By Charles Toy
I like simplicity and elegance. Often when Jesus spoke, it was simple and elegant … and powerful.
In Matthew 19 Jesus says:
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
A few verses later he goes on to say:
“Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
Wait. What? Not everyone can accept this word?
What do you think Jesus meant by “eunuchs who were born that way.”
Historical context shows that “eunuchs who were born that way” are gay people.
This was the only thing Jesus ever said about gay people. It was all he needed to say.
Here’s more on the historical context of eunuchs.
(For some unknown reason the like button isn't working on this particular blog post. The likes aren't being saved. Go figure.)
You don't have to believe it or agree with it. You don't have to agree with us. We believe it. Please feel free to believe what feels right for you. For us, the evidence is too overwhelming. For us, it sickens us how the right took over these obscure Biblical issues and turned them into a litmus test for being a good Christian, and then told us which party we needed to vote for based on these issues. We're not buying it. We never bought it.
Here's some evidence on reproductive choice:
Article: How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement
Article: The Bible Tells Us When A Fetus Becomes A Living Being
Article: The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal
Article: Wait. What? God Ordered An Abortion?
Article: Life is a mystery ...
Here's some evidence on Marriage Equality:
Article: Clobbering "Biblical" Gay Bashing
Article: What the Bible Says–and Doesn’t Say–About Homosexuality
Article: When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite
Article: Homosexuality is Not a Sin.
Many Christians have been brainwashed, We hope you're not one of them. If you are, expose yourself to information that isn't from inside your circle, like that which is featured in this article. There's no need to be afraid of the truth. Jesus said, "The truth will set you free."
When you're done with the above, listen to this lecture by author, historian and Emmy Award nominee the Rev. Dr. Randall Balmer, distinguished visiting professor at Emory Universitys Candler School of Theology. He reveals groundbreaking research on the real impetus behind the rise of the Religious Right. A must watch. It explains a great deal about how all this came about.
To top off your search for the truth. Watch this video. This man did very extensive research. You will walk away amazed at what you didn't know before. We promise you that.
Timothy Kurek, raised within the confines of a strict, conservative Christian denomination in the Bible Belt, Nashville, Tennessee, was taught the gospel of separation from a young age. But it wasn't long before Timothy's path and the outside world converged when a friend came out as a lesbian, and revealed she had been excommunicated by her family. Distraught and overcome with questions and doubts about his religious upbringing, Timothy decided the only way to empathize and understand her pain was to walk in the shoes of very people he had been taught to shun. He decided to come out as a gay man to everyone in his life, and to see for himself how the label of gay would impact his life. In the tradition of Black Like Me, The Cross in the Closet is a story about people, a story about faith, and about one man's "abominable" quest to find Jesus in the margins.
'Jesus in Drag': Straight Christian 'Comes Out' for New Book
Homophobic author pretends to be gay
Timothy Kurek, Homophobic Christian, Pretends to be Gay for One Year
WATCH: 'Homophobic Christian' Poses as Gay, Writes Book About It
“Tim Kurek has written a book that could be described as ‘spiritual espionage.’ As a young fundamentalist, he goes undercover—accepting all the attendant moral and personal ambiguities—and gathers ‘intelligence’ that few heterosexual people have ever had access to. He tells his story with skill and grace, revealing secrets that need to be heard from where he began (Liberty University) to wherever you are. A one-of-a-kind book with unforgettable moral impact.”
—Brian D. McLaren, Author, Speaker: A New Kind of Christianity; Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?
“It took great courage and serious commitment for Timothy Kurek to begin his year long journey into our world, the world of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. I’m delighted that readers of The Cross in the Closet will gain a whole new understanding of the stereotypes and untruths that cause my sisters and brothers so much suffering. I hope many will standby this straight ally and support the message found in his book, the message that says God truly does love us all. I encouraged him to take this journey and now that it’s over I will stand by him still. I admire Timothy’s courage and creativity, and his journey into our world will make a difference! You go, Tim!”
—Mel White, Author, Stranger at the Gate
“I hope Tim’s voice echoes through the halls of every McMansion church until Christian hubris is humbled. Fundamentalist arrogance is today threatening a religion founded foremost on empathy and love. The Cross in the Closet serves as a blunt reminder and should be a wake up call to every closeted bigot that dares to thump a bible.”
—Greg Barrett, Author, The Gospel of Rutba: Christians, Muslims, and the Good Samaritan Story in Iraq
“The Cross in the Closet is the book I’ve been waiting for. Now—at last—I have the book to give to every person I know (and there are many) struggling to understand how and why so-called Christians hate gay men and women and what to do about changing their minds. Kurek writes movingly and well. This is the best book I’ve read that opens the door to understanding what it is like to be labeled gay and trapped in a community that dismisses your very self before even hearing you out. Brilliant!”
—Frank Schaeffer, Author, Crazy For God
Where To Purchase The Book:
Amazon.com: Hardcopy Purchase
Barnes & Noble: Hardcopy Purchase
Autographed Copy: From BlueHead Publishing Catalog
I created and wrote this list after reading this article from "Soulforce" a while back. I've saved this list on my computer for use in response to right-wing bigots who often condemn homosexuality by misusing the Bible in order to support their own hatred. Here it is:
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE BIBLE AND HOMOSEXUALITY:
1.) Leviticus is an ancient Jewish cleanliness code, and does not apply to Christians. It only applies to observant, orthodox Jews. It also bans shellfish, football on Saturdays, sleeping with a woman who's on her period, and mixing fabrics.
2.) Sodom was destroyed for inhospitality and its maltreatment of the poor. Not because of homosexuality. The crime in Sodom was attempted rape -- not homosexuality.
3.) The Ten Commandments say NOTHING about homosexuality.
4.) Jesus says NOTHING about homosexuality.
5.) NO PART of the Bible mentions homosexuality AS WE KNOW IT TODAY!
6.) Paul, in writing to the Romans, was upset because people were using Temples for orgies -- NOT because of the TYPE of orgies or the TYPE of sex which was occurring.
7.) Even Christians believe that sex is for MORE than just procreation. It is a HUMAN way of expressing love, affection, and desire.
8.) The word, "homosexuality", did NOT even exist at the time the Bible was written.
9.) The current-day versions of the Bible CANNOT be taken literally because there are SO many versions and SO many interpretations of it. The Bible must be INTERPRETED and read, prayerfully and thoughtfully ... NOT literally.
10.) In short, the BIBLE and JESUS do NOT condemn the loving act of homosexuality, when it occurs in a non-exploitative way, between two consenting adults, who are not related by blood.
11.) GRAB A CLUE!
Graham Bengen -- Member of The Christian Left
For the most scholarly, the most authoritative, and the most entertaining theological essay out there on the Bible and homosexuality check out "Clobbering 'Biblical' Gay Bashing," by Rev. Mark Sandlin
Shrimp & Lobster
A Clean Shave
Women in Pants
Men Marrying Men
The Bottom Line:
For an in depth analysis of this topic check out, "Clobbering 'Biblical' Gay Bashing.," by Rev. Mark Sandlin.
Here's another great article on this topic from SoulForce
Another great article from Skipping The Piccolo
And another one
Comments from our Facebook Page:
Love the signs and the protestor at Red Lobster! :) The prohibitions in Leviticus aren't absurd, but they have to be understood in context. The word "abomination" in Hebrew is "to-evah" and it is used to describe practices that were associated with idol worship. That was a big issue in the early history of the Israelites, who were constantly back-sliding. The commandments relating to idol worship were intended to separate the Israelites from the neighboring pagan peoples and to stop imitating their practices and ceremonies. Viewed in that light, the Levitical passages make much more sense. You can read more about this in Jay Michaelson's excellent new book, "God vs. Gay." -- Rob Montague
Christine McQueen - Guest Blogger
As I sit here typing this, I’m re-watching the movie “Milk” and getting angry all over again about the stupidity of people like Anita Bryant. I remember watching her speeches 30+ years ago and wondering what the hell was wrong with her. I just couldn’t understand why Ms. Bryant and so many like her thought homosexuals were such a threat and even then using their religious beliefs to push their agenda on us all. I had known one homosexual man, a substitute teacher in high school. He never tried to ‘recruit’ any of the boys in class. He simply taught the subject of whichever class he was substituting in. (Though we all suspected, he was still closeted in 1969 when I first knew him. It was confirmed a few years later when his sister lived in the same apartment building as my husband and I.)
In all actuality, I pretty much ignored what was happening, though I simmered silently and I made a point of letting those around me know that I wouldn’t put up with anti-gay talk in my presence. I wouldn’t put up with any kind of judgment against anyone. One of the very first things I learned in church as a child was that we were not to judge our fellow human beings, but only to love them as God loves us all. Those who claim to be Christian are dishonoring Christ when they make judgments about the lives of others.
It wasn’t until late 1998, after the death of my husband, that I became even peripherally involved, after I joined AOL and began using their message boards. It was a story on AOL that led me to the boards discussing ‘gay issues’ and I have to say that some of the nonsense some people were posting made me physically ill. One of the issues I remember most clearly was the Supreme Court decision that voided laws against ‘sodomy’ in all fifty states. It clearly effected gay men more than anyone because those were the laws most police agencies used to persecute gay men. I pointed out to one fellow that, as the SC said, it was an invasion of privacy. I also pointed out that those same laws, because of the way they were written, could be used to arrest a man and wife who occasionally enjoyed anal or oral sex. (That was when I learned that the oral sex my late husband and I had enjoyed was illegal in our state!) I asked one man how it would make him feel if the cops burst in to his home while he was having sex with his wife. He said it couldn’t ever happen. Asked him what state he lived in, looked it up and told him that he COULD be arrested if he and his wife had oral sex because that was written into the law against ‘sodomy’ in his state. (Also provided him with a link where he could read it for himself.) I don’t think it changed his mind about homosexuality, but it sure made him pay more attention to exactly what laws were being passed in his state and in the country and the wording of them.
The ones who have always ticked me off are those who refuse to look at the evidence or refuse to believe said evidence. Those who still blame AIDS on homosexuality; those who make claims that somehow the gays in their cities (or even in remote cities) are somehow ‘to blame’ for their son or daughter (or nephew/niece or uncle/aunt or brother/sister) “becoming” gay. For some reason they just cannot accept that no one “becomes” gay; that a person either is or isn’t gay through no choice or action of their own or anyone else’s. Tell them that a gay man who lives to 100 as a virgin is still a gay man and they’ll argue with you. (Tell them I’ve not had sex since my husband died in 1998 and they’ll try to say I’m “no longer” a heterosexual!)
Another group that pisses me off are the ones who try to claim this is a “Christian nation”. Point out that there are only two mentions of religion in the Constitution and both of those are prohibitions, (Article VI states quite clearly that “….no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” and the 1st amendment which, by declaring freedom of religion, prohibits any national religion) and they’ll try to argue the way the date is recorded or jump to another document, claiming relevance of the wording of the Declaration of Independence or other documents as ’founding documents’. I’ve even read claims that the 1st Amendment means “freedom to choose any denomination of Christianity” but no other religion!
Then there are the ones who try to tell me I’m not Christian because my beliefs don’t march in lock-step with theirs. Ask them to define “Christian” and they’ll give you a litany of their beliefs, rather than stating the obvious: A Christian is one who believes in and follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. Ask them what Jesus taught on just about any subject and they start quoting Old Testament verses, rather than the words in the Gospels that are His words and teachings. Point out His teaching that we are not to judge others and they’ll find verses from other books saying we are, completely misunderstanding that those books are talking about judging within their own church, not anyone and everyone.
In short, I guess my activism (mostly on-line in various forums, though I have occasionally confronted bigots in person) stems from my belief that no one has the right to tell another how to live, except in cases where actual harm can be caused. As I see no harm being caused by two gay men or two lesbians getting married or simply living their lives, or by a transsexual expressing his/her gender, I will not sit by and watch as others attempt to insult, degrade or persecute them. Just as I will not sit by and watch as anyone tries to insult, degrade or persecute another for not following any certain religion.
About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.