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Homosexuality in the eyes of the church, or in the eyes of religion? September 21, 2005

Posted by Winter in Religion.

The great thing about living with an academic historian is that you get to read the Times Higher. The bf mentioned to me over tea this morning a nice little article by Olga Wojtas that I thought would be interesting as a supplement to this great post on Pope blogging on winter’s personal blog. Twenty two academic theologians have gone and got themsleves involved in the homosexuality-is-a-sin row by spending considerable time and effort combing the gospels for evidence.

Guess what they found?

“Niether god nor Jesus can be accused of gay bashing. The same could hardly be said for many of their devotees” (Philip Kenedy. senior tutor of Mansfield College, Oxford)

The article goes on to say that;

“only six bible verses could be read as opposing homosexuality”, but that there was a significant amount of homoerotic material” (Lisa Isherwood, Professor of feminist liberation theologies at the college of St Mark and St John, Plymouth)

This is another example of how the bible, or any text can be used to back up pretty much any position. Many church groups that preach religious hatred against homosexuality have latched on to a few passages in the bible that justify their cause and convieniently sidelines others that don’t. I find this all deeply saddening, there is a lot of good to be said for what is contained between the covers of the bible. Unfortunately organised religion often uses that material to try and control what other people think and do. Like the bully of the play ground they are not happy until everyone is marching to their interpretation of the text.



1. Winter - September 21, 2005

Heh heh, I have a horror/fascination relationship with the Catholic church, so anyone who reads my blog can cetainly expect more Vatican blogging as time goes by.

I’m an atheiest, but I can agree that there is good stuff in the Bible and it is undoubtedly a fascinating text (or rather texts). THere is almost every kind of literature contained within the Bible.

BUT, and it’s a big but, it is also a dangerous book because it’s so contradictory and can be used, as you say, to support almost any point of view.

2. Naiades - September 21, 2005

I agree, ESP as the church seems to push “official interpretations” and doesn’t encourage people to think about the meaning of the text outside of a very limited interpretaion.

I’m not religious either, and have to say i find it really quite irritaiting when people assume that if your not religious you must be amoral or something. to be honest i’m not sure that the church has a great claim to morality after all the cover ups and such

humm, seem to have got me started on something!!

3. Winter - September 21, 2005

“Moralism” and “Morals” – not the same thing in my view.

4. Naiades - September 21, 2005

agreed, gerrr

5. stephen - September 21, 2005

Hey, hey, its all academic in every sense of the word. Organised religion not only “often” seeks to control the collective thoughts, values and behaviour of society, it is its raison d’etre. Look at the stranglehold the church had on cosmological thinking from 400AD to the Renaissance. Even in the midst of a considerable and inexorably growing body of evidence the church not only continued to espouse a clearly incorrect but theologically desirable Ptolemic world view, it pronounced any counter views as heretic. It was only in the 1990’s that Pope JP2 pardoned Galileo for fuct sake; how very enlightened.

Why should we trust the word and teachings of any body more concerned with dogma than truth? The church knows as much about sodomy or same gender love as it does about quantum possibilities. Even the hymns don’t rock like they used.

There is clearly a huge gulf between religion and faith. The former is an exercise in social control and politics, the latter is based on the childhood need to believe that somehow everything will be ok, that santa clause exists and that when your teeth fall out the fairies will be there to compensate you. We each of us are on own, for better, for worse. We must find happiness in our terms, and hopefully without hurting others around us.

The various Christian and Islamic reformations throughout history show that the most pious in this world continue to be the most intolerant, ignorant and self-serving mental amoeba that you could ever wish to avoid.

I’m really not sure that this is a feminist argument, but to me it really goes to the heart of what it is to be a human, looking for a little human happiness in a daunting world.

Nice site by the way, but the pink makes my eyes bleed, but maybe that’s a stigmata, jesus, now I’m really in trouble.

Tatty bye!!!

6. Winter - September 21, 2005

Thanks Stephen. Faith, sexuality and feminism could be source of many posts I think! As I said, I don’t have any faith, but sometimes I do wish there was a spiritual dimension to my life.

I picked out this template for slightly sentimental reasons, but I have been thinking about changing the colour. This may happen once I figure out how to do it. I don’t want to turn it lime green by accident.

7. bookdrunk - September 21, 2005

On a related note, I guess you’ve seen that Christian Voice are once again pretending that they represent all Christians, everywhere when they actually own represent the voice of their own selective, homophobic reading of the bible.

I get the feeling that the Catholic Church has to take a hearty slice of the blame for giving that kind of position legitimacy, even if they try to state it in more polite terms. Intolerance fosters intolerance (which, in a beautifully ironic way, is what the ‘turn the other cheek’ parable is supposed to teach).

8. Winter - September 21, 2005

Ok. I had a quick look, but I’m going to have to go back later. If any of you want to find out what “evil” and “immorality” really look like, just click on the link provided by bookdrunk above. Sickening. How can these people stand to live with so much hatred and paranoia coursing through their veins. What a miserable F****** existence, spent in trying to spread hatred and division. If that’s Christianity, I’m definitly with the other guy.

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