Gays/lesbians/bisexuals/transgendered people are all lumped together in one pigeon hole making it easier for many people to hate them. This homophobia can take any of a variety of forms, from simply "sounding off" against homosexuals (when I use the term "homosexuals" I'm also including lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people) to firing them from a job for being gay to actually physical assaults and killing.
When you try to find out why people hate gays so much, they generally respond that homosexuality is "unnatural" and "against the Bible."
"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals, it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." -Rev. Jerry Falwell, 1993
Let's look at the Biblical opposition to homosexuality. There are a couple of quotes relating to this:
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination." Leviticus 18:12.
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death..." Leviticus 20:13
Notice this says that a man "should not lie with a man as one lies with a woman..." Exactly what does that mean? Having any sex at all? Intercourse only? Oral sex? What?
This has been interpreted as any kind of physical relationship among two men, but it can also be interpreted in relation to the meaning of "as one lies with a woman", or passive (stereotyped, of course) behavior. The "true" male would be the aggressive one, and the male who was not aggressive but played the "woman's" role would be the one doing something "unnatural." (Especially for the times in which the Bible was written)
In other words, the phrase might be relating to support the concept of macho behavior among men, and that any man not behaving "like a real man" was, well, "unnatural." Thus, the aggressive man wasn't actually being condemned; it was the man playing the passive role who is being condemned.
Here's where it gets really tricky. The same people who hate gays because the Bible "says you're supposed to hate gays" conveniently ignore various other things the Bible says that you are not supposed to do or support. This leads to the "one from column A, one from column B" approach to the Bible. People will pick out the above quotes and justify their hatred of gays, yet they will conveniently ignore a number of other passages that, if they want to follow the Bible literally, should cause them to change their behavior considerably.
Let's look at eating habits. The Bible has some very specific references to things you are not allowed to eat, including eagles and owls (which, to me, anyhow, makes a lot of sense.) But the Bible would end up pretty much shutting down a lot of speciality restaurants if people followed the Bible rules on eating in the same way they choose to follow the Biblical rules on homosexuality.
1. Lets start off with pork. You can't eat pork. Period.
"And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you." Leviticus 11:7.
Pretty clear there, so no more pork in your diet. Nope.
2. How about seafood? Fish are ok, but you have to stop eating lobsters, crayfish, scallops, mussels and clams.
"And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you." Leviticus 11:22.
3. You can't eat rabbits.
"And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof, he is unclean unto you." -Leviticus 11:6
There are a lot more restrictions then I've sited; these are just the more common things that people eat but, if they wish to follow the Bible, they need to avoid.
There are even some passages relating to personal appearance that people don't seem to be following.
For one thing, there are no tattoos allowed.
"Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, not print any marks upon you..." Leviticus 19:28
You can't choose to go bald and the men have to watch how they shave their beards.
"They shalt not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh." Leviticus 21:5
Going the other way, men aren't allowed to have long hair.
"Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him..." Corinthians 11:14-15
No cross-dressing of any kind, either.
"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man; neither shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." Deuteronomy 22:5
We're not done yet. Your clothes have to be 100% whatever.
"Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together." Deuteronomy 22:11
So you need to go into your closet and throw out all those rayon/polyester, etc. mixes.
If people follow the Biblical rules faithfully, then they have to forgive all debts after 7 years.
"At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth out unto his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbor or of his brother, because it is called the LORD's release." Deuteronomy 15: 1,2
So those long-term mortgages have to be forgotten after seven years.
Now we start to get into some prohibitions that can have nasty consequences.
Let's start off with lying and stealing.
"Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another." Leviticus 19:11
That does it for most politicians, then.
For those who like to cuss a lot:
"And ye shalt not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God; I am the Lord." Leviticus 19:12
"And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death..." Leviticus 24:16
Notice that one. If you cuss and say something like "God*****, then you need to be put to death. It's that simple. It's right there in the Bible in plain print; you use the wrong cusswords and you are to be put to death. Period.
You can't curse your parents, either.
"For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death..." Leviticus 20:9 "
Exodus 21:17: "He that curseth his father, or his mother , shall surely be put to death."
So, if you get mad at your parents and cuss at them, it's time for you to die.
Forget about working on the Sabbath, either.
"But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thing ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within the gates..."Deuteronomy 5:14
Now, if you want to argue that the above thing only applies to Jewish people, then does the entire Old Testament apply only to Jewish people? If the above applies to Jews and non-Jews alike, then EVERYONE needs to stop working on Saturday (or Sunday, depending on your interpretation of which day of the week is actually the seventh day.)
For all the New Age-type people out there and for anyone who believes in any gods and/or goddesses other than the LORD, here's a little bit of advice:
"He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed." Exodus 22:20
One passage would revise a number of sentences that judges give out in murder trials:
"And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death." Leviticus 24:17.
Exodus 21:12: "And he that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely be put to death."
In other words, anyone who is found guilty of murder is to be killed, period. No exceptions, no clemency, no being saved by the state's governor. Notice also that the term used is to "kill." How about during wartime? I don't see any little fine-print notices here that say "he that killeth any man (except during time of war, police action, etc) shall surely be put to death." Nope. You kill somebody, you are to die in return.
One really interesting one would prevent wives from trying to save their husbands from being beat up.
"When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets; Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her." Deuteronomy 25:11,12
Sexual behavior can draw some very nasty penalties. Let's start with adultery.
"And that man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committed adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." Leviticus 20:10
Notice that one. If you are an adulterer, you MUST be put to death; both you and the person you are having sex with. No exceptions!
Incest in any form results in death, also:
"And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death..." Leviticus 20:11
In other words, anyone who has sex with their mother buys themselves a death penalty.
"And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have wrought confusion..." Leviticus 20:12
So, daughters-in-law are also forbidden territory.
"And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness; they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they..." Leviticus 20:14
So, any threesomes involving man, husband and wife's mother will result death.
"And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness, it is a wicked thing, and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people..." Leviticus 20:17
Stay away from your sister, in other words. Next, bestiality.
"And if a man lie with a beat, he shall surely be put to death; and ye shall slay the beast." Leviticus 20:15
"And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman and the beast..." Leviticus 20:16
So, another automatic death penalty.
Finally, you are not allowed to have sex with a woman during her time of the month.
"And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness, he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood; and both of them shall be cut off from among their people." Leviticus 20:18
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. " Jesus, Matthew 9:7
Myths of Homosexuality
1. The Bible specifically condemns homosexuality as we understand it.
This one I dealt with earlier in this piece.
2. Homosexuality can be taught or is contagious.
One of the reasons so many people hate homosexuality is an innate fear that they, themselves, might have tendencies towards that. For example, disliking people of another color is basically cut-and-dried since you know you won't wake up one morning with your skin having changed color and you're a different race. You just know that won't happen, but people can't be as absolutely positive that they won't ever, ever, ever have any sort of sexual feelings towards someone of their own gender. So it's easier to fear/hate that which you might become then it is to fear/hate that which you are absolutely sure you won't become.
3. Homosexuality is "unnatural."
The fact is that many, many species of mammals display homosexual behavior at times; not necessarily exclusively homosexual, but occasional homosexual behavior.
Further, virtually every single human society throughout history has had homosexual behavior. It's the way that the society reacts to that behavior that differs. In ancient Greece and Rome occasional homosexual behavior, especially between men and young boys, was not unusual. Native American tribes had various forms of homosexual behavior present and it wasn't condemned there, either. The thing is that, when the men "grew up", then tended to shift into heterosexual behavior patterns (and were expected to shift that way).
If such behavior was totally "unnatural", then evolution (along the way) would have found a way to ditch that behavior. Things that work are kept; things that fail are gotten rid of (including dinosaurs, for example.)
4. People are either heterosexual or homosexual, period.
This ignores totally the concept of bisexual people; people who have sex with either gender. Even in the homosexual community itself, though, there is often some form of prejudice against bisexuals, the homosexuals often wanting the person to "make up their minds" and not "fence sit."
The fact is that people are not 100% heterosexual or 100% homosexual. The examples of Greece and Rome show that there is a continuum of behavior; homosexual behavior was tolerated early on, then shifted into heterosexual behavior. Even the very concept of gender itself is not 100% one way or the other. Men will vary in their "manliness" just as women vary in their "femininity."
Most people are heterosexual entirely; some are homosexual entirely, and the rest are either rarely, occasionally or frequently bisexual in their behavior.
5. Homosexuality is a choice.
Let's see. Homosexual/gay/lesbian/t.g. people are the bottom of the societal pecking order. They are hated by many; their civil rights are often ignored or done away with entirely; they are the object of hate crimes, they can lose their job simply because they are g/l/bit, etc. Would anyone want to to be that way? No, homosexuality, etc, is not a choice. Just exactly what it is no one really knows. Genetic? Behavioral? Spiritual/reincarnational? Some combination of those? Whatever "causes" homosexuality, it's certainly not a conscious choice on the part of the person.
6. The term sodomy has its origins in the tale of Sodom and Gomorrah and as such shows another Biblical prohibition of homosexual behavior.
First, just what is sodomy? Well, it depends on the dictionary you use. Looking at various sources on dictionary.com it seems sodomy can be male/male anal intercourse, male/female anal intercourse, human (male or female)/animal intercourse and even male/male or male/female oral/genital sex. In other words, it covers several possibilities, not just male/male anal sex.
What were the crimes of Sodom? According to Ezekiel 16:49-50, these included the fact that they had "pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness...;" also, "neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." In addition, they were "haughty, and committed abomination before me..." Note the nature of the abomination is not detailed.
According to Isaiah, chapter 1:21: "How is the faithful city become an harlot! It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers."
verse 13: "Thy princes are rebellious and companions of thieves; every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards; they judge not the fatherless neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them."
In Genesis 19 the fuller version of the story is told about the visitors to Lot and the men of Sodom telling Lot to bring the visitors out so they could have sex with them. This is not consensual sex we're talking about here; the men wanted to rape the visitors. Lot offers his two daughters to the mob for raping but they don't accept that.
What is the crime here? Is it the crime of "sodomy" (anal sex, etc), or is it the crime of rape? (Also, at that time in that area it was considered a sin to take advantage/misuse/etc. guests visiting in a house since they were under the protection of the house and taking care of guests was considered a duty, so the "crime" of Sodom could be any of several different things (anal sex, rape, violation of established "guest" codes) or some combination of the three.
Notice also that no sexual crime had actually been committed. The visitors stayed in the house; the mob never touched them. It was a threat of sexual behavior, but no sexual behavior actually too place so there was no "sodomy" of any kind actually occurring in this account.
If the crime was just anal sex, then wouldn't that specific crime been pointed out in the other sections about the crimes of Sodom (rather then the fact that they were idle, didn't take care of the poor, etc.)?
7. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.
The two different sexes were necessary in order to have a continuance of the human race; heterosexuals have babies, homosexuals don't. There really wasn't any alternative. Thus, the statement refers to what God did in order to allow the continuance of the human race, but it doesn't inherently mean that male/male relations are wrong, just that such relations don't produce children.
8. AIDS is a disease to punish homosexuals.
This, of course, totally refuses to acknowledge that fact that the majority of AIDS cases world-wide are heterosexual, not homosexual.
In the U.S., AIDS is still primarily a homosexual disease, but the rate of infection of heterosexuals is rising. Worldwide, however, the opposite is true; AIDS is primarily a heterosexual disease. The situation varies from country to country. In Africa, heterosexual transmission is among the worst in the world. A United Nations Special Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001 concluded that HIV was spreading mainly through heterosexual contact in Central America and the Caribbean.
China's reported AIDS rate (very probably under-reported rate) has the heterosexual transmission rate at about 8.4% of the AIDS cases, and the homosexual rate so low it's less than 1%.
Now, if HIV/AIDS was a punishment for homosexuals, then why do heterosexuals get it? You would think the punishment would be behavior-specific leading to the extermination of all homosexuals. So it's obviously not some form of divine punishment.
So, just what is "wrong" with homosexuality? We've seen that homosexuality occurs in nature, so it's not "unnatural." We've seen that homosexuality is not a choice, and that homosexual behavior has been part of the history of human civilization.
We've seen that those who site the Bible tend to pick-and-choose what they want to believe and follow. Even the story of Sodom is not extremely clear.Now, also note that I am NOT trying to convince anyone that they should be homosexual. What I AM trying to say is that there is no rational reason for the widespread hatred of people simply because they choose to have sex with someone of the same gender.
I'm saying that he arguments people commonly use to condemn homosexual behavior do not stand up to analysis.
Actually, one of the best quotes I have found is this one from Elvis Presley:
‘Everybody comes from the same source. If you hate another human being, you're hating part of yourself."
If you don't like homosexuals/gays/lesbians/bisexuals or t.g. people then just don't have anything to do with them. Homosexuals are like any other people; they just want to live their lives in some form of peace and happiness. Isn't that what everyone really wants?
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