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The Bible and the 'Gay Marriage' Question (Parts 1,2 & 3)
VirtueOnline.org ^ | July 20, 2011 | Robert A. J. Gagnon

Posted on 07/27/2011 1:17:50 PM PDT by Zender500

What does the Bible actually say about "gay marriage"? That question is the title of a a recent op-ed piece in the Huffington Post written by Lee Jefferson, a visiting assistant professor of religion at Centre College. According to Jefferson the answer is: "Nothing," or at least "Nothing negative."

Jefferson used the recent passage of "gay marriage" by the New York legislature as a springboard from which to denigrate appeals to the Bible against homosexual practice. I will use Jefferson's article as a springboard from which to answer the question that he and many others have raised.

It is of relevance that, though Jefferson gives the appearance of speaking with authority on the question, he has not (to my knowledge) published any academic work on the issue of the Bible and homosexual practice. His expertise is not in the Bible but in Christian art of Late Antiquity. Jefferson also shows little or no awareness in his article of the array of strong arguments against his claims.

In addition, Jefferson exhibits an unfortunate tendentiousness in his characterizations. He speaks glowingly of the "enlightening progress in our culture concerning the LGBT community." Those who disagree represent a "cacophonous opposition" that uses religion as "a bruising hammer" and lobs "textual grenades"-as if the homosexualist advocacy groups have not been even louder and more belligerent and strident. The fact that the media is overwhelmingly on the side of promoting homosexual unions is not enough for Jefferson. He bemoans the fact that the media reports any dissent to this party line.

It should go without saying that upholding a male-female requirement for marriage can and should be a product of a loving desire to avoid the degradation of the gendered self that comes from engaging in homosexual practice. That it does not go without saying is due in large part to today's charged political atmosphere where hateful characterizations of persons who disapprove of homosexual unions are commonplace among proponents of such unions.

This hateful reaction stems largely from a comparison of such persons to racists and sexists. Yet such a comparison begs the question of whether the comparison is accurate. If opposition to gay marriage is more like opposition to marriage between close kin and to marriage between three or more persons, than one arrives at very different conclusions about what constitutes love.

And now on to Jefferson's arguments.

The ancient world and homosexual orientation

A linchpin of Jefferson's case is his claim that no one in the Greco-Roman world had any knowledge of something akin to "same-sex orientation." Jefferson ironically makes this claim while insisting on the importance of understanding the ancient context behind the biblical text.

The fact is that in the Greco-Roman world theories existed that posited at least some congenital basis for some forms of homosexual attraction, particularly on the part of males desiring to be penetrated. These theories derived from Platonic, Aristotelian, Hippocratic, and even astrological sources. They included: a creation splitting of male-male or female-female binary humans; a particular mix of male and female sperm elements at conception; a chronic disease of the mind or soul influenced indirectly by biological factors and made hard to resist by socialization; an inherited disease analogous to a mutated gene; sperm ducts leading to the anus; and the particular alignment of heavenly constellations at the time of one's birth.

Some of the ancient theories are obviously closer to modern theories than others. What matters, though, is that many in the ancient world attributed one or more forms of homosexual practice to an interplay of nature and nurture. Many viewed same-sex attractions for some persons as exclusive and very resistant to change.

Jefferson gives no indication that he is aware of the literature that contravenes his claim. Contrast Jefferson's remarks with the observation of Thomas K. Hubbard, a classicist at the University of Texas (Austin), in his magisterial book, Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents (University of California Press, 2003): "Homosexuality in this era [i.e., of the early imperial age of Rome] may have ceased to be merely another practice of personal pleasure and began to be viewed as an essential and central category of personal identity, exclusive of and antithetical to heterosexual orientation" (p. 386). Hubbard also points to a series of later texts from the second to fourth centuries that "reflect the perception that sexual orientation is something fixed and incurable" (p. 446).

Contrast it too with this assessment by Bernadette J. Brooten, professor of Christian Studies at Brandeis University and a self-avowed lesbian, in her important work, Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism (University of Chicago Press, 1996):

Paul could have believed that tribades [the active female partners in a female homosexual bond], the ancient kinaidoi [the passive male partners in a male homosexual bond], and other sexually unorthodox persons were born that way and yet still condemn them as unnatural and shameful. . . . I see Paul as condemning all forms of homoeroticism as the unnatural acts of people who had turned away from God. (p. 446)

Other scholars who have written major works on the Bible and homosexuality make similar points, such as William Schoedel, professor emeritus of classics and early Christianity from the University of Illinois, and Martti Nissinen, professor of Old Testament at the University of Helsinki. Note too that all these scholars have written from a stance supportive of homosexual unions.

Although it is usually assumed that Paul in Rom 1:24-27 treats homosexual attraction solely as a chosen condition of constitutional heterosexuals, nothing in the wording of the text substantiates such an assumption. The expressions "exchanged" and "leaving behind" in 1.26-27 do not refer to a willful exchange of heterosexual desire for homosexual desire. Rather, they refer to a choice of gratifying innate homoerotic desires instead of complying with the evidence of male-female complementarity transparent in material creation or nature.

Furthermore, as with Philo of Alexandria (a first-century Jewish philosopher), Paul was probably aware of the existence of a lifelong homoerotic proclivity at least among the "soft men" (malakoi) who, even as adults, feminized their appearance to attract male sex partners (1 Cor 6:9). Paul viewed sin as an innate impulse, passed on by a foundational ancestor, running through the members of the human body, and never entirely within human control (see his discussion in Romans 7:7-23). So any theory positing congenital influences on homosexual development would obviously have made little difference to Paul's opposition to all same-sex intercourse.

The evidence indicates that some Greco-Roman moralists and physicians, operating within a culture that tolerated and at times endorsed at least some homosexual practice, could reject even committed homosexual unions entered into by those with a biological predisposition toward such unions. What, then, is the likelihood that the apostle Paul, operating out of a Jewish subculture that was more strongly opposed to homosexual practice than any other known culture in the Mediterranean Basin or ancient Near East, would have embraced such unions?

It is important to bear in mind also that semi-official marriages between men and between women were well known in the Greco-Roman world (even the rabbis were aware of such things, as also Church Fathers). The notion that adult-committed homosexual relationships first originated in the modern era is historically indefensible. Consequently, it cannot be used as a "new knowledge" argument for dismissing the biblical witness. Even Louis Crompton, an historian and self-avowed "gay" man, has drawn the proper conclusion from this historical data in his highly acclaimed book, Homosexuality and Civilization (Harvard University Press, 2003):

According to [one] interpretation, Paul's words were not directed at 'bona fide' homosexuals in committed relationships. But such a reading, however well-intentioned, seems strained and unhistorical. Nowhere does Paul or any other Jewish writer of this period imply the least acceptance of same-sex relations under any circumstance. The idea that homosexuals might be redeemed by mutual devotion would have been wholly foreign to Paul or any other Jew or early Christian. (p. 114)

The Bible and the 'Gay Marriage' Question (Part 2)

the Bible actually say about "gay marriage"? That question is the title of a a recent op-ed piece in the Huffington Post written by Lee Jefferson, a visiting assistant professor of religion at Centre College. According to Jefferson the answer is: "Nothing," or at least "Nothing negative."

Genesis 2 and its implications for "gay marriage"

Another flawed argument that Jefferson makes is that "the Bible does not clearly endorse one form of marriage over another." This would have been news to every first-century Jew, including the historian Josephus. Josephus explained to Gentile readers that "the Law [of Moses] recognizes only sexual intercourse that is according to nature, that which is with a woman. . . . But it abhors the intercourse of males with males" (Against Apion 2.199).

Jefferson tries to substantiate his claim by asserting that the story about Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 "is a gender creation story, not a creation of marriage story." Yet Genesis 2:24 clearly extrapolates from the story about the creation of woman in 2:18-23 the marriage principle that "for this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be joined to his woman (wife) and become one flesh."

The narrative begins with an originally sexually-undifferentiated human (Heb. adam, "earthling"), from whom some indeterminate portion of bone and flesh is taken from one of the human's "sides" (a better translation than "ribs" since it is the meaning given to this word, tsela, everywhere else in the Old Testament). This extraction is made in order to form a woman, thereafter turning the adam into a gender-specific man (Heb. ish). The woman is depicted as the man's "counterpart" or "complement" (2:18, 20)-a translation of Heb. neged that means both "corresponding to" (denoting likeness as regards humanity) and "opposite" (denoting difference as regards sex or gender).

The subtext of the story is that man and woman may unite in marriage to become "one flesh" because out of one flesh the two came. This is a beautiful image of a transcendent reality: that man and woman are each other's sexual "other half," the missing element in the spectrum of sexuality. Clearly the story indicates a foundational male-female prerequisite for valid sexual unions, irrespective of (as Jefferson puts it) the absence of "a jazz band reception in Paradise."

Jesus and "gay marriage"

Jesus apparently understood Genesis 1:27 (God "made them male and female") and Genesis 2:24 (cited above) as implying a male-female requirement for marriage. Jesus cited these two texts back-to-back (Mark 10:2-12; Matthew 19:3-12) in order to make the point that the complementary twoness of the sexes, male and female, is the foundation for limiting the number of partners in a sexual union to two.

When man and woman unite in marriage, the sexual spectrum is completed such that a third partner is neither necessary nor desirable. Jesus applied this principle not only explicitly to a rejection of a revolving door of divorce-and-remarriage (a form of serial polygamy) but also implicitly to polygamy, which both in Jesus' day and in ours is the easier prohibition.

We know that this was Jesus' point because the sectarian Jewish group known as the Essenes (who regarded even the Pharisees as too lax in their observance of the Law of Moses) similarly rejected polygamy on the grounds that God made us "male and female" (zakar uneqevah). They connected this phrase in Genesis 1:27 to its occurrence in the Noah's ark narrative where the twoness of the bond is stressed ("two by two"; Damascus Covenant 4.20-5.1). They then deduced that God's will at creation was for marriage to be a partnership of two and only two persons.

Jefferson stresses Jesus' silence on the issue of homosexual practice as "exhibit A" for his claim that "same-sex practice is a topic of little interest to the Biblical authors." Yet Jesus also says nothing about incest or bestiality. Surely this "silence" does not suggest Jesus' indifference. Why should Jesus spend time talking explicitly about offenses that no Jew in first-century Palestine is advocating, let alone engaging in, and that his Hebrew Scriptures already proscribe in no uncertain terms?

Clearly Jesus regarded a male-female requirement in marriage as an "irreducible minimum" in sexual ethics, the foundation on which other sexual standards are predicated, including monogamy.

A half dozen other historical arguments establish Jesus' opposition to homosexual practice, including his adherence to the Law of Moses generally and his intensification of sexual ethics in particular (not only as regards polygamy and divorce-and-remarriage but also as regards "adultery of the heart"); the fact that the man who baptized him (John the Baptist) got beheaded for defending Levitical sex laws; and both early Judaism's and the early church's univocal opposition to homosexual practice as an egregious offense. Jesus wasn't shy about expressing disagreement with prevailing norms. Silence speaks for his acceptance of the prevailing view.

The Bible and the 'Gay Marriage' Question (Part 3)

What does the Bible actually say about "gay marriage"? That question is the title of a a recent op-ed piece in the Huffington Post written by Lee Jefferson, a visiting assistant professor of religion at Centre College. According to Jefferson the answer is: "Nothing," or at least "Nothing negative."

Some texts that speak directly to homosexual practice

Jefferson characterizes the texts that speak directly to the issue of homosexual practice as "scant indeed." Yet the number of biblical texts doing so is comparable to the number of texts addressing incest and greater than those prohibiting bestiality. If one looks at Scripture contextually (as Jefferson urges others to do) it will be evident that Scripture's opposition to homosexual practice is deeply embedded in the fabric of its sexual ethics.

In fact, every text in Scripture treating sexual matters, whether narrative, law, proverb, poetry, moral exhortation, or metaphor, presupposes a male-female prerequisite for all sexual activity. For example, in Old Testament law there are constant distinctions between appropriate and inappropriate forms of other-sex intercourse but nothing of the sort for same-sex intercourse. The reason for this is apparent: Since same-sex intercourse was always unacceptable, there was no need to make such distinctions. Another example involves metaphor: Even though ancient Israel was a male-dominated society, it imaged itself in relation to Yahweh as a female to a husband, so as to avoid the imagery of a man-male sexual bond.

Jefferson's interpretation of texts that more or less directly address homosexual practice is deeply flawed. He writes off the Sodom episode in Genesis 19 as a text concerned with hospitality, not homosexual practice. This makes an either-or out of a both-and. The episode at Sodom is viewed in early Judaism as a paradigmatic example of gross inhospitality to visitors precisely because the men of Sodom seek to dishonor the sexuality of the male visitors. By asking to have sex with them as though they were females they treat the maleness of the visitors as of no account. The fact that this is done in the context of attempted rape is no more an indication of the irrelevance of the homosexual aspect than is a story about incestuous rape (so, I would argue, Ham's act against his father Noah in Genesis 9) irrelevant for indicting adult-consensual incest.

Jefferson dismisses the prohibitions of man-male intercourse in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 as limited to a particular time and place in Israel's history, like dietary restrictions and the prohibition of cloth mixtures. But the prohibition of man-male intercourse is more closely related in its context to the prohibitions of other sexual offenses that we continue to prohibit today: incest, adultery, and bestiality. The Holiness Code in Leviticus (chaps. 17-26) specifically refers to these forbidden sex acts as "iniquity" or "sin," not just ritual uncleanness (18:25). It does not allow absolution merely through ritual acts (such as bathing and waiting for the sun to go down). It does not treat these sexual offenses as making the participants contagious to touch (unlike some ritual impurity offenses).

The penalty applies only to those who engage in these acts with willful intent (whereas ritual purity infractions encompass both advertent and inadvertent acts). Leviticus applies the prohibitions not just to Jews but to Gentiles inhabiting the land. For all these reasons the prohibitions of incest, adultery, man-male intercourse, and bestiality do not look like merely ritual offenses.

The prohibition of cloth mixtures is largely symbolic, since the penalty is only the destruction of the cloth (not the wearer) and since too some cloth mixtures are enjoined for the Tabernacle, parts of the priestly wardrobe, and the tassel worn by the laity (apparently on the assumption that cloth mixtures symbolized 'penetration' into the divine realm, which was inappropriate in non-sacral contexts). The prohibition of incest is a much closer analogy to the prohibition of man-male intercourse than dietary rules or rules against cloth mixtures, since both incest and same-sex intercourse involve sexual offenses between persons too much alike in terms of embodied structures-one as regards kinship, the other as regards gender.

As regards Paul, Jefferson provides an odd reason for discounting the offender list in 1 Corinthians 6:9, which includes an indictment of "soft men" (malakoi, see above) and "men who lie with a male" (arsenokoitai). His reason is that "these terms are injected along with" other sexual offenders, namely, "the sexually immoral" (pornoi, not limited to fornicators contra Jefferson), adulterers, and (in context) persons who engage in incest (chap. 5) and sex with a prostitute (6:15-17). "In other words, Paul is addressing ALL deviant sexual and immoral behavior, not just that of a same-sex variety." To this argument I can only say: So what? Who ever claimed that Christian sexual ethics were opposed only to homosexual practice?

Jefferson then claims that "it is unclear whether [Romans 1:26-27] truly is a condemnation of a specific practice." This is a bizarre claim. Paul specifically refers to females exchanging "the natural use [i.e. of the male] for that which is contrary to nature"; and, "likewise" to males "leaving behind the natural use of the woman" and becoming "inflamed in their yearning for one another, males with males." That doesn't sound ambiguous to me.

Moreover, there are eight points of correspondence, in the same tripartite order, between the creation text in Genesis 1:26-27 and Paul's argument in Romans 1:23-27. This indicates that Paul is thinking of homosexual practice as a violation of the creation of "male and female" in Genesis 1:27. The nature argument is a common one for Greco-Roman moralists seeking to indict homosexual practice on absolute grounds. It seems to me that we should make a distinction between Jefferson wanting Romans 1:26-27 to be unclear and the actual clarity of the text itself.

Biblical arguments and our civil law

The final argument that Jefferson makes (which is listed first in his article but which I am treating last) is that "the institution of marriage is a secular and social institution." As such, Jefferson argues, referring to what the Bible says about homosexual practice is irrelevant for civil law. There are two problems with this view. One is that people of faith are shaped morally by their religious beliefs and have a right to vote such beliefs, just as atheists or those philosophically inclined have a right to vote according to their respective ideologies. This is especially so in cases where these beliefs are not restricted to a single sectarian religious community and where what is "imposed" is not incarceration and fines but a withholding of public approval. On both counts opposition to "gay marriage" passes muster.

The roots of moral reasoning in Western civilization derive largely from religious foundations. Indeed, discussion of "morality" seems out of place in a context where there is no higher power. Without God, ethics are reduced to utilitarian considerations.

An even more important point is that one can make a reasonable case against "gay marriage" on secular philosophical grounds; that is, by an argument from nature and by appeal to analogies already in place in our civil law. The Bible itself points in this direction with the argument from nature in Romans 1:24-27, an argument based on the compatible structures of male and female that should be obvious even to those without Scripture; structures that requires a deliberate suppression of truth to override.

Put simply, if the logic of a heterosexual union is that the two halves of the sexual spectrum, male and female, unite to form a single sexual whole, the "logic" of a homosexual union is that two half-males unite to form a single whole male or two half-females unite to form a single whole female. By implication homosexual unions dishonor the integrity of the stamp of maleness on males and of femaleness on females by effectively treating their sex or gender as only half intact, needing to be supplemented structurally by union with someone of the same sex. The closest analogies in civil law to a prohibition of "gay marriage" are laws prohibiting the marriage of close kin and the marriage of three or more persons.

As regards the incest analogue, homosexual unions are unions between persons who are too much structurally alike, in terms of sex or gender, much as an incestuous union is wrong because it involves two persons too much alike on the level of kinship identity. The analogy is often rejected by proponents of homosexual unions. They claim that incest is always harmful because it involves children and leads to birth defects. However, incest can (and has) been conducted by consenting adults. Moreover, many kinds of incestuous unions would not entail procreation: incestuous bonds where at least one party is infertile, active birth-control measures are taken, or the participants are of the same sex. In short, incest does not produce intrinsic measurable harm (not even when procreation occurs); disproportionately high rates, yes, but intrinsic, no.

Homosexual unions likewise experience disproportionately high rates of measurable harm, not intrinsic measurable harm. Moreover, this harm corresponds to gender type. Male homosexual activity, even relative to lesbian unions, is characterized by extraordinarily high numbers of sex partners lifetime and by extraordinarily high rates of sexually transmitted infections. Female homosexual activity, even relative to male homosexuality, is characterized by relationships of lower longevity and higher rates of some mental health problems (not surprising, perhaps, in view of the greater expectations that women generally place on relationships for self-worth and fulfillment). The existence of disparities of harm between male and female homosexual relationships, corresponding to gender differences, is a sign that some harm stems simply from the same-sexness of homosexuality. In homosexual relationships the extremes of a given sex are not moderated and the gaps in the sexual self are not filled, at least not as well, on the whole, as heterosexual relationships.

To withhold marriage from all near-kin unions (certainly between a parent and an adult child or between full siblings) one has to develop a philosophical argument about intrinsic harm. The only such argument of which I am aware involves the recognition that procreative difficulties are not the root harm of incestuous unions but only the symptom of the root harm. The root harm is the attempt to unite sexually with someone who is too much of an embodied same, not enough of a complementary other. If the procreative difficulties associated with incestuous bonds are the clue as to their root harm, so too the structural incapacity for procreation on the part of homosexual bonds should indicate to observers a similar root harm

As regards the polyamory (multiple-partner) analogue, we have noted above in our discussion of Jesus' rationale that a prohibition of polygamy is grounded ultimately in the natural law argument that the existence of two and only two primary sexes-complementary to each other in terms of anatomy, physiology, and psychology-implies a limitation of two persons to a sexual union at any one time. If we don't grant marriage licenses to three or more persons in a concurrent sexual relationship, why should we grant marriage licenses to homosexual unions that disregard the foundational twoness of the sexes on which the limitation of two persons is based? There are examples of polyamorous unions going on in the United States that are adult-consensual, loving, and without measurable harm.

Of course, my point here is not that the state should issue marriage licenses to close kin or to three or more persons concurrently. My point is rather that, since adult-committed incestuous unions and polyamorous unions are analogically related to adult-committed homosexual unions, one shouldn't approve of granting marriage licenses to the latter case unless one is also willing to grant marriage licenses to the former two cases. People can choose to be inconsistent-perhaps, let's hope so in this case. However, that doesn't change their inconsistency into consistency.

And make no mistake about it: Homosexual unions are a more foundational violation of sexual ethics than incestuous or polyamorous unions since the latter two are logically extrapolated from the former rather than the other way around. The recognition of the need for embodied complementarity and acceptance of the essential duality of a male-female bond is prior to any conclusions that may or may not be reached about incest and polyamory.

This is certainly true about the development of sexual ethics in ancient Israel, early Judaism, and early Christianity. Loopholes for incest and polyamory were revoked over time. But in the biblical record there never were any loopholes allowable for homosexual practice. The most basic division for human sexual behavior is the differentiation of the sexes, not differentiation along the lines of kinship or limitation of number.

In conclusion, Lee Jefferson doesn't want the Bible to have anything to "say" about "gay marriage." His want then infuses his interpretation of the biblical text, skewing the results. He attempts to make his case by arguing that "the Bible is not specific, literate, or even concerned with what we call same-sex orientation or gay marriage," when in fact we have seen the exact opposite to be the case. He blames proponents of a male-female requirement for not investigating the "ancient cultural context." Yet he himself appears not to know it.

Jefferson thinks that people should "quit focusing on what the Bible didactically 'says'"-a contention that ignores the helpful contribution of the Bible throughout Western civilization to a whole host of social justice issues. I suspect that what Jefferson is really upset about is seeing the Bible applied to the specific issue of homosexual practice. So applied it simply doesn't cut in the direction that he would like to see it cut. Nor, I might add, do secular considerations suggest a need to divert from that witness.

----Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: bible; centrecollege; christianity; elca; episcopalian; gaymarriage; homosexualagenda; huffingtonpost; jesus; leejefferson; lutheran

1 posted on 07/27/2011 1:17:53 PM PDT by Zender500
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To: Zender500
Anything can be rationalized in order to make one feel better and not have to take a long deep look at oneself.
2 posted on 07/27/2011 1:21:30 PM PDT by frogjerk (Greedo did not shoot first.)
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To: Zender500

The Bible deals with all social issues: past and present. It is not a living document in the sense that we need to make adjustments for any “new morality.” Those clergy pushing for gay priests and pastors should know this. But then 70% of Christians question the Virgin birth and Son of God Biblical claims.


3 posted on 07/27/2011 1:23:22 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: wagglebee; little jeremiah
In conclusion, Lee Jefferson doesn't want the Bible to have anything to "say" about "gay marriage." His want then infuses his interpretation of the biblical text, skewing the results. He attempts to make his case by arguing that "the Bible is not specific, literate, or even concerned with what we call same-sex orientation or gay marriage," when in fact we have seen the exact opposite to be the case. He blames proponents of a male-female requirement for not investigating the "ancient cultural context." Yet he himself appears not to know it.

Jefferson thinks that people should "quit focusing on what the Bible didactically 'says'"-a contention that ignores the helpful contribution of the Bible throughout Western civilization to a whole host of social justice issues. I suspect that what Jefferson is really upset about is seeing the Bible applied to the specific issue of homosexual practice. So applied it simply doesn't cut in the direction that he would like to see it cut. Nor, I might add, do secular considerations suggest a need to divert from that witness.

4 posted on 07/27/2011 1:23:42 PM PDT by Zender500
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To: self

Mark


5 posted on 07/27/2011 1:25:26 PM PDT by RedRover
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To: Zender500; netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...
From Catholic Answers

Early Teachings on Homosexuality



Some argue that neither the Bible nor apostolic tradition condemns the practice of homosexuality. Passages such as Leviticus 18:22–30, Romans 1:26–27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and Jude 7 serve as ample proof that Scripture indeed condemns homosexuality. Below is ample proof from tradition. The Fathers are especially harsh against the practice of pederasty, the homosexual corruption of boys by men.

 

The Didache

"You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill one that has been born" (Didache 2:2 [A.D. 70]).

 

Justin Martyr

"[W]e have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest we should do anyone harm and lest we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to prostitution. And for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in every nation. And you receive the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to exterminate from your realm. And anyone who uses such persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with his own child, or relative, or brother. And there are some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly mutilated for the purpose of sodomy; and they refer these mysteries to the mother of the gods" (First Apology 27 [A.D. 151]).

 

Clement of Alexandria

"All honor to that king of the Scythians, whoever Anacharsis was, who shot with an arrow one of his subjects who imitated among the Scythians the mystery of the mother of the gods . . . condemning him as having become effeminate among the Greeks, and a teacher of the disease of effeminacy to the rest of the Scythians" (Exhortation to the Greeks 2 [A.D. 190]).

"[According to Greek myth] Baubo [a female native of Eleusis] having received [the goddess] Demeter hospitably, reached to her a refreshing draught; and on her refusing it, not having any inclination to drink (for she was very sad), and Baubo having become annoyed, thinking herself slighted, uncovered her shame, and exhibited her nudity to the goddess. Demeter is delighted with the sight—pleased, I repeat, at the spectacle. These are the secret mysteries of the Athenians; these Orpheus records" (ibid.).

"It is not, then, without reason that the poets call him [Hercules] a cruel wretch and a nefarious scoundrel. It were tedious to recount his adulteries of all sorts, and debauching of boys. For your gods did not even abstain from boys, one having loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, another Ganymede. Let such gods as these be worshipped by your wives, and let them pray that their husbands be such as these—so temperate; that, emulating them in the same practices, they may be like the gods. Such gods let your boys be trained to worship, that they may grow up to be men with the accursed likeness of fornication on them received from the gods" (ibid.).

...

"In accordance with these remarks, conversation about deeds of wickedness is appropriately termed filthy [shameful] speaking, as talk about adultery and pederasty and the like" (The Instructor 6, ca. A.D. 193).

"The fate of the Sodomites was judgment to those who had done wrong, instruction to those who hear. The Sodomites having, through much luxury, fallen into uncleanness, practicing adultery shamelessly, and burning with insane love for boys; the All-seeing Word, whose notice those who commit impieties cannot escape, cast his eye on them. Nor did the sleepless guard of humanity observe their licentiousness in silence; but dissuading us from the imitation of them, and training us up to his own temperance, and falling on some sinners, lest lust being unavenged, should break loose from all the restraints of fear, ordered Sodom to be burned,
pouring forth a little of the sagacious fire on licentiousness; lest lust, through want of punishment, should throw wide the gates to those that were rushing into voluptuousness. Accordingly, the just punishment of the Sodomites became to men an image of the salvation which is well calculated for men. For those who have not committed like sins with those who are punished, will never receive a like punishment" (ibid., 8).

 

Tertullian

"[A]ll other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature, and are impious toward both [human] bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities" (Modesty 4 [A.D. 220]).

 

Novatian

"[God forbade the Jews to eat certain foods for symbolic reasons:] For that in fishes the roughness of scales is regarded as constituting their cleanness; rough, and rugged, and unpolished, and substantial, and grave manners are approved in men; while those that are without scales are unclean, because trifling, and fickle, and faithless, and effeminate manners are disapproved. Moreover, what does the law mean when it . . . forbids the swine to be taken for food? It assuredly reproves a life filthy and dirty, and delighting in the garbage of vice. . . . Or when it forbids the hare? It rebukes men deformed into women" (The Jewish Foods 3 [A.D. 250]).

 

Cyprian of Carthage

"[T]urn your looks to the abominations, not less to be deplored, of another kind of spectacle. . . . Men are emasculated, and all the pride and vigor of their sex is effeminated in the disgrace of their enervated body; and he is more pleasing there who has most completely broken down the man into the woman. He grows into praise by virtue of his crime; and the more he is degraded, the more skillful he is considered to be. Such a one is looked upon—oh shame!—and looked upon with pleasure. . . . Nor is there wanting authority for the enticing abomination . . . that Jupiter of theirs [is] not more supreme in dominion than in vice, inflamed with earthly love in the midst of his own thunders . . . now breaking forth by the help of birds to violate the purity of boys. And now put the question: Can he who looks upon such things be healthy-minded or modest? Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion" (Letters 1:8 [A.D. 253]).

"Oh, if placed on that lofty watchtower, you could gaze into the secret places—if you could open the closed doors of sleeping chambers and recall their dark recesses to the perception of sight—you would behold things done by immodest persons which no chaste eye could look upon; you would see what even to see is a crime; you would see what people embruted with the madness of vice deny that they have done, and yet hasten to do—men with frenzied lusts rushing upon men, doing things which afford no gratification even to those who do them" (ibid., 1:9).

 

Arnobius

"[T]he mother of the gods loved [the boy Attis] exceedingly, because he was of most surpassing beauty; and Acdestis [the son of Jupiter] who was his companion, as he grew up fondling him, and bound to him by wicked compliance with his lust. . . . Afterwards, under the influence of wine, he [Attis] admits that he is . . . loved by Acdestis. . . . Then Midas, king of Pessinus, wishing to withdraw the youth from so disgraceful an intimacy, resolves to give him his own daughter in marriage. . . . Acdestis, bursting with rage because of the boy’s being torn from himself and brought to seek a wife, fills all the guests with frenzied madness; the Phrygians shriek, panic-stricken at the appearance of the gods. . . . [Attis] too, now filled with furious passion, raving frantically and tossed about, throws himself down at last, and under a pine tree mutilates himself, saying, ‘Take these, Acdestis, for which you have stirred up so great and terribly perilous commotions’" (Against the Pagans 5:6–7 [A.D. 305]).

 

Eusebius of Caesarea

"[H]aving forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men, he [God] adds: ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for in all these things the nations were defiled, which I will drive out before you. And the land was polluted, and I have recompensed [their] iniquity upon it, and the land is grieved with them that dwell upon it’ [Lev. 18:24–25]" (Proof of the Gospel 4:10 [A.D. 319]).

 

Basil the Great

"He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers" (Letters 217:62 [A.D. 367]).

"If you [O, monk] are young in either body or mind, shun the companionship of other young men and avoid them as you would a flame. For through them the enemy has kindled the desires of many and then handed them over to eternal fire, hurling them into the vile pit of the five cities under the pretense of spiritual love. . . . At meals take a seat far from other young men. In lying down to sleep let not their clothes be near yours, but rather have an old man between you. When a young man converses with you, or sings psalms facing you, answer him with eyes cast down, lest perhaps by gazing at his face you receive a seed of desire sown by the enemy and reap sheaves of corruption and ruin. Whether in the house or in a place where there is no one to see your actions, be not found in his company under the pretense either of studying the divine oracles or of any other business whatsoever, however necessary" (The Renunciation of the World [A.D. 373]).

 

John Chrysostom

"[The pagans] were addicted to the love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that pederasty . . . should not be allowed to slaves, as if it was an honorable thing; and they had houses for this purpose, in which it was openly practiced. And if all that was done among them was related, it would be seen that they openly outraged nature, and there was none to restrain them. . . . As for their passion for boys, whom they called their paedica, it is not fit to be named" (Homilies on Titus 5 [A.D. 390]).

"[Certain men in church] come in gazing about at the beauty of women; others curious about the blooming youth of boys. After this, do you not marvel that [lightning] bolts are not launched [from heaven], and all these things are not plucked up from their foundations? For worthy both of thunderbolts and hell are the things that are done; but God, who is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forbears awhile his wrath, calling you to repentance and amendment" (Homilies on Matthew 3:3 [A.D. 391]).

"All of these affections [in Rom. 1:26–27] . . . were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males; for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonored than the body in diseases" (Homilies on Romans 4 [A.D. 391]).

"[The men] have done an insult to nature itself. And a yet more disgraceful thing than these is it, when even the women seek after these intercourses, who ought to have more shame than men" (ibid.).

"And sundry other books of the philosophers one may see full of this disease. But we do not therefore say that the thing was made lawful, but that they who received this law were pitiable, and objects for many tears. For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature; but this is contrary both to law and nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this would be worse than any punishment" (ibid.).

Source Document

6 posted on 07/27/2011 1:29:06 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer; Zender500
Heaven and the love of neighbour [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Virtue of Prudence [Michael Voris video]
Back-to-School Virtues: Three qualities that help your child succeed in class and in life
How to Make All Our Conversations Virtuous [Ecumenical]

Advent -- A Season of Hope
Modesty En Vogue [Another one of the virtues]"
Prudence: Mother of All Virtues
The Virtue of Confidence
Is Courage a Masculine Virtue?
Cardinal Virtues: Obama and the Real American Infrastructure – Part One
Cardinal Virtues: Obama and the Real American Infrastructure — Part Two
Morality is Habit-Forming: The Cardinal Virtues
The Cross Exemplifies Every Virtue [St. Thomas Aquinas]
Living the Virtue of Humility

7 posted on 07/27/2011 1:36:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Southside_Chicago_Republican

Later


8 posted on 07/27/2011 1:36:19 PM PDT by Southside_Chicago_Republican ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." -- G.K. Chesterton)
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To: NYer

Thanks for providing what early saints have written about the matter.


9 posted on 07/27/2011 1:43:50 PM PDT by Augustinian monk
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To: Zender500

Whether you are religious or fall on the secular evolutionary side of things ‘Putting it where you poop’ is just unhealthy and sick.

Mel


10 posted on 07/27/2011 1:45:16 PM PDT by melsec
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To: Zender500; AFA-Michigan; Abathar; Albion Wilde; AliVeritas; Antoninus; BabaOreally; ...
Homosexual Agenda Ping

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the homosexual agenda ping list.

Be sure to click the FreeRepublic homosexual agenda keyword search link for a list of all related articles. We don't ping you to all related articles so be sure to click the previous link to see the latest articles.

Add keywords homosexual agenda to flag FR articles to this ping list.

11 posted on 07/27/2011 2:06:17 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Army Air Corps

Bookmark


12 posted on 07/27/2011 2:36:03 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: Zender500

It doesn’t matter what the Bible says about homosexual marriage to people who don’t care about what the Bible says about anything!

We must counter the homosexual marriage movement using secular wisdom, not religious wisdom.

When a state legislates homosexual marriage, it is legislating that children be denied either a mother or a father. And that is wrong, no matter what your religion (or lack thereof).


13 posted on 07/27/2011 2:38:00 PM PDT by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: Reddy; Zender500; melsec; Augustinian monk; massmike
It doesn’t matter what the Bible says about homosexual marriage to people who don’t care about what the Bible says about anything!

You are absolutely right! Actually, these 'gay marriage' bills have nothing to do with marriage. It is all about legalizing an unhealthy lifestyle.

With all the media euphoria over last Sunday being the first day on which gays could legally wed in the state of NY, there was much surprise when the anticipated numbers (2500) did not show up. By Monday, many of the stories the local media had planned to show, had never materialized. There were no local receptions for gay couples. Bakeries were not besought with requests for multi tiered wedding cakes decorated with rainbow colored flowers. Whay had happened?

They concluded that gay couples who could now legally wed, were opting to do so at their own time, not necessarily on the actual day. In reality, as freeper "massmike" can assure you, now that gay marriage is legal in the State of NY, the next phase of 'progress' is to incorporate this into the school curriculum. Our children will be taught about gay sex, acknowledge that some children have two mothers or two fathers ... and that this is normal. The purpose of gay marriage is to legitimize their lifestyle and, in so doing, denigrate and destroy any and all religious groups that denounce it. To learn more about where this is headed (and yes, your state will be next), visit:

Mass Resistance

14 posted on 07/27/2011 3:02:16 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
You are absolutely right! Actually, these 'gay marriage' bills have nothing to do with marriage. It is all about legalizing an unhealthy lifestyle.

I think that it goes far beyond that. Gay marriage by itself is not that important. It is the instillation of doublethink in the population.


Doublethink, a word coined by George Orwell in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, describes the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts.[1] It is related to, but distinct from, hypocrisy and neutrality. Its opposite is cognitive dissonance, where the two beliefs cause conflict in one's mind. Doublethink is an integral concept of George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. The word doublethink is part of Newspeak.

According to the novel, doublethink is:

“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.[2]

"The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.[2]”

Orwell explains that the Party could not protect its iron power without degrading its people with constant propaganda. Yet, knowledge of this brutal deception, even within the Inner Party itself, could lead to collapse of the state from within. Though Nineteen Eighty-Four is most famous for the Party's pervasive surveillance of everyday life, this control means that the population of Oceania—all of it, including the ruling elite—could be controlled and manipulated merely through the alteration of everyday thought and language. Newspeak is the method for controlling thought through language; doublethink is the method of directly controlling thought.

Newspeak incorporates doublethink, as it contains many words that create assumed associations between contradictory meanings, especially true of fundamentally important words such as good and evil; right and wrong; truth and falsehood; justice and injustice.

In the case of workers at the Records Department in the Ministry of Truth, doublethink means being able to falsify public records, and then believe in the new history that they, themselves, had just written. As revealed in Goldstein's Book, the Ministry's name is itself an example of doublethink: the Ministry of Truth is really concerned with lies. The other ministries of Airstrip One are similarly named: the Ministry of Peace is concerned with war, the Ministry of Love is concerned with torture and the Ministry of Plenty is concerned with starvation. The three slogans of the Party — War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength — are also examples.[1]

Moreover, doublethink's self-deception allows the Party to maintain huge goals and realistic expectations: If one is to rule, and to continue ruling, one must be able to dislocate the sense of reality. For the secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one's own infallibility with the power to learn from past mistakes.[citation needed]

Thus, each Party member could be a credulous pawn, but would never lack relevant information. The Party is both fanatical and well-informed, thus unlikely either to "ossify" or "grow soft" and collapse. Doublethink would avoid a "killing the messenger" attitude that could disturb the Command structure. Thus, doublethink is the key tool of self-discipline for the Party, complementing the state-imposed discipline of propaganda and the police state. Together, these tools hid the government's evil not just from the people, but from the government itself, but without the confusion and misinformation associated with primitive totalitarian regimes.

Doublethink is critical in allowing the Party to know what its true goals are without recoiling from them, avoiding the conflation of a regime's egalitarian propaganda with its true purpose.[citation needed]

Paradoxically, during the long and harrowing process in which the protagonist, Winston Smith, is systematically tortured and broken, he contemplates using doublethink as the ultimate recourse in his rebellion—i.e. to let himself become consciously a loyal party member while letting his hatred of the party remain an unconscious presence deep in his mind, and let it surface again at the very moment of his execution so that "the bullet would enter a free mind" which the Thought Police would not have a chance to tamper with again.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink

The ultimate goal is control by the increasingly inherited bureaucracy. If you eliminate the means to identify problems, when then, nothing will happen. How can you rebel against something that that you don't know exists? Does a caged canary rage against the cage?

15 posted on 07/27/2011 4:13:45 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so..)
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To: melsec

Plus it makes no sense evolution wise. It is aganist SCIENCE. Also those parts of the body were not make for penetration. Whether homo or hetero sexual.


16 posted on 07/27/2011 7:35:54 PM PDT by therut
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To: Zender500

The Bible is clear. It talks exclusively about God’s order to leave one’s parents and cleave to one’s wife. There is nothing gender neutral in this reguard. Those who try to make the bible less clear are deluding themselves. There is no question about how God views sexuality that is not heterosexual and witin the confines of marriage. Anything outside of a maritial heterosexual relationship is considered sin whether it be adultry, fornification, or obscenity.


17 posted on 07/28/2011 7:37:16 AM PDT by Maelstorm (Better to keep your enemy in your sights than in your camp expecting him to guard your back.)
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To: NYer; Maelstorm

Deep historical analysis; no pun intended. Thanks for posting, NYer.

Ping, Maelstorm.


18 posted on 07/28/2011 8:37:50 AM PDT by Albion Wilde (To ACLU & its plaintiffs: Stop dragging the public into your personal struggle w/ God. -Mark Baisley)
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To: Zender500

Thank you for a scholarly look at this contentious topic.

SSM proponents are so full of it.


19 posted on 07/28/2011 8:39:27 AM PDT by Albion Wilde (To ACLU & its plaintiffs: Stop dragging the public into your personal struggle w/ God. -Mark Baisley)
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To: Zender500
Bible is pretty clear: Marriage is between man and woman. Yes, some biblical patriarchs had multiple wives. But that was not how it was meant to be.

Gen 2:24 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."

20 posted on 07/28/2011 12:21:35 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Zender500

bump


21 posted on 07/30/2011 7:49:09 AM PDT by Albion Wilde (To ACLU & its plaintiffs: Stop dragging the public into your personal struggle w/ God. -Mark Baisley)
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