Why You Shouldn't Use The Bible When Arguing About Homosexuality

Reverand Candace Chellew-Hodge's post, about why we shouldn't us scripture to argue pro- or anti-gay positions, totally blew my mind:

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? The Bible remains a holy book because it maps humanity's journey with God, and not the other way around. Because it maps our journey with God, it maps our evolving understanding of how the Holy works in this world. Humanity has moved from seeing God as a harsh judge and lawmaker to a seeing God as full of grace, mercy and love...

The reason gays and lesbians should never argue over scripture is because, not only does scripture not condemn homosexuality, arguing over it produces nothing but strife, division and hatred. Anything that does not promote love is not of God. Instead of arguing, let us love one another, even those with whom we disagree. This is God's message to us. Nothing else matters.

9 comments :: Why You Shouldn't Use The Bible When Arguing About Homosexuality

  1. The Bible actually does condemn homosexuality, as it turns out: Leviticus 18:22. God also is a pretty harsh judge according to the bible, as well. Thankfully, none of it's true, and hopefully we all evolve beyond it.

  2. Chris,

    Come back when you've read the whole article.

  3. I'm back ;) . It sounds like it was written by one of those "let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater" types who recognize the worthlessness and divisiveness of the book but thinks it still holds some modicum of spiritual value of some sort. Historical and literary value, perhaps, but we should be past this by now, really.

  4. Chris,

    I don't think Leviticus can legitimately be used to argue anything from a biblical perspective. The Bible changes perspective from harshness to kindness later on. We ignore much of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, so why not that?

  5. wow, a lot of pointless soapboxing from loudmouths completely missing the point over at huffpo's comment section. like Chris, here!

  6. The first few points are basically "nobody knows how to have a reasonable rational conversation about it so let not talk about it". I dont think thats a good enough reason to avoid the topic. There are people who exist who have the ability to have rational discussion about this. They are far and few between but they exist. The last point is about his (and many others) opinion of what the bible is. Something not to be taken literally. What happens is essentially cherry picking the bible.

    "Oh this part says homosexuality is a abomination? This must of been the authors opinion, just ignore that."
    "hatred of women? This must of been the authors opinion, just ignore that."
    "supporting slavery? This must of been the authors opinion, just ignore that."

    The question that this presents is: by what criteria do we decide which parts to keep and which to throw out? The word of the bible says that homosexuality is morally wrong. The fact that we can recognize that killing someone just because there a homosexual is morally wrong and that we can recognize that hatred of women is morally wrong and slavery is morally wrong tells us that we already know right from wrong. We dont need the bible to tell us what is moral and what is not. Just like we dont need the bible to know that helping and loving others is morally right. We walk away from the bible knowing what we already knew walking in. The morally right parts are the ones that resonate with us the most and stick with us. Like the verse that he mentions John 4:7-8.



    Btw. Please know that Im not one of those jerk sort of atheist that troll the internet. I dont like those guys either. I was raised in a christian family and went to a christian school and was a christian most of my life. So I have intimate knowledge of the religion.

  7. I like the points the above commenters made. Yes, this is a conversation worth having and not even just about the bible, this really extends to all dogmas making unjustifiable claims. Cherry picking is at epidemic levels (not that I support literal, fundamental interpretations). I'm simply looking forward to a time when it doesn't cross anyone's mind to consult a holy book to find the ethical tenability of situations or actions, but rather only the consequences of the action.

    To speak to a specific point from "anonymous" and to quote Sam Harris "Nowhere in the bible does god say 'when you get to the new world and you create your three branches of government, you can just jettison all the barbarism I recommended in the old testament'."

  8. I can not believe that people still believe in God in this century. The weakness of the mind and it's ability to construct such complex delusions as evidenced by the sustenance of religion always astounds me.

    I admit, when you've been brought up in religion from childhood, and you've been guided by nearly perfect role models it's very difficult for your faith to lapse. I know from first hand experience because I was raised in an incredibly religiously disciplined, but also open minded, family. Intelligent science PhD parents who have never wavered in their conviction, behavior and loyalty to God.

    But I was able to break away from it somehow. I've realized that when you die you simply decompose and there's no such absurdity as an actual soul or a heaven up above (where?) and a hell down below (where?).

    All of the specific supernatural elements in the bible are residual fantasy from our much less educated ancestors who were attempting to explain/solve the riddle of life and the universe.

    The Bible is very impressive in establishing an idea of what I call "universal harmony" and others call "God", in which we start at a basic level and follow a social philosophy of self sacrifice and devotion to others (loving one another) that will ultimately contribute to deeper universal success, greater than superficial individual achievements of survival and pleasure.

    But the Bible is plagued with inaccuracies. Human error from underdeveloped minds which still subconsciously harbored large traces of egocentrism and barbarism and were crippled by a lower level of scientific understanding.

    That is where things such as repulsion to homosexuality arise from (if it is even in there). And that is where the idea comes from for a specifically characterized God who is focused on earth of all places and is made in our image, who wields magic, demands adoration, and who punishes infidels so severely, who saves us from the terror of a finite life and only materializes on earth between certain time periods of human existence...and is at war with the Devil.

    For these reasons I think it is ridiculous to claim that the Bible catalogs our "journey with God". If it was constantly amended it would, but it isn't, so it doesn't. The Bible merely depicts a snapshot of our journey with God. A frozen moment in time where we were still under the illusion that God was an active agent with supernatural powers rather than what I think "he" or it really is, metaphorically, a passive idea with no powers.

    To me God is the path that leads to harmony in the universe. The Bible is a past attempt to map out that path but it is only useful if mistakes can be recognized and discarded, sort of like the way science is approached.

    Otherwise it impedes progress, and some people might be misled by old signs that steer them away from the path and encourage divisiveness. Like the condemnation of homosexuality in one case or a holy war in another case.

  9. Interesting article. I definitely disagree with some of the points and his reasoning... for instance, where in the world does the Bible claim that the world is flat? Very minor but it left me confused at the credentials of the author. I like the idea the article is going for though, good post Dave.

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