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Found in translation! The dangers of using Bible for guidance on LGBTQI movement

Akilah Holder’s impassioned column—in which she took umbrage at a gay man sharing his feelings of self-acceptance and his spiritual certainty about being loved and accepted by God—generated a lot of buzz, most of it negative and condemnatory.

While I agree with those who pointed out the poor reasoning skills—the poor exegesis and the dehumanizing implications of comparing all LGBT people to gang rapists deserving of violent death, like those in Sodom—I support her right to freedom of speech. Thank you, Lasana and Wired868, for opening up a dialogue on the issue which is clearly needed.

Photo: A placard in support of same-sex marriage.

A’ Level English Lit was where I first saw there was a big difference between being able to quote from a piece of writing to argue a case and truly understanding what a piece of writing means on its own merit, in its own context.

To be able to grasp fully the meaning of Chaucer or Shakespeare or Austen, I was expected to understand old English words and phrases, understand the society, economics, politics and culture of the Middle Ages or the Elizabethan era or the Regency era. To understand their meaning, I also had to learn about the authors’ lives and their motivations.

All that work to bridge the comprehension gap of just a few 100 years in the same language. 

Now, imagine the effort of bridging over 2000 years in two ancient and foreign languages in tribal warlord, desert, Northern Palestinian cultures far more alien than ours. Surely, some serious effort would be involved in Christians learning their scripture, right? Wrong!

My experience of so-called “bible study” was not about scholarship but affirmation of pre-existing theology. The interpretation of the scriptures was already done for you and drilled into your head, with lots of fervour and emotionalism and authoritarianism. Then you were given pre-selected verses to apologetically defend what you had been indoctrinated—with lots of fear and peer pressure—to believe is true.

That is what was being passed off as “study” of the bible.

Photo: Moses shares the word of the God in the 1956 movie The Ten Commandments.

Imagine how my world turned upside down when I finally got access to actual academic biblical scholarship materials. I learned how the bible was constructed, the actual chronology of the writings, the re-writing over previous writings to reshape narratives post Babylonian exile.

I learned about doublets, about mis-translations across various editions, about the fact that the name of many books are not the names of the actual authors but pseudonyms.

Biblical scholars in Harvard, Yale and Oxford, for instance, know these things but the common man does not. Why is that? Clergy who attended seminary know these things but never tell their laypeople. Why is that?

I decided to be humble and admit that just because I was religiously indoctrinated did not mean I was biblically literate and I set out to remedy that situation immediately. That was over 20 years ago.

What you are about to read is exegesis, which is how biblical scholars approach the bible. They look into the meaning of verses in their original language and context and the contemporary supporting texts of that time, corroborating historical records, culture and the authors’ intended meaning for their audience back then.

Let’s apply this approach to the verses Akilah picked for her column.

First, we need to agree on what homosexuality is and is not. It is not a Hebrew or Greek word/concept found in the original Old or New Testament.

Photo: A scene from a pagan fertility ritual.

Homosexuality/homosexual is a 19th Century medical definition popularized (though not coined) by Richard von Krafft-Ebing, who first put forward in his book Psychopathia Sexualis the hypothesis that there were people congenitally oriented exclusively towards the same sex instead of the opposite sex.

So, if you are using a translation of the bible that has the words “homosexual” or “homosexuality” in them, I will bet you a million dollars it was an edition created after 1945 when it became lucrative in Western societies to subject homosexuals to “treatment”—such treatments are now condemned by the World Psychiatric Association, PAHO and WHO.

If your edition of the bible contains such a biased anachronistic error, you can be sure there are more human errors in there.

A homosexual is someone innately sexually oriented towards the same sex instead of the opposite sex. Just like heterosexuals, homosexuals can be male or female, virgins or sexually experienced, sexually active or celibate, promiscuous or monogamous, ethical or unethical, responsible or irresponsible, empathetic or abusive, single or in relationships, with someone whom they are attracted to or not, etc.

There is no singular personality, behaviour, sex act, sexual role or sexual action that typifies homosexuals or heterosexuals; they are typified only by their psycho-sexual orientation.

Photo: A satirical take on gender confusion.
(Copyright Glasbergen.com)

You also cannot assume someone’s sexual orientation based on described sexual actions or roles only, particularly in biblical times. Why? Sexual acts aren’t always motivated by sexual or romantic attraction. Rape is motivated by violence, prostitution by desperation or being sold as a sex slave and pagan orgiastic rites were motivated by sheer religious frenzy and drugs.

Clearly, the people Paul was referring to in Romans Chapter 1 were not homosexuals. How do we know? Read the verses again, carefully. Note Paul said, “…likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman…” (emphasis added).

The Greek words used in Romans Chapter 1:26 and 27 translated as “natural” and “unnatural” have nothing to do with “the laws of Nature.” The original Greek terms “physin” and “paraphysin” refer to customary/usual or uncustomary/unusual. You can find the same Greek term used to describe men having long hair in 1 Corinthians 11:14. A man having long hair is 100% natural but Paul called it “paraphysin” (translated “unnatural”) because the meaning intended is that long hair was unusual or uncustomary for the Corinthian people to whom Paul was writing.

What caused the men to change their usual/customary sexual behaviour with women and instead “burn with lust for men?”

Photo: Actors enact a pagan ritual at the Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland.

We know there was a cause because Paul begins Verse 26 with, “For this cause…” (emphasis added) before describing the effects of that cause. You will find the cause in Verse 24 where he describes in Greek something called “akatharsian,” which is translated “uncleanness” in most bibles. You will find it in Paul’s description of “worshipping the creation rather than the Creator.” Simply put, it refers to pagan idolatry.

Those familiar with Roman culture and religion know that their worship of creation deities such as Cybele and Saturn would involve frenzied, intoxicated, orgiastic pagan rites within the temple with male and female temple prostitutes. People would ingest hallucinogens and intoxicants and literally lose their minds and, of course, act contrary to their usual selves. This change was not permanent because the tense of the Greek verb used shows that Paul was describing a one-off incident, not a perpetual state of being, as a sexual orientation would be.

The morning after, of course, once they had sobered up, they would realize all the damage they had caused themselves and others. It was not unusual for people to get killed or maimed in those frenzies of ritualistic devotion.

This is not some new-fangled, SJW, Millennial interpretation either; it is actually very old. The earliest Christian philosophers never applied scriptures like Romans 1 in the manner anti-LGBT Christians—particularly those from American Evangelical sects—use it today.

Photo: A protester carries a placard condemning same-sex marriage.

From Aristedes’ commentaries of Romans 1 in his work The Apology to the early Church fathers like Clement of Alexandria to Saint Augustine, their understanding was that Paul was talking about the pagan fertility rites of the Romans, not romantic attraction and love between men, let alone between women!

In fact, the verses never said women had sex with women, they said the women changed their natural (usual/customary) use—the passive rather than the active form of “use”. In other words, women allowed themselves to be used by men in ways that were not related to reproduction. It is a reference to male-female anal and oral sex, which was popular among the Romans as well.

“Clearly they (the females referred to in Romans 1:26 do not go into one another but rather offer themselves to the men.” (Anastasios, an early Church Father.)

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a four-part series on the way the Bible has been mistranslated in relation to the LGBTQI movement. Click HERE to read Part Two.

About Jessica Joseph

Jessica Joseph
Jessica Joseph is currently the Creative Director of Accela Marketing St Lucia/Canada. She is a multiple ADDY Award Winning Trinidadian national, Pop Cultural Anthropologist and Humans Rights Activist. She blogs on Huffington Post and alieninthecaribbean.blogspot.com.

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71 comments

  1. Jessica Joseph thank you for your courage and conviction. All of us who are lucky to have different experiences in our present incarnations know that we are here to test those around us more than we ourselves being tested. You are beautiful. Xooxox

  2. I don’t get it. This is to prove that nothing is wrong with being LGBT? Father intervene Lord.

  3. stupidest thing I ever heard lol ..believe it or not the Bible is the greatest book on earth

  4. Lasana Liburd on the issue of the opinion arm, know that I am not a sport fan, while I do appreciate sport pieces. The opinion arm has truly held my interest. The more recent contribution by Jessica has made me think deeply about my own indoctrination and ways in which my thinking has been influenced. I am good with material that makes me think. I dont have to agree to do that.

  5. The same bible also says they will come up with all sorts of arguments and justifications.

  6. The dangers of proof-texting/quote-mining scripture out of its original context, in order to justify a viewpoint goes far beyond LGBT people. Here are two very recent examples of how dangerous that approach is.

    The Australian Royal Commission indicted the Jehovah’s Witnesses ( a sect that practices a lot of biblical quote-mining/proof texting and biblical legalism) for over 1000 cases of child molestation that was reported to the church’s elders but not the police. The church elders were following the bible to the letter which states that for any person to believed they need two witnesses. See: Deuteronomy 19:15 and Matthew 18:15-17.

    But wait, how on earth is a child who was raped by an adult in the church, going to have two witnesses to corroborate it? As a result, children in the church were not being believed and pedophiles were being allowed to run rampant in the religion. You can read more about it here: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/jehovahs-witnesses-refuse-to-change-twowitness-rule-because-thats-our-stand/news-story/ee1f5bdd2561d99f6d1f608f039ee200

    This is an example of how trying to blindly follow scripture and apply it to every modern scenario can lead to atrocities happening.

    Another case of the dangers of proof-texting can be found when the GOP started using a verse from 2 Thess 3:10 to justify cutting unemployment benefits. The verse says in part…”if a man does not work, neither let him eat”

    But when Paul wrote that, he was referring to small groups of Christians living communally. Remember that Christians were being persecuted in those days. So they would band together in small communities, often the house of a wealthy Christian who would open it up to all his fellow brothers and sisters. Back then wealth was shared among all, there was no such thing as a wealthy Christian living extravagantly while sharing the same congregation with a starving Christian and lauding it over him. They took Jesus’ command to distribute all you have to your brothers and sisters, seriously. In such a scenario where people have to live communally, share everything, pull together, it makes sense to admonish against laziness and encourage everyone to pull their weight.

    Not the same situation as modern crony capitalism built on human injustice and misuse of tax money which fails a large number of citizens, often retrenching them without any warning and putting them on the breadline. But the GOP politicians were trying to justify their stinginess and enabling of the wealthy by quote-mining scripture.

    See how quote-mining and proof-texting is potentially dangerous! It is the same kind of biblical methodology used to justify slavery, colonialism, oppression of women and abuse of children.

  7. Ms Holder’s letter was merely a weak attempt to ‘moralise’ and justify her own views. Hardly worth the effort to refute, but for the fact that such narrow-mindedness is what perpetuates hate and divisiveness.

  8. Lasana, Jessica, as marvelous as this thread continues to be, truth is that the opposing views presented are useless to either of the opposing groups in a forum such as this. Let me declare outright, I am a born again Christian, and I believe the Holy Bible to be inspired by God, not man’s words about God but God’s words about man. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among men.” This is the basis for Christian belief in the bible. My belief, and no amount of insults and shade thrown about being a non- thinker, or being brainwashed can move me. I did not come to my understanding of the Word via dictionary or thesaurus. And no Jessica, we do read The Book with consideration of the time when it was written, the cultural implications, we study the Hebrew and the Greek and in sessions we argue and debate. But none of that is of any relevance here. And I am sure that Akelah knew this when she wrote it. There is no word of Gospel that can be presented here that will be accepted as truth by a non- believer. What Akilah did was simply stated what is written…you can disagree as is your right, but, it is written. But she knew it would not be received here, so here I see mischief. Someone said somewhere in this thread that all Christians go on in yielding to the bible is their faith…I hope the contributor knows this is not an insult. Faith is the thing. It don’t come easy. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” For this reason, Jessica can read the bible from cover to cover every day and never get it. And that’s ok. Jessica can write a book and post here, the Christian will read, understand the intellectual perspectives, see the world logic and all that good stuff, and then we will return to holding fast to that which is good.
    I never argue the bible. I do attempt to teach. Arguing the bible and religion, and what God did or didn’t say is a waste. We were not mandated to win arguments. Akilah didn’t write the Book, she just accepts it. Millions like us accept it. Yeah? Thing is the argument will one day be settled; there will come a time when we will all die. Anyone wants to argue that? Didn’t think so. And one of two things; it will turn out that the Jessicas of the world were right all along, and we foolish Christians missed a lifetime of revelling and sexual liberation and eye lust, flesh lust and pride of life. Or, conversely, the Christians will be right… I am patient. I am prepared to wait it out without the fighting. Shalom.

    • Thank you Ucill for your opinion. I think you are selling some of us on ‘this forum’ short. Thank you for your concern but please don’t feel you have to waste your time worrying about those of us who are interested in this thread. We are adults I think we can manage to listen, process and then decide for ourselves what we do with the information and how it may inform our lives going forward, just as you have. You are right. No need for argument, insults or threats. Shalom also to you and those you hold dear.

    • All I know is God is love. First commandment. What I generally see from Christians- and I am one, is a lot of intolerance, judgement and lack of love when it comes to this issue.

      Additionally, I believe that there is a cultural issue at play here. People get very worked up about homosexuality, but not so much about fornication and horning, which are more normalized. If an article were printed on any one.Of those topics, it would not generate 400+ comments and debate.

      Being a Christian is more than the Bible. It is a relationship with God, which is greatly assisted with the help of the Bible. And prayer. Being a Christian is love. And that last one is lost a lot when Christians talk about this issue.

      Ms Holder is in this for attention and bacannal. I’d rather listen to people like Jessica and disagree than subject my brain to the former. If Lasana continues to publish that ‘hate speech’ you won’t find me here soon.

    • I, for one, hope you stay Jeremy. It looks like there are lots of good threads on Wired686. We now know the range of thought out there on this issue – warts and all! Looks like Lasana sure took a lickin’ on the previous thread on this topic but this one looks interesting to me. I love history and anthropology. I feel the same way you do. Above all God is Love.

    • Jeremy, Akilah didn’t say she hates homosexual people and they should be excluded from society. She quoted from bible verses which she interpreted to mean that God disapproved of their lifestyle.
      Thankfully, Jessica saw an opportunity for debate there and produced another interpretation.
      You’re saying that you’re happy with reading one interpretation that closely fits your ideas but find the other to be hate speech.
      Okay, tell me why it is hate speech? I’ve seen the phrase “hate speech” so much now that it is as cliched as “fake news”.
      Ucill, we might never all have the same beliefs and that is fine.
      I feel that the discussion can help to find a middle ground where we can respect each other’s space though.
      It is messy and awkward to get to that point and it means listening to each other. For some, they’d rather not do that but simply exist in a space where they block out all that is uncomfortable to them.
      So I’m glad some of us resisted the urge to do that.
      The easy thing to do is put your fingers over your ears and bolt. There is nothing noble or admirable about that. But it is an understandable reflex action. More and more, the Internet is built to lump like minded people together in silos.

    • Ucill Cambridge, great respect to your study and willing to get to your truth. I am still finding mine. Your views are also shared by my family and when I’ve had this discussion with them, we found it was a cultural and generational issue for us. But I think you and those you’ve studied with are not the same ilk as Akilah, whose column was all hellfire and wrath, intentionally written to provoke. Plus, her supporters very quickly degraded the conversation with bestiality and plain nastiness. Not all believers are created equal but please keep representing for those who know better and prefer to share the peace rather than the hate.

    • Bonnie i don’t think it would be fair to call Kenroy Ambris her supporter per say. We know Kenroy a loooong time before we knew Akilah. Lol.
      Some people make bizarre comments after my satirical piece for instance. Fanatics for either PNM or UNC. I sure won’t want anyone to call them my supporters.

    • What Akilah wrote is not news to anyone. Just repeating scripture that says ‘God doesn’t approve of homosexuals and same sex marriage is not anything we haven’t heard before. It isn’t ‘hate speech’ but definitely incites it. What follows are comments that are crude and insulting, shaming and blaming. It is painful hearing it but now it’s out and useful discussion can happen. Thank you Lasana.

    • It is hate speech simply because it evokes strong dislike and condemnation of others because they are different.

      And I only put my fingers in my ears to tripe and hollow arguments aimed at being cantankerous and for page clicks. Ms Holder knows her agenda well, unfortunately, she is being given a platform to air her views.

    • Jeremy, it is cynical to suggest that this is about page clicks. But let me put your mind at ease. In one hour, our story about helping Jean-Luc Rochford yesterday would have gotten more clicks than three days of the two stories about homosexuality combined.
      You know why? Because it is a sport site primarily. We have opinion as an extra.
      Quite the opposite, I’d say that I sometimes wonder if the opinion section is worth the hassle.

    • Lasana, to be clear, I am ambivalent on this issue. I prefer Jessica’s take because it is a reasoned argument- none of Ms Holder’s pieces are.

      My reference to page clicks was for Ms Holder, who is only too happy for the attention, not to Wired.

      Personally, I think that both her articles are beneath the editorial standards that I have become accustomed to on this page, which is more troubling to me that any argument we may have in the comments section.

    • If I write something negative about TTFA, it might create a strong dislike for the organisation or David John-Williams. A strong piece about murders by firearms can cause strong dislike for NRA.
      You think gays are so fragile that they cannot take a couple verses from Leviticus? I think they have heard it before. But it is a chance to confront uncomfortable views.
      I’m not personalising it Jeremy. I’m not saying you specifically only want to listen to what you wish to hear. But some do.
      I’m not even debating the bible or homosexuality here. Just free speech. We know there are people who are for and against.
      Whatever we may think about the merits of Akilah’s presentation, it is hardly vitriol.
      I do agree we should block hate speech. But for me that is stuff that has a call to arms for harm to any group of people. I don’t think this did that.

    • How is it that even with this thought provoking piece from Jessica, we are still debating Akilah’s piece though?

    • And by the way, your contributions have always been welcomed Jeremy. And I remember you once shared a piece with Wired868 that went well. I think it was about traffic.
      You think we would be better off just shutting down the opinion arm of Wired868?

    • Lasana Liburd That’s easy- Jessica’s piece was born from Ms Holders. Jessica made sense, so there is no argument with what she wrote.

    • Lasana, I do not. I think that over the time, this page has attracted a certian level of content and response that I was proud to contribute to and read.
      The reason for that I believe this is, is that even when the content may not have been everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, the content itself made good use of journalistic principles and reasoning, which most can appreciate and allows for respectful debate. This ain’t the comment section on Guardian’s fb page.
      Which was why I was shocked when Ms Holder’s first treatise appreared on the hallowed pages of Wired868, which I, and others would have expressed.

      I love a good debate, but give me something to debate!
      I hold Wired868 to a higher standard, which is why I will object to content, which in my opinion, falls below the standard I have bestowed on this page.

    • Lasana Liburd If you write something that is not favourable to the TTFA, we know you did your reseach, and dotted your i’s before you post it, so in that case, our vitriol is justified 🙂

    • I respect your opinion Ucill Cambridge. From what you said, it is clear that you are very certain about your spiritual path and level of thinking on biblical matters. However, you do realize that other people are not identical to you and will not be satisfied with exactly the same path, thinking, emotional journey you made. So it is up to each person to search, examine and think for themselves.

      I was very clear to outline MY experience with Bible study, so you cannot take it as some kind of insult against you or misrepresentation of your experience. My experience was one of learn by wrote, accept the theology and learn the bible verses to back it up. Asking too many questions was met with a LOT of hostility and accusation that any doubts or lack of being conviced by something, was because of some devilish influence or the other. People were taught to self-censor their own curiosity or doubts out of fear of being considered less faithful, holy or obedient.

      Perhaps this was not your experience, but it was mine and all we can do is speak our truth and learn to empathize with each other.

      When someone says, “I am just quoting the bible as it is written.” in hopes that they can quote-mine a verse for how it READS in complete isolation of its textual context and historical underpinnings, they are basically using the bible like an oracle or Magic 8 Ball. This can lead to some serious problems as history has shown. Because you can use this approach to justify almost anything as God’s opinion.

      Your Christian sect believes the bible is infallible and the direct word of a super-intelligent, omnipotent, extraterrestrial creator of the universe. However, many other Christian sects believe Jesus is the Word. They believe the bible contains inspiration but is not infallible and certainly, man’s interpretation and application is far, far, FAR from infallible as well. There are Christians that accept science and history as academically sound. Not all Christians are young-earth Creationist, biblical literalists. So, this is also about representing their views as well.

    • Jeremy, truth is that I am taking it on a case by case basis. And I’m not always sure myself. So I can take the criticism.
      Many times though, I’m pleasantly surprised because then I get to see some wonderfully mature and reasonable responses when it would be easier for people to lose their rags.
      But the aim is definitely to give readers the best brain food I can find.

    • Jeremy. The merits of Ms Holder’s article/her style or level of study should not preclude her contribution.
      Jessica may be closer to your method and style but her contribution is not more important or acceptable. To say otherwise is class based censorship.
      Additionally though Jessica has her contribution. The truth is the spiritual side is effectively absent. If thats all you are comfortable with, one might question why something like this makes you uncomfortable. To live with only comfortable opinions is no challenge. To my mind and spirit that would be a death. So live and let live. Speak and let speak. Post and let post.

    • Chris Mark D sounds a bit condescending.

    • Maybe or perhaps discomfort unnerves you as well.

    • Chris Mark D I am trying to understand how you can judge what I’m comfortable or not comfortable with from this discussion.

      As I stated before I am more ‘comfortable’ with Jessica’s article becuase it is well reasoned and makes an effort to make an objective argument. Ms Holder’s was the opposite of that.

      I also stated that this topic is not one that I am particularly passionate about. It is difficult enough to work out my own salvation than to worry about what other people are doing in their bedrooms.
      I am passionate about writing though, and the crux of my displeasure with Ms Holder is her inability to write properly, not her argument.
      It may surprise you to know that I don’t agree with the entire text of what Jessica wrote, but I appreciate her attempt.

      I also believe that ill-formed arguments should be censored- UNTIL they meet the minimum journalistic principles to allow for debate and comment. Otherwise, Ms Holder can start her own page and post her rants there.

    • The “spiritual” side is coming in the conclusion of the series. It has to do with the Greatest Commandment. Also, my spiritual path is not going to be identical to yours or anyone else’s. We may touch on similar sentiments from time to time, but you are walking your own narrow path and I mine. Each person has their path to walk. You cannot unknow what you know. Neither can I. For many people, they cannot get to a spiritual place without an intellectual process accompanying it. It has to make sense to them first for them to start to feel conviction and trust in it.

      The expectation that all people should walk exactly the same way, is one that can only be fulfilled by infringing on the Universal Human Right to freedom of thought, belief, conscience. It is an attempt to turn masses into one borg, a hive mind. People are free to disagree, debate, critique, doubt, change their mind, change their mind back etc. The only thing there should be consensus on is that we are all human beings, of inherent value, imbued from birth with certain inalienable rights and we have a human contract with our fellow man to respect those rights.

      This human contract is universal, which is why you will find variations of the Golden Rule long before the New Testament and in almost every culture and spiritual tradition around the world.

    • Chris Mark D I think it was the “If that’s all you are comfortable with” bit and the assumption that Jessica is not spiritual. But like you say. Speak and let speak. Live and let live…

    • Is true talk dat Lasana Liburd!

    • Jo Ann, I am stating that Jessica’s dissertation thus far works from a clinical approach. It has not referred to spiritual. Therefore given Ms. Holder was ventilating a spiritual inference with a scriptural quote. The use of a clinical rebuttal leaves the “power” of the words unspoken.

    • Chris, Jessica has not finished her rebuttal yet and she said she will get to the spiritual side too. So we will have to be a bit patient. Like Job. 🙂

    • Jessica sin is also universal, there is pride, lust, covetousness, greed, sloth in all of us to some degree. We are not called to make a home for it but rather to root it out. So whether it be horning, price gouging, stealing, masturbation, pornography or lgbt adventures. We are called to challenge all to love and life to love God with heart, mind and spirit in truth.
      To be brutally honest I see lgbt and sexual sin as a manifestation of our reduction of the marriage act to place pleasure above life and love. Whether by contraception, masturbation, horning or fornication.
      Our society also sees nothing wrong with promiscuity just as it sees no wrong in getting rich while underpaying employees.
      So no the words mean more than what they did at the time they were written because we were more unteachable then. Eg. Jesus’ explanation of why Moses allowed divorce.
      Its not reading more into it. It is expanding it to reach men where ever sin tempts them.

    • Lasana Liburd my response was in reference to previous responses. I have to get home in order to read more as the cell I use is too old to access her writings. However I have no beef with anyone. I may be the devil’s advocate in the eyes of some but I believe too many try to suggest that a viewpoint or style of delivery they dont like is unacceptable. To that I take umbrage. An excellent priest once said that if a homily never made you uncomfortable, either you are asleep or the priest is.

    • I know your point of view on LGBT people very well Chris Mark D. I just tend to be a little more holistic in my approach because I do not elevate one people’s culture or philosophy as the be all and end all of the wisdom, morality etc. to be had. Right now we have celebrated professors in Oxford adopting wisdom from Zulu tribal people. I see this as progress away from the supremacist/imperialist programming that only some forms of knowledge are worthwhile. The Bible is one of many sources I glean from and I don’t use it in a religiously dogmatic way either.

      Oh, and I had no idea you were against contraception and masturbation as well. But that is your choice. You do you.

      As far as sex goes, my ethics on the matter are the same as the Golden Rule. It cuts through all the knowledge deficiencies, cultural limitations and gender inequality of certain cultures, like those of the ancient Hebrews and early Christian Empire before the age of Enlightenment and the age of Human Rights. Some of their views do need to go in the dustbin of human history and are fortunately doing just that.

      One of the fundamental human truths I know is that we cannot survive on this planet if we are not invested in the well-being of our fellow man. We are not lesser organisms, lower on the food chain, with less intelligence, whose survival is based on feeding and replicating only.

      For higher life forms, apex predators, highly social and intelligent mammals, survival of the entire group is not just about consumption and replication. It is about the ability of the group to cooperate and experience well-being. In order to do that they need to live cohesively and in order to do that, they need to be invested in protecting, caring for, not harming each other. The more diverse the personality and other traits in the society, the more challenging it becomes to do this. Yet, trying to force everyone to be identical, like a hive mind, is also detrimental to well-being and human rights. Try as we might, we will never get everyone to be the same. So, we have to learn how to find strength in diversity and go ABOVE and BEYOND just religious and cultural boxes.

    • There is a strength in understanding and being open to diverse views. I do however note that to see a member of your group ailing will create two possible responses. The turn your back and grab what they can no longer protect predatory or selfish response or the assist and heal response. I choose the latter. As I said before science does not play favorites. There is no litmus test for lgbt anomalies. They are essentially the same but for their response to gender and sexual preferences. They also suffer just as we would when we interact in an unhealthy manner for our human “ecosystem”. Reproductive organs function best and most healthily when used in the way they were designed for the intended purpose. When used outside of the intended purpose, health risks escalate. Yes consensual actipns between two parties is legit but that does not alter whether it is wise to do.
      Example friends taking part in bunjee jumping and other high stakes adrenaline pumping fun may be ok but the fact that the actions are high risk should direct ones thoughts to always being meticulous with the conditions and equipment.

    • In short just because they can have a productive life while living out their mental struggles. Eg. Robin Williams (Am I allowed to say I loved his work).
      Misguidance or delusion. The medical evidence says its not healthy.
      We need to help them face their difficulty not say its perfectly normal.

    • Its in their best interest to get healing not just a pat on the back being told do what you wanna do.

    • Jeremy, would it be hate speach to call a white supremacist a bigot?

    • All this reminds me of is the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes and all his friends afraid to say he got conned. Took a child to break it down. Not a university grad.

    • Chris Mark D Without a well reasoned argument, supported by evidence, it would 🙂

      I would also refer you and others to the fact that when I first used the term, I put it in inverted commas, which, in literary circles means I was knowingly using it out of context. That may have been missed.

    • Chris Mark D There you go! ‘They’ Judged, diagnosed, and treatment prescribed. ? …and the ‘don’t pat them on the back’ hmmm

    • Jo Ann, So if someone has a runny nose snd is sneezing it would be judgemental to say they have a cold? Are you so out if touch with whats real that you rather a fantasy?

    • Chris Mark D, if you could create your perfect world, tell us what it would look like. What would you like to cure? How would you go about doing it? What would be your manifesto? Tell us.

    • Chris Mark D if they were an adult and I wasn’t in a consultation room. I would go about my business as usual and trust they know what they are doing. Maybe they would ask for advice from someone they respect. Maybe a pharmacist? Maybe they wouldn’t. Not my horse – not my rodeo. They are adults and the consequences are theirs to choose. I hope I wouldn’t call them names, diagnose them anyway, tell them what to do and shame and call them defective if they didn’t handle it how I would. Ps. I don’t consider differing sexual orientation an illness mental or otherwise.

    • Fantasy? Maybe. Who knows. I think we just ‘think’’ differently.

    • I would be far less concerned about what responsible, consenting adults are doing and more concerned about the fact a 13 year old girl was being PIMPED OUT BY HER OWN MOTHER! Women vanishing and not returning! People just gunning down people in the streets! America is spiraling down right in front of us and when the USA catches a cold, everyone does.

      It going to take everybody pulling together to survive the times ahead. You going to need as many ideas, perspectives as possible, you going to need your future Baldwins and Lourdes and Turings, and Wildes, and Mercurys.

      We will never agree 100% on everything and that is fine. The only agreement any human being needs to have with any other human being is mutual commitment to each other’s human rights.

    • Awaiting the second. Just had some time with laptop.The levirate translation should be much clearer.
      This only proves that Paul was shocking people with their own actions that given his success in conversion, one might easily establish that same sex attraction was not natural to them.
      Thanks all the same.

    • Chris Mark D. Could you send me a link or instructions to read that too? Cheers Jo

    • Oh ok. You were commenting on Jessica’s post.

  9. Every day really is a school day yes. Reading the series with great interest. Kudos to Jessica.

  10. I cant wait !!! Excellent start..

  11. Fayola Bostic, it got its own thread and will hopefully be read. It is very interesing. Thanks again for taking the time Jessica Joseph.