Home > Humanity, Spirituality, Substantial Awareness > Same Sex’d and Saved

Same Sex’d and Saved

Recently, I was designing visuals for a new client whose work was with the medical industry. As this work dealt with sexual health and prevention, I had the opportunity to experience different viewpoints regarding safe sex and HIV/AIDS preventive measures. Watching one of the client’s video clips covering a Gay Pride celebration, I couldn’t help but marvel as anti-gay hecklers appeared onscreen that in a society where social, intellectual, material, and spiritual diversity are espoused a person must yet be categorized and branded, perhaps even treated as inferior if his or her personal desires happen to differ from the generally accepted norm. And what group to better brand as queer than queers? I suspect that no sub-culture of American society has survived more acts of violence and hate for simply daring to exist than the GLBT community, and this largely from God-fearing fellow Americans!

Several years ago I first glimpsed an anti-gay protest sign which declared, “God Hates Fags.” I was instantly perplexed by that statement; would God actually sanction the use of such derogatory terminology? I had been raised to believe that the Creator is the ultimate pure Being of love, light, and peace, so I was unable to accept the notion of Him fuming and hating any one of his treasured creations, especially since God doesn’t make mistakes, which I’m sure every God-fearer could agree. I was also very interested in how the people who waved hate banners of Divine proclamation had obtained such up-close-and-personal knowledge, apparently from God Himself. Since childhood I had heard chatterings of how the Scriptures condemned homosexuals. However, I was not compelled to pursue any academic investigation of the matter until the 1990’s, a period when the Universe began to shed light on a wealth of disinformation which had been socially propagated, having held citizens of the civilized world in spiritually-induced psychological bondage for centuries.

For example, did you know that the word abomination does not even appear in the Old Testament? “But I just read in Leviticus 18:22 that for a man to lie with another man as with a woman is an abomination!” someone might contend. While many English translations do in fact use condemning words where homosexuality is mentioned, if we apply the academic principle of Hermeneutics—which Merriam-Webster defines as “the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)”—we arrive at an entirely different conclusion to the matter.

First, it is important to remember that the language and culture of the Middle-Eastern world 3400+ years ago (which is when historians believe that Leviticus and Deuteronomy were written) was a very different place with very different customs, beliefs, and traditions than our modern world of smart phones, GPS navigation, and high-fructose corn syrup. The original texts from which the Old Testament was eventually translated and published in Elizabethan English in 1611 were given by God to Moses for the Hebrew people for their journey across barren wilderness in what is known as The Exodus from Egypt. Leviticus 18:1–3: “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances.” At that time Pagan temple prostitution within various religions was not uncommon, and apparently God was forbidding the Children of Israel from involvement with such rituals as found in Egypt and Canaan for worshipping Him. Fertility cult priests such as those of the Pagan god Molech would dress as women and receive financial offerings to engage in sexual union with farmers and other participants during religious orgies, the purpose of which was to secure the god’s blessing of their families, livestock, and crops.

Curiously, the word used in the original Hebrew text of Leviticus 18:22 by God to describe Pagan practices was toeyvah, which refers to ritual or cultural impurity. This is also the word which was erroneously translated abomination by the time it reached English. One must ask the question of why a man lying with another man would be considered ritually unclean. Obviously, this demands a deeper answer than simply a prohibition of same-sex relations…what ritual has been violated, and by whom (i.e., what is the offender’s relationship to said ritual)?

The extensive list of commands given in Leviticus and Deuteronomy have been termed by Bible scholars as The Holiness Codes, and were specifically intended as lifestyle guidelines for the Hebrew, and no one other. Things such as the eating of pork, lobster, shrimp, crab, or beef from a crossbred cow were strictly forbidden, punishable by death. Shaving the beard or wearing clothing woven from more than one kind of material would also get you stoned. It is difficult to make a case for God’s alleged distaste for homosexuals from these texts, as they do not speak to the condition of homosexuality itself but rather to a circumstance in which happens to be found homosexual behavior. In the case of The Holiness Codes, the bottom line of all the forbidding was against the worship of false gods.

In further support, another word was commonly used to denote the act of pure sin, which is zimah. Should this second word have been used if God had intended to make a blanket statement against same-sex relationship? I suggest so, for as meticulous as the Hebrew scribes were regarding the Holy Scriptures (they would not even write the complete word “God” because of the perfection of His Being, a Jewish tradition still recognized today), it seems unreasonable to suppose that an incorrect word choice would have been made for such an extremely volatile topic. The aforementioned dictionary defines abomination as “extreme disgust and hatred,” which allows the word zimah a more accurate translation to the English word abomination than the more specific toeyvah, which addresses religious practices. Think of it as a football: while it is perfectly alright—even necessary—to throw a football on a football field, it would be totally inappropriate for that same action to occur in the sanctuary during a church service. In like manner, while it is perfectly alright in God’s eyes to be homosexual, it is totally inappropriate for that same action to occur within the worship of a false god.

So if you are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transexual, the next time someone exercises their own personal insecurities by proclaiming how much God hates you, tell ’em to prove it…from the Bible.

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  1. angelnstar
    July 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Jahriel, one day i was in a book shop and I saw two young guys walking together, holding hands. They were both both glowing. Their faces were radiant and they were obviously in love. I beamed at them and they gave me big grins back, and I thought “They love each other, it is so clear, how can this be wrong?”

    I’ll go further than that. Even if two guys are happy and it’s just for sex and friendship, so what, they are entitled! Leave people alone, I say, let them be happy, and the God I pray to is a loving God, not a judgmental old SOB.

    • July 12, 2010 at 2:05 am

      One day perhaps anyone who loves another can feel at peace to express it in public . . .

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