Nevermore Use the Bible Against the LGBT

God loves everyone

Im so tired of the NC Republican’s, and in fact the nationwide Religious Reich’s, platform that their interpretation of what they believe the Bible says about the Christian G-d’s view of the LGBT is some kind of “truth” we should ALL subscribe to and accept as a reason to deny the LEGAL STATUS called “married” to LGBT couples. First of all, according to Encyclopedia Britannica’s 2005 religious survey, Christianity is less than a third of the entire world’s population. Even if I gave them all three Abrahamic religions known to vilify the LGBT (Christian, Orthodox/Conservative Jew & Muslim) subtracting the rest of Judaism, plus the Episcopal, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Friends General Conference (Quaker), Unity, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Universalist denominations (since they have all become LGBT affirming worldwide) that’s still only less than a third of the world’s population you have left.

So seriously anti-LGBT Christians DON’T presume to speak for the rest of us. You don’t represent those of us who prefer to see the Divine as an entity that supports all love affirming human interaction, and you certainly don’t represent those who don’t believe in any kind of Divine figure AT ALL, let alone care about what’s written in an outdated ancient text. Actually, stop speaking altogether, seriously, because your ignorance is showing.

Here are some facts. There is actually nothing written in ANY sacred text specifically about “gay marriage”. Buddhism and Hinduism have NO religious doctrine against same sex union in any form. The Qu’ran references acts of homosexuality twice, giving no “laws” about it at all. Those all came from the Hadith and Seerah which are basically the opinions and decrees of Muhammad. Then we have Christianity, where the homophobic & bigoted faction within that faith has chosen *7* out of 32,000 verses in the Bible, repeatedly misquoting and misinterpreting them, to use as their weapon to justify their horrific treatment of the LGBT, and the argument to deny what is again a LEGAL STATUS. Oh and in case you subscribe to the idea that “G-d wouldn’t allow for misinterpretation”, go watch the documentary “Fish Out of Water” on Netflix and come back, I’ll wait…..

So why all this religious interference about their rights as basic humans to be afforded the same benefits & protections that any other human couple might have???? Basically it boils down to TWO issues all anti-LGBT religions like to cite. #1 That somehow any sexual persuasion other than heterosexual is wrong because it involves “sex that doesn’t create life”. (In Christianity that is the Genesis Adam & Eve argument) Well I hate to tell you, there are plenty of G-d-fearing Christian straight people just in the US alone who are in a heap of trouble with G-d for that then. Taking the fact that the majority of adults in modern countries have sex using some form of birth control, there are a TON of sex acts being performed by couples that WILL NEVER result in “life”.  Then we have the sky-rocketing numbers of people with infertility issues, and ahem what about all of we women in menopause or past it…. guess old Yahweh is pretty pissed at us too.  I won’t even begin to talk about masturbation.

So then #2. That somehow any sexual persuasion, other than heterosexual, is “unnatural”. If you are taking the word “unnatural” as meaning “not occurring in nature” someone needs to take a course in animal science, because there are HUNDREDS of species of animals that display homosexual behavior as part of their normal interactions. But we’re talking about religious context, and for this one it’s the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans that anti-LGBT Christian’s like to tote out. Let me begin by pointing out that this section of Romans is basically Paul’s rant about his disgust at the Pagan Graeco-Roman culture not acknowledging “the one true G-d” and so he’s listing the ways he sees them rebelling. It’s not about homosexuality, and in fact it’s probable Paul and the entire population of the time had no concept of homosexuality as we have been conditioned to regard it today. Paul was ROMAN remember, and the affection and partnership between males we label as some kind of “homosexual behavior” was pretty much a norm of the time.

The passage used to bash LGBT, Romans 1:18-27, is  basically a story about G-d having a little temper tantrum. “Bad Pagan don’t you know Yahweh is jealous and ticked off you aren’t revering him? Bad Pagan who reveres the earth, and all the things G-D GAVE YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE. Bad Pagan I shall punish you by “giving you over to the lust in your heart” and so what happens? The HETEROSEXUALS “exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural”. Ummm basically this is implying that the innate heterosexual peoples started having something other than penis in vagina sex, and in a ritualistic sort of way. But lets make a leap and pretend it specifically is saying the “unnatural function” for a heterosexual is homosexual sex. Who then would this verse apply to NOW, because if the sin here is “going AGAINST your nature” that tells me thousands upon thousands of homosexuals being forced to PRETEND to be straight, and have straight sex, are sure gonna have some ‘splainin to do Lucy!

And BTW if you are going to hypocritically use the *7* verses in the Bible toted out (which seriously if  G-d was that worried about it, wouldn’t there be more than 7?) then let’s look at the other five I didn’t mention yet too. Leviticus 18:22 – Ok so all of Leviticus is basically the list of ways these favored Jews were supposed to behave versus the other tribes. 18 is a list of “unlawful sex acts” but this particular verse 18:22 actually falls right after a verse forbidding Jews from the practicing the fertility rites of the Pagan gods Moloch and Ashtoreth, which pretty clearly tells me it is really about how the men in that particular Pagan ritual behaved. So again it’s going back to the same issues Paul was freaking out about. “Oooh noooes, don’t act like those Pagans.”  Leviticus 20:13  – All of 20 are the punishments for the acts in 18 & 19, and because the punishment is death for the majority of them, Christianity in general has already denounced these verses. Scratch this off your list.

Genesis 19:1-29  Sodom and Gomorrah, cities whose list of sins, according to the other books of the Bible, were: splendor, pride, adultery, lying, gluttony and the same “abominations” Ive already said had to do with the Pagan acts of sacred sex – NOT homosexuality.  So they must mean the story of Lot then, who basically offered his daughters up to be gang-raped, rather than betray the laws of hospitality. Daughters who then get their dad drunk to have sex with them so they can get pregnant? SERIOUSLY?!?  <eye roll> Scientific side note… archaeologists have claimed to have found the original site of both cities, which geological evidence is showing had a major earthquake that caused the petroleum deposits, sulfur, and natural gas to burst out of the ground causing a “raining fire”.  Oh so THAT’S where homophobic Christians get this “earthquakes are a punishment from G-d for homosexuality” bullshit from. Methinks we need a HUGE kick in the national education budget to increase the amount of SCIENCE people are required to have in this country!

Finally 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10  go together as they both basically are just reiterating Paul’s issues in Leviticus. Hotly debated are 2 greek words used in these verses: malakoi and arsenokoitai. In Corinthians we see a list of those who will not “inherit the kingdom of God’, which is basically the same already given repeatedly in the afore mentioned books, except now added are these 2 words. Ok so Im no Biblical scholar, but seriously did I not just say Leviticus speaks about the Pagan rites of Moloch? And no one has actually made the leap to consider “malakoi” might just be the word they used for the worshippers of Moloch??? No instead I see things like in Matthew and Luke the word is used to mean “soft clothing” so they interpret it here as a gay man. I call bullshit! In 44 different translations of the Bible, this word was translated from the Greek into some version of “weakling” 9 times before 1602, when it gave way to the word “effeminate” used 10 times (including in the King James, American Standard Version and New American Standard bibles) before in 1913 it changed to “catamite” (boy who has sex with men), spawning the use “of male prostitute” (7 times) and THEN in 1958 we see the word homosexual appear and now in the most current 6 re-translatons. Quite a leap from “weakling”, which incidentally wasn’t referring to being physically weak when first translated this way, it meant “weak willed”, or “easily led astray”.

Then we have arsenokoitai, a word never seen in print before it appeared in these Bible verses. So we’re making up words now Paul?? Separately translated arseno is “male” and koite “bed” so malebed turns into “homosexual”? WOW! I hate to think how they would define the word mandate or mankind then!!! Regardless at this point modern scholars have looked at the historical Greek use of the same or similar words, and generally all agree this term actually refers NOT to homosexuality, but to the temple prostitute, which then again goes right back to Pagan ritual sex.

What all of this shows me is that humans should not be toting ANY current version of the Bible as a valid list of G-d’s rules, let alone profess to have ANY inkling of what G-d’s actual will might have been about partnerships we call marriage. Not to mention have you actually READ the thing? Im afraid there are many many more “rules” in that book that humans have already decided are archaic and outmoded, and so no longer follow. Yet you want to use these *7* to restrict marriage from the LGBT? And before I get the whole, “well we follow the New Testament” argument from anyone, let me just refer you to Matthew 5:17-18 where Jesus flat out says he isn’t changing or doing away with ANY of the Old Laws. Read: they all STILL apply. But lets just say you subscribe to the notion that “the Old Testament was done away with Christ” because it was “meant only as a guide for the tribe of Israel”. Well then that knocks your Genesis Adam & Eve and your Genesis Sodom & Gomorrah arguments off the list, as well as both passages in Leviticus. Which leaves *3* verses in the New Testament you are using against the LGBT, and really to what end?

So while I think everyone is entitled to believe what they want, at the same time are we really supposed to listen to you so-called Christians use your interpretation of a handful of vague Biblical verses to condemn homosexuality and deny LGBT the LEGAL STATUS, and therefore the legal rights and privileges afforded by the term “marriage” (ahem separation of church and state) whilst we also watch you willfully trample all over “laws” very clearly and specifically defined in the EXACT SAME BOOK???? Call me crazy but that looks like all sorts of hypocrisy to me. Especially when per the New Testament, you have ONLY TWO LAWS to follow, and you are clearly willfully disobeying one of them!

Matthew 22:39 “Love They Neighbor As Thyself”!

©RavenHarte 9/1/13

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Because I am an ordained clergy member who ADVOCATES for the right of marriage to be extended to those of ANY gender combination I am reposting my dear friend’s blog post here. Her blog, The Trans Preacher’s Wife, is an amazing first person view of the struggles of an LGBT partnership and sooooo worth following! Thx, RavenHarte

The Trans Preacher's Wife

Magazine-illustration-1950s-colour-lithoYesterday Liam and I participated in our third We Do Campaign action for the Campaign for Southern Equality. You can read about our participation in two earlier stages here and here. Recently, clerks in such places as New Mexico and Pennsylvania have been issuing marriage licenses despite the fact that their individual states do not sanction same-gender marriages (New Mexico neither approves nor prohibits them and Pennsylvania is not legally recognizing the marriage licenses issued in spite of state laws). Here in North Carolina, we have added Amendment One to the books, in spite of the tireless lobbying against it. Amendment One makes any kind of same-gender union illegal in this state. The Campaign for Southern Equality seeks, in this stage, to engage a clerk of court, bring them into our experience, and encourage them to stand with us in an act of conscience and…

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Darkness There? Then SOMETHING More!

generosity

For the topic for Dec 2008 we were asked to explore generosity – what it is; what it isn’t, how it blossoms and how its many petals are displayed. I could save this one for this Dec, but the whole point to my article is we need to be generous ALL the time, not just during the “season of giving”. So Im putting this one out now, especially since in Sept the Compassionate Games begin for Compassionate cities like Winston-Salem. http://compassiongames.org/

PanGaea Revisted – Generosity on the Pagan Path – Thru the Eyes of RavenHarte

‘Tis the season of generosity and altruism. The one time of year we as a collective human spirit consciously shift focus on the giving to others. Why do we do it? Because giving makes us feel good. Whether we are giving a present to someone, or food to the hungry, helping a friend move or just offering a tired cashier a warm hello and a smile, by our sharing of something we have, we feel better. We feel connected. We feel hopeful. Not hope that something will come in return usually, but rather a hope that the feeling will spread.

Human nature drives us to want to make connections to other people. We want to be close, we want to form bonds, and we want to be of help. The problem is the more a society’s technology increases, the less emphasis that society places on its upclose and IRL (in real life) social connections. So as an advanced technological society, for most of the year we Americans forget how much connection and contact make us happy. We forget how much other people matter to us. We forget how much we need others, and therefore forget how much others might need US too. Then the holiday season falls upon us, a time to reconnect, take stock in our lives, and be thankful for what we have, which I think is the key to generosity.

Generosity by definition is the ability and readiness to be giving in abundance. Well the only way people are open to giving, is if they already have a sense of fulfillment. You give time, if you have time; you give money if you have money; you give love if you have love. If you have any sense of lack, you will hoard, and our society constantly points out to us how much we lack. We aren’t thin enough, don’t wear the right clothes, eat the right food, drive the right car, live in the right neighborhood, blah, blah, blah. The marketing media is constantly teaching us to want, want, want and so we consistently feel a lack, are never happy just right where we are. However during the holidays the gears are shifted and we are reminded how much OTHERS lack, how much we actually have, or how far we’ve actually come, so suddenly during the “season of giving” its easier to think of, say, running a canned food drive for the homeless or giving toiletries to a nursing home.

So how do we maintain a generous spirit throughout the year? How do we generate an altruistic nature? I think we grab every opportunity we can to share of ourselves. We purposely look at the areas in our lives where we feel fulfilled, and parlay that into an act of giving. If you wake up happy, smile and greet people, share your joy. If you are feeling particularly pretty/handsome, compliment how others look, share your confidence. If you saved $5.00 on groceries, buy that $5 bag pre-packed for the food bank, share your good fortune. It’s easy and it only takes one act, because the sense of interconnected happiness that comes when you have shared of yourself WILL snowball; and right now, during the holiday season people are more receptive to spontaneous giving and random acts of kindness and more willing to pass along the sentiment.

Now note I did use the words generous and altruistic and not charitable. Its not that being charitable isn’t a good thing too, sometimes being generous does mean being charitable, but charity, generosity, and altruism are different things. The word charity implies that the giving is directly due to a need the recipient has, its conditional. Being generous and/or altruistic is more an internal drive to care for, be connected and of benefit to others. Its something a person just is, regardless of the conditions. Its a larger quality to strive for, but one with much greater reward. So this holiday season, find the area of your life, the part of you, that you feel is rich, and share it. It’s the best gift you can give.