Saturday, February 18, 2012

You Say You Believe in the Bible?

I think that if someone believes in the Bible as God’s word and thus infallible, then you need to treat everything in the Bible in the same manner, following all of His instructions.  You can’t pick and choose which rules you want to follow and which ones you deem outmoded or not appropriate for the times because that would make it your Bible, not God’s.

The Catholic Church, Evangelicals, and others on the Right use the Bible to argue that homosexuality is a sin, indeed an “abomination,” and thus should be outlawed and not given any support or recognition by society or government.  While the lesson of many of the passages often cited by opponents (for example, Sodom and Gomorrah) have nothing to do with homosexuality (in the case of S&G, it is about violence and inhospitality), there are without question two passages that directly speak to the issue of male to male sex (although the Bible puts it more quaintly, the point is clear). 

In Leviticus 18:22, male to male sex is termed an “abomination.” Leviticus 20:13 goes further and says that those engaging in male to male sex “shall surely be put to death.”  Pretty strong words, no doubt.

But let’s put these sections in context.  The Bible terms more than 60 things an abomination.  Included are:  lying (Proverbs 12:22), eating food that isn’t kosher (Leviticus 11), a proud look (Proverbs 6:16), the proud of heart (Proverbs 16;5), adultery (Ezekiel 18:6-13), lying with a menstruating woman (Ezekiel 18:6-13), and what is highly esteemed among men (Luke 16:15).  With the exception of adultery, no one on the Right would argue that these acts be outlawed or termed a serious sin (with the exception of the Jewish ultra-orthodox … they are consistent).

But, someone on the Right may say, these other acts don’t carry with them a death penalty; we may not believe such sanctions are appropriate in this modern age, but surely that signifies the seriousness of the sin and sets it apart.  Sorry, but that doesn’t work either. 

The Bible says that anyone who curses his father or mother should be put to death (Leviticus 20:9) and that a man and woman who commit adultery should be put to death (Leviticus 20:10.)  In Exodus 35:2, it says that anyone who works on the Sabbath shall be put to death.  Again, with the exception noted above, I doubt that there are many people, regardless how far Right, who would say that people who curse their parents or work on the Sabbath are guilty of a serious sin that should have legal consequences.

So unless those who foam at the mouth about homosexuality being an abomination are willing to have all the other abominations and death-sanctioned acts treated in the same way … ostracized from society, criminalized, and with no support or protection from government … then I say that they should take their Bibles and their picket signs (“God Hates Fags”) and go home and do some serious spiritual meditation on what they believe.