Your Rules Are Not My Laws
Despite knowing better, I engaged in a comment war on Facebook over the past 10 hours. The comments have been on a picture posted by a religious group, across which was written “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Despite how absolutely ridiculous and trite the phrasing of the statement sounds, the intention from the posting is very clear; God did not make gay people, nor any other kind of people, but instead only made straight people. This has led to a very exhaustive counter-argument on my part where I have knowingly broken my “don’t feed the trolls” mantra of online forum etiquette. Nevertheless, as one who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community and is becoming increasingly vocal in my support for the equal treatment of that community I could not in good conscience sit idly by as person after person praised the bigoted nature of this posting. Below are some of the thoughts I’ve taken away from this defense of my people. Fair warning: if you are a deeply devout Christian, I may be attacking parts of your faith. If this upsets you, move along now.
The entire basis for the argument by Christians against the equal legal treatment of marriage for all people, and against what they call Homosexual behavior in general, is one verse of the Old Testament book of Leviticus, chapter 20 verse 13, in which it reads “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” What is conveniently forgotten are all the other laws from the Old Testament Books of Law (Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and to some extent Genesis and Exodus) that are just as strict yet are considered antiquated. Many laws that were punishable by death included adultery, raping an engaged virgin, being raped and not crying out for help, blasphemy, breaking The Sabbath, trying to convert somebody to your religion, perjury, eating anything with blood still in it, being male and not being circumcised, and having sex with a menstruating woman. None of these other laws are still followed, along with hundred of other rules that were considered sins (all of which could send a man to Hell), yet this one verse becomes the basis of the entire argument over why members of the LGBTQ community should be denied equal rights.
Theologically, Christians shouldn’t even be making this argument anyway, as the source comes from one of the Old Testament Books of Law. The entire point of the New Testament is that Jesus, who in the Christian mindset is The Christ, Lord and Savior, through the act of being born without sin (courtesy of God’s miracle in the uterus of Mary, who became pregnant while still a virgin and thus broke Jesus from the cycle of Original Sin) and then dying on the cross and being resurrected after spending 3 days in Hell granted automatic forgiveness of sins to anybody who firmly, deeply, and truly believes that yes, he did indeed do that shit. What happened, based on this whole sinless birth, death, and resurrection thing is that through Jesus God formed a New Covenant with anybody who believes in him — mostly the then Jews, Israelites, and anybody else who followed the Books of Law — such that simple belief was all that was needed to be considered worthy of going to Heaven. No more annoying hundred something laws to follow religiously. No more not being able to work 7 days a week. No more having to worry about whether smoked ham was “clean” to eat or not. And, no more worrying about whether being able to express love for somebody with the same pretty parts was going to result in being stoned to death.
Furthermore, out of the very words of Jesus himself came the words ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Matthew 22: 37-39) Love! Love is the basis around which everything should be based! How, then, can love between two people be anything BUT following the very command of Jesus himself? He doesn’t specify “between a man and a woman” or “between a husband and wife” or even “between a parent and child.” No, the man says Love, like it is a great, wonderful, and powerful thing.
But even love aside, the other argument against homosexuality even being a sin stems from the fact that the Christian Bible is not an infallible work, nor even the direct word of God. The Christian Bible as it stands today is a collection of books that was officially decided upon during the Council of Jamnia for the Old Testament, and the books of the New Testament were accepted at the Councils of Carthage under the prevailing decisions of the cardinals. Other books were excluded, but more importantly, the decision of which books to include was decided by men. Fallible men. Just as fallible were the men who wrote the books in the first place, which is in evidence in the very beginning, literally. The first 2 chapters of Genesis chronicle different, conflicting stories of the creation story. Other contradictions and inconsistencies may be found here.
With the Christian Bible then being inherently fallible and flawed, such as stating that whales are fish and bats are birds (when we now know that both are, in fact, mammals) it stands to reason that the information presented in the various books is based on the knowledge at the time of the writing. We know now from scientific advancements in brain scanning technology that the reactions to visual stimuli of erotic images are the same for straight women and gay men, and for straight men and lesbian women. We know that the innate reactions, desires, and attractions are as naturally unchangeable as one’s skin color or eye color.
Why, then, with the combination of the invalidation of The Old Laws within the Christian faith AND the scientific advancement made in understanding the basis of one’s sexual dynamic do these various Right-Wing Christian groups still insist on such hateful, ignorant messages such as “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”? Why do they continue to try to advance their interpretation of their Holy Book into legal, secular law?
I can only draw one conclusion; they’re all ignorant, potentially bigoted, assholes.
Stay SINful, friends.