Bible-thumpers misuse the ‘good book’ to justify homophobia

When it doubt, misquote the Bible to justify homophobia and other wrongs.

When it doubt, misquote the Bible to justify homophobia and other wrongs.

Wow.  The rabid right wing is in a tizzy because the United States Supreme Court — how dare them! — decided gays have some — but not yet all — of the same rights as heterosexual Americans.

The court knocked down federal attempts to bar federal benefits from gay couples and also kicked California’s rejection of gay marriage into the Pacific ocean where it deserves to down.

As usual, the rabid right is trotting out the Bible to try and defend its long history of homophobia and intolerance.  Even a minister in the area where Capitol Hill Blue is produced went on Facebook to moan about the decision and to predict that “next thing you know, the court will legalize adultery.”

Jesus, what a crock.   I fail to understand the outright fear and self-righteous indignation that exists against gay couples or homosexuality.

When the right wing trots out the Bible, you know they are devoid of any rational arguments.  They wave the Bible around, declaring it to be “holy writ” and propagandizing that every single word in that tome is absolute gospel.

The Bible thumpers defend their homophobia by saying it declares homosexuality a “sin.”   Yes, the Bible does appear to condemn homosexuality in Leviticus, Corinthians and Romans with lines like:

If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.

Strong stuff.  But this is the same Bible that also says those who work on the Sabbath should be put to death:

The Lord then gave these further instructions to Moses: “Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever.  It helps you to remember that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.  Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy.  Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community.  Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest.  I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.”  (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

In fact, the Bible advocates killing people for a variety of other reasons:  Adultery, not being a virgin or even for being a member of “another religion.”

“The Bible may be the most revered book in America, but it’s also one of the most misquoted,” writer John Blake once wrote on CNN’s Belief blog. “Politicians, motivational speakers, coaches – all types of people  – quote passages that actually have no place in the Bible, religious scholars say.”

Back in my single days, I had a year-long relationship with a woman who was bi-sexual.  She taught me a lot about what how relationships with someone of the same sex can be satisfying.  Today she is happily married in a state that allows gay unions and remains a good, life-long friend.

I have relatives and a number of other good friends who are gay.  Some, fortunate enough to live in states that allow marriages between those of the same sex, are happily and content in matrimony.  Others, sadly, have to live with repressive laws and even more repressive attitudes towards gays.

The same Bible to so many use to justify hatred or bigotry towards gays and others of different beliefs also preaches tolerance and acceptance of those with differences from our own.

Why not follow that advice?

17 Responses to "Bible-thumpers misuse the ‘good book’ to justify homophobia"

  1. bryan mcclellan  June 28, 2013 at 10:01 am

    It’s all vanity to deny biology. We are all human, some to a lesser degree when they interject faith as the reason to hate…Llamraf

  2. Bill Cravener  June 28, 2013 at 10:30 am

    These bible thumpers make me sick to my stomach! I am an atheist myself and have ignored religion all my adult life. I am shocked daily by the acts of those who would say they hold to religious values. One can have morals without having religion, that’s what empathy is.

  3. griff6r  June 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Gotta love ‘em!

  4. Joe  June 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Some bibles are thumped more gently than others…
    I got proselytized this AM. A nice 75+ year old Jehovah’s Witness lady showed up at my door to pass out a Watchtower. I invited her in, but she said she had friends in the car. I invited them in, too, but she said no. I imagine she thought that, as I am a godless heathen, I would abduct all three elderly ladies, chain them up in the basement, and commit disgusting acts of carnal hedonism on them.
    So…We carried on a wide ranging discussion on the front porch for about a half hour. The new and old testaments were involved, as were the inconsistencies there between. We also spoke of the mystery of a merciful lord requiring constant reinforcement of his being a big deal by kneeling masses praying for their forgiveness for other people’s sins. She paged thru her bible to solve these matters and came up with “It is all Adam and Eve’s fault”.
    I asked her how a merciful lord could allow Adam and Eve to commit such unspeakable acts and thereby cause him to visit on the world such deprivation and misery ever since. I opined that it seems like a real collective punishment over-reach to damn us forever with war, starvation, pestilence and plague (I didn’t mention Louie Gohmert) just because A&E screwed up. I pointed out that a more focused approach to dealing with the discipline issues with A&E would have been to damn them to the above and let the rest of just live in perpetual peace. She said it was God’s way and there was no questioning of it. It was not a dispositive answer, but she is a nice lady and I had already challenged her enuf for one day of outreach.
    We finished the discussion with a sorrowful review of the religious underpinnings of every war the world has ever fought and how the Jehovah’s Witnesses were persecuted by the Nazi’s in greater proportions than the Jews and just below gays as a percentage of the German population. She proudly pointed out the pacifist nature of the JW faith and I blessed her for her humanity.
    I invited her to a local quiet saloon in the town where she lives, to continue the discussion over a couple of beers, but she politely declined and gave me a Watchtower.
    She seemed to be shaking her head as she drove off. I can’t imagine why..

  5. Keith  June 28, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Right on, Chief!

    Indeed, if sin exists then Christian Fundamentalism is as sinful as sloth, greed or gluttony.

    It’s a lifestyle that promotes surrender to the temptation to simplify the complexities of life by letting someone else do your thinking for you. The typical fundamentalist will extol this state of mind as surrender to God. I think they say “let go and let God” or some such thing. Truth be told, it’s simply intellectual laziness.

    As society seems to lose its moral compass and crime and decadence seem unrelenting, the Christian fundamentalist maintains that they have a sure thing in their relationship with Jesus. Everything may be out of control in this world, but they speak assuredly of their salvation and their escape from reality because they’ve “accepted Jesus and are guaranteed eternity with God.”

    Sadly, you’d never know they had found such peace because, as a whole, I’ve found them to be among the most strident crusaders in judging and condemning other people on the face of the planet.

    Their fervor is easily mistaken for anger. And, as any undergraduate psych major will tell you, when such people work so hard at convincing you that they’re right, maybe that’s because they’re REALLY still trying to convince themselves.

    Indeed, from my own personal experiences with them, they also seem to be lacking in any semblance of serenity that one would expect from someone that’s on their way to Paradise in the afterlife.

    The fundamentalist Christian will tell you that they are absolutely certain about the meaning of Scripture and it’s the word of God that inspires their lives. Yet, as you have so eloquently pointed out, few understand the historical context of their Bible and the multitude of problems and inconsistencies it contains.

    For example, most are highly suspicious of Catholicism because of its pageantry and “non-biblical traditions.” This notion is absolutely laughable being that it was Catholic monks who hand-wrote the bible and passed it along with their own prejudices and political opinions LONG before the invention of the printing press.

    Indeed, only the wealthy and prominent even OWNED a Bible before the invention of the printing press in 1455 and, even then, it STILL took centuries before the Bible of today became a best seller.

    Of course Bible-thumpers will tell you that it was God who invented the printing press so they would eventually be able to put the Bible into every Las Vegas hotel room.

    And, much like you, Doug, every single Fundamentalist Christian I have ever heard or met who claims that the Bible is literal truth is hypocritically selective about which Bible passages are literal and which are not.

    A rule of thumb seems to be that if a Bible quote condemns MY sins, then it’s a literal rule. However, if it condemns something THEY’RE doing, then there’s always some “wiggle room”.

    Indeed, ask a divorced, Bible-thumping Christian about Jesus’ LITERAL condemnation of divorce. Or ask a wealthy Bible-thumping Christian about the Bible’s condemnation of capitalism and the accrual of interest on a loan.

    Most of the time, you won’t get a straight answer.

    In addition, I’ve always found it fascinating that many who have tried to convert me to a literal Bible have been women.

    When this happens, I’ve learned to get a firm commitment from these folks that EVERY word of the Bible is to be taken literally.

    I then direct them to open their Bibles read Corinthians (which has little bearing on my life but supposedly has a hell of lot of influence on theirs) where it says, “Let women keep silent. It is not permitted for them to speak, but to be in subjection, just as the law says. If they wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home.”

    Again, I usually get some bumbled reply…or, most often, total silence.

    Another fact the Bible-thumpers don’t want to discuss is that their steadfast belief in a literal interpretation of the Bible is a violation of the history and tradition of scripture itself. The truth is that the collection of scriptures we now call the Bible was NEVER written to stand on its own.

    Indeed, a community of believers existed LONG before the printed texts existed. And those who want to claim a strict “religion of the Bible” should, again, do their homework and face the OTHER inconvenient fact that the Bible itself contains NO listing of its inspired books.

    But what’s REALLY scary about this crowd is that Christian Fundamentalists share the frightening notion that there is some exaggerated contrast between this world and the Kingdom of God.

    They seem to live a very unbalanced, less than wholesome existence of warped spirituality when they talk of “fleeing this world.” “I’m in this world but I’m not of this world” is one of their more arrogant proclamations.

    To me, this is extremely troubling on many levels.

    Obviously it leads to a lack of concern about important Earthly issues. And when that crackpot George W Bush was sitting in the White House as one of the most powerful proponents of this nonsense, it often made me wonder if he was intentionally trying to bring about the Rapture — a notion about the end of the world that springs from the Fundamentalists’ interpretation of events in the Book of Revelation.

    The bottom line here is that Christian Fundamentalists are so involved in their own relationship with God that they effectively exclude people of different stripes from life’s equation… except, of course, for people who live and think EXACTLY like they do.

    Obviously, this is one of the main reason why this crowd is now having such a hard time dealing with homosexuality and the recent Supreme Court rulings on Gay marriage.

  6. Jon  June 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    “drown”, 2nd paragraph, last word.

    Delete comment when corrected, thanks.

    PS – Adultery *is* legal… J.

  7. David  June 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    “But this is the same Bible that also says those who work on Sunday should be put to death”

    “Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day,”

    First of all, the Sabbath day in Exodus is not Sunday, it is Saturday, the last day of the week, not the first. So it is a point of fact that no one in the Bible ever suggested someone should be put to death for working on Sunday.

    Second, the law cited requiring no one to work on the Sabbath is specifically the people living under Hebrew law. The Jews didn’t wander across the border to the lands of foreigners to kill them because they were working on Saturday.

    Third, in the New Testament Paul is very emphatic that Gentile Christians are not bound by the old covenant and do not have to follow the Jewish law, although they did have to still follow the ten commandments. This is why early Christians did not abstain from pork or execute people for working on the Sabbath, it is also why they believed it was ok to move the day on which they observed the Sabbath.

    Fourth, despite Paul insisting Christians did not have to follow Jewish law, he still quite clearly and emphatically condemned most sexual acts as immoral except for a certain few which could only be done in what we would recognize today as pre-1960s “traditional marriage”. Which isn’t even the same as the marriage 2.0 we have or should I say “had” until today.

    Welcome to marriage 3.0.

    • Doug Thompson  June 29, 2013 at 7:45 am

      David:

      The “Sabbath” day in the Christian religion is considered a Sunday and the point of using the quote from Exodos is to illustrate just how easily the Bible can be misused to make a point.

      Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. Exodus 35:2

      The basis for that belief is that man works six days and reserves the seventh for respect of religion. In some religions it is Sunday. In some it is Saturday. In others it can be another day of the week.

      The point is simple. Those who misuse the Bible to support bigotry, homophobia or even murder can always find a quote in the book to try and rationalize their extremism.

      One piece of advice. Don’t try to argue religion or the Bible with me. I was raised by fundamentalists in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia. You will lose any debate on misuse of the good book. :)

      • Jon  June 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm

        Might want to be careful about that, Mr. Thompson. It’s a big Internet, and there aren’t many small-town preachers who can keep up with a Vatican-trained Jesuit.

        J.

        • Doug Thompson  June 30, 2013 at 9:09 am

          Never underestimate small town preachers. I’ve known many who can hold their own with anyone.

          • Jon  June 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

            Some can. Some may very well be the best in their small town, or the best in the county, or the best in the country, but it’s a big Internet. Are they really the best in the whole world?

            J.

            • Doug Thompson  June 30, 2013 at 10:52 pm

              Yes, I believe some are the best anywhere (and I do mean, anywhere). I’ve also run across some local government leaders who are better than anyone who has served in the White House or Congress in the last 30 years. Don’t estimate small towns. I spent 23 years in Washington and most of the elected officials I met there couldn’t compete with locals here in the Blue Ridge.

              Any more questions?

      • David  July 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm

        I very much accept your point that the Bible can be misused to make a point.

        But trying to dismiss Paul’s stance on homosexuality by pointing to Exodus is precisely you misusing the Bible to make a point. That is why I called you on it.

        Exodus is Jewish law binding Jews, according to the Bible it has no binding on Christians, even if some Christians believe otherwise.

        • Doug Thompson  July 2, 2013 at 7:54 am

          You are welcome to your opinion but you need to understand that opinion is seldom fact. Just because you choose to believe one way while I choose to believe another is a difference of opinion, nothing more, nothing less. You think I’m wrong and I think you’re wrong. That is a difference of opinion and neither of us will change our minds. So move on.

  8. bryan mcclellan  June 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Again I say, it’s all vanity and until people learn to mind their own damn business we will have those who profess to be of thees and thous sporting unshod hooves and pious horns with which to trample and prick the masses.

  9. woody188  June 30, 2013 at 10:36 am

    It’s not a victimless crime. How many small rodents are suffocated every year in the name of gay marriage?

    My above statement is meant as a joke, but I’m surprised PETA isn’t all over this.

    • Doug Thompson  June 30, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      Yes, it’s a joke but a poor taste one that borders on homophobia.

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