What to Say When You Hear the Bible Opposes Being Gay

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What to Say When You Hear the Bible Opposes Being Gay

bible. Image (c) GeoWombat

A lot of people use the Bible to justify homophobia. "The Bible says it's wrong," you might hear. Or, "I'm a Christian, and my religion doesn't believe in homosexuality."

That can get pretty old, pretty fast. So here are a few things you can say to some of their common arguments.

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The Bible and Being Gay- Sodom & Gomorrah

Often times people will tell you that the Bible clearly opposes homosexuality and this is made clear in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. This story is found in the book of Genesis and tells of the inhabitants of the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah who were destroyed for their sinful ways.

One passage, Genesis 19:5 says, "And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them."

People usually interpret the the word "know" as meaning "to have sex with." Some people claim that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were punished because the men of the town "knew" other men.

However, others believe that it was not gay sex that got the town in trouble, but rape. This interpretation is strengthen by the fact that nowhere in Genesis is "homosexuality" mentioned. Interpreting this one passage as being a discussion of homosexuality is often seen as a limited view. Read more about that on Gay Christian 101.

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The Bible & Being Gay-Do Not Lie With a Man as One Lies With a Woman

Another common passage that folks cite is Leviticus 18:22 - "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable."

According to the Guide to Christian Teens, "While many Christian denominations and scholars believe these scriptures clearly condemn homosexuality, others believe that the Greek terms used were meant to describe the homosexual behavior present at Pagan temples."

It is also worth noting that nowhere in the Bible are lesbians ever mentioned! So there is absolutely no biblical justification against women having sex with women.

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The Bible and Being Gay-The Pick and Choose Justification

An organization called Soul Force has put together a response to a lot of the religious arguments against being gay. It's called, What the Bible Does-And Doesn't Say About Homosexuality.

It identifies numerous passages where the bible condemns sex practice that have nothing to do with homosexuality. Many of these passages also demand very strict punishments for those who engage in the acts described.

Here is a partial list:

  • If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately. Deuteronomy 22:13-21
  • If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death. Deuteronomy 22:22
  • Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced. Mark 10:1-12
  • The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.Leviticus 18:19
  • If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir. Mark 12:18-27
  • If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her. Deuteronomy 25:11-12

If someone tells you, "The Bible says its a sin to be gay," You might want to ask them if they also think the things mentioned above are sins that should be met with the extreme punishments described.

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The Bible and Being Gay-Finding a Welcoming Community

Though there is far too much homophobia found in mainstream religion, it is possible to find communities that welcome GLBT members or all ages.

The Guide to Gay Life has put together a list of gay friendly churches that you might want to check out!