The Bible and the LGBTQ community
Rom 1: 26-27. NRSV. “Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, …, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men ...”
As I have shown previously, the Old Testament (OT) discriminations against the LGBTQ community are false. Some of the reasons are that homosexuality was not understood as an inherited trait, the OT writers compiled these to keep the Jewish people separate from their Pagan surroundings, homosexuality was a dominance relationship of a conquest, the “sins” of Sodom and Gomorrah were rape not love and Lev 20:13 actually calls for the death penalty for homosexual behavior. These reasons are also applicable to Rom 1:26-27.
It has been said that even if we accept the OT homosexual discriminations as false, the Romans’ reference above is in the New Testament (NT) and Jesus’s message of salvation superseded the OT laws. However, in Luke 16:17 we read; “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of the law to be dropped.” This verse implies that Jesus supported the 613 Mosaic Laws.
Also, most Christians believe Jesus is God and that the OT and NT God are the same; therefore, the OT God was Jesus. Showing the OT homosexual discriminations as false is stating that Jesus said they were false. A reminder that Jesus’ life here on earth never addressed homosexuality; the Christian God seems to have no interest in this.
Rom 1:26-27 is the only Biblical text that might address lesbianism. But, during these times, we have very little surviving documents referring to actual lesbianism. “Unnatural” could refer to other types of sex acts from surrounding cultures that the Jewish people did not accept.
The true meaning, within context, of these verses is simply ignored to justify homophobia. If you read verses 18-32, Paul is stating that homosexuality is a punishment given by God for those who do not worship Him properly; again, no connection to the loving relationships homosexuals can share today. For Paul, homosexuality was not a choice, sickness or inherited; today, we do know it is not a choice; as my pastor said to me, “Larry, when did I choose to be a heterosexual?” As a friend of mine in PFLAG said, “Yeah, right! I, and those before me, would “choose” to endure so much suffering.” When I read verses 18-32, I counted 22 different punishments God was going to inflict on improper worshippers. If God did this, would this God deserve to be worshipped? This is another example of people having distorted lenses on picking out societal harmful verses to support their homophobia.
For other reasons Rom 1:26-27 does not condemn homosexuality, I recommend “God and the Gay Christian” by Matthew Vines who does believe in II Timothy 3:16-17 (page 2).
“All religion is cafeteria religion” (Silverman); Those who “order” verses to support their homophobia, generally, do not “order” the verses that support slavery.
“If people would still seek to know outright if gay or lesbian sex in itself is good or evil, …, they will have to look somewhere else for an answer. The Bible never addresses that question. More than that, the Bible seems deliberately unconcerned about it.” (Helminiak)
If there is a “judgment,” I would rather be found “guilty” of showing the LGBTQ community love and acceptance instead of being found “guilty” of showing this group hate and discrimination.
Special note to Kate Snyder, Ph.D. for her October 16th letter, “Writer decries alleged discrimination”; THANK YOU!
Larry E. Farr, Jeffersonville