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Homosexuality and the Bible

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Christian teachings & beliefs on homosexuality
by fundamentalist, other evangelical, Roman
Catholics, mainline, & liberal/progressive groups

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Background:

In most essays in this web site, we compare and contrast very conservative and very liberal viewpoints on each topic. Here, because of the complexity and importance of the topic, we will describe five separate viewpoints by Christians of the nature and morality of sexual orientation and same-gender sexual behavior. The viewpoints also apply to the liberal and conservative wings of many other religions.

We concentrate on Christianity because there are almost 60 North Americans who identify themselves as Christian for each adherent to Judaism -- the next largest religion.

Approaches differ among the various denominations of Christianity:

  • Religious and social conservatives have generally used their negative interpretation of the six or seven "clobber" passages in the Bible to condemn all same-gender behavior by lesbians, gays, and bisexuals (LGBs), no matter what the nature of the relationship.

  • Liberal and progressive Christians have alternate interpretations of the same passages that are morally neutral or positve towards LGB orientation and behavior. They give greater weight to the findings of psychologists, psychiatrists, human sexuality researchers, and others. Most accept homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual orientations and behaviors as intrinsically morally neutral but capable of serious sinful misuse where lack of consent, force, manipulation, absense of safety, or the possibility of unwanted pregnancy are involved.

  • Mainline Christian denominations are split between conservative and liberal views on homosexual and bisexual orientation and behavior. Most are undergoing major internal stresses over "the issue;" some may experience a schism as they did in decades past over human slavery and female ordination..

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Topics covered: Beliefs about homosexuality by:

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The following information sources give additional information on this topic. These are currently being edited:

  • Walter Wink, "Homosexuality and the Bible" at: http://www.bridges-across.org/

  • book cover image Jack Rogers, "Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality, Revised and Expanded Edition: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church," Westminster John Knox, (2009) See reviews and/or order it from the Amazon.com virtual book store. The book received an average rating of four stars out of five, which is rare for such a controversial topic.

  • LBGT and Poly Information. "The Big Eight" at: http://www.imsa.edu/l

  • Jimmy Creech, "Response to the Judicial Charge" at: http://www.libertynet.org/

  • Jim W. Martyn, "A Plea for Christian Understanding & Support of Human Rights" at: http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/ Although written for a Canadian audience, and containing some Canadian political references, the message is universal. Unfortunately, this essay appears to be no longer on the Internet.

  • Dr. Rembert S. Truluck, "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" is "a response to the abusive use of the Bible against Gays and Lesbians and all others oppressed and alienated by religion." See: http://www.truluck.com

  • book cover image John Boswell, "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality : Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century, " University of Chicago Press (2005) See reviews and/or order it from the Amazon.com virtual book store.

  • Paul Thomas Cahill,"An Investigation Into The Bible and Homosexuality" at: http://www.yougogirl.com/

  • Loren L Johns, "Homosexuality and the Bible: A case study in the use of the Bible for ethics," at: http://bc.bluffton.edu/

  • Rembert Truluck, "The Bible and Homosexuality," at: http://www.truluck.com/

  • Christopher Levan, "Does the Bible condemn homosexuality? In an honest approach to the scriptures, the challenge is to suspend biases," Edmonton Journal, 1995-MAY-27. Online at: http://www.ualberta.ca/

  • The Reconciling Congregation Program publishes and distribute a pair of books: "Claiming the Promise Bible Study: An Ecumenical Welcoming Bible Study Resource on Homosexuality."  One is a study book, the other a leader's guide. They "can be used for group or individual study. Planned for seven one- to two-hour sessions." See http://www.rcp.org/ctp.html

  • "Anti-homosexual passages in Bible reflect authors' biases, speakers say,"  PCUSA News #00397, issued 2000-NOV-9.
     
  • Rick X, "An annotated Bible sermon for the gay boy and girl," at: http://rickx.com/

  • "Born-again adults remain firm in opposition to abortion and gay marriage," Barna Research, at: http://www.barna.org/

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Copyright 1996 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2011-SEP-20
Author: B.A. Robinson

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