What did Jesus say about homosexuality?

This is the fourth in a series of articles, by The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New … Continued

This is the fourth in a series of articles, by The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, and visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Washington, DC, examining the Biblical texts traditionally used to address the issue of homosexuality from a religious (Jewish and Christian) perspective.

 

What Jesus Says about Homosexuality:                                                    .

That’s right. Jesus is not recorded as having said anything related to intimate sexual relationships between people of the same gender. One has to wonder, if homosexuality is such a heinous sin against God, why does Jesus himself never refer to it? One cannot extrapolate affirmation of such relationships from that silence, but still, why no mention of an issue now causing entire churches to split?

St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans

Passages in Paul’s epistles to the Romans and Corinthians, as well as a passage from I Timothy are cited by the tradition as condemning homosexuality. A closer look suggests some questions about that traditional understanding.

The Romans passage states that God has turned his back on the ungodly and wicked – most especially those who have given up the one true God for idols. Because of their idolatry, “God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and 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.” (Romans 1:26-27)

Once again, we ask the question of context. This passage must be read as part of Paul’s general observations and admonishments to the Christians living in Rome. Paul is making the point that Jew and Gentile alike need the Gospel, since all are unrighteous and in need of God’s saving grace. In particular, Paul is singling out the misguided practice of idolatry, rampant in the ancient world and contrary to God’s will, in which “they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.” (Romans 1:23) In response to their devotion to idols, says Paul, “God gave them up to degrading passions.”

Paul would have been very aware that some idolatrous cults practiced temple prostitution as one of its devotional activities. Temple prostitutes were used for sexual acts – by both men and women – as an act of devotion to the idol. It is not clear that this is what Paul was referring to, but it is a practice which would have been familiar to him and denounced by him.

Note that these same-gender acts are a result of idolatry, not the cause of God’s anger. Once again, as in the Old Testament, when Paul uses the word “nature” he “apparently refers only to homosexual acts indulged in by those he considered to be otherwise heterosexually inclined; acts which represent a voluntary choice to act contrary to their ordinary sexual appetite.” Paul is referring to people who have “exchanged” or “giv[en] up” their true – and therefore heterosexual – nature. The words “exchanged” and “gave up” clearly indicate that these were people presumed to be heterosexual by “nature” who were turning their backs on their true nature.

And by “nature” here, Paul is not making a “natural law” argument (that would come much later in Christian history and theology), but rather, he is arguing from the natural, or customary, way humankind is ordered.

Finally, just following this passage (in chapter 2), Paul chastises his readers for any sort of judgmentalism on their parts: “Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.” (Romans 2:1) While Paul has harsh words for idolators, he seems quick to point out that judgmentalism is to be avoided. Paul seems to be saying that using his words to judge homosexuals (or anyone else) in our own day would be a grievous error.

In short, we are not certain what sexual practices Paul has in mind in this passage. He simply does not tell us. What is clear is that these practices are related to the worship of idols – and clearly not what we are talking about today. Our questions involve a modern understanding of human sexuality in which a small minority of people – by their nature – are affectionally oriented toward people of the same gender, a concept unknown to the ancient mind. And we are not talking about temple prostitutes, but rather two people of the same gender who are drawn into a faithful, monogamous, life-long-intentioned relationship. Not much help here on answering the questions we are asking.

Read the relevant passages from Paul here:

20 Ever 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; 21 for though they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools; 23 and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27 and 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.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done.

 

This is the fourth in a series of articles by by The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson.   The Fifth Article is Homosexuality in I Corinthians and I Timothy.  

  • 4SimpsonsDotWordpressDotCom

    “In short, we are not certain what sexual practices Paul has in mind in this passage. He simply does not tell us.”Paul was spectacularly clear. Just read the passage! Context is everything. Paul explains how people have exchanged the truth of God for a lie and denied God’s obvious existence. Then before listing a host of sins, he offers exhibit A: Homosexual behavior.”That’s right. Jesus is not recorded as having said anything related to intimate sexual relationships between people of the same gender.”Robinson tips his hand with that fallacious argument known as arguing from silence. Jesus is God, and God is the author of scripture. Homosexual behavior was not a big 1st century issue for Jews so it didn’t appear to merit a specific mention. Jesus did reaffirm that marriage was designed by God to be for one man and one woman. Jesus didn’t specifically condemn pedophilia so using Robinson’s logic that must not be a big sin either.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    ONOFRIO,CHECK THIS OUT. I MEAN YOU MUST.LOOK. THIS OPPORTUNISTIC ROBINSON CONFIRMS EVERYTHING DANIAL ABULAFIA SAYS, BUT HE PUSHES IT UP SEVERAL CENTURIES.I WAS RIGHT ABOUT ROBINSON. FROM A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE.AND FROM A BIBLICAL. THE MAN IS ILLITERATE.COULDN’T THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH, THE CHURCH OF SHELBY SPONG HAVE FOUND SOMEONE WHO KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT THE BIBLE? NT AND TANAKH.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Robinson writes:Paul would have been very aware that some idolatrous cults practiced temple prostitution as one of its devotional activities. Temple prostitutes were used for sexual acts – by both men and women – as an act of devotion to the idol. You are referring to Lev. No, my friend. It was pedophilia the Greeks were into.Oh, and Gene? Did Jesus eat crustaceons?Bishop Spong, a mistake has been made in your church. A bad one.

  • Sojouner

    The problem with the approach columns like this take imply that because Jesus did not specifically address or mention homosexuality in the 4 gospels that He must then have condoned it. That’s an erroneous assumption or implication to make. Jesus told many not to ‘sin anymore’ without divulging what their specific sins were. No need to because to God all sin is just that, sin. Jesus did say that He came to fulfill every little part of the Law and not to abolish it.

  • garoth

    Bishop, I am sorry that you have to listen to so much tripe from people who have no idea what they are talking about. I am certain you have heard it all before. Sometimes, I wonder why people bother to write columns at all, given the rediculous and hateful responses they receive.Bishop Robinson is quite right about Paul. He is not confusing Paul with Leviticus, since both the Greeks and Romans practiced not only idol worship, but also temple prostitution. Paul is concerned about idolotry, and seems to connect the dots between temple prostitution and idolotry. Pedophelia was also a problem, and may have been referenced in one of these scriptures as well (sorry, don’t have the time to look it up right now). He could also be possibly referring to the practice of using male slaves for sexual gratification – a common practice in both Greek and Roman cultures, as in most ancient civilizations, which served to humiliate men in a male-oriented society, as he has explained before. All of this is well-documented.As he said, the idea of a loving homosexual relationship, as we are speaking of today, while sometimes noted in literature, was probably not the focus of these denunciations. The problem is with the abuse of power – a consistent theme in both the “Old” and “New” Testaments. Furthermore, in these texts he is using today, the question of idolotry comes up. The more relevant question related to these texts is our idolotry of sex, our use of it to market, not only human beings, but cars, toothpaste, etc., and our turning people into objects for self-gratification. For most people – and for our culture – these are far more relevant questions than homosexuality, but homosexuality is the the scape-goat, enabling us to focus on gays rather than on the judgment these passages talks about upon those who use sex as a way of expressing power, and our cultural idolotry of sex.

  • mackharrell

    : 4SimpsonsDotWordpressDotComBp Robinson explicitly rejects the argument from silence!

  • joe_allen_doty

    I have the equivalent of a Master of Arts in Theological and Historical Studies and I took those 30 graduate level semester hours at an accredited university.When studied in the correct Biblical Hermeneutical context, none of Paul’s writing had anything to do with homosexuals. The same-gender male sex acts that are mentioned in Romans chapter ONE were done by heterosexual men in fertility rituals.The women mentioned in Romans 1 were not lesbians; they were female temple prostitutes. Paul considered prostitution to be an unnatural use of women.Paul coined the word “arsenokoitai” which is a feminine plural noun. Yes, the gender of the people is female due to the “ai” suffix. If it were men, it would be “arsenokoitoi, the plural of “arsenokoites.”

  • EastCoastCommentator

    Classic argument by those who do not understand the Bible (by asking, What did Jesus say about homosexuality)The question Mr. Spong should ask is:What did Jesus say about the Old Testament?Matthew 5:17 (New American Standard Bible) “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Argue all you want for condoning sin – it is still sin. Jesus did say “Go from now on sin no more”.

  • thebump

    Any sexual act outside the sacramental bond of husband and wife violates the Commandments and is inherently sinful. The Creator made us male and female. Contrary to Gene’s specious assertions, Jesus explicitly affirmed that the union of male and female as husband and wife was divinely ordained in the plan for Creation. Sex matters, because by the Creator’s design it accounts for the existence of the human race and every human person. And as is self-evident, sex depends on sexes.Gene would do well to repent of his false gospel and beg forgiveness of the wife of 25 years he dumped.

  • detroitblkmale30

    This is such a flawed argument. Jesus didnt say anything about incest, bestiality, or hundreds of other things commonly accepted as sin. The logic that Jesus had to say something about homosexuality for it to be a sin is a slanted and irrelevant litmus test. Jesus didnt have to say anything about it because it had already been said. It was understood it was an abomination. What Jesus DID say in Matthew 5:17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” Whats included in that law?? Leviticus 18:22. Jesus did not come to re-establish what was right and wrong his main and overarching purpose was to serve as the new covenant for the remission of our sins. In plain english, Jesus did not come to rewrite the laws.. he changed the punishment which was death. He instituted forgiveness for ALL sinners. So enough with the argumments of stoning children and women…Jesus did away with those punishments. He DID NOT however eliminate the sin and laws themselves. I would expect a better argument from someone like Robinson who is supposedly so steeped in the scriptures.In a practical sense thats like saying you stole from the store because you thought it was ok since your parent or other mentor figure never specifically said you couldnt, even though that law has been on the books for hundreds of years.Weak, very weak.

  • Sajanas

    Must we really take advice from apocalyptic preachers from 2,000 years ago who thought that the end of the world was at hand? And whose thoughts were written down fourth hand by splinter sects a hundred years later?Is it not the more moral thing to just look at how gays suffer, and how their actions harm no one, and how they still manage live loving, fulfilling lives in spite of all the hate directed at them? I think that is far more inspiring than anything you can quote mine out of the Bible to support one position or the other.

  • volkmare

    Jesus may not have said it when he was here 2000 years ago, but he is the one who said it through his prophets in the old and New Testament.You can’t say he has made no mention of it.Mark

  • gladerunner

    Detroitblkmale30:

  • lepidopteryx

    Glade, I’ll have the bacon-wrapped shrimp topped with melted cheese.

  • spidermean2

    Romans 1:27 “Likewise, their men have given up natural sexual relations with women and burn with lust for each other. Men commit indecent acts with men, so they experience among themselves the punishment they deserve for their perversion.”The punishment is soon coming. The Bible doesn’t lie.

  • onofrio

    Farnaz,Contortionism is Abstruse hermeneutical voodoo…Being, frankly, an “idolator” myself, I find the persistent linkage of sacred images and luridly abusive “prostitution” an off-target, unamusing, wilful smear of too many Others. A gay bishop, of all sorts, should know better. Yes, some ancient folks, mainly resident in the fertile crescent, thought ritual sex of various kinds – monstrous or benign – was a good idea. Others never had an issue with it, or, at least, with the monstrous sort. As for human sacrifice, well, plenty of peoples got over that phase (in relation to their own kith, at least) by their own lights, and well before Isaac was a twinkle in Abraham’s eye. That it had persistent currency in Canaan may say something about the water in those parts…All of this hasn’t stopped various true-faith hermeneuts from smearing all of pagandom with lurid fantasy, as if the definitive religious Other must be that which happened to brush up against the nascent saints. Even gay bishops trade in this cartoon “idolatry”, conjuring those debased, reprobate pagans to whom one can, in all good conscience, delegate any old disowned lust. The cause of basic fairness and dignity for the same-sex-attracted needs no debatable shred of supposedly god-breathed supposed scripture to give it sanction. All scripture was conceived and written by men, and men were, are, will be, mere. And images ain’t always idols…there is a tyranny of icons, and there is a tyranny of iconoclasts.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Garoth,You are partly right. He did not confuse Paul and Leviticus. He simple is clueless about Leviticus.Sorry I have to read so much tripe from this gay bigot minister.There was temple prostitution among Romans of course and yes they worshiped “idols” as you say, just as the Christians do unto this very day.My misreading of the Bishop. The bishop is simply a flawed scholar and flawed human being. He wouldn’t know Leviticus if it fell on his head.As for me I don’t give a Flying F. I’m not a bigot. Leviticus was concerned with incest, temple prostitution, etc. I’ve now checked eleven sources, including journals, and have checked with two scholars, one a Catholic at Fordham University (AND A PRIEST).Have a shrimp and scallop on the house this Friday. Eat a phish, have wafers and wine, then eat a gay and drink his blood.The Bible is not for you. Neither for Greeks nor for Romans. It is for those who understand JUSTICe, goodness, decency.It is not for idolaters.

  • spidermean2

    Imagine roosters adopting chicks. It doesn’t happen in nature because it is enormously ABNORMAL.Men has become very ABNORMAL to even try legalize this kind of setup.I’ve seen cats nursing puppies and vice versa but two male cats or 2 male dogs nursing their opposite kind is enormously ABNORMAL.

  • detroitblkmale30

    Gladerunner..eat all you want the food laws were JEWISH/Hebrew customs..unless you are a early century Israelite..eat all you want.I was referring to the laws regarding code of conducts, not dietary habits..nice try though

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Gladerunner..eat all you want the food laws were JEWISH/Hebrew customs..unless you are a early century Israelite..eat all you want.I was referring to the laws regarding code of conducts, not dietary habits..nice try thoughPosted by: detroitblkmale30JEWS MAY NOT INGEST BLOOD. The ancient Hebrews could not ingest blood. No Jew in the history of Judaism, pre-rabbinic would ever under any circumstances have done the bread and wine gig at any last supper (or first, for that matter). I’m assuming he did not eat shell fish, but no matter.NOt that I have a problem with Pagans, btw.Live and let live, I say. Now, it’s your turn. Let live.

  • detroitblkmale30

    Farnaz: what in the world are you talking about? what did your sidebar comment have to do with our conversation???

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Hi Onofrio,I know a little about Ishtar and Osiris, Mary and Jesus. I wasn’t actually thinking of them when I mentioned the blood and bread “Eucharist.” I don’t know what religions in the Near East did practice this; I’ve read that it was current among the mystery religions.Can you explain?Also, do you think the maenads/satyrs around the cult of Dyonisus could explain why Christians tear apart so many bodies? And always have? Billions perhaps? (Btw.,I have nothing against Pagans, particularly, those of today, whose morality far surpasses that of the Christians as has been amply demonstrated by this thread and the “Bishop.”)Farnaz

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Btw., Onofrio, even the Christians (the scholars, and lay literates) do not accept the historicity of the “Eucharist,” as I’m sure you know.When I say taboo, I bean taboo. You can understand, I’m sure. It’s primitive and revolting. Only an animal ingests blood.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Actually, some animals do not ingest blood.Same type probably eats dead animals they find on the road, ancient Israelite prohibitions notwithstanding.G-d of Israel, take the hatred from my heart for these benighted idolaters. Keep them away from me, I beg of you. Keep them away from everyone else I beg of you. Get them out of the Congress, off the internet.Find them an island where they may dwell and prey upon one another. May there history be removed forever from the Book of Life.Amen Selah

  • FarnazMansouri2

    The taboo against ingesting blood has nothing to do with animals, in fact, my irritation notwithstanding.Blood is life.

  • onofrio

    Farnaz,Yes, I’d agree that the wine/blood and bread/flesh of the Christian eucharist are Dionysiac/Orphic, which stream is fed by diverse currents, from the wilds of Thrace to the Levant. This blood-wine/true vine theme in the Christ story is prominent in the Fourth (latest) Gospel, which also makes the strongest claims about Jesus’ divine status. On the maenads and satyrs, I daresay the bloodlust you mention has roots other than their ecstasies.On the mystery cults: In my (ignoramic) overview, they are typically Hellenistic adaptations/confections of the diverse religions of the “barbarian” Orient. They are, in a sense, “orientalisms”. A common concern they had was individual salvation from the implacable forces of Fate, and their common modus was mystic instruction, initiation, and ritual participation (often including a meal). All these elements are present in the early church assemblies, whose There’s a broad analogy between, say, the Christ-cult in relation to Judaism and the Osiris-Isis cult in relation to Egyptian religion. Elements from the source tradition were selected, emphasised, and given fresh interpretations that may have been quite different from the original. The much-discussed Mithras cult (itself sharing some traits with the Christ cult) is an example of a new faith constructed by someone with only a slight acquaintance with the Iranian Mithra. Yet in the Roman world, Mithraism, though largely homegrown, was seen as a Persian import. I daresay if you had a chat with ancient Zoroastrians or Egyptians about what the mystery cults had done with your sacred traditions, you might find you have a lot in common.The religious temper of the times was eclectic, the mood often anxious. The culturally transferrable In (very) short, Christianity is another Hellenistic orientalism, one that happened to outlast the others due to various geopolitical factors which you know well.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Onofrio,Why don’t YOU tell them the TRUTH about their myth?You are certainly not out of your depth on the topic. It’s well within your discipline.Honestly, I don’t give a rat’s behind about them, accept when they oppress everyone else, which is almost every minute.YOu say you battle the “christers….” So…battle.Farnaz Q

  • thebump

    Would Farnaz’s irrational hatred and outright calumnies be deemed acceptable if they were directed against any group other than Christians?(Rhetorical question.)

  • FarnazMansouri2

    A nonrhetorical answer to Bump’s question.Let us not forget that the Nazis were and are Christians/Catholics. They were neither Hindus nor followers of Mohamed. The laying waste of the earth for the last two thousand years by the Christians/Catholics is a matter of record.As I have remarked, the Christians have hardened hearts. They are without pity or justice. There are notable exceptions such as Shelby Spong and Dominic Crossan, but they are few and far between.Yes, I’d agree that the wine/blood and bread/flesh of the Christian eucharist are Dionysiac/Orphic, which stream is fed by diverse currents, from the wilds of Thrace to the Levant. This blood-wine/true vine theme in the Christ story is prominent in the Fourth (latest) Gospel, which also makes the strongest claims about Jesus’ divine status. On the maenads and satyrs, I daresay the bloodlust you mention has roots other than their ecstasies.On the mystery cults: In my (ignoramic) overview, they are typically Hellenistic adaptations/confections of the diverse religions of the “barbarian” Orient. They are, in a sense, “orientalisms”. A common concern they had was individual salvation from the implacable forces of Fate, and their common modus was mystic instruction, initiation, and ritual participation (often including a meal). All these elements are present in the early church assemblies, whose mysterion is the Christ-pesher of the Jewish scriptures.There’s a broad analogy between, say, the Christ-cult in relation to Judaism and the Osiris-Isis cult in relation to Egyptian religion. Elements from the source tradition were selected, emphasised, and given fresh interpretations that may have been quite different from the original. The much-discussed Mithras cult (itself sharing some traits with the Christ cult) is an example of a new faith constructed by someone with only a slight acquaintance with the Iranian Mithra. Yet in the Roman world, Mithraism, though largely homegrown, was seen as a Persian import. I daresay if you had a chat with ancient Zoroastrians or Egyptians about what the mystery cults had done with your sacred traditions, you might find you have a lot in common.The religious temper of the times was eclectic, the mood often anxious. The culturally transferrable individual had been hatched in/by the disorienting Roman oikumene, and the mysteries reflected that and catered to it.In (very) short, Christianity is another Hellenistic orientalism, one that happened to outlast the others due to various geopolitical factors which you know well.Posted by: onofrio | December 9, 2010 9:49 PM

  • thebump

    Farnaz, from the sins of a few (or of many), real or imagined, you make indefensible generalizations and sweeping categorical assertions — transparently motivated by hatred. Sorry, but that’s the very definition of bigotry (and if directed at any other group would not be tolerated by this forum’s liberal moderators).If your complaint is about Western civilization generally, that’s a separate topic altogether (though equally silly).

  • JuniusPublicus

    The mmore useful point in my estimation is: there were homosexuals then (Biblical times) and there are homosexuals now, i.e., this is and has been a part of the human condition, probably from time immemorial. It’s natural. Being “against” homosexuality is like being against the weather. Pointless. As the texts quoted above indicate, living a godly life is more important (or, in my view, a humane and ethical life) is more important than sexual orientation.

  • potaboc

    I am fascinated by the logic Robinson uses: if Jesus did not condemn homosexuality, he must have had no problems with it. What does he make of the fact that Jesus never condemned incest?

  • slowe111

    …by their nature – are affectionally oriented toward people of the same gender a concept unknown to the ancient mind.Are you claiming there were no homosexuals in this period? !! Poppy-cock. they were just oppressed and never written about. Absurd – remember the Greeks and Romans!

  • realtimer

    Seems Bishop Robinson is engaging in an irrational exercise of “Self-Justification”!

  • elj220

    What did Jesus say about homosexuality?It’s a sin repent! and turn away from those immoral acts. My father created Adam and Eve(woman partner for man) in the begining not Adam for & Adam or Eve for & EveHomosexual behavior is so wrong and will never be morally correct in society! it’s not a part of “God’s Standard” Something’s just not right people! understand this a wall socket and socket cannot produce electricity to a point but a socket and plug can.. men cannot carry a child nor woman without man. America time to get back to the basic’s of what this country was built on “In God we Trust”

  • richard36

    The Right Rev. errors…..”Cause ye know not the scriptures”.

  • DontGetIt

    Do you really expect narrow minded, wholier than thou, the world is flat religious zealots to have the capacity and intellect to view the gospel with such a broad and erudite perspective? Not happening. First day of judgement camp they’re taught to take the bible literally. Dinosaurs occurred 5001 years ago! Come on…

  • jimfilyaw

    i consider myself tolerant of homosexuality and i support full civil rights for those of this persuasion, however, i don’t consider bishop robinson as an objective commentator on what the bible has to say about it. he is an advocate, and as such, he can and will discount any evidence contrary to what he is advocating. take his column for what it is worth–a one sided presentation.

  • captn_ahab

    Jesus was an observant Jew up to and including the moment he died. He didn’t have to say anything about homosexuality. It was already written in Leviticus, and he would have assumed all the Jews he was addressing were familiar with it.

  • DrLou1

    Fascinating relationships being drawn in this telling, ignorant and hate filled post string. First to respond to some of the current myth:Gays do not ‘recruit’ children since being gay is not a social construct but a biological status (there is extensive documentation here, by the way, whether your pastor acknowledges same or not). Persons are not ‘willed’ into a gay lifestyle.Being gay is not a ‘lifestyle choice.’ Why on earth would anyone ‘choose’ to be vilified, hurt and denied basic human rights by some of ultimately vain and remarkably dangerous people just on this string alone?Homosexuality, incest and pedophilia are not, even remotely, comparable (again, there is extensive documentation of this). At the same time, however, domination, active ‘recruitment,’ sexual violation, outright abuse and violence, control/manipulation and, of course, pedophilia/incest are closely integrated elements of heterosexual behavior. Compare and contrast, for instance, how many young girls right here in the U.S alone have been violently ‘recruited’ to work as either young and under age prostitutes serving, mind you, your straight friends.Compare and contrast the HUGE numbers of teenage girls who report earlier sexual abuse and assault by familiar, straight persons ranging from family to family acquaintances. I could go on…but hate and ignorance also blinds to reality, doesn’t it?You know, the Jesus about whom I have learned would be likely to gag were he able to read just some of the thoughts in this string. Jesus would gag at the hate, intolerance and lack of spiritual respect and love shown by ‘stone throwers’ against another group of humans.How many have considered the point that the identified New Testament was largely written after whatever true facts occurred and, therefore, more represents long ago interpretation and self aggrandizement than anything else. Do you think Pope Gregory had primary information about celibacy or was his pronouncement of same purely a move toward the increased power of and control by his Church?How many have considered that ‘Jesus Christ’ is not even taken from the ancient Aramaic but is a later on Greek construction and representation? If gay men and women are identified as imperfect and worthy of extremes of punishment and bias by those claiming to ‘know’ god, does this also make god imperfect? How do those most ardent of Christians who see their god as both infallible and unconditionally perfect tolerate the apparent contradiction that, in your estimation, it is up to you to correct god’s work – to ‘save’ god from himself, as it were? Do you really believe that god needs your help in this way?The next time you all set up a table at your local county fair to ‘judge’ fair goers likelihood of getting to heaven, think whether you are also preempting god’s own presumed decisions. As a quick point, gay men and women don’t need your ‘approval’…just your respect.

  • kelly123

    Who knows really? – Jesus only had a 4 year public life; maybe the rest of the time he was in the closet. He never married and is famous for having picked up 12 guys to hang around with as he wandered.

  • ReallyThinkAboutIt

    Anyone who says Jesus did not say anything about homosexuality only shows that they do not understand Jesus or the Bible. First, the only SIN mentioned at the DESTRUCTION of SODOM/Gomorrah was homosexuality (Genesis 19). Please understand, out of ALL SINS, only ONE is mentioned. Although God says, Sodoms SIN IS GREAT, there is ONLY ONE SIN MENTIONED. DO NOT MISS THIS. ONLY ONE SIN IS LISTED, but their SIN IS GREAT. Genesis 18:20, 21 “And the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is GREAT, and because their SIN is VERY GRAVE, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me”. And Genesis 19:4, 5 “But before they retired for the night, all the MEN of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, “Where are the MEN who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have SEX with them!”” And Jude 1:7 “And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.”Second, Jesus is God Philippians 2:5-7.Third, the entire Bible comes directly from God/Jesus/Christ. 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Therefore, if it’s in the BIBLE it’s from GOD/Jesus.So again, anyone who says Jesus says nothing about homosexuality does not know the BIBLE. Jesus/God DESTROYED Sodom for it’s GREAT SIN. And only ONE SIN is ever mentioned, and that’s homosexuality. Think About It

  • withersb

    I always figure those right wingers who are most abusive of gays are closeted gays – we seem so many of them that are outed. Seems to be a pattern. I feel sorry for people whose hearts are so ugly that they look for things in the Bible to make them feel superior instead of looking at the compelling message of tolerance and love. When I was growing up the church supported segregation as they now support discrimination against gays; curious how the message can adjust to fit thier current thinking.

  • berto1

    The answer is simple: Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson is apostate.

  • dem4life1

    Who cares what the book of fairy tales says about ANYTHING. Get a life people, that book is pure fiction and YOU KNOW IT !

  • dem4life1

    Who cares what the book of fairy tales says about ANYTHING. Get a life people, that book is pure fiction and YOU KNOW IT !

  • dparks2

    I hope and pray that the comments posted here are not representative of Christianity as a whole. It’s this kind of intolerance and hatred that gives Christianity a bad name, and I suspect that most of it comes from fringe elements. Too bad the entire faith gets tainted by these ignorant few.

  • detroitblkmale30

    @dem4life1 : YAWN

  • umcrevj

    Gene Robinson did a brilliant job of ignoring the Jerusalem conference of Acts 20:17-26 that laid out the general rules for the participation of Gentiles in the life of the church. Jewish Christians declared that all Gentiles must abstain from all manner of sexual immorality. The Greek term is porneia from which we get the English pornography. The choice of words was deliberate not drawing on Leviticus since Christians had been freed from observance of Jewish dietary laws by the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. Mr. Robinson ignores the fact that as an observant Jew, Jesus would have always assumed that homosexuality was abhorrent to God. However, I believe that Jesus would have us offer all sinners grace rather than the execution demanded by the Mosaic law (John 8:1-11). The cultic practices of idolatry and cultic prostitution are excellent diversions from the Judaeo-Christian view of marriage. If Mr. Robinson and others want to argue that Christian marriage is obsolete; let them proceed. But, their argument has no basis in Scripture or 2000 years of Christian tradition. There will always be “wolves in sheep’s clothing” who will seek to divide and destroy the church from within. It is time for the universal, apostolic church to stand against the cultural forces of the day that demand that we conform to sinful behavior rather than urge people to be transformed by the power of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Thank God that Mr. Robinson is retiring. Perhaps, he will also find silence in retirement. That will be the best way he can honor God at this point in his life. In this season of Advent, may the church proclaim that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

  • oregonbirddog

    I’m still looking in the New Testament for where Jesus condemned Homosexuals. Just Can’t seem to find it. I do however see where Jesus not only condemned money lenders (our modern day Bankers and Financiers) but he beat their hinees with a whip to help focus their minds on the fact that unless they paid more attention to the poor then they did to padding their own pockets they would never make it into Heaven and may suffer eternaly. I wonder , what the Lamb of God would think about the Millionaires and Zillionaires who have banked rolled the latest Tax swindel through their minions in the GOP to shove even more unearned dollars into their craw, while the poor and working class struggle to just make ends meet? My guess is that he would once again drag out his whip. Ask yourself this: According to Christian teaching based on the life of Christ,how many Homosexuals do you think will be denied heaven for being born gay and how many of the super rich will make it despite choosing their greed over helping to relive the suffering of millions?

  • bozhogg

    Perhaps Jesus was gay. There’s no evidence to the contrary.

  • karlmarx2

    These columns and the endlessly hair-splitting quasi-theological arguments only prove one thing: Organized religion is pretty repulsive.I feel sorry for the people who think their religious arguments justify their actions and their hatreds. If you hate gay people, then you’re just a gay-hating d-bag. Your reasons are immaterial. And if you accept gay people as fully human, then you’re a decent person. Your reasons are immaterial.A wise man once said, “by their fruits you shall know them.” He was talking about y’all too.

  • jimjohnd

    What many don’t want to talk about is what Jesus said about ADULTERY. These is little room to explain who so many ‘Christians’ are so concerned with same-sex-bonded-pairs yet condone adultery. Jesus even went so far as to say “any man who DIVORCES his wife commits adultery and any man who marries the woman does the same.”So here we are with people who are serial-adulterers being able to deny same-sex-couples the rights they should be denied by their OWN stated beliefs. One would be hard pressed to find a better example of Hypocrisy if they tried.

  • thebump

    A poster makes the following nonsensical assertion: “Persons are not ‘willed’ into a gay lifestyle.”Even if erotic attraction were entirely biologically determined, every human being is responsible for her or his own behavior. A person chooses a lifestyle and chooses the labels he applies to himself.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Bump, I rest my case. Look what the drekkie “NT” dragged in.”I’m still looking in the New Testament for where Jesus condemned Homosexuals. Just Can’t seem to find it. I do however see where Jesus not only condemned money lenders (our modern day Bankers and Financiers) but he beat their hinees with a whip to help focus their minds on the fact that unless they paid more attention to the poor then they did to padding their own pockets they would never make it into Heaven and may suffer eternaly.I wonder , what the Lamb of God would think about the Millionaires and Zillionaires who have banked rolled the latest Tax swindel through their minions in the GOP to shove even more unearned dollars into their craw, while the poor and working class struggle to just make ends meet? My guess is that he would once again drag out his whip.”But hey….That’s how they do the cristics. Been murdering and extorting since their Greek and Roman selves got going.Sure they take time now and again to rape children, run prostitution rings, etc., participate in ritual cannibalism, worship statues, etc., but the bulk of their time is taken up killing as per the teachings of Crisco Cross-Lugger (Osiris, etc.)

  • detroitblkmale30

    @jimjohn: you are correct I firmly believe BOTH adultery and homosexuality are sins. Disapprove of divorce as well. @karlmarx no one is hating gay people. Those of us who believe as we do base it off of the Word of God not our own personal opinions. Perhaps you should call God a d-bag. see how well that works out for you. @oregonbirddog: unrepentant people of all ilks , gay rich and greedy, as well as fornicators, adulterers, etc will not, according to the Bible be admitted to heaven to answer your question

  • TheHillman

    Until American Christians are seriously pushing hard to ban divorce then their entire argument against basic decency for gay Americans is hypocritical.Jesus did in fact say something about divorce. He was quite adamant about it.Funny how American Christians tend to ignore that?If you are going to use the Bible to demonize your fellow taxpaying Americans, you need to use ALL of it. Even the parts that may apply to you.

  • chatard

    And so the Episcopalians have come to this – their ‘bishop’ promoting homosexuality.

  • morryb

    Gees Jesus, Paul and the other mystics did not have much training in neurology yet their gibberish is somehow taken to be serious by all the cultists that believe in primitivism and superstition. Grow up. Your religous belief systems are based on indoctrination by authority since you were a child. Learn to think for yourself instead of believing what your preists tell you.

  • karlmarx2

    @Dettroitblackmale – As you make so abundantly clear, and over and over again, your god is a d-bag.Well, you said I could.And it’s working out fine, thanks for asking.

  • DwightCollins

    if homosexuality were valid…

  • detroitblkmale30

    karlmarx2@ for now it is anyway

  • detroitblkmale30

    morryb:oh wise and “grown-up” one do pontificate and tell us mindless mystical followers why we are all here, how we got here, what is our purpose?, oh and for good measure, whats the meaning of life?

  • karlmarx2

    @dbm30 – Do you really get off on scaring people with the eternal damnation stuff? Wow, that’s sad.And it’s pretty lame too. I mean, if you want to scare me, you’d do better to talk about monsters under my bed or something. At least there’s a remote possibility of that.But keep it up! Please tell me about what the demons will do to torment my eternal soul. Will it involve hot pokers? Accordions? Ronald Reagan? I’m genuinely curious what you imagine hell to be like.

  • elgrunir

    What did Jesus say about homosexuality?I wonder what you think of God’s plan for incest, in that Adam and Eve only had sons. Where did the next female come from? Moreover, with incest among a limited number of people, biologically, the human race would have never gotten this far.

  • genericrepub

    I think the point that Bishop Robinson is missing is the concept of sin and repentance. Homosexuality is a sin. There are passages in the Old and New Testament to substantiate that. It is one thing to acknowledge that homosexuality is a sin and that it is something a person is struggling to overcome. It doesn’t mean that the person may not slip back on occasion, but acknowledging the sin is a big part of repentance. And that person would be welcome lovingly into most any church in the Country even fundamentalist ones. But the person who comes in and denies the behavior as sinful, who basically says, well its okay cause I want to do it. That person is unrepentant and needs to seriously examine their relationship with God. Yes, we are all sinners, the key is not what sin we commit, it is acknowledging that the sin is in fact a sin and trusting in God to rescue us from that sin. And when we slip up, confessing it to Him. We are all imperfect and alcoholics, adulterers, wife beaters, homosexuals, gluttons, and drug addicts all have some predisposition toward their particular sin. So, the excuse to not repent that God made me this way, doesn’t cut it. Fundamentalists do not hate homosexuals. They find the lack of a repentant heart as the offensive behavior.

  • writelady

    To “reallythinkaboutit”: you, like most of my fellow Christians, have failed to read (or ignored) another scripture in which G*d gives his reasons for punishing Sodom. In Ezekiel 16:49-50 He 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.”

  • writelady

    To “reallythinkaboutit”: you, like most of my fellow Christians, have failed to read (or ignored) another scripture in which G*d gives his reasons for punishing Sodom. In Ezekiel 16:49-50 He 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.”

  • oregonbirddog

    Sooo grateful to see just how many people are willing to assume the voice of God in letting us poor sinners know what His will is. I guess in my ignorance I monentarily forgot how many Wars and bloody religious schisms have developed over seemingly small questions of Christain doctrine such as: Gee, reminds me why I no longer let things the “Enlighted” Christians say bother me but simply read the bible and worship God according to Jesus’ primary admonition to “Love One Another” (And try to do so not only when its convenient). Birddog

  • thebump

    MORRYB says: Neurologists are the only people with something of value to say? Seems an awfully crimped view of humanity.Continuing: How do you know that? That’s just a lazy and silly accusation. I would concur there’s a paucity of original thinking in this forum, but that goes for all sides, and nobody would take the time to contribute if they were not expressing their own personal views.

  • detroitblkmale30

    karlmarx2 : I usually dont go that route but since you’re so abrasive I figured you brought it on yourself. Afterall you came on here and insulted those of us of faith. I actually praye for you. I hope nothing wrong befalls you. I’m simply saying what happens to those who insult God. you can say what you want, a simple glance under your bed shows no monsters. however, id be just a tad bit wary of an afterlife of a place like hell. that all of the world’s biggest three religions embrace.since you cant say definitively that hell doesn’t exist i’d tread carefully. Eternal lakes of fire.Hot beyond imagination thats enough of a description. You get the picture.

  • Carstonio

    if homosexuality were valid…
    nature would find a way for gays to procreate between themselves…That’s ridiculous on several levels. First, sexual orientation exists whether or not anyone thinks it’s “valid,” and it’s not a choice. Second, homosexuality does occur among other animal species during time of population stress (overpopulation or gender imbalance), suggesting that it may act to temporarily relieve such stress.their ‘bishop’ promoting homosexuality.The idea of “promoting” a sexual orientation makes no sense. It wrongly implies that people switch simply because one orientation is more appealing than the other. “Hey guys, tired of women? Join the Gay Team!” That idea that someone could be swayed to an orientation through marketing is too ludicrous to be satirized.

  • thebump

    WRITELADY: Casting stones means judging another individual, which only God may do.It does not mean we should not discuss morality. It does not mean we should not condemn sin.

  • Clio5

    Jesus said, “go an sin no more” AFTER he said, “neither do I condemn you.” As I attempt to discern the Will of God in and for my life, I believe that when I stand in His judgement, I will not be judged on where I stood on this issue rather for the love I showed my neighbor. What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) He does not require you judge your neighbor or rant in the Washington Post.

  • cafinch

    Whether or not Paul said what the Bible says he did and the modern mainstream Christian interpretation of his words is correct, I don’t care. Paul wasn’t Christ, and the lack of mention of homosexuality by Jesus is enough for me to conclude he had no strong opinion on the topic. He wasn’t one to hold back if there was something he felt was important to ones’ salvation.

  • detroitblkmale30

    @oregonbird; being “born gay” is not a sin, thats even supposing thats 100 percent factually true, which i dont agree with. But even if it were, its the acts that are the sin. I’m born with natural sexual attraction to women,but if i runaround sleeping withevery woman i can find im fornicating and if im married an adulterer. I cant blame God for the actions I take even if they are based off of inclinations He “gave” me. @writelady: I guess you and many other Christians like you also missed Jude 1:7 “just 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.”

  • cstation

    The battle of Homosexuality isn’t really about sexuality at all, it’s about two different kinds of faith. The first, which I’ll call perfectionism, clings to a traditional understanding of the Bible, and the believer seeks to be as perfect, or sinless, as possible in response to their understanding of the faith. The second is therapeutic and seeks to apply scripture as a spiritual guide for healing a broken world. Therapeutic faith is more open to understanding scripture in the context of present day circumstances than perfectionism. The irony is that the perfectionist are more likely to interpret the Bible by their tradition while the therapeutic are more likely to try and understand what the Bible really means.monty keeling

  • Carstonio

    To expand on Robinson’s point, why would one treat the Epistles as having equal or similar weight to the Gospels? Scholars doubt that some of the former were even written by Paul, and I had the impression that Jesus appointed Peter as head of the early church.And let’s take all religions’ teachings about homosexuality off the table for a moment – why should anyone care whether someone else is straight or gay? From what I can tell, too many people treat prevalence or the lack of it as though these are indicators of moral value, as though it’s wrong to be different. I find it strange that many people seem to see no moral difference between homosexuality and acts like murder or rape.

  • hakafos44

    Jesus did not address many things in his brief ministry according to the accepted texts. And given the manner in which The New Testament of the Bible was revised, and the political agenda of many who did so, in fact he may have addressed far more than we know. There seem to have been no original writings of Jesus himself, which I find odd personally. I am waiting for the next round of hidden scrolls to emerge that tell the entire story of his ministry. And perhaps some original texts that he wrote.

  • Carstonio

    But even if it were, its the acts that are the sin. I’m born with natural sexual attraction to women,but if i runaround sleeping withevery woman i can find im fornicating and if im married an adulterer.”Runaround sleeping” is irresponsible because it can spread disease and create unwanted pregnancies. Adultery is wrong because it amounts to betrayal and breaking of promises. But both of those are true regardless of the sexual orientation involves. Your argument wrongly implies that gays have a moral responsibility to remain celibate. Monogamous homosexuality is no more immoral than monogamous heterosexuality.

  • detroitblkmale30

    Carstonio: Well its not wrong if you follow many of the scriptures in the bible if you think homosexuality is ok then sure no prescription to not practice it. But you missed the point. if you are coming from the place as I am where the scriptures clearly state homosexuality is a sin, then of course it IS much more immoral than monogamous heterosexuality

  • theskydiver

    Homosexuality!! Please people can we just move on. Homosexuality is a fact of life. It is not a choice, a disease or something that can be changed. Open your eyes and stop spouting off “because the Bible says so”. The Bible was written thousands of years ago by people who had no concept of most of our current knowledge. It is a wonderful faith history with much wisdom but it is not all based on reality. “G*d’s word” as dictated by men (and sadly with no input from women). Please open your minds and think. Weren’t we told by some of our teachers not to believe everything we hear or read. Well that goes for the Bible as well. Homosexuality has always been with us and always will. The sooner we learn to just love our neighbor as Jesus told us to (regardless of race, creed, color and sexual orientation) the better off we will all be. I am just so tired of some of the ignorant debate on this subject form both sides. Ignorance and hate will doom us all. There are some very intellient individuals in the world of theology who have a lot of very good comments and thoughts. Bishop Robinson appears to be one of them. Look up John Shelby Spong as well (retired Episcopal Bishop). Spong, in any of his books, lists many other enlightened religeous thinkers. Be a spiritual thinker rather than a religeous zealot. Use the wonderful mind that “G*d” gave you rather than just mindlessly spouting “religeous” dogma.

  • Carstonio

    if you are coming from the place as I am where the scriptures clearly state homosexuality is a sin, then of course it IS much more immoral than monogamous heterosexualityBut morality is not a matter of simply following someone’s rules. That simiply amounts to taking the person’s word for it than an action is right or wrong. Morality is about the effects of one’s actions. It’s about making choices for actions that avoid harming others or that commit the least harm to others.Imagine a Martian lands on Earth with no knowledge of any terrestrial religions. An argument against homosexuality that relies on a particular religion’s scripture would make no sense to such a being.

  • Carstonio

    Everyone has an identical responsibility to show gratitude for our natural gifts by using them according to the purposes for which they are meant.That assumes that our natural capabilities were deliberately created and designed. We have no basis for assuming the existence of deliberately created meaning. Using a particular religious stance to argue against homosexuality is pointless to people from different religions. A mature person who has developed the virtue of chastity understands that genital acts are proper to the sacramental union of the two distinct and complementary sexes as husband and wife.Again, that assumes that such unions have inherent religious meaning. I would agree that genital acts are an important part of emotional intimacy with couples, but that would be true of gay relationships as well. The complementary nature of the genders doesn’t make homosexuality wrong. That would be like arguing that it’s wrong to use a flathead screwdriver to open a can of paint.

  • detroitblkmale30

    carstonio: I am only speaking as a Christian. A Christian’s morality IS indeed derived from the Bible and its Holy Scriptures since this is a FAITH site and a Christian debate in this discussion. General morality otherwise can be derived from 8th grade textbooks about what one should or shouldnt do. But thats not what the discussion is about HERE.this is a Christian theological debate

  • Carstonio

    But thats not what the discussion is about HERE.this is a Christian theological debate.Yes and no. You would have a point if the issue was about how Christians should live, which is the context of Robinson’s post. I’m refuting the contention made by many here that homosexuality is

  • detroitblkmale30

    yes and yes, no one here is sayin everyone must live by christian morality. and yes as a Christian most of us anyway, beleive that homosexuality IS universally wrong. That wont change. So if you want to debate why that is wrong, you must do so on Biblical grounds,not martian ones and I welcome that debate.

  • karlmarx2

    @dbm30 – Showing the usual arrogance of the born-again cretin, you equate your ridiculous boogie-man “religion” with all faith. Nonsense. As somebody else said a few days ago, you don’t have faith, you have superstition. And while you accuse me of being “abrasive,” you seem to think it’s fine and dandy to declare that everyone who doesn’t worship your god in exactly the way you do is going to burn in agony for eternity.When I was a kid, I was taught that hell was a place completely and eternally separate from God. If your horrible god was real then I would want nothing more than to be as far as possible from that thing. I quoted a wise man downthread – the one who said “by their fruits you shall know them.” You wouldn’t know him, nor he you, but I find he’s said a lot of interesting things. You might want to check them out some time. And that’s all the time I’ve got for ya.

  • detroitblkmale30

    @karlmax: sticks and stones…..you seem to have plenty of time to spend critiqing something you claim has no creedence. I find that ironic. Go spend sometime on a mythical website then. Im not proclaiming everyone is burning in hell. You seem not to be capable of following arguments. Thats good, I dont want to waste anymore time “debating” with someone so “enlightened”

  • battleground51

    Acts of homosexuality have been condmned as wicked, demented, perverted acts from ancient times. Maybe the SIN of homosexuality was so well understood in Jesus’s time that it was not worth mentioning. Seems times have changed.Today, we have forgotten some of the, well founded, reasons for the ancient taboos and we are ready to fall into the same, devilish traps of olden times.We can hate the sin of homosexuality without hating the ones who practice it. That’s fair. To accept the sin is to be sinful yourself.

  • battleground51

    The Washington Post is a stridently, pro-homosexual news organization. It promotes homosexuality with every resource at it’s disposal. Now it has pastors beating the drum of the homosexual agenda. Homosexual propaganda appears in the WaPo almost every day.The only conclusion I can come to is that the WaPo is owned, lock, stock, and barrel by radical homosexuals and their familiars.How could anyone conclude otherwise???

  • Carstonio

    yes as a Christian most of us anyway, beleive that homosexuality IS universally wrong. That wont change. So if you want to debate why that is wrong, you must do so on Biblical grounds,not martian ones and I welcome that debate.If you expect everyone to believe that it’s wrong and act accordingly, regardless of religious affiliation, then why use your religion’s teachings and scripture? That seems counterproductive at best. Imagine if a Buddhist wanted all Christians and everyone else to believe an act a certain way and used only the words of Buddha as support – wouldn’t you regard that as trying to control the debate in Buddhist terms?What you describe as “Martian groups” was really my metaphor for trying to establish a debate on neutral grounds, where the truthfulness of the teachings of any of the religions is taken out of the discussion. That doesn’t mean deeming those teachings to be false. It does mean that no religion gets to monopolize the terms of the debate.

  • detroitblkmale30

    @ feetxxxl1: speaking of romans 1 Try Romans 1:26-726For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

  • Bluefish2012

    Serious sin is heinous no matter what the subject is. That’s a straw man, Rev. Robinson.As others have mentioned, Jesus did not mention a whole host of sins.But if you believe that scripture is the inspired word of God, then you should have no trouble understanding what he thought. And as He himself said, “…scripture cannot be set aside.” (John 10:34 – 35)

  • enaughton27

    Uh, Jesus didn’t say anything about man-boy relationships, so I guess that’s OK?Are we to believe that Jesus, who strengthened the mosaic laws on marriage, making it more difficult to get a divorce, was perfectly OK with gay sex? I doubt it. I’m not saying that homosexuality is the most serious sin in the world. It’s not. But it is so far outside the realm of Mosaic laws of marriage that Jesus didn’t need to mention it.

  • noudint

    As one who reads and believes that God has set boundaries and structure for us to follow… why use the Bible as your foundation for the argument of whether homosexuality is right or wrong? Just throw the Bible out and make your own rules. Dont twist and make complicated His word. God is black or white not gray.

  • Anglo_Rider

    Christianity is a choice.

  • detroitblkmale30

    carstono: You keep missing the point. If Christians are debating among Christians the sinfulness of homosexuality as is the case with this article. Then why should either a metaphor using martians, muslims, buddists, atheists or any other group apply??? In order to arrive at a conclusion to whether or not homosexuality should be viewed within Christianity as a sin, one must go to the CHRISTIAN “rulebook” as it were The Bible and have the debate there. Nothing else is relevant in this Christian discussion. In this case yes Christianity can monopolize the debate since it is within Christianity which the debate is taking place. Get it?

  • feetxxxl1

    @ feetxxxl1: speaking of romans 1 Try Romans 1:26-7I JUST DID AT 12:10 PM

  • detroitblkmale30

    feetxxxl1 well you missed the key point of that, how i dont know.

  • Bluefish2012

    The essence of idolatry is a tautology–anything done for its own sake.It can be argued then that any kind of sex indulged strictly for its own sake is the idolatry against which Paul spoke. Same-sex sexual conduct fits that idolatrous paradigm.And it becomes worse in that it clearly does not fit with the biological purpose of sex.Rationalize as you might, making sex between same sex couples out to be something holy and sacred will never make it so.

  • Carstonio

    I said nothing that would require anyone to repudiate their own faith.Arguing that people should not be gay because Leviticus and Romans say so – that most certainly implies that non-Christians should repudiate their own faiths. That’s because they would have to believe that Christian scripture is authoritative, which means rejecting any claimed authority for their own religions’ scriptures.To the contrary, the complementary nature of the two sexes does tell us very clearly what sex is for.Again, only if one assumes that sex was deliberately created, and only if one assumes that purpose is exclusive. It’s the same assumption that drives the pseudoscience of “intelligent design.”And, btw, “gender” does not occur in nature. The word is sex (for a reason).I use “gender” only because the word sex also refers to the act.

  • Carstonio

    If Christians are debating among Christians the sinfulness of homosexuality as is the case with this article. Then why should either a metaphor using martians, muslims, buddists, atheists or any other group apply???Because when any religion (or any adherent) asserts that an action is universally right or wrong, the assertion should be open to debate and challenge by anyone regardless of religious affiliation. This wouldn’t be an issue if the religion in question asserted that an action was right or wrong only for its adherents, such as sabbath days or dietary rules.

  • RichmondGiant

    What rubbish! How can Rev Robinson try to extrapolate on the texts audience, without bothering to look at the OT reference points used by Christ and the apostles? Christ didn’t say anything about bestiality either – he didn’t have to. He didn’t come to re-write or negate the law, but to fulfill it. Read Hebrews and Romans again if you need to understand what all that means.Peter, John, and Christ warned us against teachings such as this. We are instructed to “test the spirits” to test the teachings against scripture. If the teaching is contrary to scripture, it comes from the Devil. The Bible is full of repeated admonitions against worship of other gods, witchcraft, and improper sexual activity. It truly saddens me to see those masquerading as Christ’s servants deceiving so many. I take comfort in reading scripture in noting that all this has happened before and God finds a way to bring people back to him. God warned us that false teachings like those of Rev Robinson would come.

  • detroitblkmale30

    Carstonio: That’s fine. But since it is Christian who are debating it based upon their thelogoical beliefs. you must debate it on those grounds if you chose to interject yourself in the discussion as you have.

  • BootmanDC

    enaughton27 wrote:I guess the biggest problem Christians have is with sex (gay or straight). Gay people don’t just have sex, they have relationships.If you read Matthew 22:37-40 When Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment in the law, he replied, “`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”This is why for me being gay is not a sin.

  • amelia45

    bootmandc: “If you read Matthew 22:37-40 When Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment in the law, he replied, “`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”Nicely put and far more what Jesus expects from us than some hair splitting over mistranslated words or words taken out of context.

  • catepower

    Dear Jesus,Thank you for helping me understand You blessed the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, choosing it as the site of Your first public miracle,and You told the adulterer, a woman who just as easily could have been a man, to go forward and sin no more. I praise You for giving me, a humble sinner, the gift of Your simple guidance for a life well lived in service to You and others. I pray You send clarity to Your Earthly shepherds who try to take the Holy word and turn it inside out and upside down in a false quest to make right from wrong and wrong from right. With All My Love,

  • detroitblkmale30

    amelia: you dont get one without the other its both. you have to love God and your neighbor, but how do u love God?”If ye love me, keep my commandments.”Its not enough to just say you love god or think warm thoughts of Him, we must keep his commandments. Love is an action.

  • feetxxxl1

    We are instructed to “test the spirits”absolutely1thes5:21 test everything keep the good.what is the test for us believers, the same test christ spoke of “You will recognize them by their fruit”where the spirit rests is what is of god. the spirit that lives in all believers shows believers where the spirit rests.

  • saf62

    For all of you homophobics, those of you who really want your God to hate homosexuals, let me just bring up this point: homosexuality is not a choice. How does that fit into your God and creation scheme?

  • detroitblkmale30

    We are instructed to “test the spirits”—————————————–”Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.”YOUR test refers to us as beleivers as to whether or not we are following Christ by how we act and treat others. However we cant adequately follow Christ if we are following a false prophet, that’s the main point.

  • MarkDavidovich

    In context, one would think that Jesus’ silence on a subject covered in Jewish law probably means His tacit approval of that law and its application in his time. There is little doubt that Jewish law and thinking at the time strongly disapproved of (at least male) homosexual relations. Hence it is unsurprising that St. Paul expresses disapproval, and there is no reason to think that Jesus approved. It’s a little ridiculous to argue Jesus’ approval from his silence.That is not to say that one may not speculate on how Jesus’ attitude towards homosexuality might be if he were alive today, or to ask how or whether Jesus’ likely dsiapproval of homosexual behavior ought to color our own attitudes. But however we look at Jesus’ attitudes, we have to be intellectually honest about it. In this case argument from silence fails to be rigorous.

  • RichmondGiant

    For all of you homophobics, those of you who really want your God to hate homosexuals, let me just bring up this point: homosexuality is not a choice. How does that fit into your God and creation scheme?Posted by: saf62 | December 10, 2010 1:38 PMIf you don’t believe the Bible, you aren’t a Christian. Which is fine. This is a discussion amongst Christians about matters of doctrine. To your point, I have a genetic predisposition to anger. Does that mean God gives me free license to rage? No. Does an alcoholic have free license to drunkenness. No. Does someone with a very high libido have a free license to give in to their urges? No. If you knew Scripture, the answer to question is obvious. One may have a genetic predisposition to homosexuality, but giving in to those urges and putting them into actions IS a choice.If you don’t like the rules God laid out, take it up with him.

  • CalP

    How does the Church explain the existence of homosexuality in other animals. Surely it is not because of a lack of morals, or becuse they are sinful.I believe that the lesson from Romans 1 suggests that God allowed men and women to do unseemly things with each other because God was annoyed that humans (thinking themselves to be wise, became fools, and made of the incorruptible God into something akin to corruptible man and worshipped things such as animals etc., for which God allowed the unseemly things to happen to men and women along with other unworthy things.Jesus did not mention homosexuality; however, the word might not have existed at the time. However, in response to the question from the disciples about “divorcement”, in Matthew (19, I believe) Jesus while reminding them that God made them men and women and what God had put together, no man should rend asunder, Jesus did state that “not all men can receive this message”. In fact, he stated that some men are born “eunuchs” from their mother’s wombs, others were made “eunuchs’ by other men, and still others chose to be “enuchs” in the service of the Lord.Is it not possible that the word “eunuch” could be substituited for the word “homosexual” today.

  • RichmondGiant

    How does the Church explain the existence of homosexuality in other animals. Surely it is not because of a lack of morals, or because they are sinful.Too many people want to transform God into something they find more palatable, rather than conform themselves to God’s will.

  • RichmondGiant

    Is it not possible that the word “eunuch” could be substituited for the word “homosexual” today.Posted by: CalP | December 10, 2010 2:14 PMSecond, to believe that we can substitute one for the other would negate the clear message repeated often through Scripture. The only way one could accept your notion would be to believe Scripture is not the word of God, or that God changes his mind on what is right and what is wrong.If Scripture is not the word of God, it’s useless to us and we don’t know God. If we say that God changes his mind proclaiming an act sinful one moment, then acceptable the next, then again Scripture is useless. Because we are told to obey God but would be unable to because right and wrong keep changing. Imagine training a dog, or raising a child, by praising them for an act one moment, then punishing them for the same act the next. No. God is the Alpha and the Omega. God does not change. If what you say is true, then we are lost and all religion is worthless.

  • jcrrt

    As a practicing heterosexual all I can say is ‘keep your religion out of other people’s sex lives’. As long as sex (or a personal relationship) is between freely consenting adults it is none of my business. Apply the law equally. Let marriages, adoptions, benefits etc be available to everyone regardless of sexual orientation.

  • RichmondGiant

    As a practicing heterosexual all I can say is ‘keep your religion out of other people’s sex lives’. As long as sex (or a personal relationship) is between freely consenting adults it is none of my business. Apply the law equally. Let marriages, adoptions, benefits etc be available to everyone regardless of sexual orientation.Posted by: jcrrt | December 10, 2010 2:30 PMNo one is saying we should politically oppress homosexuals or any other sinner beyond what the law of the land calls for. We are called to submit to the law so long as we do not commit evil in doing so. All we are saying is that homosexuality is a sin and the author of this column is gravely mistaken. The Constitution requires we co-exist in a secular world. It does not require that we adopt all the teachings of the secular world. Please keep the State out of the pulpit.

  • pgibson1

    you folks spend way too much time on mythology.

  • RichmondGiant

    you folks spend way too much time on mythology.Posted by: pgibson1 | December 10, 2010 2:44 PM

  • carlaclaws

    Actually, Paul didn’t have much good to say about heterosexuality, either.

  • lufrank1

    So?

  • Carstonio

    But since it is Christian who are debating it based upon their thelogoical beliefs. you must debate it on those grounds if you chose to interject yourself in the discussion as you have.While I understand your point, Robinson didn’t say this was a Christian-only discussion. In principle, anyone of any religion can post comments anywhere on this site, regardless of the religious stance of the panelist. Obviously it’s best if the commenters have some knowledge of the theology in question. But any theology is fair game for questioning and challenge, since the theology does influence how adherents act toward people outside of the religion. The last part is critical. I might disagree with some aspects of Amish theology, but it’s generally not my concern. That’s because the Amish way of life doesn’t hurt non-Amish and they don’t expect or demand that everyone live the way they do. People who disagree with Christian teachings on homosexuality aren’t demanding that Christians turn gay. What if (other) Christians treated homosexuality the same way that the Amish treated automobiles, something that’s not for them but something they don’t begrudge others?

  • thebump

    Carstonio: By all means, live and let live. But don’t seek to redefine a fundamental social institution, namely marriage, that transcends all faiths and cultures. And don’t seek special rights, recognition or social approbation for an immoral lifestyle.

  • fairness3

    As I read many of these entries, I have to pause…are some of you afraid of gay people or just jealous…answer for yourself and while at it, seek forgiveness for YOUR sins.

  • malcolmyoung1

    One could also skip all the rigamarole and simply concede that Paul was a pre-medieval nutjob spouting a bunch of ancient oppressive nonsense that is inapplicable to basic human ethics.

  • tafffy

    Most Christians can’t handle the possibility that Jesus was ok with homosexuality. I think it is possible that Jesus or even some of the apostles could have been homosexual. There is no talk of wives and children, they kiss, they weren’t chauvenists about women. So what? Is his Word somehow diminished by this?

  • bobdog3

    Frankly, I could care less about some narrow-minded Christian bigots who disagree with my lifestyle, which impacts absolutely no one else. I do, however, seriously question the vitriolic hatred from Christians – not only vented increasingly toward homosexuals, but also against many, many others who don’t share their particular faith or beliefs. Hatred seems to be a major pillar of most religions, particularly Christian ones, and somehow that just doesn’t seem right. Funny how Christians can spew hatred one minute and claim to love everyone the next…and then pray to Jesus to help them win a reality show!

  • detroitblkmale30

    fairness3: no one is afraid of gay people. save that homophopic false label for someone it actually applies to. I have no sins to seek forgiveness for thanks anyway though. God bless you

  • detroitblkmale30

    Carstonio: well it is. Obviousl;y the board is open to everyone, but the key argument here is within the Christian context, so while others are free to comment. The MAIN focus here is between Christian who disagree on theological grounds.Trying to argue against them with non-related arguments is like trying to have a debate about physics when one of the persons only discusses geometry. Again, there you go with a tangential argument. I would reply, one could not debate an amish person unless one had good insight into amish teachings. Otherwise the exercise is futile.

  • mac7

    People who go around making judgmental comments or taking judgmental positions against anything always uses “God” to do it with as if God declared them the little gods to go around condemning people. There is a lot of things the Bible says not to do and we are all guilty of doing them–none of us are free of this guilt. So why only pick on what suits us and ignore what we do. We are guilty of putting degree to things like children who say oh you did worse than me or that is worse than this. Not so to God. If we believe the Bible then if I recall this correctly then the only thing unforgivable by God is the sin of rejecting the Holy Spirit.

  • RoxaneJohnson

    Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. This includes those who practice immoral acts that spoken about in the bible. 1Cor 6:9 gives a list of those who will NOT inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Included in this list is homosexuality (along with liars, adulterers, etc.) All sin is unrighteous and God is a God who loves perfectly and who will judge perfectly. As a Christian my heart goes out to my sisters and brothers that are in bondage by ANY sin, however, that does not keep me from loving them like Christ calls us to love. Loving you as a person created in God’s likeness does not mean that I agree with the sinful behavior.

  • rungus

    1. In looking at the writings of Paul or any ancient (or even not so ancient) author, we must try as conscientiously as possible to distinguish the writings’ reflection of cultural norms and conflicts of the author’s time from statements that have lasting, time and culture-neutral validity. Paul seems to have accepted slavery and a subordinate position in society for women, for example. This doesn’t mean Paul is evil; he simply saw and accepted the culture of his time (and the Meditteranean world of two millenia ago is more different from our world than we can esily imagine) and tried his best to adopt the meaning of Jesus to the only world he knew.Someone who has the same orientation as Paul toward love and law in the prespective of Jesus might well take a different stance, in today’s culture, toward long-term, commited relationships between same-sex partners. It is that perspective, not the culture-bound attitudes of the 1st century Roman world, that has continuing validity today.2.Biblical literalism is to religion as originalism is to Constitutional jurisprudence. It is a selective, result-oriented mode of interpretation of a text that denies that it is engaged in interpretation. The denial fails.3. The debate about whether being gay is a choice or is genetically determined misses the point. Suppose we say, oor sake of argument, that being gay is as much a choice as selecting one’s religion. One’s choice of who will share one’s most intimate relationships with is no less central to who I am as a person than my choice of a faith. Perhaps the best analogy to ending discrimination against gays, in marriage and other matters, is the 1st amendment (parallel to prohibiting religions discrimiation ) as much as it is the 14th amendment (prohibiting racial discrimination),

  • feetxxxl1

    “If Scripture is not the word of God, it’s useless to us and we don’t know God.” scripture is inerrant”all scripture is god breathed.”but in addition in lev god says slavery is good. but under the new covenant slavery is an intolerable evil because of its violation of the love of the 2nd commandment(love neighbor).

  • buckminsterj

    Look at thebump upbraid bobdog for a “preposterous smear” not two hours after claiming, without the slightest substantiation, that homosexuality is immoral and that gays want “special” – rather than equal – rights. And no, thebump, your sky monster and storybook don’t count as substance.

  • feetxxxl1

    jesus does speak about homosexuality in matt19, about eunuchs not receiving the word to marry the opposite sex. it cannot be referring to physicalities because there have been those who were born without the equipment to have intercourse(testes and penis) who still married the opposite sex.

  • thebump

    Whatever thebump’s shortcomings, as a rule we do not hurl accusations of hatred willy-nilly against all and sundry who merely happen to disagree. (In Farnaz’s case it was clearly justified.)Further, thebump will defend to the death your equal rights — but there is no “right” to demand that an everyday word like marriage be re-engineered to accommodate your preferences.

  • southernrican

    The start of the article is about the most stupid things I have ever read. Since Jesus did not say anything about intimate sexual relationships, that makes it alright. By the same logic it makes it wrong. I don’t have a horse in the race, I could not careless, but this is typical of Christians trying to make a case on most subjects. This is just like the Pope whom tries to tell his brother Jews they are the same children of god. All the while teaching that the ONLY to god is to “FIRST” except Jesus as your savior. This is against Jewish teachings and puts god in 2nd place. I did not read that in the 10 commandments I understand #1 says “you shall have no other gods before me” and the words “Except Jesus”, must have been added at a later date, since our almighty god could not see the future.

  • beargulch

    thebump writes, ‘there is no “right” to demand that an everyday word like marriage be re-engineered to accommodate your preferences.’We are not talking about semantics here. We are talking about a secular legal term: marriage. It is not owned by the churches, nor is applying it equally to all tax-paying citizens “re-engineering” its meaning.What all citizens have the right to is equal treatment under the law. The Supreme Court has indeed stated that marriage is a fundamental right, and currently it is being denied to same-sex couples.It is not illegal to be a member of a same-sex couple. We deserve all of the rights, responsibilities, and protections of secular marriage.Churches, however, have total control as to whom they bestow the sacrament of holy matrimony. They have no right to control the secular legal construct.

  • thebump

    @bear: Marriage is not a legal term. Marriage is not a creation of the state, and indeed it precedes the state by millenia. Virtually the entire population of the planet understands that the word marriage refers uniquely and intrinsically to the union of the two distinct complementary natural sexes as husband and wife. To impose upon that ordinary word a totally different meaning under the law would be illegitimate.

  • ethanquern

    It doesn’t really matter what any of them say about anything.Believe what you want. That is the American way. Force me to believe what YOU believe is as UNAmerican as Joseph Stalin.The entire fundamental basis of Christianity is fantasy and fallacy.Keep thy demons to thyselves!

  • veerle1

    Roman gods, Greek gods, Jewish gods: we have gods up the ying-yang. A lot of the world doesn’t care what the Bible or koran says about anything, and view them for what they are: mythological writings that essentially say and mean nothing.I don’t believe in any religion and fail to see how homosexuality or anything else is bound to such silly fairy tales.Yes, they are fairy tales.

  • detroitblkmale30

    you’re welcome to your opinion, obviously many many many people disagree with you as I do. What I dont understand is why those of you who are so fascinated with myths dont go to a greek mythology website and go comment on those and leave us alone.

  • thebump

    VEERLE1 says: Ah, the old “fairy tale” gambit. I always find this one amusing — it’s like the speaker thinks fairy tales are bad things, or untrue things.

  • springstreet01

    After awhile, Jesus seemed like he was most likely homosexual, being standoffish with M Magdalene, and having 12 “apostles” around him. So what? Most gay people I’ve known as friends are more intuitive, kind, & intelligent about how to relate to other human beings than many hetros. I’m an old, married, straight person, ex- catholic, BTW.

  • detroitblkmale30

    springstreet01: Do people not remember that Jesus was also divinity in human form?? Maybe THAT is why he wasnt “into” M magdalene or any other woman for that matter.Jesus had and incredible amount of strength to withstand all kinds of temptations and tests of the devil in the wilderness, the garden of gethesemane as well. so clearly the temptation of a woman wouldnt have been more than he can handle. 12 male disciples, was the custom of the day if you recall, there were not female but he did keep the two Mary’s close at hand so clearly he wasnt chauvinistic. These postulations now are beginning to get ridiculous

  • joecct77

    Might we have a rejoinder from the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, or the Archbishop of New York?If the +Robinson is obviously pro, shouldn’t, in the interests of fair play, have an obviously anti?

  • deannemarein

    THe great tragedy of all this, is the rather unfortubate habit the religious have acquired of jneading words meant for something else to fit their immediate purpose.To try to find Levitical indignation in a Hellenistic writing like the New Testament is really attempting the impossible. The ancient Hebrew and the Hellenistic outlook on homosexuality are diametrically opposed.

  • slim21

    Could idolatry have evolved from the four footed beast to the SUV, McMansion or even the IPad? The worship of such material things has been known to produce “unnatural desires” in people and caused them to be given up to their lust.

  • momvera

    It is hard for today’s people to grasp a culture that had no electronics and moved at a snails pace. Covering twenty miles a day was really moving fast. Ship’s sails might go faster in storm on the high seas. But life did not give humanity time to dwell on private parts, because they were just that-private. If ones travels as Paul did to spread his view of who Jesus was and what behaviors Jesus taught as good for humans in the face of God, he was probably abashed himself to find not all humans behaved as Jews believed one should behave sexually. Jesus was more into convincing people to face

  • JDYoung

    Thank you for such a scholarly and insightful article. Shalom.

  • syzito

    Roman 1:26-27 means exactly what it says,not what homosexuals and the apostate Episcopal Church re-interpret it to say.Homosexually is a biological dead end and is not a normal sexual relationship.

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