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[personal profile] howeird
Some LJ friends have been discussing what makes one a Christian, and are expressing alarm that some very vocal self-professed Christians are vehemently against same-sex marriage. I was raised in a Conservative/Orthodox Jewish household, and can point you to the passages in the Torah (aka Old Testament) which declare same-sex intercourse to be punishable by death, but it's been 30 years since I read the Gospels, and frankly can't remember if Jesus or his gang of 12 ever said anything either way about same-sex sex. If anyone can enlighten me, I'd appreciate it.

And no, I'm not talking about generic "love everyone" missives, I'm talking about lines which are as explicit as the ones in Leviticus.


Date: 2010-02-09 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm no expert, but from what I've seen of people protesting against homosexuality it's generally been the Old Testament stuff. If that's the case, then slavery is still ok and that bacon cheese burger is out...

Date: 2010-02-09 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yup, it's all Old Testament stuff. Which means the shrimp cocktail and poly-cotton blend shirt will also get you a date with a bunch of flying rocks.

To the best of my knowledge, Jesus isn't credited with saying anything regarding homosexuality. He did have some very pointed comments about forgiveness and judging others and about using religion to gain money and power, though. In fact, I believe He committed an act of domestic terrorism over that last one.

Date: 2010-02-09 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"To the best of my knowledge, Jesus isn't credited with saying anything regarding homosexuality."

Nothing explicit, but his actions speak volumes. Here and here, Jesus heals a centurion's beloved servant. In English, this isn't so telling. In the original language, one book uses a word for "slave," the other uses a word for "boy." Add a little historical context, it becomes clear that the servant in question attended to the centurion's hygiene, grooming and... ahem, other physical needs. (I forget the exact words used, or where I first read this.)

And yet, Jesus praised the centurion's faith and healed his servant without so much as a "sin no more." I'd guess that a centurion shtupping his male servant didn't really strike Jesus as all that bad.

Date: 2010-02-09 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dammit, browser ate my post.

It's not just the Old Testament. There are passages that can be interpreted as anti-homosexual passages in the New Testament though none of them can be attributed to Jesus. In fact, they can all be attributed to Paul.

The primary passage would probably be 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

From the KJV: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

The translation from Greek raises some questions because "effeminate" actually IS the best translation, and raises the question as to why he didn't use the more appropriate term. Adding my own snark, the term he did use seems specific to males... so like a lot of guys, it seems like he was okay with girl-girl sex, but not between two guys. ;)

There are other passages scattered throughout Romans and Timothy, also all by Paul.

Date: 2010-02-09 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Other passages would be Romans 1, 24 - 32 and 1 Timothy 1, 8 - 11.

With the exception of the Corinthians passage, most of the translations seem to use sodomite and that translation seems fairly accurate.

Date: 2010-02-09 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Although, of course, a "sodomite" is technically someone performing the act (or one of the acts) of sodomy, and doesn't actually refer to the genders of the people involved. Opposite sex sodomy is not only possible but common.

Date: 2010-02-09 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Except that's a modern definition of sodomy as far as we know. It was used for "men who schtup other men in the ass" for the most part.

What I was trying to aim at is that, chaste homosexual love doesn't seem to be as much of a concern (barring that odd choice of effeminate in Corinthians).

That actually seems to fit with pre-middle ages church doctrine. There's been a fair amount of academic research on this, and at least one prominent book... the title of which escapes me. I'll have to look when I get home.

Date: 2010-02-09 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have to admit I am not a scholar of Aramaic, so I don't know *how* it was used.

One possibly interesting note, though--the "effeminate" term may actually be more related than it appears. I've heard from multiple sources (though not done any research to confirm it) that in modern Middle Eastern society, only the male who is, er, receiving, as it were, is considered to be homosexual. If that was also true 'way back when, that could explain the use of "effeminate".

Date: 2010-02-09 11:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That might make some sense. Greek homosexual relationships were expected to work a certain way as well... specifically older male taking a younger male under wing to teach. If an older male were to take the more submissive position in the relationship, well, that wouldn't have been acceptable...
Edited Date: 2010-02-09 11:06 pm (UTC)

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