Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Same Theory at Work -2

I came across a commentary on the Huffington Post article, The Great Gay Awakening, on a blog I follow called "Losing My Religion." The Huffington article is written by Cathleen Falsani. She starts the article by saying:'

Some of my dearest friends are gay.

Most of my dearest friends are Christians.

And more than a few of my dearest friends are gay Christians

She goes on to say:

As an evangelical, that last part is not something that, traditionally and culturally, I'm supposed to say out loud. For most of my life, I've been taught that it's impossible to be both openly gay and authentically Christian.

And that is the big question...can you be openly gay and authentically Christian?

Even assuming that committed gay relationships are a sin (and I don't believe they are) isn't that akin to asking the question "Can you be openly overweight and authentically Christian?"

The Bible does condemn gluttony after all.

And can you be divorced and remarried for other than purely biblical reasons and authentically Christian? 

You get my point, no?

And that was pretty much the road the author took "back in the early 90's"  Even if it was a sin she felt called to love rather than judge. And she says that loving them was easy…but

 Finding clear theological answers to questions about homosexuality has been decidedly not so.

She quotes Jay Baker (Tammy Faye’s son) a well known evangelical Christian as saying:

Examining the original Greek words translated as "homosexual" and "homosexuality" in three New Testament passages, Bakker (and others) conclude that the original words have been translated inaccurately in modern English.

And how about this little tidbit...which I haven't run across in any of my reading....

The word "homosexual" first appeared in an English-language Bible in 1958.

So since homosexual is not an a word in the original language of the New Testament...but rather a word coined by the translators....what does the original word actually mean?  According to Baker, it refers to

male prostitutes and the men who hire them. The passages address prostitution -- sex as a commodity -- and not same-sex, consensual relationships, he says.

So was it a new revelation in 1958 that caused the Bible guys to coin a new phrase that plummets a whole lot of people to the "abomination" category.   Making up words as we go caused a whole lot of trouble with other concepts like...oh....hell for instance.  

And we all know that the Bible has been used to support all kinds of heinous, bigoted, unfair, ridiculous practices.  And the church...the mainstream evangelical church...has bought it....promoted it,  and enforced it all in the name of “for the Bible tells me so” when in actually the Bible says no such thing....

The church has, at best, lagged behind...and at it's worst, it has actually been the oppressor many times throughout history.  Can anyone really trust the evangelical church to  be their moral beacon?  

Baker says we must "weigh all the evidence." 

And everyone should...prayerfully and with an open mind take another look at the scriptures. And, guys especially, should try to get past what I’ve heard referred to as the "ick factor." The "ick factor" is the emotion that is evoked by a mental image of two guys having sex. Truly, it should not be part of the equation...not is it any of our business. 

One of the commenters at Losing My Religion took issue with the statement about the church always being behind saying that

….there have been some denominations where this isn’t anything new. the UCC ordained a openly gay pastor in 1974. and before the the Unitarians were way out in front. so the church means the Evangelical one.

He also provides a link to a list of other progressive "firsts" for his denomination...

Will there come a day when we look back in a "remember when" kind of way...and think of the time when homosexuals were marginalized and held in disdain?  I think it will happen, but just like there are those who have not caught up to the civil rights movement and still think the white race has a leg up on every other ethnic group, there will be some who will drag their feet. And, like with the civil rights movement it won’t be right….


Rhonda said...

Lovely, Cindi! Amen! :) --rhonda

Oneperson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oneperson said...

I second Ronda!

Below I'm listing a few links that folks may already be familiar with. But just in case:

A Letter to Louise

Would Jesus Discriminate?

LGBTIQA & Cult Recovery

Thanks for another great blog post!


PS: All links should be working now. ;)

Cindi said...

Thanks rhonda....and thanks carol for the links..

I will be sure to check them out.