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The incoherence of religiously fueled homophobia May 26, 2009

Posted by laïcité in Religion.

We’ve all heard it a million times before: the Bible clearly states that homosexuality is an abomination, so a good Christian should automatically regard homosexuality as immoral. A common argument used by fundamentalist and moderate Christians alike to defend discriminatory policies and attitudes against homosexuals. It doesn’t take too much to expose the incoherence of this position.

 Religiously fueled homophobes usually quote Leviticus to “prove” the immorality of homosexuality:

 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination

 20:13If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

 Fair enough, you may say. Maybe the immorality of homosexuality can be justified by religious texts, even if only in the eyes of the believers. But let’s take a closer look at Leviticus. Is it really a source of Christian morality?

 11:7And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you

 According to Leviticus, it seems that pork is a forbidden meat.

 11:10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

11:11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.

11:12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

 It also seems that the consumption of oysters, clams, lobster, crab, squid and shrimp is an abomination as well.

 19:19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

 No mixed fabrics…

 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

 No autopsies or tattoos either.

 I will avoid making a rigorous critique of a religious text or its believers. Instead, I will simply make a broad statement. The bible and other holy text were clearly written at a time with wholly different social norms, morals and practices. Certain views and moral judgments are simply invalid in modern times. What they would consider socially acceptable in their day (slavery, sexism, the execution of nonbeilevers), we consider morally repugnant today.

 Those who choose to refer to such text to defend intolerance and discrimination are ignoring the fact that they are picking and choosing which biblical morals to implement and which to ignore. Instead of simply self righteously declaring that the bible states homosexuality is immoral, I believe that it is imperative for these people to concurrently explain why they feel that Leviticus 18:22 should hold more weight than the other less popular abominations mentioned in the same book.

If homophobes cannot logically explain why homosexuality should still be considered an abomination, but not the mixing of cotton and polyester, then using Leviticus to justify such discrimination remains an incoherent, unreasonable position. One would simply be interpreting the text in his own way so as to defend his own intolerance and bigotry.



1. mahinder singh - June 4, 2009

After going through all the major religions of the world,i find that there is only one teaching that can lead man towards peace happiness and enlightenment i.e BHUDDHISM;;;The rest are light-years away where ethics practice and goal is concerned.Truly i salute the Buddha for having shown mankind the path to freedom to Nirvana

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