A friend (thanks Rich B.) sent me an article from Yahoo News about gays and religeon. It's a very well written piece about the momentous repression practiced by various Christian denominations against homosexuals over millennia. A few excerpts:
It begins with this caveat: "Despite what you might have read, heard or been taught throughout your churchgoing life, homosexuality is, in fact, determined at birth and is not to be condemned by God's followers." The point is this: Without choice, there can be no moral culpability. Religion's only real commodity, after all, is its moral authority. Lose that, and we lose our credibility. Lose credibility, and we might as well close up shop.
The author, Olivor "Buzz" Thomas, a Baptist minister, takes the common justification for this repression (Leviticus 18) and debunks it by asking why, if this is to be taken so literally and seriously, why aren't the remainder of the Bible's, and especially Leviticus', prohibitions enforced by the churches:
If you accept one as the absolute, unequivocal word of God, you must accept them all.
For many of gay America's loudest critics, the results are unthinkable. First, no more football. At least not without gloves. Handling a pig skin is an abomination. Second, no more Saturday games even if you can get a new ball. Violating the Sabbath is a capital offense according to Leviticus. For the over-40 crowd, approaching the altar of God with a defect in your sight is taboo, but you'll have plenty of company because those menstruating or with disabilities are also barred.
The truth is that mainstream religion has moved beyond animal sacrifice, slavery and the host of primitive rituals described in Leviticus centuries ago.
This is so true. The zany crazies who pick and choose which sections of the Bible to believe and enforce and which not to need to re-read the section where Jesus warns men not to judge other men. Of course a consistent enforcement of Leviticus would mean no more football, crabs and other shellfish, the stoning of disobedient teenagers, and men being forced to take their widowed sisters-in-law as additional wives. The Bible also condoned slavery but we obviously progressed beyond that.
These Inquisition established abominations against gays began with a deliberate misinterpretation of the story of Sodom and Gomorra. A tale about hospitality was morphed into a condemnation of homosexuality by those who wanted it condemned. The very first page of the Good Book disproves the fact these are the literal words of God: King James Version. This book is the interpretation of one King James who put that disclaimer directly in the title of the work.
Jesus, as Mr. Thomas points out, never condemned nor forbade homosexuality. The Bible does condemn pederasty and other sins but Jesus taught us to love each other and that God loves us. Churches and religeons have lost their moral authority over this issue. They have murdered millions, including burning some alive (hence the origin of the slur "faggot" and have caused incalculable pain, suffering and misery when their missions were to spread love and tolerance. It's no wonder organized religeon is condemned by so many people.
This is a good article and I encourage everyone to go read it in its entirety.