Brief Introduction

As of September 10, 2014: The content in this blog is old and outdated. While the blog may be used again sometime in the future, at this time it is currently inactive, as it has been for over two years. The opinions and information in this blog do not reflect my current views, nor should they be treated as such. For example, I am no longer a Christian Apologist, but rather an agnostic apatheist. Additionally, my philosophy has changed drastically over the years, as have my views and understanding of the world. Consider these two posts as reflections of my younger, former self, not as the individual I now am. If you wish to see some blog-like posts from me, I recommend checking out my Google+. I semi-friequently post content there which may be of interest.


Until further notice, consider this blog as just a parked domain. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Homosexuality: Is it a Sin?

This is a question people often ask and one seems to receive different answers from each person you ask. Generally, however, it tends to polarize into it being right or wrong, moral or immoral, good or bad, etc. Well, at the risk of losing some followers (and gaining others), I'm taking my stand on the topic. I've given this a lot of thought and I'm still trying to develop my perspective even further, but as you'll soon find out, I've made my decision on which side to support.


General Arguments Against Homosexuality
In all honesty, I've yet to come across a single valid argument against homosexuality or same-sex marriage. The concept of it being "unnatural" is false because it is, in actuality, a very natural part of life. It is not "destructive," no more than heterosexuality and traditional marriage is, because it is nothing but a unity between two consenting individuals. Any offspring of the homosexual couple (whether through adoption or a surrogate) have no "threat of becoming gay" because homosexuality is a non-intrusive sexual orientation. It is not an ideology, nor does it have any doctrines, postulates, or axioms to adhere to.


Homosexuality as a Sin
The second argument I've often came across is the claim that it is a "sin." Well, what evidence is there to support such claims? While I respect the words of the Bible as the religious scriptures of Christianity, I find it fallacious to use its texts as evidence because there is seldom evidence to support the texts themselves. For example, Leviticus 18:22 (KJV) clearly states: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. The issue, however, lies in the Book of Leviticus itself.

Leviticus was written by the Levites (specifically the priests), hence its name. The conflict resides in the fact that the entire book was more along the lines of religious commentaries and postulates as compared to the "Holy Word of God" that so many claim it to be. While there is no evidence to negate the latter claim, there is none to support it, either. Therefore, to support the belief that these priests—whom likely did not even claim it was the "Holy Word of God"—were divinely inspired is fallacious due to a lack of evidence and a failure to satisfy the burden of proof.

What if the Book of Leviticus was merely the written form of cultural and ethical views of the Levites? It's plausible that the Book writings were nothing more than a set of beliefs written down by priests after consulting its members about what the Levites are to believe. To put it frankly, the priests could have simply written in their own personal agendas and convictions, whether out of a desire for power or for political gain. The writings of the Levites are important historically, of course, but to glorify them as holy is an exaggeration.

The next most popular verses are those of 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 (KJV), which states:

[9] Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, [10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
There are two issues surrounding these verses. Firstly, the closest to any sexual acts it touches on is in regards to fornication and adultery. Now, fornication is another way of saying infidelity or sexual activity outside of marriage. This is a sin not exclusive to homosexuals; rather, it is simply a violation of the traditional marriage code of fidelity. Such a violation can occur between two heterosexuals just as readily as with two homosexuals (if they were to marry). Adultery is synonymous with fornication, however it denotes a slightly different meaning, more along the lines of sexual promiscuity. Again, promiscuity transcends all sexual orientations and preferences, thus invalidating it as a legitimate argument against homosexuality.

If that isn't enough, there is always the second issue: the verse that comes right after it...

[11] And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Even if homosexuality is a sin, it has been "washed" and "justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." Therefore, condemning something God already forgives makes you the Sinner because you are not following the "Holy Word of God."


The Bible Was Written by Man
Lastly (and perhaps most importantly) is this: every single holy scripture and religious text were human creations. The Bible, Qur'an, and TaNaKh were all written thousands of years ago by ignorant, borderline illiterate men who believed that the earth was flat and Jerusalem was the center of the known universe. A number of them were either exiles, fictitious characters for dramatic effect, or people whose words are questionable even to this day.

I do not say these things out of malice or blasphemy, but out of genuine sincerity. These men were, after all, just men and while the Bible does have some very valid and wise points, to claim it as inspired by divinity without any evidence of such inspiration (or even of the divinity itself) is, by definition a fallacy. That doesn't mean they weren't inspired by God; however, it's quite plausible that those men were just writing down folklore they remembered as a child and used it to represent something supernatural. That is called mythology.


The Validity of the Bible
There are over three different accounts of Jesus Christ's Resurrection from more than three different Disciples. No one knows which one is true—if any of them are—or if it was even the Disciples who wrote it. There is even evidence to support the possibility that the events in question were recorded hundreds of years after it occurred. This implies that they were passed down orally, thus allowing for misunderstanding and falsification to happen. Nonetheless, those are all seemingly different perspectives of the same event. How could all three be true? Are they not all the "Word of God"? That means that either God was wrong (or lying) two of the three times, or two of the Disciples (or whoever) who wrote down the events were wrong (or lying). Personally, I'd bet my money on humans being wrong and not an almighty deity.

The Bible is far from being "perfect." In fact, the original Holy Bible was about twice as large as the modern-day Bible. Before the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD and the Roman-Catholic Church started banning certain books with accusations of "heresy" and "Devil's Work," there were many other books (e.g., the story of Adam & Lilith, the first wife before Eve, the Fall of Lucifer, and the Gospel of Judas). Many of those books were removed because they contained "too much knowledge" for the public to know. If the Church itself has been filtering its own religious texts since its beginnings, then what's stopping the rest of society from doing so?

The Bible has been translated, rewritten, and revised thousands of times. It's more than possible that some texts have been skewed for personal reasons. Even in biblical times, those in power were often corrupt, cynical, self-absorbed narcissists. Unfortunately, most of the ones in power were also religious officials, since theocratic rule was most popular and "God's Word" was considered Law. What, then, is it that exempts religious officials—priests, popes, and religious authors alike—from lying? Or manipulating? Or what about deceit and a lust for power? Is it just because they claim to be the harbingers of God's Holy Commandments? If so, then shouldn't every politician make such extreme claims? These are questions many religious officials and followers avoid (and with good reason).


Conclusion (TL;DR)
Homosexuality is not a sin. It is not destructive, nor is it an "abomination." It is not inherently bad and the "sins" that could be committed by being homosexual can be done just as easily by a heterosexual. The only arguments against homosexuality can be found in one or more of three categories:

  • Ignorance – The individual does not have enough information to provide a legitimate opinion. Thus any claims should be disregarded as invalid.
  • Superstition  Whether in the form of religious beliefs or baseless delusions, the individual opposes homosexuality based off unfounded speculation.
  • Biological Inefficiency – Since homosexual intercourse does not yield offspring, the reproduction and progression of a genetic line or heritage ends. A counter for such a claim can be that through a surrogate or donor, the legacy can be perpetuated. In addition to the latter, a lack of offspring can be beneficial if the genes in question are of poor quality, or if the threat of spreading a disease/illness (i.e., mental disorder or sexually-transmitted disease) is present.

The religious officials from numerous religions who condemned homosexuality did so out of ignorance, superstition, and health concerns (rare), more specifically the first two. The same applies to their followers and those who adhere to such religious doctrines.



Final Statement
Jesus did not once condemn homosexuality. His Apostles did and His Disciples did, all after His death. The words of Jesus' followers do not supersede His words, however, nor do they hold the same importance as His.
[28] One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” [29] Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; [30] and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ [31] The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
[32] The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him; [33] and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” [34] When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions. ~ Mark 12:28–34 (NASB)
The greatest commandments never mentioned sexuality. It simply said to love God with all your being and to love your neighbor as you do yourself. Did Jesus exclude homosexuals from that love? Or adulterers? Or prostitutes? Or Atheists? What about people of another race? Or perhaps another nation or ethnicity? No.

"...You shall love your neighbor as yourself..."

Whether that neighbor is gay or straight; black or white; retarded or smart; rich or poor; male or female; friend or foe; communist, socialist, fascist, Nazi, or democratic; liberal or conservative; Republican or Democrat; introverted or extroverted... Regardless of who or what that person is, just as long as he is my neighbor, I will love him.

Would you?



NOTE: As you can see, I geared this post most specifically toward Christians. My words still stand with any religion, though: it is not a sin. Feel free to give your opinions and responses below. I will not delete your posts, no matter how much I may disagree with it, just as long as you actually contribute to the discussion as a whole. Any blatant hatred, however, will be removed. This is a very sensitive topic to a lot of people, so I aim to respect that. If that means silencing some hateful people, then so be it. Remember that.

3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this very much. Am looking forward to read your opinion about Islam.

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  2. First, let me commend you on your fine use of what I assume are Google Web fonts. You chose very well! Perhaps you are a website developer though...!

    Now to make some on-topic contributions:
    1. I agree with you regarding the matter of not interpreting Leviticus too literally in a modern context! It says all sorts of strongly-worded things about EVERY sort of person (young, old, heterosexual, homosexual, unmarried, viriginal, not virginal, fat, ugly, loving, lazy, honorable, scheming etc.)

    Slight correction: You surmise that Leviticus refers to authorship by the Levites, and say that Levites were the Priest class. That is not correct. I don't know who wrote Leviticus (does anyone though ;o) but I am certain that the Levites were the artists, artisans, and creative class. The Priest class, the Kohanim, didn't get established until Exodus (they are descendants of Aaron the High Priest after the Jews departed from Egypt). Jews only have 3 classes anyway, a few Kohens, a slightly larger number of Levites, and everyone else. There is very little practical distinction. It isn't like a caste system, nor impart prestige. Anyway, your logic remains intact, as Leviticus is often (mis)used, to condemn a lot of socially acceptable behavior, only one of which is homosexuality!

    2. I think this is harsh, and misinformed, when you said:
    "every single holy scripture and religious text were human creations. The Bible, Qur'an, and TaNaKh were all written thousands of years ago by ignorant, borderline illiterate men..."
    I don't take issue about the matter of who wrote these texts. But they were certainly not written by ignorant, borderline illiterates of that day and age. First, there was not much literacy in general, until quite recently (500 years ago). Also, as you mentioned, these texts were written and re-written over a span of millennia. Regardless of whether one is Christian, Muslim, Jewish, other, or atheist, these books are essential for understanding much of the development of civilization. Even Richard Dawkins said that! I don't read them literally, not often. Yet I find great wisdom that endures in them. And some beautiful poems, and happy inspiration too.

    3. Roman Catholics would argue against homosexuality; having children is a sacrament. Jews are not urged to reproduce beyond the "be fruitful and multiply", insofar as I am aware. Given the number of people in the world today, if some should choose not to have children, whether hetero- or homosexual, that is hardly sinful. It could be considered virtuous and socially responsible, in fact! However, I disagree with your statement that there is no homosexual culture, well, you said "ideology". There is certainly a radical feminism/ lesbian ideology for some, and lesbians are female homosexuals (what is the term for male homosexuals? I'm not sure!)

    Final point: It is not so simple for homosexuals to raise children. Being in a committed monogamous relationship is a totally separate matter. My concern is not based on the children of male or female homosexual parents being "pushed" into same-gender preference. My concern isn't even specifically about homosexuals raising children. Rather, I think it is vital to have both male AND female influences in a child's upbringing. This can be achieved through many means.

    Similarly, there are many single (not homosexual) mothers who raise a child without any male influence, and that is not good either. Whether it is extended family members (uncle, cousin, grandfather) or boarder or trusted neighbor etc. it is very important to have that mix, even if unequal, of male and female perspective in child-rearing. Of course, there is nothing to prevent same-sex parents from finding that as part of family life!

    Sorry for the lengthy comment. I agreed with much of what you said, though not always with your underlying rationale! I really hope this didn't offend you, okay?

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    Replies
    1. I am not a website developer, Ellie, but thank you for your compliment.

      1. There is no definite answer regarding who wrote the Book of Leviticus; however, most people attribute the writings to the Levites, potentially even Moses or Levi themselves. Also, in case you don't know, the Book of Leviticus was post-Exodus, so it's more than plausible that Levite priests authored it.

      2. I know that was a harsh statement, but I intended for it to be. I was using controversial terms and an upfront demeanor purposefully in the hopes of expressing my discontent for such fallacious behavior. Believing someone's claims is understandable, but glorifying them as the "Words of God" is absurd.

      When I used the term "ignorant," I was referring to the fact that most people (even scholars) during those times were oblivious to any science or logical reasoning, seeing how they disregarded both and replaced them with faith and unfounded claims. As for "borderline illiterate," that was directed at how the majority of individuals were illiterate during that time and those who were tended to grasp only the basic qualities of the language they're speaking. Virtually no one spoke more than one language during that time, either.

      Nonetheless, I respect and value most religious texts for their literary value, as well as some of the ethics and philosophies they teach. I refuse to revere them as holy, however, because there's no evidence to support such a belief. I didn't mention that, though, because I felt it would degrade the message of my post.

      3. When I stated that homosexuality (even sexuality in general) is not an ideology, I was implying how it is not a concept to follow or a belief system for someone to align themselves with. An individual's sexuality is rarely if ever a conscious choice; therefore, it should not be treated as one. There are, of course, exclusions to this claim, most of which are outliers in their own sense. Such people may be radical feminists or homosexuality extremists. Just because they exist, however, they are not the defining aspects of what homosexuality is and should be represented as being.

      There are some people who legitimately believe they are another animal, such as (for example) a fish. Does that mean that we should redefine what being human details, since a small minority of individuals are either delusional or convinced they are not human? Definitions are often meant to be objective and universal. If someone wishes to redefine a term, then so be it; they will likely be one of the only people who adheres to such terminology, however.

      I agree with your final statements, Ellie. Both sexes should be represented in a child's life, especially in regards to [his] upbringing and the environment that accompanies it. Oftentimes, however, same-sex couples fall into gender roles just as frequently as traditional couples do: one is the dominant, masculine figure, while the other is the more passive, effeminate one.

      I understand that your concern is not with gender identity, but with an appropriate representation of sexes, though. Children are subjected to many social interactions and events throughout their lives, such as schooling and meeting other family members. Many of these occurrences provide the child with an opportunity to find someone they may admire or look up to. With females being properly represented in society nowadays, especially in regards to jobs and politics, it's more than likely that the child of a same-sex couple will find both male and female role models to attach [himself] to early on, doubly so if [he] has frequent interactions with other family members.

      Thank you for your input and thoughts regarding my post, Ellie K. I appreciate responses and constructive criticisms for me to engage, so I'm glad you replied. And don't worry, the only things that offend me are intolerance, hatred, injustice, and abuse. Outside of that, it's difficult to offend me or get me angry. Have a great night!

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