You are viewing bradhicks

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Tarot - 4 of cups
So now that I've established that in hopes of making the Republicans look more like Christians so that people would vote Republican and thereby hopefully avert a communist takeover of the USA, the former ministers of the gospel of Christ conspired to stop the teaching of the true gospel of Jesus Christ and turned to a false, Republican gospel. How did they decide what that Republican gospel was going to be? What could they preach to make people think that Republicans were good Christians, and that all you had to do to be a good Christian was mouth an empty prayer and then support Republican party values?

From the very earliest days of the Republican party, it was the party of the wealthy. But starting with the 1950s, it became something else as well: the party of social reaction, the party of the "return to normalcy." You see, in the late 1940s, the entire population of the USA had a small problem: they had no idea how they were "supposed" to live. They knew what they thought of as a "normal American," namely the rural farmers and small-town shopkeepers that made up the bulk of the (white, northern) population from the 1700s to the 1870s. But then came oil, and steam, and industrialization, and with that came rail, and factories, and with that came the beginning of the rush from the rural countryside to the (perceived) corruption of the Big Cities. Society was still reeling from that generational shock when the automobile came along, wreaking its own havoc on geographic ties and doing more to empower illicit sex than any invention since the condom ... and not coincidentally, technology made condoms a heck of a lot more reliable and comfortable around the same time. Society was still being knocked loopy by those social changes when America got dragged into World War I, and for the first time in American history huge numbers of American men were intimately exposed to European ways, and (as the song went), how are you going to keep him down on the farm after he's seen Paris? Those shell-shocked and culturally broadened soldiers hadn't yet been integrated back into society when Prohibition came along, and plunged America into a gangster war and an era of corrupt politics that took two generations to overturn. Prohibition no sooner began than the economy collapsed on a scale never before seen in America, destroying whole families, communities, and almost the whole states of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. That period was barely being struggled out from under when World War II erupted, and yet again whole families were torn apart as nearly all of the young adult men in America were dragged into wartime service, mostly abroad. So with one thing and another, nobody in America reckoned that society had had a breath of "normal life" in at least 80 years, longer than almost anybody was alive. So when relative prosperity came along, the American people had a chance to re-imagine what "normal life" would be like in an industrial society, and they agreed upon (and were aggressively recruited by advertising into) setting their ideals by the TV fantasy of Father Knows Best.

But no sooner did Republicans begin to sell this upper-middle class white suburban fantasy than it began to slip away from them. Those who saw that such a world had no place for them now had tools that they might never have had before: cheap printing presses and mimeographs, networks of telephones, and above all cheap inter-city travel, and so there arose subcultures of dissent, most famously Civil Rights, feminism, the rock-and-roll counter-culture, and the struggle for legal life for homosexuals. As the lead purveyors of the consumerist conformist fantasy of the Return to Normalcy, wealthy Republicans were the perfect party to endorse the discomfort that many Americans had with these movements. And so the purveyors of the false gospel found their calling, their contribution towards making the Republicans look respectable and Christian: to convince the public that God Himself hated uppity Negros, feminists, rock-and-roll, and above all homosexuals, and anything else that might make a white conformist upper middle class family uncomfortable.

Now, the rock-and-roll argument is almost a straw man. If you've never been inside fundamentalist culture, this must seem as funny as heck to you, but take my word for it: from the earliest days of rock-and-roll up through at least the mid 1980s, and in some places up until the present time, it is/was an article of faith and frequently preached in sermons that any music that's danceable, any music with a back-beat, any jazz or rock-and-roll, is Satanic, directly opposed to God, and something that all true Christians should abhor and avoid. The logic that is used to supposedly "prove" this from a Biblical literalist perspective is so tortuous, circular, irrational, specious, and down-right silly that for me to pick on it would be like setting up a straw man to knock down. Suffice it to say that nobody with any intellectual honesty would look at any of those arguments and conclude that they were reached through an honest investigation of the Scripture. No, they were reached because someone, or more precisely several someones, were looking for an excuse to preach pro-Republican sermons. The false gospel attack on feminism has concentrated on three arguments, one of which the fundamentalists lost so badly that even Tim and Beverly LaHaye only barely whisper the first one: that women should be subservient to men. The other two, opposition to birth control and abortion, is a fascinating topic but one I have no patience for tonight, I'm too tired. If I still have the energy to extend this topic tomorrow or soon, I will.

Instead, let me tackle one of the clubs that the ministers of the false gospel use to persuade people that to be a good Christian is to vote Republican: homosexuality. The ministers of the false gospel, the gospel of Satan, tell you that the Bible is clear and unambiguous: "God hates fags." Does He? Or is this a false gospel, one cooked up to please the false ministers' masters in the Republican party? Let's look.

Does the Old Testament condemn homosexuality? Yes, clearly and unambiguously, at least if we're talking about MSM (men having sex with men): "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:13) On the other hand, that same general part of the Old Testament also prescribes the death penalty for working on the weekend (Exodus 35:1-2) and for cursing (Leviticus 24:13-16). It also requires that houses with mildew on the shower wall be torn down if the priest doesn't like its color (Leviticus 14:33-53). It also equally fiercely condemns cotton/wool blend suits (Leviticus 19:19), playing football (Leviticus 11:7-8, and boy, tell that to a Southern Baptist from Texas), and most famously, eating shellfish (Leviticus 11:9-12). That's right, folks, God Hates Shrimp. What should all of those rules mean to a contemporary Christian? Remarkably little. How can I say that? Simple: I've read the book of the Bible called Acts, short for "The Acts of the Apostles." It tells the story of how Christianity first spread from a relatively tiny persecuted sect of Jews in Jerusalem to a world-wide religion with more gentile than Jewish believers. And all the way through the first half of the book, the apostles wrestle with the question of just how much of the holiness code, the law of Moses, do the gentiles need to adopt? And when all was said and done, when God had finally gotten His point through their thick skulls, the answer was this: no meat offered to idols. In the opinion of the apostles, and of nearly every Christian scholar from that time until the Republican party takeover of the Church starting in the 1960s, the vast majority of the holiness code, all of the weird little nitpicky details, was not a set of universal laws for all people for all time but a very specific set of laws for a very specific group of people (Jews) in a very specific place (Palestine) during a very specific time (the transition from nomadic tribes to agricultural kingdom). Of all of those details, the only one that the apostles felt worth preserving was a rule requiring that Christians abstain from sharing the food offered at the ceremonial meal at pagan religious ceremonies. That's it. Other than that? Do what Jesus said.

You remember Jesus, right? The guy who stood up against everything the Republicans stand for? Supposedly your savior if you call yourself a Christian? That guy. And oh yeah, he never mentioned anything about homosexuality, or, for that matter, much about any kind of sin other than robbing the poor. In fact, the only time that anybody forced the issue on him, it was a trap by the Pharisees, who hated Jesus with a fiery passion. You see, the Pharisees were exactly like modern Republicans. The Pharisees were a sect who believed that the Roman occupation of Israel was God's punishment on the Jews for not being holy enough, not being pure enough. So the Pharisees taught a regimine of rules about sex, hygiene, and diet that went even farther than God Himself did in the original holiness code. So when they caught Jesus travelling on the sabbath, or gleaning stray grains from the fields he walked through on the sabbath, they were all over Him like flies on excrement. They also hated him for associating with people and ethnic groups that the Pharisees didn't like, and they were constantly smearing Him as a drunkard. And when a group of Pharisees caught an adulterous couple, they figured they had the perfect trap for Jesus. You see, the holiness code very specifically prescribes the death penalty for adultery (Leviticus 20:10). However, Roman law said that only the Roman governor could prescribe the death penalty. So by bringing him the woman caught in adultery, they figured that they could force him to choose between offending the Jews (and losing his followers) or offending the Romans (and being put to death). Instead of answering, Jesus just crouched down and wrote on the ground with His finger for a while, then stood up and said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." The Pharisees slunk away in cowardice and shame, which raises the interesting unanswerable question, what the heck was Jesus writing? My theology professors' favorite speculation was that it was a list of other death penalty offenses that the Pharisees might reasonably suspect Jesus of somehow knowing they were guilty of, daring them to start a stone-throwing festival that would have left the hypocrites as dead as the adulteress. Nonetheless, as fun as this story is, let's not miss part of the point here. Jesus was specifically asked whether or not we as human beings should continue to enforce the holiness code in the Law of Moses, and Jesus very specifically said no. (John 8:1-11)

Paul, on the other hand, we're told from the pulpit that he had a few divinely inspired things to say about homosexuality, right? And since that moves the prohibition on homosexuality into New Testament times, into the mouth of an apostle, surely that means that even if the kosher laws no longer apply and it's legal to play football, it's obviously still wrong to have sex with someone of the same gender. Right? Right? Well, you tell me -- where does Paul supposedly say this? Oh, yeah, it's right here: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1st Corinthians 6:9-10)

But you see, there's a problem with that passage. That phrase "abusers of themselves with mankind" is a translation of one word in the original Greek: arsenokoites, and that word does not mean homosexual. Now, how can I possibly know that, when scholars of Greek don't even agree on what the word means? Simple, I know this by process of elimination: ancient Greek doesn't have a word that means "homosexual." Why? Because neither homosexuals nor heterosexuals existed in that culture. History does not record a single example of a man who was only attracted to men or to women, nor a clear and unambigous example of a woman who's only attracted to men or to women. Normal life as it was lived was for romantic relationships to be with either gender older/younger members of the same sex; same age members of the opposite sex. One married the opposite gender, in an arranged and generally loveless marriage, for the purpose of producing children to take care of you in old age in exchange for an inheritance. In fact, in Plato's famous book The Symposium, there's a long and involved argument that only sex between older men and younger boys qualifies as spiritually pure romantic sexual love; all other forms of sex or love are based in some way or another on narcissism or selfishness. Does a culture that thinks this have a word, let alone an insult, for men who love men? But anyway, if Paul had meant to say that God condemned men having sex with men, or women having sex with women, he could have done so. As one of the most famous students of the Mosaic Law of his time, he could have effortlessly done so by quoting the Septuagint, the widely respected translation of those books from Hebrew into Greek. He could have said "nor men who lie with men as with women ... shall inherit the kingdom of God." You can say that in Greek. But he didn't. Instead he used a word specific to the Corinthian dialect, one not written down in any other source that survived into modern times. So whatever sin he's condemning there, it's not homosexuality. (The leading contender among scholars is "temple prostitutes," and that would make sense: Corinth was the capital of the biggest cult of temple prostitution in the entire Greek-speaking world, the famous Temple of Aphrodite at Corinth.)

So why would so many Bible scholars say otherwise? Why the lie? Why substitute this "Bible full of holes" for their so-called-beloved whole Bible? I'll tell you why they do it. Because by so doing, they take the clash of cultures between Republican reactionaries and Democratic idealists and make it look like God Himself demands that you vote for the reactionaries. And so by this and similar lies they distract people from voting the party that stands up for Christ's principles, and lure them instead to vote for the party that most closely resembles the competing religious sect that most loudly and fervently demanded Jesus' death, the Pharisees.

(P.S. Because somebody else is bound to point it out if I don't, there's a famous bit of satire that deals with some of these themes, and yes, I'm somewhat indebted to it: James Kauffman's famous letter to Dr. Laura Schlesinger.)

Tags:

Comments

( 60 comments — Leave a comment )
collie13
Nov. 30th, 2004 01:39 am (UTC)
Homosexuality & the Bible
Wow... have you read Robin Scroggs' The New Testament and Homosexuality: Contextual Background for Contemporary Debate? If not, it covers almost precisely what you're talking about here, including the necessity of interpreting Scriptural commands within the cultural context of the times they were written in, so that we comprehend the meaning the authors actually intended for their writings.

I just tonight finished writing my review on this book, and that's how I came to your LJ, in fact -- a friend read the review and pointed me to you. Fascinating stuff you're writing here -- thank you! ;)
sexycorina
Jan. 4th, 2007 09:26 am (UTC)
Re: Homosexuality & the Bible
I've read this testament. Of course I'm interested to know your opinion. But as for me I'm not agree with a lot of things described in that book.
Re: Homosexuality & the Bible - collie13 - Jan. 4th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
loosechanj
Nov. 30th, 2004 02:17 am (UTC)
Isn't that passage of John 11 somewhat apocryphal?

I was wondering about the homosexual thing recently, and wondering if *Jesus* had mentioned it. Polygamy was allowed under the jewish law, but not for christians.

I don't know if I trust Paul's writings. Call me nuts, but I have this idea his "conversion" was a sham, and that his primary motive was to undermine the church from within with bogus doctrine.
jholloway
Nov. 30th, 2004 05:56 am (UTC)
Paul's writing is earlier than the Gospels, and is basically the foundation of modern Christianity. Because the story of Paul happens after the story of the Gospels, people often assume that Paul came along and modified the religion in some way, but Paul's actually earlier.

So if Paul undermined the Christian religion in some sense, we have *no idea* what the earlier version looked like, since Paul's the earliest thing going.
(no subject) - loosechanj - Nov. 30th, 2004 06:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Who's your source on that? - alienne - Nov. 30th, 2004 10:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Who's your source on that? - jholloway - Dec. 1st, 2004 06:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Paul the Traitor - loosechanj - Dec. 1st, 2004 01:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Paul the Traitor - (Anonymous) - Apr. 5th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Literally none of this is correct - foolsguinea - Dec. 23rd, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
vespa_tattoo
Nov. 30th, 2004 09:53 am (UTC)
John and homosexuality
This may be simplistic, but I always thought that the best line about homosexuality came from John. It is also my favorite line in the bible.

1 John 4
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

This is so good it was even put to music, but I forget who did it. All I know is our Episcopal yoth group wasn't allowed to include it in our song book for fear of a lawsuit.
caraig
Nov. 30th, 2004 12:47 pm (UTC)
Re: John and homosexuality
I know the song of which you speak. It had kind of a carrib/island beat to it. Back when I was in a Lutheran grade school, there was a series of albums featuring this blue magic singing song book named Psalty. They were actually pretty popular for singing along with at school since they weren't onerous and solemn. They were fun and they were easy to remember. The song you're thinking of was 1 John 4:7-8 put to music by whomever made up the character of Psalty, or at least wrote all the songs.

Oh, dear heavens, I just did a web search and came up with the homepage of this veritable childhood nemesis of mine. (I played him in a school play once and I distinctly remember one of the dress rehearsals being such a mess that I avoided any speaking role in any school play for six or seven years.) Turns out he's a creation of the Billy Graham crusade. Well, this explains much about my grade school and the teachers I had at that time.
Re: John and homosexuality - wmdkitty - Apr. 25th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: John and homosexuality - labelleizzy - Jan. 6th, 2008 07:17 am (UTC) - Expand
goddinpotty
Nov. 30th, 2004 12:46 pm (UTC)
Wow. I want that printed and framed. Elegant.
minikin
Dec. 3rd, 2004 07:16 am (UTC)
Coindentally, my entry into BSF this fall is the study of Acts. We studied Acts 15:22-35 before I left for Brazil, about the letter to the Gentiles on this issue.
Acts 15:29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
That's the NIV version. This of course leaves room for interpretation regarding "sexual immorality."

However, the real thrust of this chapter, at least as taught in BSF, was that the issue of the old laws, specifically circumcision, was dividing the church, and overshadowing the true gospel, that Christ is the fullfilment of the laws and sufficient for to salvation. Without any other requirements. That the letter was written to inform the Gentiles what practices to avoid in order to ease communion between the Jews and the Gentiles. Ooh, not having the bestest words here. But, the point was that this was a suggestion to ease relations, not a requirement for salvation.

So, even these three things mentioned, were not stumbling blocks to salvation, merely stumbling blocks to coexisting comfortably with the old fashioned jews.

ssurgul
Dec. 4th, 2004 07:05 pm (UTC)
Much to my sorrow and shame, I have to admit that I'd not heard of you prior to three nights ago. And then, I only found out about you from xydexx and his own Journal of Silliness(c). However, these three essays are ... quite poignant and give me the necessary tidbits I have been trying to fight off the Fundys for some time. And for that I must offer my most heartfelt thanks. If you don't mind, I'd like to post links to these entries in other locations, as your eloquence shouldn't be misquoted, but instead taken directly from the source. And the more that read this .... Well, the more the already-enlightened will have to try and fend off the lies and corruption that is exceeded only by the Church having gotten into banking all those years ago.
bradhicks
Dec. 4th, 2004 08:39 pm (UTC)
Permission granted. Though honestly, if somebody posts something in LiveJournal and doesn't friends-lock it or otherwise restricted it, then either they're expecting it to be linked and quoted and saved on the Wayback Machine and the Google archive forever ... or else they should be.
(no subject) - ssurgul - Dec. 4th, 2004 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
wizwom
Dec. 5th, 2004 06:10 am (UTC)
There are, however, many instances in the New testament exhorting people to flee sexual immorality.
And there are places where examples are listed, such as the letter to the Corinthians.

Still, you are, technically, accurate: Homosexuality, like, for instance, beastiality, is not directly condemned in the new testament.

Futhermore, the fact that it was no longer a time for personal direct action against sinners did not mean we were not to sin, rather it meant that we were to look to ourselves. And separate ourselves from those who would not follow the holy spirit, which, of course, would lead people to follow a life which is pre, god and holy.

So, really, you do point up some interesting things, but here you are also dead wrong.
bradhicks
Dec. 5th, 2004 06:52 am (UTC)
Condemning sexual immorality doesn't answer the key question here, though - is homosexual conduct immoral? It's a subject on which the New Testament is completely mum, and the Old Testament holiness code treats it as at worst, no worse than adultery. And you saw Jesus' response on that subject.

Now even if you're right - and you're dead wrong - show me any place in the New Testament, anything in the Scriptures at all, that endorses the position taught from the pulpit in false church after false church, the one that says that God demands that the US have strict laws punishing homosexuality or at the very least deny them rights given to all other citizens, sinners all? You can't. Which means if you preach that gospel, you're not teaching a Biblical gospel; your gospel comes from the Republican party.
(no subject) - wizwom - Dec. 5th, 2004 07:03 am (UTC) - Expand
sex - (Anonymous) - Oct. 14th, 2005 04:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - twfarlan - Aug. 2nd, 2006 02:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wizwom - Aug. 2nd, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - twfarlan - Aug. 2nd, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bradhicks - Aug. 2nd, 2006 08:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Your arguments appear disingenuous - aminorex - Jan. 6th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
syzygy
Dec. 7th, 2004 07:40 am (UTC)
So when they caught Jesus travelling on the sabbath, or gleaning stray grains from the fields he walked through on the sabbath, they were all over Him like flies on excrement.

Even as a heathen, it strikes me as awkward to inadvertently compare Jesus to excrement.
mercyorbemoaned
Dec. 13th, 2004 07:11 pm (UTC)
Not as awkward as what actually happened to Him. I'd certainly rather you call me a shithead than whip me with little cutting things on the ends and nail me to a piece of wood.
joanhello
Dec. 7th, 2004 09:13 am (UTC)
Jesus and the woman taken in adultery
Hi. I got here because my friend rarkrarkrark linked to these essays and said everyone should read them. I'm inclined to agree with him.

In his book Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God, Jack Miles uses this very incident to illustrate the way that knowledge of the Old Testament informed events in the New in ways that modern Christians usually don't notice. In Miles' interpretation Jesus writes on the floor only because he doesn't have a wall handy. Writing on the architecture, he brings to mind, for all those present, the Book of Daniel. In the Book of Daniel there is also a woman accused of adultery -- falsely accused, as the prophet Daniel proves, and her accusers suffer the penalty for bearing false witness to adultery: death by stoning. So the message Jesus silently conveys by his writing is "I know you're lying. If I prove it in public, here and now, the crowd will be obligated to turn on you and stone you to death." Then he actually speaks the words "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone," and suddenly the Pharisees are fleeing, running down the alleys to get away from the threat of justice. Jesus looks up and sees that he and the woman are alone. A delightful story.
joanhello
Dec. 7th, 2004 03:00 pm (UTC)
Social reaction
I was inspired by this to post an essay of my own regarding the nature of social reaction. You might find it interesting.

Joan's post about social reaction.
gentlemaitresse
Dec. 8th, 2004 08:01 pm (UTC)
when God had finally gotten His point through their thick skulls, the answer was this: no meat offered to idols.

I think it was also said to abstain from consuming blood.

You see, the holiness code very specifically prescribes the death penalty for adultery (Leviticus 20:10).

Yes, both the man and the woman should be put to death. But it's interesting that the man wasn't brought before Jesus; only the woman was.

(Anonymous)
Jan. 7th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
A Conceit
(Which is different from conceited.)

As you noted, only the woman was brought for stoning, while the punishment was for both. Obviously you cannot have only ONE person "in the act" of adultery. In addition, prostitutes were a dime a dozen (with exchange rate) and so why did they bring THIS one?

One person suggested that this ONE was moving out of her station, perhaps becoming uppity and thus a danger to her customers. Maybe even the customers who brought her for stoning? What Jesus was writing was the last time each of them visited her, starting with the eldest and going to the youngest. The eldest didn't want to explain what was meant by his name and the date (and place?) adjacent and so left - post haste. And when the name of the youngest was written, he knew quite well what was going on and saw that he had NO support.

As noted elsewhere, this section of scripture has no fixed place in the gospels and is considered by some to be a later addition. Also, it is the only place where Jesus is said to have written. Read, yes; written, nowhere else.
Re: A Conceit - gentlemaitresse - Jan. 9th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC) - Expand
mercyorbemoaned
Dec. 13th, 2004 07:36 pm (UTC)
I thought arsenokoites meant buttfuckers?

The point about NT sexual morality that everyone misses is that NT sexual morality is one that can allow groups of people with immense power differentials to interact with each other. In a slave society, sexuality is almost entirely economic. Not only is this a world where "heterosexuality" and "homosexuality" aren't meaningful concepts, this is a world where "consent" is not a meaningful concept. Sex is domination for the few, and for the many? If I am a slave my ability to appeal sexually to the powerful, is my Harvard education, my trust fund, what saves me. And of course, this isn't just true for women.

Now you can't make everyone celibate, obviously, but you can disallow homosexual genital contact without dooming your group to extinction. Hundreds of years of Christian sexual morality have to go by before anything like what we think of as normal human sexuality is possible. Obviously that includes adult consensual homosexuality but I just don;t think that is what St. Paul was on about. He was trying to bring about a world where prostitution for almost everyone would no longer be the norm, and where free consent would be possible.
ethesis
Feb. 27th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
Hmm, I could have sworn the King James version prohibits crimes of the arch and meats sacrificed to idols.

Acts 15:20 seems to read "abstain from pollutions of idols, and fornication, and things strangled and blood."

Seems to match 1 Cor. 10:8.

You should probably include a quick summary of earlier texts and Greek to show where that reading is not correct.

BTW, when you mentioned the satire, I thought you meant the one where lower class greeks are mocking higher class greeks over their sexual tastes.
collie13
Jan. 4th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
What are crimes of the arch, please?
alfrecht
Jul. 30th, 2006 09:28 am (UTC)
I'm a latecomer to all of this discussion you've got going here--which is great!--because of a link just posted on dark_christian.

I just have one major point to question: what about Romans 1:26ff? While I certainly agree that homoeroticism as a concept didn't exist in ancient Greek, Roman, or Jewish thought, the condemnation of men and women "exchanging natural intercourse" for what is "unnatural" in Romans is a bit more explicit than arsenokoites. And while I think there is wiggle-room for suggesting that the word "exchange" makes it possible that he is not talking about constitutionally-homosexual people, still, this looks pretty bad altogether, and would need to be dealt with in a serious manner.

Also, have you seen the Gospel of Judas, which puts anti-men-having-sex-with-men language in the mouth of Jesus? Of all people, one would have thought the gnostics would not have had a major problem with this; but not all of them were Carpocratians (Judas seems to have been written by either Sethian or Ophite gnostics--most likely Sethian, contra Irenaeus, as the Ophites seemed to have had some homoerotic leanings themselves).
bradhicks
Jul. 30th, 2006 10:08 am (UTC)
I can't believe that anybody is quoting the Gospel of Judas as authoritative.

Straw men aside, even if I were to concede your point on Romans chapter 1, where, in the Bible, does it say that anybody else's sexual sins are any business of yours, let alone the State? In Jesus' own words, Matthrew 7:3-5, "why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - astroaztec - Jan. 6th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
The NT doesn't dictate to the state - aminorex - Jan. 6th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The NT doesn't dictate to the state - bradhicks - Jan. 7th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jan. 7th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Feb. 23rd, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
Urp, try again
"The false gospel attack on feminism has concentrated on three arguments, one of which the fundamentalists lost so badly that even Tim and Beverly LaHaye only barely whisper the first one: that women should be subservient to men."

http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/
http://myblessedhome.blogspot.com/
http://www.homeliving.blogspot.com/
http://www.visionforum.com/hottopics/blogs/dwp/
david_deacon
Jan. 6th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
I just found a link to this. Very well-written. I wish my own LJ posts were as clear sometimes.
(Deleted comment)
bradhicks
Jan. 7th, 2008 04:47 am (UTC)
Re: Read up on what you're talking about.
Which has what to do with my point? Philo of Alexander isn't Greek, he's Jewish. And in the text you cite, you'll notice what lengths he had to go through to explain the concept of homosexuality and what's wrong with it to his audience? Sorry. Situational bisexuality was the norm in the culture that invented the language he wrote in, so much so they didn't have words for heterosexuality or homosexuality. Although there are historical texts of various philosophers and politicians being teased for being either one, it was rare enough (or easy enough for people to fail to notice) that they didn't coin a word for it.

It was a chronic problem for people whose first language was Latin, Coptic, Syriac, or Hebrew when trying to write in Greek. Chronic enough that once your attention is called to it, you notice that they always have to explain what they mean, they always have to say the whole phrase "men who only have sex with other men" when that's what they mean.
(Deleted comment)
Re: Read up on what you're talking about. - bradhicks - Jan. 7th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Read up on what you're talking about. - bradhicks - Jan. 7th, 2008 06:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
carmilla5
Jan. 7th, 2008 03:38 am (UTC)
Making sense of it all
Ahhhh Brad this post is a breath of fresh air....thanks so much for all that wonderful info, I'm sure we'll look back one day and think 'what the heck were people thinking back then and for what reason'? Just like looking back now on people who smoke, it wasn't that long ago it was de rigeur and now its rigor mortis to those who do. There's always some contrast story going on, before gays it was commies, then before that the blacks, until we have peace within, we will always have to create our own 'evil out there'. Lovely to have found your site!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 7th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
I don't understand.
Republican is the party of the rich? Almost every rich celebrity of newscaster I've seen on TV is a Democrat.

Republicans tell you how to live? Democrats are telling me to how to live, everything from how to treat people who are different, what to eat, how to spend my money, you name it.

I went to the Republican web site, and it doesn't say anything about homosexuality, or about women being subservient to men. It's hard to find a word on either topic.

"You remember Jesus, right? The guy who stood up against everything the Republicans stand for?"

Reading their 2004 platform (http://www.gop.com/images/2004platform.pdf), I can't see squat that Jesus would be against. What exactly was Jesus against, combating chronic homelessness (pg 72)? I guess he must be, since he was against everything the Republicans stand for.

I think you're ranting about certain people who happen to be Republicans, or the stereotype of Republicans, and not Republicans themselves. Agree?
bradhicks
Jan. 7th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
Re: I don't understand.
Plank 1: "Winning the War on Terror." One long polemic about why they were right to attack Iraq, even though Iraq hadn't attacked us and wasn't going to. Followed by a long list of countries they'd like to invade, not because they're going to attack us, but to change their form of government. Jesus: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the children of god."

Plank 2 and 3: "Ushering in an Ownership Society" and "Building an Innovative, Globally Competitive Economy." One long polemic about why paying taxes is bad, and why the highest duty of every citizen is to work hard and get rich in this world. Jesus on taxes: "Render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar, and unto God that which belongs to God." Jesus on getting wealthy: "Store not up treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal. But rather lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Plank 4: "Strengthening Our Communities." A long list of lovely sentiments, and every single one of them a lie. The only part of the platform that Jesus wouldn't turn his nose up at, and it's the one where the Republicans, when in power, did the exact opposite of everything they say here.

Plank 5: "Protecting Our Families." One long polemic against gays, abortion, and porn. See above for how important Jesus thought it was for you to punish other people for their sex lives.

Edited at 2008-01-07 04:58 am (UTC)
Re: I don't understand. - pope_guilty - Jan. 24th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Jan. 7th, 2008 09:33 am (UTC)
I agree with a lot of what you say.. but homosexuals DID exist in ancient society. All over the world.
bradhicks
Jan. 7th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
By what definition of "homosexual"? Men who ever have sex with men? Absolutely. Men who never ever have sex with women, who only have sex with men? Sure, some would have existed in every culture in history. Some tiny fraction of a percent. What I'm saying is that substantial textual evidence shows that this was so rare that the Greeks didn't bother to coin a word for it.
pingback_bot
Mar. 15th, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
Writer's Block: Big Debates
User packbat referenced to your post from Writer's Block: Big Debates saying: [...] undeveloped as it may be - nevertheless has a soul. I refer them to Christians in the Hands of an Angry God series, which, in Part 4, demolishes the claim that the Bible puts the beginning of life at conception. [...]
(Anonymous)
Sep. 14th, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
food offered to idols
AND sexual immorality. Those were the TWO things that the new Christians were to avoid.

I've read the book too, ya see.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 16th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
Arsenokoites
Arsen means "man"
Koites means "coitus".

I think it's pretty obvious what Arsenokoites means. Man-bedder.

And he already mentions idolaters separately so I don't think you can imply this is only about temple prostitution.
pacotelic
Oct. 21st, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
What are your thoughts on Romans 1: 26-27? I am concerned that the New testament still unqualifiably condemns homosexuality.

( 60 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

November 2012
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner