Saturday, December 6, 2008

HATE IN THE NAME OF ORTHODOXY

"While the Anglican dissenters say their position arises from their commitment to an orthodox interpretation of the Bible, mainstream Episcopalians say these churches are simply intolerant.

"'They are trying to fly under the banner of theological orthodoxy,' Jim Naughton of the Episcopal Church told The Times of London. 'Really, they are just anti-gay'."

[For the full article, see here.]

The desire of churches to dissociate themselves from any structure that confers dignity to Gay people shows forth a profound truth: When people do evil, they almost always couch it in the name of some alleged "good!"

When torture and murder abound throughout the world; when there is enormous hunger and grinding poverty; when corporations and politicians pillage and rape the economy, the fly in the ointment of professions of "love" among all too many professing Christian clergy and their blind followers is their deafening silence and their single-minded focus on what we may call their "Genital Theology", their ignorant and/or twisted views of sex.

Of course, there is appeal to some selected verses in the Bible that these homophobes use to seek to justify their preconceived prejudices, so that these haters can feel righteous, and appear virtuous, particularly to those who either have never read the Bible, or fail to see what passages they use to justify their homophobia are either not binding on the Christian, such as the 613 commandments in the Old Testament, or are merely taken literally and not contextually.

Moreover, even if one could legitimately infer that same-sex love and activity are explicitly stated as sins, by reading the Bible as they seem to do I could make a better case for the existence of Slavery! Jesus never condemned Slavery. However, He was not only completely silent regarding same-sex love in any way being sinful, but stated in Matthew 19:12, "For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb...."

For an excellent analysis of this point, please see Faris Malik's work, "Born Eunuchs: Homosexual Identity in the Ancient World"." The following is an excerpt from his analysis:

"What was called sodomy in the Judeo-Christian tradition, namely the sexual penetration of 'males,' was criminalized in many ancient cultures, but it had never before been associated in law with sex between exclusively homosexual men or with sex practised on homosexual men in the passive role by straight men in the active role. Exclusively homosexual men, or eunuchs, to use the ancient term, were not considered 'male,' because maleness meant the aptitude to play the male role in procreative sex, which they lacked by definition. It had always been decent and respectable for an ordinary man, playing the insertive role, to have sex with an exclusively homosexual man (a non-male) as a passive partner, which is why so many Roman emperors had their eunuch lovers. Penetrating an exclusively homosexual man had not been considered a crime before -- the crime was penetration of a potentially heterosexual man, which was sometimes committed for the purpose of profoundly humiliating an adversary or helpless victim. Therefore, sodomy was a crime committed against "non-gay" men, and like its counterpart crime of adultery, it was committed by "non-gay" men.

"The reason why some people now accuse exclusively homosexual men of being sodomites is that, over time, the ancient, even primeval distinction between types of men, based on the presence or absence of heterosexual arousal in them, has been deliberately erased by patriarchal religious leaders."

So, the "orthodoxy" to which the homophobes appeal is selective, and selective according to their own preconceived prejudices, and which seeks to "justify" those preconceived prejudices!

When we see the mandate that Jesus left for His followers, that we, as Christians, are obliged to obey the only Two Commandments Jesus told us to obey: to love God and to love others, we see how far so many professing Christians and clergy have missed the mark of the Christian life by seeking to appeal to, and impose, certain biblical practices and assorted ancient cultural laws from which Jesus set us free.

And although I'm certainly not one to call anyone else a sinner, I can assure you that to seek to exclude others; to demonize others; to seek to deprive others of civil and sacramental rights; to remain silent in the midst of egregious political, corporate, and military sins visited on God's children, are the sins that must be confronted and exposed for the stench in God's nostrils that they are!
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4 comments:

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Thank you for this...I´m Episcopalian and these, ¨self-determined¨ more Godly and self-righteous renegade thieving folks actually preach demoralization, damnation, persecution and hate/fear-mongering...makes ¨stench¨ seem rather inoffensive to me.

Best to you and thanks for all the good that you do.

Leonardo Ricardo

Jerry Maneker said...

Thank you so much, Leonardo. I very much appreciate your kind words. Best wishes, Jerry.

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Jerry,

Faris Malik's scholarship really helped to open my eyes about the true meaning of Gay identity, and how it absolutely corresponds to Jesus Christ's definition of Gay men as "eunuchs born from their mother's womb". Just those few words from Matthew 19 put the lie to the entire "ex-Gay" ministry movement! Could it be that religious heterosexists need to do more intensive Bible study?

Jerry Maneker said...

Absolutely, Don Charles! They not only need to do more Bible study, but spiritually and intellectually honest Bible study. They also need to understand the Gospel message of grace. Jesus, as you know, never discriminated, nor advocated discrimination, against anyone. His harshest words were saved for the very legalists and perfectionists who seek to put people in bondage to their warped ideas of "religion." Of course, we have our modern-day Pharisees, epitomized by professing Christian homophobes, who dare invoke Jesus' name to seek to justify their unjustifiable advocacy and practice of discrimination.