TCU Daily Skiff Tuesday, February 03, 2004
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Judge not
The Bible is not ammo against homosexuality

Kip Brown is a senior religion major from Enid, Okla.

I do not believe homosexuality is a sin. Call me a sinner, derelict, pagan or whatever you see fit, but I do not believe one can make a credible case against homosexuality from the Bible. You might ask, of course, “What does the Bible matter? Isn’t this a secular social issue?”

Every person I have ever known who is unambiguously opposed to homosexuality takes that position on the basis of the Bible or an implicit support from what they think the Bible has to say on the issue. I admit, I do have one friend who does just that from a natural law basis, believing homosexuality is unnatural.

Well, yeah, so is mowing your lawn, agriculture, and, um, heterosexual monogamous marriage.

I can just imagine the hate mail that I will receive after that comment, so I will get back to the issue at hand. The Bible has been used at one point or another to support physical and institutional v iolence against homosexuals, women, Jews and blacks. One does not have to look very far to see it being committed against homosexuals.

Considering the violence the Bible has supposedly sanctioned against homosexuals, one would think that there would be a great deal of material within its pages on the subject, but this is not so. As biblical scholar Peter J. Gomes once pointed out, homosexuality is not mentioned in the Ten Commandments, or in the Summary of the Law. No prophet or even Jesus makes mention of the subject.

One has to look very hard to find the scant material on this issue, and to do so, you had better have the help of a concordance. Considering you cannot even find the word ‘homosexuality’ in a Bible in any language before 1946 (because the word homosexuality is a late 19th century invention), the issue is a lot less clear-cut than most people would lead us to believe.

A theological analysis of this issue would far outnumber the 500 words I am allotted on each of my columns (Walter Wink’s masterful “Homosexuality and the Bible” is easily accessible online). Nevertheless, in short, I believe the Bible has no sex ethic. Instead, it has a variety of cultural sexual mores that have little or no bearing on the Bible’s central love ethic. Moreover, as Christians, there are many sexual practices the Bible prohibits that we ignore, and others with which we selectively agree.

The sexual mores we pick and choose tell us more about ourselves than the Bible because, if we are sufficiently historically conscious and critical, we discover that the Bible’s treatment of this issue is highly ambiguous. Whatever the case, I believe it is clear that the Bible should never be used to justify institutional or physical violence against people that make us uncomfortable.
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