and dignity to same sex couples will have little or no effect at all…
    The Pope is coming from a position of self interest (catholic dogma).

  20. Pavlov’s Cat: you’re right that Abrahamic religions encourage procreation – it is one of the mechanisms that these memes use to propagate themselves. The other mechanism is encouraging blind faith at the expense of rational, logical,enquiring, evidence based thought.

  21. James,

    The consensus of the Magisterium is that the “larger picture” of the Bible does not supersede the “Law Verses.” Such is Catholic doctrine – though they do conveniently ignore dietary, agricultural and fashion rules….

    The Pope does have to follow and push that Doctrine, especially when he used to be head of the Office of the Question. 😉 Yep, Ratzinger used to be head of the group that was once the Inquisition.

    Pavlov’s Cat,

    You’re pretty much spot on with that comment! It’s just ridiculous for anyone to hope that any Pope would – or could – say such a thing, or complain too vehemently when he doesn’t.

  22. I appreciate that in the case of Catholics – the task of interpreting the bible and making pronouncements in that regard is basically a task solely for the Pope and his bishops. All the more reason to question validity and dissect their arguments I say.

    It must also be noted that ground level Catholics are rarely in sole agreement with these kind of papal diatribes. I complain about this bitterly to Catholics I know, asking why they don’t get out, but they always say that change comes best from the inside.

  23. James the memetic explanation for the common catholic view “that change comes best from the inside” is that the meme has effective mechanisms to discourage heresy and apostasy – excommunication and damnation!
    Restricting interpretation of the bible to the Pope and bishops ensures that replication remains “true” and minimises the chances of heretical memes being created (as happened in the Reformation).

  24. James,

    LOL – there’s a group within the Catholic church who agree with your assessment; they’re called Jesuits or, more formally, the Society of Jesus.

    John Smith,

    Very true, very true indeed – and, while it has its downside, it has protected the Catholic church against many of the excesses of the Protestant churches and the similar excesses of the Islamists. A Hierarchical structure has both benefits and drawbacks.

  25. Jonolan

    I think that particular group are minuscule in comparison to Catholics in general who don’t agree with the papal stance on homosexuality.

  26. The Mindful Cynic

    First off, if you believe in God that is, if you think God is not against homosexuality and/or that He doesn’t view it as a sin, then your nuts. Even a casual reading of scripture should (I use the word should because this world is full of people who are so ridiculously wrapped up in their own warped view of reality that the truth would elude them even if you beat them with it!) be enough to give you a hint that God is against homosexuality.

    Second, the Catholic “religion” is anything but “christian.” Not only do they rarely do anything God said to do in the Bible, but they made up more shit to add to it. Christ said, “The only way to the Father is through me.” BUT, the catholics say you have to go through a priest, a pope, mother mary, a few dozen saints and the eater bunny BEFORE God will even hear your prayer. No where in the Bible does it say you have to go through a preist or pope nor does it say to pray to Mary or any of the Saints. The Catholics made the whole thing up.

    That being said, the pope can go f*ck himself for all I care.

  27. Mindful Cynic

    I suppose if one was to read the words in the Bible literally without any regard for their deeper meaning or without any historical critical approach you could reach the conclusion you’ve reached. But there’s rarely consistency in the literal reading (for example you don’t advocate slavery still, do you?).

    I certainly don’t think God is as clear cut on homosexuality as you claim so vigorously. I rather suspect that casual reading is what has led you to think that and you’ve paid no regard to theologians who aren’t so conclusive.

  28. The Mindful Cynic

    Oh please James,

    The scriptures and the meaning of the Bible are very clear cut. The only thing you would need a theologian for is to make it too complicated to understand.

    Look, you can find no scripture, no story, no moral parable or even a single sentence in the bible stating that homosexuality is accepted and/or encouraged by God. Not a single one!

    On the contrary, you can find at least one scripture, story, parable and/or sentence in the bible that shows God does not accept/encourage homosexuality.

    So show me anything James, a half sentence; a simple statement; a lengthly paragraph; ANYTHING at all in the Bible that could possibly, in any way-shape-form, show that God supports homosexuality and is absolutely fine with people being homosexual and I will promptly change my opinion.

    Fair enough?

  29. @ Mindful Cynic – James’ argument was that a literal reading of the Bible leads to inconsistencies everywhere, not just with homosexuality. An absence of formal acceptance doesn’t mean that Leviticus in effect represents the entire book, and we should remember that that book was written for a society which bears very little resemblance to ours. To apply all of its codes literally to modern society would result in a mixture of comedy and horror.

    I don’t want to talk anyone round to being supportive of any religion. I’m not a fan, and it should be a personal thing anyway, but last summer I listened to Gene Robinson who has a much more enlightened approach to Christianity, which he (and I) would argue is founded on a rejection of literalism and instead sticking to the point of what the religion is supposed to be all about.

  30. The Mindful Cynic

    As I recall, Christ was the “new covenant”, whereas Leviticus and other Old Testament books discuss the old (or first, if you will) covenant.

    I also recall Jesus saying something about him fulfilling that law, which in essence I assume would mean by accepting Christ as your Lord would make you redeemed and thus replace a lot of the “old laws” in Leviticus, etc. After all, there is no need to sacrifice animals to cleanse you of your sins by their blood every single time you sin when Christ has effectively done it once and for all with his.

  31. @The Mindful Cynic: I think you are referring to Matthew 5: 17-2017
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    Which seems to be saying that you should follow every law as set out in Leviticus and the rest of the old testament. Mmmm, confusing… Ah well, I’ll just reject Christianity in its entirety. There, I feel much better already…

  32. Mindful,
    As a theologian of sorts, I’m here to take issue with your claims that ” The scriptures and the meaning of the Bible (re:homosexuality) are very clear cut. The only thing you would need a theologian for is to make it too complicated to understand.”
    The Biblical sin of Sodom wasn’t about homosexuality:
    No story in the Bible has been used more to persecute homosexuals than the story of Sodom (and Gomorrah). By the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas had come to see all disasters of any kind as God’s wrath at homosexual sin. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, collapsing buildings, runaway horses, women falling into ditches – all these and more were understood to be expressions of God’s displeasure at “the wickedness of Sodom.” But people who view the biblical narrative of Sodom and Gomorrah as a story about “Sodomy” (or homosexuality) haven’t read the rest of the bible. If all one reads in the Bible is the 19th chapter of Genesis, the first book of the bible that would be an honest mistake. But read through the 48 references to the word “Sodom” in the rest of the bible and you learn that the writers of the bible hardly ever associated the fate of Sodom with what Conservative Christians now call “Sodomy”.
    Although today’s Christians have been programed to view this story as an account of homosexuality gone wild, that’s NOT what the bible authors themselves saw in that story:

    * In Deut. 29: 23-26 . . .”destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord destroyed in his fierce anger– they and indeed all the nations will wonder, “Why has the Lord done thus to this land? What caused this great display of anger?” They will conclude, “It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. They turned and served other gods, worshiping them, gods whom they had not known and whom he had not allotted to them”
    * Deut. 32:32 also speaks of Sodom and Gomorrah, without any hint of homosexuality.
    * The prophet Ezekiel, for example, wrote in 16:49-50 : “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”
    * The first chapter of Isaiah speaks of God’s unhappiness with Sodom and Gomorrah, but says nothing whatever about homosexuality. What it does say is ” learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” (1:17)
    * Isaiah mentions Sodom again in 3:9 and in 13:19, but there in connection with homosexuality.
    * Jeremiah also mentions Sodom again without any connection to homosexuality.
    * The Prophet Amos also mentions Sodom in 4:11 without any connection with homosexuality.
    * The Prophet Zephaniah likewise mentions the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah in 2:10 without any connection with homosexuality, but rather “in return for their pride, because they scoffed and boasted against the people of the Lord of hosts.”
    The Deuterocanonical books identify the sin of Sodom as the worship of competing gods (idols) pride and inhospitality:
    * In Wisdom 19:13-14, we read “…whereas the men of Sodom received not the strangers when they came among them.”
    * In Ecclesiasticus 16:8 the sin is recognized as pride: “He did not spare the people among whom Lot was living, whom he detested for their pride.”
    In the New Testament, too, there is reference to Sodom and inhospitality:
    * In Luke 10:10-13, Jesus compares the fate of towns that are inhospitable to his disciples to that which beset Sodom of its inhospitality.”Whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.”
    * Paul referred to Sodom and Gomorrah only once ( in Romans, 9:29 ) and not in connection with homosexuality.
    * The same is true of the Book of Revelations, which referred to Sodom only once (8:11) and not in connection with homosexuality.
    * Peter likewise referred to Sodom and Gomorrah only once ( in 2 Peter 2:4 ) and not in connection with homosexuality.
    * Finally, in one of the very last books of the Bible, Jude (1:7), the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah is attributed to unnatural lust, i.e. “Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”
    [ an excerpt from my http://liberalslikechrist.org/God&gays.html ]

  33. Mindful,
    In response to your patronizing comment:
    “Let me break it down for you: The Christian faith believes in God. God does not approve of homosexuality. Given this information, only a complete moron (or a group of morons) would be shocked that the Pope spoke out against homosexuals. So tell me again why you fruit cakes are so shocked by his objection?

    Is this really news??””
    let me tell you, as a former R.C. priest , that these “men of God” DON’T speak for God and in fact couldn’t care LESS about “God’s word” except when it suits THEM.

    While claiming to care when that word imposes restrictions on OTHERS, they and blind and deaf to what “God’s word” says to THEM. See what I mean at http://JesusWouldBeFurious.Org

    To the extent that these people invoke actual scriptures against homosexuals, it is the WORST of “God’s word”, which I feature at http://www.whatkindofgod.org .

    Clergy like myself who are “Liberals like Christ” distance ourselves from such scripture.

  34. The Mindful Cynic

    Let’s hope that feeling of “much better” lasts you throughout eternity John.

    And yes, in Matthew Christ is stating you should keep the laws, the laws also known as the Ten Commandents. He even added in Mark 12:28-34 that we are to love God with all of our heart and love one another as ourselves.

    No where in the Ten Commandments does it state anything about any of the old laws concerning eating shellfish, slavery, etc. Which was my point.

  35. @The Mindful Cynic: Ok… I’ll be careful not to covet my neighbour’s ass then…
    As for eternity – I wasn’t expecting to be around quite that long. However I assume you are referring to the Christian doctrine of bodily resurrection and eternal punishment in hell. If this monstrous idea is true then, unfortunately, the alternative destination , ie eternity in heaven with the monster who conceived and created hell, isn’t going to be very pleasant either…
    So for the timebeing I’ going to live my short life respecting other people and the environment, being myself (a gay man), free to believe whatever is rational, logical and evidence based.

  36. The Mindful Cynic said “The scriptures and the meaning of the Bible are very clear cut…”

    And that’s where I fundamentally disagree.

    One of the things which splits faith groups all around the World is interpretation of their religious texts. Those who insist on a literal reading (normally otherwise described at biblical fundamentalists) versus those who take a historical critical approach. Of course there are also a third group; those who use the literal approach when it suits their argument, but whom resort to taking a historical interpretation at all other times.

    There doesn’t seem any point having a discussion with you if you continue to (rather condescendingly) turn a blind eye to such division and insist the bible is clear cut.

  37. The Mindful Cynic

    Honestly, the only time I have seen anyone (myself included) get confused reading the scriptures is in fact when they REFUSE to interpret it within the context given.

    Anytime the versus describe something that should be taken, say, metaphorically, it tells you that it should be taken that way. In the same regard, when it is meant to be taken literally, it also tells you that as well.

    Whether you view me as condescending or not James, that opinion changes nothing written in the Bible.

    Faith groups, denominations and any other “religious” institutions are not my concern, nor do I care how “they” tell you to interpret God’s word.

    Since God clearly tells us in His word that we can come boldly to His throne and ask anything of Him in Christ Jesus name, I see no need to take stock in anything said by institutions, preachers, popes or the like or any need to take their word over God’s.

  38. The Mindful Cynic

    Oh shite John, I think I just coveted my neighbors ass.

    *sigh*

  39. The Mindful Cynic

    Rev. Ray Dubuque,

    First, I never said anything about Sodom and Gomorrah being about homosexuality, but it is clear it was present in the city and God wasn’t pleased with it, so don’t put words in my mouth, okay “rev”?

    But if somewhere in that head of yours you have rationalized that God approves of homosexuality, and/or created people as homosexuals, and/or is absolutely fine with “men lying with men” (such as mentioned in Romans 1:27 – which would be another way of describing the “unnatural lust” you listed in Jude 1:7) then do me the favor of telling me exactly what denomination your are a “rev” of so I can avoid it like the plague.

    Even the verse you gave me, Jude 1:7, states the case that, although there was obviously heterosexual perversion going as well, there was the sexual perversion of homosexuality.

    For instance, the International Standard Version of the bible says – Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities near them, which like them committed sexual sins and ENGAGED IN HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITIES, serve as an example of the punishment of eternal fire.

    – So that shows there was sexual sins AND homosexual acitivity in the cities.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation says – What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities near them is an example for us of the punishment of eternal fire. The people of these cities suffered the same fate that God’s people and the angels did, because they committed sexual sins and ENGAGED IN HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITIES.

    So what that tells me is that there was sexual sins being committed by heterosexuals that were condemned and there were other sexuals sins being commited that were condemned and specifically referred to as homosexual activities.

    So this tells me that as far as heterosexuality is concerned, God has a right way for us to express our heterosexuality and we have a wrong way to express it as well. Hence, “sexual sins” listed in the verses.

    But there is no such listing for homosexuals as far as God stating there is a right way He has for homosexuals to express their homosexuality and we have a wrong way to express it.

    In all verses in the bible I have as of yet to come across a single passage describing the “correct way” to live a homosexual life.

    So, contrasted with all God said concerning heterosexual relationships and how they are to be engaged in according to God, this tells me that either …

    1.) God forgot to tell homosexuals how He expects them to live and conduct themselves in a homosexual relationship

    or

    2.) God doesn’t approve of homosexual relationships, hence the only reference to them is one of condemnation, not encouragement or even a faint reference to how He would have a homosexual relationship governed.

    So as I said before “Rev”, The only thing you a theologian for is to confuse the word of God and make it too complicated to understand.

    ~ TMC

  40. TMC

    The haughtiness you display and level of condescension when replying to people here actually leads me to believe you aren’t a man in touch with God at all. Deep down you just have real dislike of gay people don’t you?

    I have absolutely no doubt you aren’t so vigorous about anything else in the bible but homosexuality and despite there only being minor references to it ( many would suggest that the Bible actually appears silent about same sex, committed and monogamous relationships) it’s one of the over riding things you must attack and get involved in.

    Basically, you’re a pretty unpleasant man who claims to have God on his side.

  41. TMC, in reading your reply to Rev.Ray – there are plenty of examples of inconsistency in your understanding of Sodom and Gomorrah, for example in other parts of the Bible the destruction of Sodom certainly isn’t explicitly blamed on homosexual behaviour as you suggest:-

    “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen”

    Ezekiel 16:49-50 (New International Version)

  42. The sin of Sodom was not sexual deviancy, but inhospitable conduct. Lot after all, offered his two ‘virgin’ daughters to the crowd and that was considered okay if extreme. TMC is right that throughout the bible male prostitutes and same sex relations were frowned up[on and supposedly cleaned up with each spiritual revival of the old testament. However little is said of committed relationships, and the bond between David and Jonathan could easily be viewed as having sexual connotations, and that was highly praised because of the depth of their feelings for each other. Each had multiple wives though so it’s obvious that neither believed in monogamy.
    Personally while I may debate it’s moral guidelines I do not use the bible to live by and question those who rely on it as their sole reference guide to life. I much prefer people who wrestle with the world and work things out for themselves. I see little reason to get into deep debates over the bible though, as I don’t think it’s divine word, and I don’t believe in it either it seems silly trying to disprove peoples blind faith with their own documents. They already know they have to trust it to be true and if they didn’t their edifice would shortly crumble. Also as a side note, if your going to argue translations you should probably stick the the New American Standard, as the NIV was simply a translation of the King James which was a translation of the Latin, which was a translation of the Aramaic . The NAS was a modern translation of the Aramaic thus clarifying some things for english readers.

  43. The Mindful Cynic

    James, I don’t “claim” anything.

    I’m just saying that I can find many things in the Bible where heterosexual relationships, marriages, etc, are discussed and God gives His guidelines for how those heterosexual relationships should be conducted.

    That being said,

    If one of you would be kind enough to show me exactly where in the Bible God explains how he wants us to correctly live and operate in a homosexual relationship, then my point will be mute and I will admit I was in error.

    It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic or even several paragraphs long.

    I would be happy with just a few phrases that show God stating what His will is concerning homosexual relationships.

    Anything. Anything at all.

    ~ TMC

  44. “God” didn’t say anything about homosexual relationships because they were outside the experience of the ancient hebrews who wrote the bible. Don’t you think its a bit strange that a book which was intended to be “God’s” revelation of himself to humankind throughout the ages is totally restricted by the limited understanding of a bronze age tribe. Isn’t it about time he issued a revised edition which resolves all these 21st century issues? Next time you speak to “God” perhaps you can suggest it? After all the Bible says “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek; and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth;”. How could he refuse you…

  45. Indeed John.

    I hate to quote Rowan Williams, but he pretty much answers the question when he argued that while the Bible describes a relational norm, that alone cannot be used to argue that it prohibits other forms of relationship.

  46. @TMC like I said the closest I’ve found in David and Jonathan, and that was a positive story. You can infer sex if you like : )

  47. @Tim: You’re right, the story of David and Jonathan was the Biblical equivalent of Brokeback Mountain… I will infer sex… though in my mind’s eye David will be more generously proportioned than Michelangelo’s portrayal 🙂

  48. and not forgetting Ruth and Naomi.

  49. Pingback: Benedict XVI Goes For Maximum Irony « Cosmodaddy

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