This page is dedicated to observations of various religious ideas and practices that mother finds interesting.
It is not complete, however will be updated from time to time with bits of information that you might find interesting to note.
BOOK OF GENESIS:
ONAN (Gen 38:9)
"And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground,
lest that he should give seed to his brother."
The above verse is cited as the law against masturbation ("Onanism"). What one is conveniently not usually told, is that in reality, Onan didn't
want to have have sex with the wife (Tamar) of his dead wicked brother (Er), and raise the family in Er's name (cf Gen 38:6-10 for the
qualifying verses of the incident).
Jewish law was centred around increasing the numbers of the small tribe of Israelites, and therefore marrying one's widowed sister-in-law was
a way of ensuring everything stays in the family.
SODOM & GOMORRAH:
Refers only to the sin of "inhospitality" and has nothing to do with sex between two males. The story is that two guys wandered into Sodom
and needed a place to stay for the night. Lot was the only one to give them shelter. The townsfolk didn't like it, and demanded for Lot to bring
them out to face the crowd. Lot thought that might get hurt and so offered his two virgin daughters instead (!). But the crowd wanted the
strangers to face them, and when they were brought out, the guys revealed themselves as two Angels, got annoyed with the crowd, and blinded
them for their trouble.
The only reference to sex is the offering of the 2 virgin daughters.
It is only when Philo Judaeus (ca 50 C.E.) started to equate "the sin of Sodom" with homosexuality, that the idea starts to become fixed in
people's minds. Until then, there was no association between the two.
(source: The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage: ed. Claude J. Summers, Henry Holt and Co, New York, 1995, pp93-94)
BOOK OF LEVITICUS:
Lev. 18:22. Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.
Lev. 20:13. 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.
The favourite lines always trotted out by the anti-gay people. In Modern English they sound straight-forward enough, but Leviticus was written
in Ancient Hebrew ... a long, long, long time ago.
Points to note:
the word translated as "abomination", is toevah, and in this context it is better translated as "idolatry"
"lie with mankind" actually refers to male temple prostitutes (qadeshim)
the text is talking about not imitating the worship practices of another culture
Therefore, a more accurate interpretation into English might give the meaning as something like:
Do not ritually use the services of a man who has been dedicated as a temple prostitute (a qadesh),
because this is an idolatrous practice (toevah).
For this comment, mother has drawn heavily from an excellent and scholarly article A Defense Theory: An Analysis of Six Critical Texts Used To Condemn Homosexuality by: Royce Buehler. Buehler examines the history of both the words and the relevant biblical contexts
used in this passage. He presents a most compelling and studied argument, and I cannot recommend this highly enough.
Also, I would suggest that you check out:-
Gay and Christian: Can You Be Both? It provides a number of quite interesting articles that challenge
the commonplace viewpoints.
Can You Be Both Gay And Christian? A Critical Look At Scripture From The Ontario Centre For Religious Tolerance.
Both these are links from the website:-
Whosoever Magazine: An Online Magazine for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Christians
BOOK OF SAMUEL:
JONATHON AND DAVID:
It is reasonable to imply for the following verses, that there may have been something very special between a guy called Jonathon (son of King
Saul), and David (later King David) ...
"And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David,
and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" (1 Sam: 18:1 KJV)
"Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul." (1 Sam: 18:3 KJV)
"And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed
himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded." (1 Sam: 20:41 KJV)
"I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing
the love of women." (2 Sam: 1:26 KJV)
GOSPEL OF JOHN:
Despite his comments and wisdom on all manner of things spiritual and temporal, Jesus says nothing at all against homosexuality. It is the various
letters of Paul to missions in far away places that have formed the basis of the "christian" vilification of many issues such as women priests and
homosexuality - not the teachings of Christ at all..
There are a couple of well-known references to "The Beloved Disciple" - John. This person is the one to whom Jesus seems to have given particular affection.
"Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved." (John: 13:23 KJV)
"Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?" (John: 21:20 KJV)
IMPORTANT: This is not meaning to imply that Jesus Christ was gay. It merely points out that it was not an issue with Christ, but it was important enough for a writer to mention in a time when scribing words on parchment was a significant exercise..
Bishop Desmond TuTu Anglican
Very Rev Dr Rowan Williams Anglican (Archbishop of Canterbury)
Rev John Shelby Spong Episcopal (retired)
Bishop V. Gene Robinson Episcopalian (Bishop of New Hampshire, 1st Openly Gay Bishop to be elected)
(The Late) Pope John Paul II Roman Catholic
George Pell Catholic (Archbishop of Sydney)
Dr Peter Jensen Anglican (Archbishop of Sydney)
Links to web articles
The utter nonsense of the Catholic Church regarding contraception has extended to the
promulgation of the myth that Condoms Cause AIDS,
leading to a devastating crisis bringing death and suffering to millions of people in Africa, Manilla and worldwide.
Sex and The Holy City - ABC "Foreign Correspondent" (reporter Steve Bradshaw, BBC)