Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gene Robinson's take on homosexuality in the Bible


I know I've linked to this before, but Gene Robinson is just amazing.

Bishop Gene Robinson wrote a series of five articles for the Washington Post's On Faith blog on the topic of homosexuality in the Bible, specifically the seven "texts of terror" that fundamental Christian nutjobs like to quote in justification of their homophobic bigotry.

1. What does the Bible really say about homosexuality? Reading "texts of terror"

2. Homosexuality in Leviticus

3. Homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah

4. What did Jesus say about homosexuality?

5. Homosexuality in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy

Take home message: CONTEXT MATTERS. Bishop Robinson's first article in this series summarizes my understanding of how to read the bible. Biblical texts were passed down orally and finally written down in a certain time, at a certain place, by some author, for a specific audience with certain cultural traditions and attitudes, not the least of which is a limited grasp of psychology from millennia ago. As our knowledge base advances, so too must advance our scriptural analyses.

For example, back in the day, it was probably a matter of public health to avoid pork and shellfish, what with trichinosis and red tide. Bring in some understanding of sanitation and microbiology, and what was once unclean can now be made clean!

Mmm, bacon-wrapped scallops....

Anyway, it wasn't that long ago that most people thought that sexual orientation was a choice. Well, I suppose I know people (*cough* name redacted *cough*) who still think sexual orientation is a choice. For those of us who actually grew up with gay people, we know that sexual orientation is as inborn as the color of one's skin. To act contrary to one's sexual orientation must be quite the burdensome lie, and I'm pretty sure God wouldn't be down with such dishonesty.

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