Saturday, February 28, 2009

Open Forum: Gay Civil Rights and The Bible

The Bible has long been used as a weapon against civil rights battles for African Americans and women, and on the contrary has also been used as a tool to empower and institute government reforms for minority groups.

The Bible has long been used to justify slavery and to subjugate women. Multiple verses can be pointed to in making any case that fits the philosophical view of the majority opinion.

Many religions and denominations are coming to see homosexuality as based in science and psychology and are rendering different interpretations of what it means to be gay. We are in the epicenter of a civil rights battle between secularists, those who believe church/state must be separate, and those who take the Bible at its literal word.

Verses in the Bible were ill interpreted to condone slavery of African-Americans, and the repression of women. As a society we are beginning to see that these groups are not to be treated as second class citizens and that they are fully capable of leading healthy, independent and productive lives.

Is it possible that the shift in religious views on homosexuality will change beyond the realms of progressive/liberal denominations? Will people come to see the authors of the Bible as having not referenced homosexuality, or how the verses have been misinterpreted, or will there always be some element of society that continue to point to religion as a basis for denying gay civil rights?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I have all the optimism in the world and faith in the spiritual evolution of humanity, I also fear there are enough people on the fringe of the most hateful and fearful mentalities, that they will always pose a threat to us, if not through existing laws then through rarer yet organized violent crime, and wrap it always falsely in "morality", "religion", "purity", etc. No, it is wrong, it doesn't make sense, but they believe to their core they are justified in "whatever it takes" to attack and kill enemies. And as long as organized religion tells them directly or indirectly that is okay, they will never give up until all gays everywhere live in fear at least, and live in the closet or fall in the grave at worst....

Anonymous said...

lets get this straight once and for all. We must all abide by the constitution, the bill of rights and all civic documents of law. The bible is none of these. We have a separation between church and state. The bible thumpers ,jewish community, Budists, and mormons must stop interfearing with civil rights and civil law or loose the tax excemt status.

Anonymous said...

As with any arguement, you'll have two sides. Yes, Church should be separated from State. I believe TRUE Christians, Jews, Muslims know that it's not their place to judge, for their deity would judge them harshly.

Now that the simple lesson is out of the way, let's explore the simple reality of the situation here at hand. As gays and lesbians, we're subjected to the same laws as heterosexuals. We all pays taxes, perform jury duty, and some of us have even served in the armed forces. However, even though the APA in 1973/74 stated homosexuality is NOT a mental illness, but in fact normal and healthy, we as a community are still frowned upon heavily by many conservative sects of religion, and viewed as second class citizens.

I personally don't air my dirty business on the street for all to see, nor do I care what goes on in the bedrooms of religiously righteous bigots, so why try to regulate my life as an upstanding gay citizen, towards a religious doctrine I just don't subscribe to? No offense, but don't come knocking on my door trying to preach the word of God if you're going to misconstrue the passages written in the Bible. Not once does it mention homosexuality, not once does it say that we as gays and lesbians are a subclass of human beings, and finally, if you were to take the Bible literally...you wouldn't be able to. The Bible was written in Aramaic and Greek and translated again and again, with several phrases lost in translation with it's true intent of the passage. It's a good book, but that's all it is...a BOOK.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is sadder for me than watching LGBT people try to square the circle and reconcile their faith with being queer. Despite all of the tortured explanations from liberal believers, the Torah clearly intended to condemn homosexuality and transgendered behaviour as did later works.

Whether you are willing to face it or not, the Abrahamic religions are fundamentally supremacist patriarchal religions which detest anything less than a rigid gender binary.

It is time all people, LGBT or not, washed their hands of these absurd bronze age myths and their poisonous fruits. A future without Judaism, Christianity and Islam would likely be a much better time for all.

As long as the Bible and Qur'an are revered, some faith-based homophobe somewhere will be using it to validate intolerance and violence towards LGBT people.

Anonymous said...

I hear lots of talk about the separation of church and state. Lets not forget that the separation of church and state is not mentioned in any of our founding documents, it was written of in a letter! letters do not hold weight like the constitution does.

Cerberus said...

First off, the separation of church and state was in fact intended by the language used in the first amendment and the context it was operating in the times as well as the deism of the founding fathers. That plus the fact that the constitution was never intended to be the be all end all of discussion on human rights and many objected to the Bill of Rights to begin with as they thought it would limit people's ideas to human rights to merely those enumerated directly in the Constitution.

Secondly, the Bible and other religious artifacts all have histories of describing homosexuals both positively and negatively and none are really overshadowed by universal language as far as treatment. No culture really saw it as prohibitively or uniquely evil, even the Levitical laws place it at the level of pork and shellfish and the wearing of blended fabrics.

Third, religion by its very authoritarian principles has always been a convenient land for right-wing authoritarians to stake their arguments against change. This has played out in every single human rights struggle pretty much ever. In hilarious fashion, religious forces obsessed with one social change may embrace one they also condemn just to be able to fight it. You can see it in the lessening of the fight on sex to fight bad sex where the people actually respect and enjoy each other and the old Catholic Church employment of brothels to try and stop all the homosexuality they were worried about way back when.

They will use it because it is a convenient authoritarian attempt to stop the debate when they are out of non-bs arguments against a change for the social good. With all anti-change topics, victory is determined by stopping the debate rather than winning your point. Making us have to disseminate religion and getting religious tribalism involved in the debate prevents everyone from realizing that most are unaffected and shouldn't care and the rest receive a net good and furthermore there are literally zero legal arguments against it.

That and the authoritarians are declaring war on the very idea of a secular government to begin with. Religion in general is beginning to decline and a small core of dedicated psychotics want to see a full return to theocracy and by attacking concepts that were once religious but have become secular and declaring that they are ipso facto theirs aids that goal. That's why they raise such a fuss about Christmas and marriage in specific. There are many ways to hate on a minority, but this way they attack how those two concepts no longer carry the meaning they once did.

bridgeout said...

Wow! This post got a lot of "anonymous" attention! I am not going to wax eloquent on this topic at this time. I just wish that people would stop hiding behind God's words to bully and subjugate others. Jesus never did either.

Anonymous said...

Choose the road you want to travel. If you want to be gay, go ahead, but do not try to tell us that the Bible is on your side, for it is not. It clearly states that being gay is an abomination before God. Nothing else. If you prefer to be gay, fine. Just set the Bible aside, and go your happy ways. Simple.

Anonymous said...

We really are in an untoward generation. To try and justify homosexuality and the latter is not only an abomoination before God, it simply does not add up in nature. Sex between a Man and a Woman results in reproduction. It makes sense in nature. Sex between anything other than men and women does not add up... even in nature. You notice I have excluded the Bible in these comments to impress upon those who try and justify it to show that even in the natural... it doesn't make sense. The male and female genitalia are fit, designed, and joined together for a reason; reproduction. Anything outside of that "simply" does not "fit." It is wrong, even in nature.

Anonymous said...

"oh!!! my peg fit in yur hole, so we be good fit"... I'm "impressed" thankyou for that enlightening argument... and I agree... stop trying to interpret the Bible in our favor... we dont need to justify ourselves by there terms...

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