Should We Fix the Gays or Fix Ourselves?

There seems to be a continual lashing out at gays, often done by those Christians who are commanded to love each other but don't seem to be very loving. The newest is a recognition by a prominent Southern Baptist who finally admits that maybe gays are born that way, but then, perhaps we should "fix" them in the womb. These kinds of ideas are usually coming from those who are against stem cell research or any manipulation to heal, or save lives, but willing to manipulate those who they believe aren't quite "up to snuff".

Perhaps what is most problematic is the way that people who are against gays rely on sic verses in the Bible to form the basis for their philosophy. Have you ever been curious about what those six verses are? The first two come from the Leviticus Holiness Codes - Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman: it is an abomination" and Leviticus 20:13, "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall be put to death". The chapter lists other people who should be put to death - adulterers and children who curse their parents. It also lists other forbidden practices - sowing fields with two kinds of seed, wearing garments made of two different materials, and harvesting fruit trees in under five years. To use these passages as a justification for anti-gay actions means that we need to pick and choose which passages we follow, which ones we don't. We don't stone someone for collecting wood on the Sabbath, or for men trimming beards and women wearing male clothing such as jeans and slacks or for birth control and celibacy - even though these codes tell us to.

Many select which of these verses they take seriously, but they then ignore the story of same sex love, between David and Jonathan (I Samuel 18-20 and II Samuel 1). Here, Jonathan says that he "loved David like his very self" and David says to Jonathan, "Greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women". They made a covenant with each other, and kissed each other. Although nothing is said here about whether they had sexual relations or not (no one was peeking in their tent to check them out!), nevertheless, they admitted they loved each other of the same sex more than they loved someone of the opposite sex. This love is held up in the Bible with respect, rather than denigrated.

The three chapters in the New Testament that are used to justify a stance toward homosexuality are I Corinthians 6:9, I Timothy 1:10, and Romans 1:18-32 which are all about degrading sexual behavior. In fact, in Romans, Paul seems to be making an argument against many sins, including homosexuality and libel and arrogance, etc. According to him, everyone who does these deserves to die. But then just as he has finished his long list, (and probably had all the listeners nodding about "those people"), he turns the argument around and tells them not to judge. For Paul, the problem was judging others, since we all know that we are guilty of at least some of these sins.

In all these passages, nothing is said about lesbians. In Romans 1:26 Paul talks about "women have exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural practices" which is often interpreted as women having sex with each other. But in Biblical times, "unnatural" meant anything that did not preserve the "natural order" of the hierarchy. For women to be "on the top" in any way, whether physically or through aggressive behavior, was unnatural. For men to be passive or submissive, such as one man has to be in homosexual acts, was considered unnatural. But what was unnatural was not always morally wrong. It was unnatural for God to "engraft Gentiles onto the Jewish olive tree" (Romans 11:24) and unnatural for women to have short hair, or for men to have long hair. (I Corinthians 11:2-16). Slavery and women's submission to men was considered natural, and yet, Jesus overturned much of this natural order, including the acceptance of many women as his disciples who tramped around the countryside with him, instead of doing the natural thing - of staying home as wives and mothers and keeper of the house. He spoke out loudly, and often, against hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and pride. He was most strongly against the established religionists of the day who had well over 600 rules and laws to follow, and showed no justice, nor mercy. Jesus informed these types of people that the prostitutes and tax collectors would get into heaven before them. And He made it clear, the most important commandment was to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.

I, for one, am tired of this constant harassment of others by those who consider themselves to have the right to judge. I'm tired of them trying to deny equal protection and rights to those they consider not worthy to be citizens of our democracy. Perhaps it's time they started fixing themselves, instead of trying to fix others.