Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Jesus, Christianity, and Homosexuality

MARK ALEXANDER – ESSAY: Christians make such a big thing about homosexuality and often, if not usually, try to deny a homosexual’s right to love and be loved. Christians always cite Biblical teachings for their aversion to homosexual love. Fact is, however, that Christian teachings, as we all know, should be based on Jesus Christ’s teachings. In truth, however, Jesus Christ uttered not a single word condemning homosexuality; he said absolutely nothing about it.

For a Christian to condemn homosexuality, he/she must look back to Leviticus in the Old Testament, to Genesis, and to Sodom and Gomorrah–hence the use of the word ‘sodomy’—and to Paul’s letter to the Romans.

Regarding Leviticus, if we were to follow the proscriptions in that book in the Old Testament, one of the books which forms the basis of Jewish law, we would be forbidden from doing many things. Leviticus proscribes tattoos, the eating of shellfish (bottom feeders in the oceans, hence they eat all the crud that falls to the bottom of the oceans rendering them unclean), and it proscribes many other things besides. Isn’t it strange how Christians cherry-pick the things that they dislike and which do not pertain to their own lifestyles and then conveniently ignore the rest of the proscriptions?

Further, the Bible proscribes men and women from sleeping together and making love/having sex before marriage. It is surely an abomination unto God. But how many straight people do you know that abide by this Biblical proscription? Most straight people I have known in my life have almost invariably slept with their husbands/wives before marriage. So why the big deal about two men or two women loving and sleeping with each other? What’s sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. Such hypocrisy!

However, I should like to add one very important fact about Jesus’s silence on homosexuality. Jesus lived in Palestine. At that time, Palestine was part of the Roman Empire. And the harsh reality about the Roman society at that time is this: Homosexuality was rife in the Roman Empire. It was commonplace for upper class Romans to surround themselves with pretty, young boys. Apparently, it was a status symbol, and they would often be paraded openly in Roman society, too. So that makes it even harder to understand why Jesus did not utter even one single word about this behaviour. Surely, if Jesus had thought it was such a sinful activity in the eyes of God, he would have said plenty against it.

What Paul had to say on the matter interests me far, far less. Paul, previously Saul of Tarsus, was a convert to Christianity. (In actual fact, it wasn’t even called Christianity in those days.) We all know the nature of converts, or reformed people, anyway.

In any case, Christian teachings should be based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, not on the teachings of Paul. It is what Jesus thought that is important, not what Paul taught.

Isn’t it high time that we in the West came to terms with the fact that homosexuals, just as heterosexuals, deserve an opportunity in life to pursue their own happiness? We all, gay or straight, deserve to be able to love another and be loved by another. It is time to stop making heavy weather of this. Furthermore, for believers, if it is truly unacceptable to God, then God will sort it out on the Day of Judgment. It is not for man to play God.

© Mark Alexander
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