Is a Gay-Friendly Interpretation of the Bible Possible?

Of the many sins stridently denounced by the “divine” words of the New Testament — murder, theft, deceit, lust, envy — there is included among them a trait which is inborn and utterly insulated from free choice. The sin to which I refer is of course homosexuality, the innate sexual orientation of some of my fellow human beings. But if to sin is to disgrace and displease the Father, then by the fact of one’s birth a homosexual has waged a wrong punishable by death. Indeed, if all humanity is sinful by nature, then this goes doubly so for homosexuals, for they are not deciding to be as they are in the way that I, as it happens, freely set on with the “sin” of manual pleasure. The question is, then, why ever would a human who favors his or her own sex capitulate to the grotesque, to the prude, to the barbaric pronouncements of a religion that casts out, shuns and vilifies their very nature?

I cannot see that the Bible is at all gentle toward homosexuals; particular Christian sects and persons, however, may prove more hospitable. But even in their gentleness, they talk of “ridding the illness” of homosexuality as a noble struggle, a malady to be righteously overcome. This is immoral. Countless souls have seen the dark, abysmal depths of fearing — yes, even loathing — their own selves because of the sex they’re attracted to.

Homosexuals, you are wonderful. It is the Bible that is by nature “sinful.”

Brian Gallagher is a fourth-year philosophy major.

I am glad that there are Christians who realize that same-sex attraction is an inborn trait that requires no special condemnation. To remain serious Christians, many adopt the belief that the Bible has been “misinterpreted.” When confronted with condemnations such as found in Leviticus 20:13, which requires a man who “lies with a male as one lies with a woman” to be “put to death,” they sometimes use the excuse that the verse is mistranslated. It is, of course, hard to see what the alternative translation would be and unlikely that a book written in a widely studied language like Hebrew would be so frequently mistranslated. The New Testament condemnations of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, etc.) undercut the argument that these prohibitions are not applicable anymore because they are only found in the Old Testament.

Even if this were true, one can’t justify hundreds of years of executing homosexuals with the idea that God eventually changed his mind. This also applies to the argument that these verses were written for a different time. Did the homosexual who was executed in 800 B.C. suffer less than he would have in the year 2012? The silliest argument is that these verses should not be taken literally. Then, could you please provide me with the allegorical meaning of “kill the gays?” So, if you are a liberal Christian, especially a liberal gay Christian, isn’t it time to stop living a delusion and leave the Bronze Age myths behind?

Zoltan Mester is a UCSB graduate student of chemical engineering.

Please, Christians, read your Bibles. Please, look at your gay neighbors and friends and think about the words on the page. “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 KJV)

That means that you should go find a gay friend or relative and murder them.

Am I misinterpreting some complex nuance? How can one misunderstand, “… they shall surely be put to death?” Oh, you just don’t want to kill your friends and family? Someone else should do it, I suppose? And how is that different? Don’t try to tell me that the New Testament changes anything; One Corinthians 6:9-10 still states that men who have sex with men will go to hell. Practice what you preach! Do you believe in the Bible or not?

“But,” you bleat feebly, “what about the flexibility of interpretation? What if it is a metaphor?” A metaphor for what, exactly? Come on, you know as well as I do that one could read Mein Kampf as an allegory, but everyone knows what it means when a book says, “Kill the Jews” or “Kill the gays.”

Humanity, snap out of it. That disgusted, scared feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when I say, “go find a gay friend or relative and murder them,” is what I feel when I read Leviticus 20:13. Why don’t you feel it, too?

Connor Oakes is a fourth-year political science major.

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