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PART 2 (page 30 of 34)
LONGER FOOTNOTES
Footnote A - The Clobber Passages
Footnote B - Examples of Bible scripture that Raise Some Questions:
a - Should Social Customs of More Than 2,000 Years Ago Be Applied To Modern Times as God's Rules For Our Behavior?
b - Could Paul Have Been Mistaken That All Governmental Authorities Are Approved By God?

Footnote A
The “Clobber Passages” - The Scripture Passages most often used by the organized church to bash homosexuals are:  (http://www.biblegateway.com/ is a great site to do research in the Bible)

1) Genesis 1-2 - The Creation Narrative
This is a story about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!! I have heard and read that in so many different places. The fact is that it was Adam and Eve. In “
The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart”, Peter J. Gomes writes the following pertaining to the creation narrative:

Gary Lynn's Analysis:“…the authors of Genesis were intent upon answering the question ‘Where do we come from?’ Then, as now, the only plausible answer is from the union of a man and a woman…The creation story in Genesis does not pretend to be a history of anthropology or of every social relationship. It does not mention friendship, for example, and yet we do not assume that friendship is condemned or abnormal. It does not mention the single state, and yet we know that singleness is not condemned, and that in certain religious circumstances it is held in very high esteem” (pages 49-50).

In other words, Adam and Eve is the only relationship that would make sense for this specific account. It is a story about creation, and only a procreative (i.e. heterosexual) relationship would be appropriate for this particular story. If someone, in spite of this, were to base his or her opinion of homosexuality on the Creation story alone, their stance would not only be out of context, but also based on a weak argument.
(The Bible, Christianity & Homosexuality by Justin R. Cannon)

2) Genesis 19 - Sodom and Gomorrah - (a paraphrase)
God sent two angels to warn Abraham’s nephew, Lot, about the approaching destruction of Sodom. They came to the city of Sodom and Lot, who was a resident alien in the town at best himself, welcomed them into his home and prepared a meal for them. According to L. R. Holben in What Christians Think about Homosexuality-Six Representative Viewpoints,  "In the violent, tribal society of his time and place, he is to some extent a suspect personage by definition - not one of 'us'.  Add to that reality the fact of his bringing two strangers into his house at night (behind the security of the city's walls and locked gate) and a situation is created in which Lot's neighbors might well feel there was a legitimate reason for concern: the two visitors could be spies, the advance party of the many hostile nomadic groups that perpetually swept the Fertile Crescent pillaging and enslaving the more settled communities in their path."  Then based of these fears, all the men of Sodom, young and old, surrounded the house and asked where the strangers (angels) were, who came to spend the night. They basically shouted, “Where are those men who came to your house? We want to have sex with them!” Lot refused but offered his daughters instead, giving the reason: “Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. Don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof”. The crowd of men insisted on what they wanted and tried to break through the door. The angels ended up pulling Lot into the house and blinding the crowd.

The Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was Not Homosexuality
Gary Lynn's Analysis:
Attempted Male-on-male Gang Rape and Sodom and Gomorrah. One example of male-on-male gang rape is what conquering armies inflicted on the conquered, the aim of which was to humiliate to the extreme, reducing the conquered male to the role of a lowly passive woman, who was considered little better than a slave.  Another example is what individual men or groups of men or gangs did when they wanted to hurt and humiliate men they didn’t like. Clearly this practice was not driven by sexual desire, but by brutality and hatred. Many scholars have concluded that this violence and humiliation, male-on-male gang rape, is what the men of Sodom attempted to do to the 2 strangers (angels) in the Sodom and Gomorrah story in Genesis 19.  In other words, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was the attempted male-on-male gang rape or extreme lack of hospitality [1], not homosexuality. If all the males in the street were homosexuals, the Lord wouldn’t have had to destroy the city to make it disappear. It would have disappeared on its own for lack of offspring in just a couple of generations. Also, it appears that Lot viewed the men in the street as at least bisexuals, not homosexuals, otherwise why would he offer his own two daughters in place of the 2 strangers (angels). We need to remember here that God had already decided to destroy Sodom previous to this story. So whatever the reason for the city’s destruction, it didn’t have anything to do with the specific sin described in this story at that later time. Also remember that Jesus himself pointed out that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was lack of hospitality (Luke 10:10-12): 10"But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near. 12I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city. (NASB)  Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, ever.

What Was The Sin Of Sodom and Gomorrah?
Two verses in the book of Ezekiel tells us exactly what it was.
In Ezekiel 16:49,50 (NIV) it says, "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen".  

An arrogant, overfed and unconcerned person, someone who does not help the poor or needy is not a hospitable person and yes, attempted gang rape is indeed detestable.                 

John McNeill, a gay former Jesuit priest, notes in The Church and the Homosexual (1976, 1993) how the modern rediscovery that Sodom was destroyed for
inhospitality, not homosexuality per se, presents us "with one of the supremely ironic paradoxes of history. For thousands of years in the Christian West the homosexual has been the victim of inhospitable treatment. Condemned by the Church, he [or she] has been the victim of persecution, torture, and even death. In the name of a mistaken understanding of the crime of Sodom and Gomorrah, the true crime of Sodom and Gomorrah has been and continues to be repeated every day."[2]

Modern Christian Family Values?
Before we leave Genesis 19 let us reflect for a moment on the horrid morals displayed in this ancient society.  As Tom Horner writes in Jonathan Loved David, "Here we are face to face with a standard that strikes us as barbaric, to say  the least: women-even a man's unmarried daughters - are [of such low esteem and] not considered as important to him as these two strangers!  Behind this is the ancient Middle Eastern notion that between (male) host and (male) guest there was a sacred bond, and this bond of hospitality must not be dishonored at any cost.  Women were not important in this arrangement.  There is no need for any further explanation.  For there is nothing that can be said that will excuse the crudity of this offering of the girls to be raped instead of the men." [3]

3) Leviticus 18:22 - Israel’s Holiness Code
- You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (NASB)
Leviticus 20:13 - Israel’s Holiness Code - If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. (NASB)

Click Here for Gary Lynn's Analysis

Also read the following then Click Below to read the rest of this deep and thorough analysis of the meaning of Leviticus 18:22.  The analysis will cover and include the Translations and interpretations of same-sex behavior as mentioned in Leviticus 18:22.  Here is a preview look:

Which is the correct translation?

Obviously, it is important for a student of the Bible to resolve exactly what behavior is forbidden: is it:

# All homosexual behavior, by either men or women, or
# All sexual behavior between two men, or
# Only anal sex between two men, or
# Only anal sex in a Pagan temple ritual, or
# Sexual activity between two men in a woman's bed?

Also, is the behavior forbidden to ancient Israelites, or modern-day Jews, or all males regardless of their religion, or all males and females, or some combination of the preceding.

Unfortunately, there is no consensus on the meaning of this verse. Many people tend to select that interpretation that most closely reinforces their initial biases about the Bible and homosexual behavior.

English translations of this verse:
These are not a great deal of help. Bible publishers are under strong economic pressures to turn a profit. If a translation of Leviticus 18:22 were included that did not generally condemn at least male homosexual behavior, confidence in the translation would drop precipitously and their sales would drop equally fast. They are unlikely to deviate from traditional interpretations, unless they were preparing a translation specifically for Christian and Jewish liberals.

Some translations are:

ESV: (English Standard Version): "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is abomination."
KJV: (King James Version): "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination".
LB: (Living Bible): "Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin"
Net Bible: "You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is a detestable act."1
NIV: (New International Version) "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable."
NLT: (New Living Translation): "Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin."
RSV: (Revised Standard Version): "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."

The LB and NLT translations use the term "homosexuality" That is unusually deceptive for three reasons:

1 - The passage in the ancient Hebrew is clearly talking about male-male sex acts. By using the word "homosexuality," the English translation appears to condemn lesbian activity as well. The latter behavior is definitely not mentioned in the original Hebrew text of this passage. In fact, lesbian behavior is not mentioned anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures.

2 - The term "homosexuality" has two distinct meanings in English. Sometimes it refers to sexual behavior (what some people do; their actions). Sometimes it relates to sexual orientation (what some people are; their feelings). One reader might conclude from an English translation that homosexual orientation is criticized in the Bible; others might assume that only homosexual behavior is criticized.

3 - The word "homosexual" was first used in the very late in 19th century CE. There was no Hebrew word that meant "homosexual." Thus, whenever the word is seen in an English translation of the Bible, one should be wary that the translators might be inserting their own prejudices into the text.

Various groups' interpretations of this verse:

# The most common conservative Christian Interpretation: This verse condemns homosexual behavior of all types including consensual sex between two adults and monogamous sexual activity within a committed relationship. Its meaning is clear and unambiguous. This verse is often quoted in Evangelical churches and on religious radio and TV programs. "Abomination" is defined in Webster's New World dictionary as "nasty and disgusting; vile, loathsome." It is a strong word indeed!

Mark Howerter writes:
"The American Heritage Dictionary says this is what abominate means: 'To detest thoroughly; abhor.' A thesaurus uses : a. hate b. despise c. loathe d. detest and e. execrate as synonyms for abominate. Lest we should ever forget how God feels about homosexuality, i.e., sodomy, the whole story of Lot in Sodom as found in Genesis chapters 18-19 should be read by every person in America at least once a year." 2

Some common liberal Christian Interpretations:
    # Some English translations of this passage condemn both gay and lesbian sexual relationships. This is a mistranslation. It refers only to male-male sexual behavior.

    # This passage does not refer to gay sex generally, but only to a specific form of homosexual prostitution in Pagan temples. Much of Leviticus deals with the Holiness Code which outlined ways in which the ancient Hebrews were to be set apart to God. Some fertility worship practices found in early Pagan cultures were specifically prohibited; ritual same-sex behavior in Pagan temples was one such practice. 3

    # The status of women in ancient Hebrew culture was very much lower than that of a man and barely above that of children and slaves. When a man engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman, he always took a dominant position, as a penetrator; the woman would take a submissive posture. When two men engage in sexual intercourse, one of the men, in effect, takes the role of a woman. When a man takes on the low status of a woman, the act makes both ritually impure.

    # Many would regard "abomination," "enormous sin", etc. as particularly poor translations of the original Hebrew word which really means "ritually unclean" within an ancient Israelite era. The Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (circa 3rd century BCE) translated "to'ebah " into Greek as "bdelygma," which meant ritual impurity. If the writer(s) of Leviticus had wished to refer to a moral violation, a sin, he would have used the Hebrew word "zimah."

    # This verse says nothing about consensual same-sex activity today. It only condemns same-sex religious prostitution in Pagan temples.

Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches: This is a conservative Christian denomination with a special outreach to gays and lesbians. They enlarged on the condemnation of the ritual uncleanness of homosexual sexual behavior in Pagan temples:

"The seriousness of this idolatry in Hebrew eyes was compounded by the belief that 'to lie with a man as with a woman' violated the dignity of the male sex. Women were [considered] property but men were the direct image of God. To treat a man the way a woman was treated was to reduce him to property and, thereby, to violate the image of God. The issue was idolatrous activity which failed to acknowledge God's creation." 3

National Gay Pentecostal Alliance (NGPA) interpretation: The NGPA has produced a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew. 4 In English, with minimal punctuation added, they rendered it as: "And with a male thou shalt not lie down in beds of a woman; it is an abomination. That is, "... rather than forbidding male homosexuality, it simply restricts where it may occur." This may seem a strange prohibition to us today, but was quite consistent with other laws in Leviticus which involve improper mixing of things that should be kept separate. e.g. ancient Hebrews were not allowed to mix two crops in the same field, or make cloth out of two different raw materials, or plow a field with an ox and a donkey yoked together. A woman's bed was her own. Only her husband was permitted there, and then only under certain circumstances. Any other use of her bed would be a defilement.
 
An argument against this interpretation is that it would not blend well with the next verse. Leviticus 18:23 discusses a man or a woman engaging in bestiality. The traditional translations would make a smoother text. However, in defense of the NGPA translation, there is already a break in topic between verses 21 and 22. So a second break between 22 and 23 is not unreasonable.

Author Jacob Milgrom suggests that the two passages do not prohibit homosexual behavior generally, but only:
    # for ancient Israelites, or to inhabitants of Israel, and
    # who are engaging in anal intercourse, and
    # who are men, not lesbians, and
    # (perhaps) who are of the same kinship connections that would prohibit heterosexual relations. 5

To continue reading this analysis found on religioustolerance.org plus finding out the meaning of the footnotes Click HERE.

4) Deuteronomy 23:17 - Israel’s Holiness Code - None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a cult prostitute. (NASB)

Click Here for Gary Lynn's Analysis

5) Romans 1:18-32 - The Apostle Paul’s lengthy statement.  
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  20Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.  So they are without excuse; 21for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools; 23and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, 25because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions.  Their women exchanged natural
 intercourse for unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

28And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to things that should not be done. 29They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice.  Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.  32They know God's decree, that those who do such things deserve to die - yet they not only do them but even applaud those who practice them. (NRSV)

Click Here for Gary Lynn's Analysis

6) 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai” 
(9) Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, (10) thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.  (NRSV)

Click Here for Gary Lynn's Analysis

7)
1 Timothy 1:9-10 - “pornoi”, “arsenokoitai”, and “andrapodistai” (9) For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. (10) The law is for people who are sexually immoral (pornoi), or who practice homosexuality (arsenokoitai), or are slave traders (andrapodistai), liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching   (New Living Translation)

Gary Lynn's Analysis: Now that we've dealt with the meaning of arsenokoitai (click Here to go to my review of this word), the meaning of the other 2 Greek words falls fairly well into place.   According to Robin Scroggs in The New Testament and Homosexuality on page 120-121, “pornoi”, “arsenokoitai”, and “andrapodistai” should be translated to mean “male prostitutes [primarily adolescent boys], males who lie (with them) and slave-dealers (who procure them). . . . I thus draw the conclusion that the 3 item vice list in 1 Timothy is not condemnatory of homosexuality in general, not even pederasty in general, but that specific form of pederasty which consisted of the enslaving of boys or youths for sexual purposes, and the use of these boys by adult males.”

8) Jude 6-7 - Sodom and Gomorrah and went after strange flesh   6And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (NASB)

Gary Lynn's Analysis: According to John J. McNeill in The Church and The Homosexual "these books [plus 2Peter 2:4-10]. . .seem to understand that sin as a 'transgression of orders' between human and angelic beings." [4] In other words, this is talking about sex with angels since the strangers in the Sodom and Gomorrah story were in fact angels.  Click Here for more commentary based on John J. McNeill's book from the pen of Reverend Marilyn A. Riedel.  

Here is a link to very good brief analysis of the Clobber Passages on sisterfriends-together.org

Comment by Gary Lynn: Isn't it interesting that there are 31,173 verses in the Bible and these 8 clearly ambiguous passages mentioned above are enough for fundamentalist Christians to put a whole class of people in the garbage?  And yet the word love appears 319 times in the Old Testament and 232 times in the New Testament in the NIV Bible; so much for having their priorities in order.


Another Observation: Despite conservatives' use of the [above Biblical Passages] to "Clobber" them and their longings for intimacy and partnership, gay people must claim their right to a share in the biblical message of God's all-embracing love.  As Peter Gomes puts it [in his book The Good Book,] that message is inclusive "not . . . simply in the abstract and in principle.  It is inclusive in particular."  Like every other person, the gay or lesbian can be sure that "[y]our story is written here, your sins and fears addressed, your hopes confirmed, your experiences validated, and your name known to God." [5]

Footnote B
Examples of Bible scripture that:

a) talk about and deal with customs of Old and New Testament times that should not, in my humble opinion, be the basis for rules of behavior applied to our times -
#1, #2, #3 and #5

b) give faulty opinions -
#4 - The Authorities are God's Servants - If these scriptures are taken literally and applied universally, it is manifestly untrue, contradicted not only by Paul's own martyrdom during the Neronian persecution, but also by the state's execution of Jesus - not to mention the suffering and murder of thousands of fundamentally, sometimes even heroically, decent people  at the hands of various governments down through the centuries and continuing to our own day. (Holben, L. R., What Christians Think about Homosexuality - Six Representative Viewpoints, BIBAL Press, 1999, footnote 55, page 283.)

#1) 1Corinthians 14:34,35 (NLT)34Women should be silent during the church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says. 35If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings.”

#2) 1Corinthians 11:5-6 paraphrased says that “women should cover their head and never cut their hair (like prostitutes)”
 
#3) 1Corinthians 11:14 (NLT)" Isn't it obvious that it’s disgraceful for a man to have long hair?”

#4) Romans 13:1-5 (NLT) 1Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

#5) . . . and all the Bible verses which accommodate slavery like Leviticus 25:44 (New Living Translation) “However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Smaller Footnotes:
[1] In Lot’s day, hospitality (offering strangers the warmth and protection of one’s roof) was a nearly sacred concept because the notion of hotels was unknown. And any refusal to grant hospitality was considered an extreme breach of the social contract.
[2] McNeill, John J., "The Church and the Homosexual", Boston, Beacon Press, 1976, 1993, page 50. Paragraph taken from "Homosexuality and The Bible: Sodom: An Ancient Story Refashioned" By Bruce L. Gerig
[3]
Horner, Tom, "Jonathan Loved David", Philadelphia, The Westminister Press, 1978, page 50.
[4] McNeill, John J., "The Church and the Homosexual", Boston, Beacon Press, 1976, 1993, page 46. 
[5] Holben, L. R.  What Christians Think about Homosexuality - Six Representative Viewpoints, BIBAL Press, 1999, page 178-179.


If you would like to communicate with me, my e-mail address is: guery1940-arrowhead@yahoo.com


A Gay Teen Short Story ♂♂
GOD MADE ME THIS WAY by Grant Bentley

Church is so confusing for Zack.  His new pastor preaches nothing but hate and condemnation of gays and lesbians, but no matter how carefully he reads his Bible, he can’t find where it says God hates him.  Will things change when Zach's boyfriend Billy suggests that they all go to his church instead?    Click Here or on the icon to read the story.

 

Click Here for What Parents of Gay and Lesbian Teens need to Know about Suicide - What Are The Warning Signs?


Click for Page 31
- Bibliography
 


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The Anti-Gay Religious Right's Really Cruel and Idiotic Argument
Their Message to a Gay Person is: Be alone. Live alone. Die alone.

 


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