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The Bible As a Non-Authority on Sexual Orientation

Thomas Whitley

Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge has an interesting post up over on Huffington Post on Why Gays and Lesbians Should Never Argue Scripture.

The most important reason, however, that gays and lesbians should never, ever argue about scripture is because the Bible has nothing much to say about homosexuality. We have to remember that this is an ancient book. It was written at a time when people believed the world was flat and that the earth was in the middle of a three-tiered world with heaven above and hell below. It was written at a time when people believed that the whole of human reproduction was held in the sperm of a man and a woman was merely an incubator. Speaking of women, this was a time when they were seen as chattel -- property to be passed along from father to husband, from husband to brother and so on. It was written at a time when slavery was seen as God-ordained and animal sacrifice was the way to cleanse sins.

In short, we cannot extract modern ideas from an ancient book. The writers of the Bible no more understood homosexuality than they understood that a spherical Earth orbited the sun. At most, we have a commentary on same-sex sexual behavior involving lust and abuse, but nothing -- pro or con -- about the modern concept of sexual orientation. We don't take the Bible's word for it that the earth is flat and women only incubate babies and contribute nothing else to the process. Why on earth would we take it as an authority on sexual orientation?

I think Rev. Chellew-Hodge is spot on. This also goes back to my recent post on being honest about what we can and can not know and about what the Bible does or does not say. It simply does not speak to homosexuality as we understand it today. Moreover, we already don't trust the Bible on a multitude of issues from slavery to cosmology to genocide, why are we so afraid to take a stand on homosexuality as well?

HT: James McGrath