Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Sodomy and
Current Justices of the Supreme Court
High Court Strikes Down Sodomy Law
Psychiatry and Medicine
The "Ex-Gay Fraud
Going Beyond Abuse
Dynamics of Sick Religion
Mark Jordan The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology (1997)
Nature and Ethics
The Six Bible Passages Used To Condemn Homosexuals
(Comments: The meaning is the same whether
you are heterosexual or homosexual. However, most laws are slanted to
point only to homosexuals. In actual definition, President Clinton
was sodomized. However, I am not aware of any heterosexual who has
ever been charged with consensual sodomy with a person legal age of
the other sex. It would be interesting to see how many of our
legislatures have ever been sodomized or committed sodomy under the
dictionary definition. Of course, for most of them, the statute of
limitations has probably run out. - Gordon Clay)
High Court Strikes Down Sodomy
The 6-3 ruling reverses course from a ruling 17 years ago that states could punish homosexuals for what such laws historically called deviant sex.
The case is a major reexamination of the rights and acceptance of gay people in the United States. More broadly, it also tests a state's ability to classify as a crime what goes on behind the closed bedroom doors of consenting adults.
The ruling invalidated a Texas law against ''deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.''
Defending that law, Texas officials said that it promoted the institutions of marriage and family, and argued that communities have the right to choose their own standards.
The law ''demeans the lives of homosexual persons,'' Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority.
Laws forbidding homosexual sex, once universal, now are rare. Those on the books are rarely enforced but underpin other kinds of discrimination, lawyers for two Texas men had argued to the court.
The men ''are entitled to respect for their private lives,'' Kennedy wrote.
''The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime,'' he said.
Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer agreed with Kennedy in full. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor agreed with the outcome of the case but not all of Kennedy's rationale.
(Note: The article conspicuously left out the
descending justices. The remaining supreme court justices are: Chief
Justice William H. Rehnquist, a Lutheran and two Roman Catholic
Associate Justice's Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.)
Psychiatry and Medicine
The APA resolved that "The American Psychiatric Association deplores all public and private discrimination against homosexuals in such areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, and licensing, and declares that no burden of proof of such judgment, capacity, or reliability shall be placed upon homosexuals greater than that imposed on any other persons and urges the enactment of civil rights legislation at the local, state, and federal level that would offer homosexual persons the same protections now guaranteed to others on the basis of race, creed, color, etc."
The American Medical Association and the American Bar Association agreed in 1974 with this statement of the APA and added their approval of the Model Penal Code of the American Law Institute recommendation to legislators "that private sexual behavior between consenting adults should be removed from the list of crimes and thereby legalized." The American Psychological Association in 1975 also approved these declarations and "urged all mental health professions to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientations."
Why have these conclusions by medical professionals been ignored,
denied and rejected by ignorant and prejudiced preachers and
religious authorities and by many politicians?
The "Ex-Gay Fraud
Love In Action, a movement led by Kent Philpott, was an early
attempt at changing gays to straight in Marin County, California.
Philpott wrote a book about a small group of people that he claimed
to change from gay to straight. The book, The Third Sex?, claimed
that the people in the group had changed from homosexual to
heterosexual. The people in the book later denied that they had
changed and sued the publisher and won. Now the book cannot be
published in the U.S. but is still available from England and is
still used to perpetuate the "ex-gay" fraud.
Going Beyond Abuse
What are the long term effects of religious brain washing both in and outside of the ex-gay movement? We don't know yet. Some of the results seem to me to be an ongoing uncertainty about spiritual life and values along with a strong tendency to revert to legalistic judgmental attitudes that are destructive of self esteem and are used to invalidate other people.
The dynamics of oppression usually lead the oppressed to become the oppressors whenever they can gain the upper hand over others. Oppression is a "crazy making" environment that warps our perception of reality and truth. Extreme, long term, and dedicated attempts to cast out the evil and unclean spirits of sexual orientation from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people leaves deep invisible scars that we are only beginning to recognize and try to heal.
Paranoid delusions emerge as unhealthy and self depreciating forces at work in individuals who have been convinced that something is desperately wrong within them and that they cannot change. When these delusions and fears are projected on other people, they create barriers and lead to fear, isolation, loneliness, and a retreat from the believer's freedom in Christ. Frequently new legalisms and a fresh set of judgmental demands develop to control and abuse the person who has broken out of the ex-gay grip. Internalized and horizontal homophobia are powerful destructive forces in the gay world, especially when they emerge as self destructive religion.
Compassion, love, joy, peace, acceptance, patience, gentleness,
kindness, faithfulness, self control (fruit of the Spirit of Christ
in Galatians 5:22-23) give hope for healing and peace even for those
whose greatest torment has been religion itself! My experience with
small groups who share regularly in a home setting and who create an
environment of non judgmental acceptance has convinced me that such
home groups offer one of the best settings for recovery and healing
from sick and abusive religion. Recovery, healing, learning, and
growing take time. The people who have suffered a lifetime of
religious abuse and the dedicated ignorance of the ex-gay ministries
do not recover instantly or without help. We all need "a little
Dynamics of Sick Religion
Remember: Homosexuality is not demonic.
Perhaps the main thing that I have learned so far from my own experience and the struggles of others is that God loves us all the same and we can completely trust God's unconditional love and acceptance. We demonstrate our trust in God by letting go of everything else. Forsake everything, including religion, and follow Jesus. To follow Jesus you have to keep your attention on Jesus and not on people or organizations, churches, or anything else. Read the last seven verses of the Gospel of John for a plain declaration of the ultimate truth of Jesus Christ. How would your view of being a Christian change if you took the time to memorize the Gospel of John?
Low self esteem and other characteristics of codependency are
clearly demonstrated in sick and abusive religion. See the pioneering
work on codependency by Melody Beattie: Codependent No More, Harper,
1987, and Beyond Codependency, Harper, 1989, where the codependent
dynamics of unhealthy religion are spelled out.
(Genesis 19:5-8; Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:22,23; 20:13,15,16; Deuteronomy 23:17; 27:21; Judges 19:22; 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7; Romans 1:24,26,27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:9,10)
Genesis 19, verses 5 - 5: And they called unto Lot, and said unto
him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them
out unto us, that we may know them. 6: And Lot went out at the door
unto them, and shut the door after him, 7: And said, I pray you,
brethren, do not so wickedly. 8: Behold now, I have two daughters
which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto
you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men
do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my
roof.Exodus 22, verse 19 19: Whosoever lieth with a beast shall
surely be put to death.Leviticus 18, verses 22 , 23 22: Thou shalt
not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. 23:
Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith:
neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it
is confusion.Leviticus 20, verse 13 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.Leviticus 20, verses 15 , 16 15: And if a man lie with a
beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
16: And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto,
thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to
death; their blood shall be upon them.Deuteronomy 23, verse 17 17:
There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of
the sons of Israel.Deuteronomy 27, verse 21 21: Cursed be he that
lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say,
Amen.Judges 19, verse 22 22: Now as they were making their hearts
merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the
house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of
the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into
thine house, that we may know him.1 Kings 14, verse 24 24: And there
were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the
abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the
children of Israel.1 Kings 15, verse 12 12: And he took away the
sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers
had made.1 Kings 22, verse 46 46: And the remnant of the sodomites,
which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the
land.2 Kings 23, verse 7 7: And he brake down the houses of the
sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove
hangings for the grove.Romans 1, verse 24 24: Wherefore God also gave
them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to
dishonour their own bodies between themselves:Romans 1, verses 26 ,
27 26: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even
their women did change the natural use into that which is against
nature: 27: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the
woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working
that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence
of their error which was meet.1 Corinthians 6, verse 9 9: 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,1 Timothy 1,
verses 9 , 10 9: Knowing this, that the law is not made for a
righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly
and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and
murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10: For whoremongers, for them
that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for
perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to
'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.'
'Deut 23:17-18 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.'
1. Those guilty of sodomy are to be put to death. Lev. 20:11, 12, 14, 20, 21.'
2. The act of sodomy condemned as an abomination and an unnatural act. Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:26-27, 32; 1 Cor. 6:9.'
3. Sodomites are not allowed to exist in the nation. Deut. 23:17.
Baker"s Dictionary of Christian Ethics Pg. 643 SODOMY. Sodomy is an act of sexual perversion originally associated with male temple prostitutes for which the city of Sodom became infamous. It also refers to intercourse of men with animals (cf. Bestiality). The Bible contains numerous references to this practice and its proscription (Gen. 19:1-14; I Kings 14:24; II Kings 23:7; Rom. 1:26; etc.).
'Biblical Principles by Plymouth Rock Foundation Pg. 266 Did God really, mean what he said? This nation and many cities and states would do well to consider the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen. 19:1-29; see also 2 Peter 2:6-10; Jude 7). The wickedness of sodomy brought forth the wrath and curse of The Lord God. Because sodomy was so prevalent ("all the people, from every quarter"-Gen. 19: 4; 5), God destroyed both cities ("all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground" (vv. 24; 25), "and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace" (v. 28). Jude wrote that the destruction of Sodom arid Gomorrah (and adjacent towns that likewise gave themselves over to sensual perversions) was not only a punishment but also "set forth as an example" (Jude 7).'
'Biblical Principles by Plymouth Rock Foundation Pg. 266 God warns man against the sin of sodomy: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination" (Lev. 18:22). "Defile not yourselves" in this sin, commands The Lord God (Lev. 18: 24; see also Deut. 23:17). "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" (Lev. 20:13). In setting forth God"s laws of human relations, Moses made it clear there were to be no sodomites in Israel (Deut. 23:17). '
'Biblical Principles by Plymouth Rock Foundation Pg. 266 Sodomy (homosexuality, lesbianism) is an abomination in the sight of The Lord God -a perversion of the creature He made in His image: "male and female created He them (heterosexuals)" (Gen. 1:27). Sodomy is a sin of the gravest and most serious consequences. In Rom. 1:28 Paul wrote that sodomy is one of two sins for which God abandoned sinners the other being the sin of blaspheming the Holy Ghost (Mt: 12:31, 32).'
'Biblical Principles by Plymouth Rock Foundation Pg. 266 Sodomy brings catastrophic consequences upon city or nation that approves of it, or condones it, or fails to stand against it: "The land is defiled: therefore I do visit the inquity thereof upon it; and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants" (Lev. 18:25). '
'Biblical Principles by Plymouth Rock Foundation Pg. 268 "Who, changed the truth of God into a lie (a false religion) and worshipped and served the creature more than The Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen! For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature (exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one): And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, (turned from natural relations with woman) buried in their lust for one another; men with men working that which is unseemly (committing shameful [indecent] acts with men); and receiving in themselves that recompense that was meet (suffering in their own bodies and souls the inevitable consequences and penalties of their wrong-doing). And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge (since they did not choose to" acknowledge God or consider Him worth knowing) God gave them over to a reprobate (base) mind to do those things w'
'Biblical Principles by Plymouth Rock Foundation Pg. 268 In I Cor. 6: 9, 10, Paul includes homosexuals-"abusers of themselves with mankind (sodomites)"-among those who shall not inherit the kingdom of God. In his first letter to Timothy (I Tim. 1:9-10), Paul writes that the law is made for the lawless, the disobedient, and the ungodly sinner including "them that defile themselves with mankind (sodomites)."'
'Biblical Principles by Plymouth Rock Foundation Pg. 268 So final and so awful are the consequences of sodomy that The Lord God, in His grace, grants time for cleansing; and, he commends and rewards those who work to rid the land of the evil. "And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of The Lord, as did David his father And he took away the sodomites out of the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made" (1 Kings 15:11, 12; see also I Kings 2: 46 and II Kings 23: 3, 7). '
'Capital Punishment by McCafferty Pg. 11 The earliest recorded set of capital statutes on these shores are those of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, dating from 1636. This early codification, titled "The Capital Law of New England," lists in order the following crimes: idolatry, witchcraft, blasphemy, murder ("manslaughter, committed upon premeditate malice, hatred, or cruelty, not in a man"s necessary and just defense, nor by mere casualty, against his will"), assault in sudden anger, sodomy, buggery, adultery, statutory rape, rape (punishment of death optional), man-stealing, perjury in a capital trial, and rebellion (including attempts and conspiracies). Each of these crimes was accompanied in the statute with an Old Testament text as its authority. '
'Capital Punishment by McCafferty Pg. 11, 12 In later decades, this theocratic criminal code gave way in all but a few respects to purely secular needs. Before 1700, arson and treason, as well as the third offense of theft of goods valued at over forty shillings, were made capital, despite the absence of any biblical justification. By 1785, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognized nine capital crimes, and they bore only slight resemblance to thirteen "Capital Laws" of the Bay Colony: treason, piracy, murder, sodomy, buggery, rape, robbery, arson and burglary. '
'Commentaries on the Laws of England Vol. II by Sir William Blackstone Pg. 208-217 The title of the more de-testable, may be applied to another offense, of a still deeper malignity: the infamous crime against nature, committed either with man or beast. A crime which ought to be strictly and impartially proved, and then as strictly and impartially punished. It is an offense of so dark a nature, so easily charged, and the negative so difficult to be proved, that the accusation should be clearly made out. I will not act so disagreeable a part to my readers as well as my-self as to dwell any longer upon a subject the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature. It will be more eligible to imitate in this respect the delicacy of our English law, which treats it, in its very indictments, as a crime not fit to be named; "peccatum illud horribile, inter christianos non nominandum (that horrible crime not to be named among Christians)." A taciturnity observed likewise  by the edict of Constantius and'
'Editor"s Introduction by Gary North Pg. 3 The assertion of human autonomy is necessarily an assertion of the validity of some other law-order than that set forth by God in the Bible. Therefore, the early New England Puritans were careful to establish biblical law as the foundation of their legal codes, most notably the Massachusetts Body of Liberties (1641). Of this code of law, the historian Edmund S. Morgan has written: But the code was not merely a bill of rights to protect the inhabitants of Massachusetts from arbitrary government. It was a blueprint of the whole Puritan experiment, an attempt to spell out the dimensions of the New England way. Trial by jury was part of the way (although the General Court, exercising supreme jurisdiction, operated without a jury) and so was freehold tenure of lands, but only because these practices seemed in accord with the laws of God; for the New. England way must be the way God wanted his kingdom on earth to be run, and every law must be measured by His holy word. "'
'Editor"s Introduction by Gary North Pg. 91 Unnatural filthiness to be punished with death, whether sodomy, which is a carnal fellowship of man with man, or woman with woman, or buggery, which is a carnal fellowship of man or woman with beasts or fowls.'
'Encyclopedia of Biblical and Christian Ethics by Harrison - Pg. 393 - SODOMY. This term is derived directly from Sodom, one of the ancient cities of the plain area located on the southeast corner of the Dead Sea (Gen. 14:2; 19:1). Sodom has gone down in history because of the infamy of its inhabitants, as illustrated in the account of the two divine messengers visiting Lot, who had made his home in Sodom. He extended to his visitors the usual Oriental courtesies (Gen. 19:2), but the evening was disturbed by all the male inhabitants of the place who demanded that the visitors be sent out to them so that they might "know them," that is, have homosexual relations (otherwise known as sodomy) with them.'
'Encyclopedia of Biblical and Christian Ethics by Harrison Pg. 394 All forms of sexual perversion (Rom. 1:24-27; Gal. 5:19) are forbidden to Christians, who are commanded to live moral and holy lives as a witness to their evil and adulterous generation. Homosexuality in particular is expressly prohibited under pain of death in the Old Testament (Lev. 20:13) because it was a pagan form of sexual defilement that, if permitted, would corrupt the moral and ceremonial life of the covenant community, as it did successively with ancient Canaan, Greece, and Rome. Christians are only permitted to indulge in sexual activity involving members of the opposite sex and, at that on the basis of a legal, monogamous marriage relationship. '
'God"s Law in the Modern World--The Continuing Relevance of Old Testament Law by Gentry Pg. 19 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for he is the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, of the for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, or perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. (1 Tim 1:8-11; cp. Ps. 119:11)'
'Samuel Rutherford and Puritan Political Theory by Richard Flinn Pg. 73-74 Although the Decalogue commands obedience to mother and father, and hence to kings, judges and civil magistrates, Rutherford uses the case law to demonstrate that such submission has its limits. Rulers can be resisted because, although we are commanded to submit to parents, the law also directs that if family members blaspheme, they are to be put to death. He cites Deuteronomy 13:6-9 and Leviticus 24:26. The principle of general equity commands that when rulers command that which is contrary to Gods law, they are to be resisted. Again, Rutherford's use of Scripture is significant. He cites Ephesians 5:25 to demonstrate that we are commanded to love members of our family, and juxtaposes this text with Deuteronomy 13:8, 9, which shows the limits of family loyalty. Both texts are assumed to be equally binding upon believers and society. (e) Although there were no examples in Israel of executions for blasphemy (Deut. 13:6) or sodomy (Ex. '
'The Covenant Enforced by John Calvin Pg. 51-52 Now Moses adds further (vv. 20-23), "Cursed be he who lies with his father"s wife, with any beast, with his own sister, or with his mother-in-law." This passage treats all the infamous sorts of lechery, even of the most loathsome kinds of them, whether incest or sodomy, or other such corruptions. As it is with good reason that God chooses out those particular kinds, for it is to the end that we should be touched with the more fear and terror when we go about any kind of lechery. '
'The Covenant Enforced by John Calvin - Pg. 51-52 - Now Moses adds further (vv. 20-23), "Cursed be he who lies with his father"s wife, with any beast, with his own sister, or with his mother-in-law." This passage treats all the infamous sorts of lechery, even of the most loathsome kinds of them, whether incest or sodomy, or other such corruptions. As it is with good reason that God chooses out those particular kinds, for it is to the end that we should be touched with the more fear and terror when we go about any kind of lechery. '
'The Institutes of Biblical Law-The Intent of the Law by Rushdoony Pg. 67 Sodomy, or homosexuality: Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:17f.; Romans 1:24-32. In Romans 1:27, this is called the burning out, or, the flaming out of man, the ultimate form of rebellion against God and His law order. As a result, the penalty is unequivocally death. Romans implies (1:32) that the penalty applies to both sexes.'
'The Institutes of Biblical Law-The Intent of the Law by Rushdoony Pg. 79 I frequently get telephone calls and letters, attacking me for affirming Biblical law. The questions begin thus: "Do you believe that homosexuals should be executed?" My answer always is simply that God so requires it in the Bible, and, as an interpreter of and a believer in the Bible, I do not believe that I have the right to disagree with God. The next question is usually this: how then can you be a Christian since Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone" (John 8:7)? I try to explain that, first, an ancient premise of law requires that those who take part in a trial have "clean hands" in the matter, i.e., no thief can take part in a trial for theft as a credible witness. Second, if no man can be a part of a trial unless he is sinless, then, since we are all sinners, there can be no law, no courts, no police, no penalty, for crime since we all are sinners. This does not seem to disconcert most questio'
'The Institutes of Biblical Law-The Intent of the Law by Rushdoony Pg. 79 It is interesting that the first question is usually about homosexuality. In personal confrontations, such questioners commonly refuse to answer the question, "Are you a homosexual, or, Why are homosexuals such a key concern for you?" Homosexuality has become a central intellectual concern because it is a central offense against God, and the essential burning out of man in his hatred of and war against God. (In Romans 1:27 "burned" should be translated as "burned out.") Questions about God"s law on homosexuality are ways of challenging God"s moral status! Some questioners insist that Jesus demanded the death of the law, despite His statement in Matthew 5:17-19. Such opinions reflect William Blake and ancient and modern gnosticism.'
'What Ever Happened To The Ten Commandments by Reisinger Pg. 77
The sin of sodomy and all unnatural lusts: Therefore God also gave
them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor
their bodies among themselves . . For this reason God gave them up to
vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for
what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural
use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men
committing what is shameful, and receiving in
themselves the penalty of their error which was due
(Rom. 1:24, 26-27).'
Mark Jordan The Invention of Sodomy in
Christian Theology (1997)
The most relevant parts for nature-and-ethics, I think, are: 54-56, which are especially good for showing the connection between nature, reason, and ethics in Peter Damian; at 87 (and the whole section as well), esp. where Jordan summarizes how Alan of Lille demonstrates the naturalistic fallacy; after a lot of digressing, some material on Albert the Great at 126 ff.; and a good summary of Aristotle's NE at 132. By the Albert the Great section, it becomes apparent that the relation of pleasure to the natural and the moral is what is really at issue. One should also pick up some Plato on this, e.g. from the Laws, 732e, 836c-e, 838b-839c, passages which seem very pertinent. Jordan and Plato seem to diverge regarding this relation.
Jordan does show convincingly that "sodomy," in the Bible defined as the sins of the men of Sodom, applies to a range of sinful activities rather than specifically homosexual ones. He does not, however, show that homosexual activity is excluded within that range of activities.
But even if Jordan were to show that homosexual activity is not one of the sins of Sodom, the implication for us is merely that "sodomy"--if we would like to be etymologically correct--ought not be used as a term for homosexual activity. If he were to establish that, he would not be establishing that homosexual activity is not a sin. The only implication would be that we should use a different term to describe homosexual sin (as for instance was often done by using the more inclusive term "luxuria," it appears). Since Jordan shows a hermeneutical friendliness to the Bible (which is what motivates his etymological interest in "sodomy" in the first place), he would be hard pressed to do away with passages of similar brevity in which homosexual activity is specifically labeled as a sin. (In fact he ignores these passages entirely, as the authors he reads do not, which decimates the value of his arguments around pp. 166 ff.)
Regarding the Middle Ages, even if "sodomy" had been constructed incorrectly as a term for homosexual activity and similar sexual sins, the idea of those sins was not constructed. His interest turns out to be merely etymological through page 40. For most of the remainder of the book, Jordan moves to "invention" in the rhetorical sense, finding all the different ways that sodomy was discussed--seldom engaging the arguments, as though he is having enough fun repeating all the unsayable words.
On 42 and towards the end, he unfairly objects to the use of
places and place-names as symbols, calling this an "essentialism"
that is "antihistorical." This hermeneutical prejudice is untenable,
and not just in the case of Sodom. One might say that "homophobia" is
also one of those words that is used as "an attack upon a
[supposedly] malignant essence" (43, cf. 167-68). If Jordan
really is attacking the whole system of applying abstract words to
sets of activities, he loses the ability to make many of his own
points as well.
Nature and Ethics
The Athenian, Plato's Laws, III, 690b-c. [see also 714e]
"Human nature involves, above all, pleasures, pains, and desires, and no mortal animal can help being hung up dangling in the air (so to speak) in total dependence on these powerful influences." --The Athenian, 732e
See also 732e, 836c-e, 838b-839c. See especially 891c-892d ff.
See also reading notes on Jordan's book.
The Six Bible Passages Used To
Genesis 19:5: "Bring them out to us that we may know them."Author's Note: "Know" simply means know! No hint at homosexuality exists in the original Hebrew. No later Bible references to Sodom ever mention homosexuality as the sin of Sodom. Many modern translations add words to the text to create the lie that the people of Sodom were homosexual."SODOMY" is not a biblical word. Laws against sodomy not only violate the Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state; they also use an incorrect and wrongly translated term for the laws. A "Sodomite" in the Bible is simply a person who lives in Sodom, which included Lot and his family. The term "sodomite" in the King James Version of Deuteronomy 23:17 and I Kings 14:24 is an incorrect translation of the Hebrew word for "temple prostitute." (See the recent book by Mark D. Jordan: The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology. University of Chicago Press, 1997.)The average person assumes that the Bible clearly condemns male to male sexual intercourse as "sodomy" and that the city of Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality, which is seen as the worst of all sins in the Bible. These assumptions are based on no evidence at all in the Bible. No Jewish scholars before the first Christian century taught that the sin of Sodom was sexual. None of the biblical references to Sodom mention sexual sins but view Sodom as an example of injustice, lack of hospitality to strangers, idolatry and as a symbol for desolation and destruction. See Deuteronomy 29:22-28; 32:32; Ezekiel 16:49-50; Jeremiah 49:18; 50:41; Isaiah 13:19-22 and Matthew 10:14-15. In Jude 7, the term "strange flesh" is Greek hetero sarkos ("different flesh" and from which the word "heterosexual" comes) and refers to foreign idols or people. It is not homo ("the same") flesh or people. Sarkos is never used in the New Testament as a word for "sex."The word "know" in Genesis 19:5 is Hebrew YADA. It is used 943 times in the Old Testament to "know" God, good and evil, the truth, the law, people, places, things, etc. It is a very flexible word, as are many Hebrew words. In Genesis 19:5, the word was used to express the request of the people of Sodom that Lot should bring out the strangers in his house so that they could know who they were. Sodom was a tiny fortress in the barren wasteland south of the Dead Sea. The only strangers that the people of Sodom ever saw were enemy tribes who wanted to destroy and take over their valuable fortress and the trade routes that it protected. Lot himself was an alien in their midst.Lot's strange response to the request was to offer his young daughters to the men, an offer that seems to me to be far more reprehensible than any problem of sexual orientation. If the men were homosexual, why did Lot offer to give them his daughters? These hostile and violent people were heterosexual, and homosexual orientation had nothing to do with the incident.Special note on YADA: The Hebrew word YADA "to know" is never used in the Old Testament to mean "to have sex with". People have been conditioned to think that "to know someone biblically" means to have sex. The use of YADA in Genesis 4:1-2 to say that Adam knew Eve and she conceived and gave birth to Cain is followed by saying that later she gave birth to his brother Abel without any reference to YADA. Why? Simply because YADA does not mean to have sex. It is a general term that describes many kinds of intimate relationships. I have studied all of the uses of YADA in the Old Testament, and my personal conclusion is that it never means what we mean by sexual intercourse. Just substitute a common slang expression for sexual intercourse instead of the word "know" in Genesis 4:1 and you will see how inappropriate the idea is. The Old Testament Hebrew writers never thought or wrote in those terms. The Bible never gives any details about sexual acts. The only clear Hebrew term for sexual acts is "to lie with," which is left without any further explanation. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN SODOM?To twist the story to say what it does not say is to miss what it does say. The story does not deal with sexual orientation or with homosexuality and has no bearing at all on the issue of God's acceptance or rejection of Gays and Lesbians. The story of Sodom clearly teaches that evil and violent people who attack aliens and strangers whom they do not know or understand receive God's quick and terrible punishment. The purpose of the story is to show that misunderstood, strange, or feared minorities in any community are in danger from violence by the majority when that majority is ignorant, ungodly, selfish and afraid. The real message of Sodom is backwards from the claims of homophobic preachers and teachers. The Gay and Lesbian minority in our society today is more like the guests in Lot's house who were protected behind closed doors ("in the closet") than like the frightened mindless mob that wanted to expose, humiliate and destroy people that they did not "know" and control.Set the record straight! Genesis 19 is about the fear (like homophobia) and anger of a mob (like many misguided religious fanatics) directed against a small group of isolated strangers (like Gays and Lesbians today) in their midst. Sexual orientation is not the issue here or anywhere else in the Bible.Read also the strange story in Judges 19:1-30 of the Levite in Gibeah, which was patterned after the story of Lot and the angels in Genesis 19. Jewish teachers before the time of Christ never saw either of these stories as having any connection with homosexuality or sexual orientation. Neither should we. Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination."Leviticus 20:13: "If a man lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and they shall surely be put to death." Author's Note: Both of these verses refer not to homosexuals but to heterosexuals who took part in the baal fertility rituals in order to guarantee good crops and healthy flocks. No hint at sexual orientation or homosexuality is even implied. The word abomination in Leviticus was used for anything that was considered to be religiously unclean or associated with idol worship.Because these two verses in Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) have been used more than any other Bible texts to condemn and reject gay and lesbian people, the following material is given to help you think objectively about traditional abusive use of the Bible regarding homosexuals. The use of Leviticus to condemn and reject homosexuals is obviously a hypocritical selective use of the Bible against gays and lesbians. Nobody today tries to keep the laws in Leviticus. Look at Leviticus 11:1-12, where all unclean animals are forbidden as food, including rabbits, pigs, and shellfish, such as oysters, shrimp, lobsters, crabs, clams, and others that are called an "abomination." Leviticus 20:25 demands that "you are to make a distinction between the clean and unclean animal and between the unclean and clean bird; and you shall not make yourself an abomination by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean." You can eat some insects like locusts (grasshoppers), but not others. Leviticus 12:1-8 declares that a woman is unclean for 33 days after giving birth to a boy and for 66 days after giving birth to a girl and goes on to demand that certain animals must be offered as a burnt offering and a sin offering for cleansing. Nobody today who claims to be a Christian tries to keep these laws, and few people even know about them! Why do you think that most people don't know about them?Read Leviticus 23 to see the detailed regulations concerning "complete rest" on the Sabbath day and demands of animal sacrifices to be carried out according to exact instructions. Leviticus 18:19 forbids a husband from having sex with his wife during her menstrual period. Leviticus 19:19 forbids mixed breeding of various kinds of cattle, sowing various kinds of seeds in your field or wearing "a garment made from two kinds of material mixed together." Leviticus 19:27 demands that "you shall not round off the side-growth of your heads, nor harm the edges of your beard." The next verse forbids "tattoo marks on yourself." Most people do not even know that these laws are in the Bible and are demanded equally with all the others.Why don't fundamentalists organize protests and picket seafood restaurants, oyster bars, church barbecue suppers, all grocery stores, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and stores that sell suits and dresses made of mixed wool, cotton, polyester, and other materials? All of these products and services are "abominations" in Leviticus. When have you heard a preacher condemn the demonic abomination of garments that are made of mixed fabrics? The warning is given in Leviticus 26:14-16 that "If you do not obey me and do not carry out all of these commandments, if instead, you reject my statutes, and if your soul abhors my ordinances so as not to carry out all my commandments ...I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you shall sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies shall eat it up." The list of punishments and terrors that will come from not keeping all of the commandments continues through many verses.Read what Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-5 about hypocrites who judge others. "Do not judge lest you be judged yourselves... Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? ...You hypocrite!"If you have been led to misuse Leviticus and other parts of the Bible in order to condemn and hate and reject people, you are on the wrong path. Jesus quoted only one passage from Leviticus: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (19:18). Jesus used Leviticus to teach love. Many false teachers use Leviticus and other writings to condemn, humiliate and destroy. I know which approach seems truly Christian to me. Jesus never condemned homosexuals or even mentioned anything that could be taken as a reference to sexual orientation.Any charge against Gays and Lesbians based on the life and teachings of Jesus has to be dismissed for a lack of evidence!The use of Leviticus to judge and condemn anyone today is ludicrous and absurd in the light of the total content of the book. To call the content of the Book of Leviticus the "word of God" and try to enforce any part of it today is without support in the teachings of Jesus and in the letters of Paul.Jesus in Mark 7:18-23 chided his disciples for their lack of spiritual understanding. Jesus and his disciples had been condemned by the religious leaders because they did not wash and eat according to the Law. Jesus said, "Are you too so uncomprehending? Don't you see that whatever goes into your mouth from the outside cannot defile you; because it does not go into your heart, but into your stomach, and is eliminated? (Thus Jesus declared all foods clean."). And Jesus added, "That which proceeds from within you, out of your heart, defiles you. Evil thoughts, abusive sex acts, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, wickedness, deceit, not caring, envy, slander, arrogance and foolishness: all of these evil things proceed from within and defile you."Paul also rejected the absolute commands of Leviticus in Colossians 2:8-23, where he said, "If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 'Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!' (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using) in accordance with human commandments and teachings? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against human indulgence." (2:20-23). Paul declared in 2:14 that Jesus has "canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us which was hostile to us; and Jesus has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."Many people have answered the argument that most of the "abominations" in Leviticus referred to food by saying that the people back then knew that pork was unhealthy, and that is why pigs were declared to be unclean. If you follow that logic, you would declare anything that is unhealthy to be an "abomination." We know that cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, fat food and many other things are unhealthy; so why are they not also called "abominations" and condemned by the rabid Bible literalists with protests and pickets against cigarette machines, all liquor stores and bars, all fast food outlets, and any store that sells anything that is unhealthy? The reason is simple. The use of Leviticus to condemn and reject anyone is impossible to justify in the light of the facts.The use of Leviticus to condemn and reject homosexuals is absurd and makes literal legalistic bible based religion look ridiculous.To me personally, the message of Jesus Christ always has been good news for everyone. Personal evangelism has been my basic emphasis in the ministry since I became pastor of a small rural church in South Carolina in 1952 when I was nineteen years old. Our little church led the Baptist Churches of South Carolina one year in per capita baptisms. In all of my churches, both Baptist and MCC, my emphasis has been personal evangelism. What is your emphasis in your ministry? I personally have led hundreds of people to Christ and taught other hundreds of people to become effective in sharing Christ with others. During all of this time I have been homosexual. I have realized that I was gay since I was a about 10 years old. God loves me just as I am and uses me in ministry that fits me and my life as an individual. I pray that you find the same thing for yourself. Romans 1:26-27: "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions: for their women exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature. And in the same way also the men abandoned the natural use of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error." Author's Note: All of this refers to idolatrous religious practices that were common in the time of Paul.Taking anything that Paul said out its context is like trying to drive a car blindfolded. You don't know where you are, where you have been, where you are going, or who you just ran over and killed!Paul's writings have been taken out of context and twisted to punish and oppress every identifiable minority in the world: Jews, children, women, blacks, slaves, politicians, divorced people, convicts, pro choice people, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, religious reformers, the mentally ill, and the list could go on and on. Paul is often difficult and confusing to understand. A lot of Paul's writing is very difficult to translate. Since most of his letters were written in response to news from other people, reading Paul can be like listening to one side of a telephone conversation. We know, or think we know, what Paul is saying, but we have to guess what the other side has said. As 2 Peter 3:16-18 pointed out, we have to be on guard against using Paul's writings in unhealthy and destructive ways.When I taught a college course in the Book of Romans, I decided to memorize Romans, as Augustine suggested. The effort paid off. Being able to visualize the message of Romans as a whole immediately cleared up a lot of Paul's thought that I had not been able to untangle before by traditional means of study. It helped so much that I continued to memorize the books of the Bible that I taught in college courses.The theme of the first 3 chapters of Romans is expressed in 1:16: "The gospel is the power of God for spiritual freedom (salvation) for all who believe." Paul showed that all people equally need and can have Jesus in their lives. Paul's gospel is inclusive, as expressed in Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."Romans 1:26-27 is part of Paul's vigorous denunciation of idolatrous religious worship and rituals. Read all of Romans 1:18 to 2:4 for the context of the verses. Romans 1:26-27 contains some words used only here by Paul. Familiar words are used here in unusual ways. The passage is very difficult to translate. The argument is directed against some form of idolatry that would have been known to Paul's readers. To us, 2,000 years later and in a totally different culture, the argument is vague and indirect.Verse 25 is clearly a denunciation of idol worship, "For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature and not the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."." Paul at no point in his writing dealt with same-sex orientation or the expression of love and affection between two people of the same sex who love each other.Paul wrote Romans from Corinth, the second largest city in the empire and the crossroads of world trade and culture. Pausanius observed at about the same time as Paul that there were over 1,000 religions in Corinth. The most prominent were the fertility cult of Aphrodite, worship of Apollo, and the Delphi Oracle, which was across the bay from Corinth. Paul's readers would have been aware of the religious climate from which he wrote Romans and would have understood Paul a lot better than we do.The word "passions" in 1:26 is the same word used to speak of the suffering and death of Jesus in Acts 1:3 and does not mean what we mean by "passion" today. Eros is the Greek word for romantic love, but eros is never used even once in the New Testament. "Passions" in 1:26 probably refers to the frenzied state of mind that many ancient mystery cults induced in worshipers by means of wine, drugs and music.We do not know the meaning of "burn" in 1:27, because Paul never used this particular word anywhere else, and it's origin is uncertain. The term "against nature" is also strange here, since exactly the same term is used by Paul in Romans 11:21-24 to speak of God acting "against nature" by including the Gentiles with the Jews in the family of God. "Against nature" was used to speak of something that was not done in the usual way, but did not necessarily mean that something "against nature" was evil, since God also "acted against nature." One more word needs special attention. "Committing indecent acts" in 1:27 is translated by King James Version as "working that which is unseemly." Phillips goes far beyond the evidence and renders it as "Shameful horrors!" The Greek word is askemosunen and is formed of the word for "outer appearance" plus the negative particle. It speaks of the inner or hidden part or parts of the individual that are not ordinarily seen or known in public. "Indecent" in 1 Corinthians 12:23 referred to the parts of the body that remain hidden but are necessary and receive honor. 1 Corinthians 13:5 used the word to say that love does not behave "indecently." This word for "indecency" was used to translate Deuteronomy 24:1 into Greek to say that a man could divorce his wife if he "found some indecency in her." The religious teachers argued endlessly about what "some indecency" meant. Some said it was anything that displeased the husband. Others were more strict and said it could only refer to adultery. In Matthew 19:1-12, Jesus commented on Deuteronomy 24:1-4, but he did not define the term. Paul was certainly aware of the variety of ways that the teachers interpreted the word "indecency," and he used it in a variety of ways himself. To read into "indecent acts" a whole world of homosexual ideas is to abandon the realities of objective academic study and to embark on useless and damaging speculation that cannot be supported by the meaning of the word or by Paul's use of it elsewhere.If Paul had intended to condemn homosexuals as the worst of all sinners, he certainly had the language skills to do a clearer job of it than emerges from Romans 1:26-27. The fact is that Paul nowhere condemned or mentioned romantic love and sexual relations between people of the same sex who love each other. Paul never commented on sexual orientation. As in the rest of the Bible, Paul nowhere even hinted that Lesbians and Gay men can or should change their sexual orientation.SPECIAL NOTE on Romans 1:31, where the King James Version translated the Greek word astorgous as "without natural affection." This is one of the characteristics of people "with a reprobate mind" (KJV of 1:28). The word for "reprobate" is more recently translated as "depraved" or "perverted" in order more neatly to fit the sexualizing of everything possible in the list. The literal meaning of "reprobate" (Greek dokimon) is "to fail to measure up" or "to fail to meet the test" and simply means that the list of things that follows is the result of a mind that has abandoned God. The word astorgous, "without natural affection," is used only here and in 2 Timothy 3:3. It has nothing at all to do with homosexuality or with sex. It is the Greek word for "family love" or "family ties" with the negative prefix. It refers to people who despise and reject their family members. Rather than being directed at homosexuals, it is a term that is directed at people who despise and reject their own homosexual children and brothers and sisters! Modern translators, knowing this, usually render the word as "unloving," and the implication of some sort of "unnatural" or "perverted" affection is removed. Many more translation corrections are needed elsewhere! The use of Romans 1:26-27 against homosexuals turns out to be a blunt instrument to batter and wound people who were not intended in the original text. Paul clearly taught throughout Romans, Galatians and his other letters that God's freely given and all inclusive love is for every person on earth. Notice what Paul said about judging others in Romans 2:1: "Therefore you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things." I Corinthians 6:9:"The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. So do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the realm of God." Author's Note: The Greek words translated "effeminate" and "homosexual" do not mean effeminate or homosexual!I Timothy 1:9-10:"Law is not made for a righteous person but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and fornicators and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound (healthy) teaching." Author's Note: The Greek word translated "homosexual" does not mean homosexual! These two verses contain completely wrong translations to create "homosexual ghosts" that do not really exist! Ghosts may not hurt you, but they can make you hurt yourself! The homosexual ghosts in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 were created by the inaccurate and intentionally misleading translation of two Greek words. 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 sound very convincing in including lesbians and gay men in the most dreadful lists of depraved human behavior imaginable. The fact is that the word translated "homosexual" does not mean "homosexual" and the word translated "effeminate" does not mean "effeminate"!The English word "homosexual" is a composite word made from a Greek term (homo, "the same") and a Latin term (sexualis , "sex"). The term "homosexual" is of modern origin and was not used until about 100 years ago. There is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew that is parallel to the word "homosexual." No Bible before the Revised Standard Version in 1946 used "homosexual" in any Bible translation.The word translated as "homosexual" or "sexual pervert" or some other similar term is Greek arsenokoites, which was formed from two words meaning "male" and "bed". This word is not found anywhere else in the Bible and has not been found anywhere in the contemporary Greek of Paul's time. We do not know what it means. The word is obscure and uncertain. It probably refers to male prostitutes with female customers, which was a common practice in the Roman world, as revealed in the excavations at Pompeii and other sites. When early Greek speaking Christian preachers condemned homosexuality, they did not use this word. John Chrysostom (A.D. 345-407) preached in Greek against homosexuality, but he never used this word for homosexuals, and when he preached on 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, he did not mention homosexuals. See the full discussion of this in John Boswell's book: Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality - Appendix 1, "Lexicography and Saint Paul," pages 335-353."Soft" does not mean "effeminate." The word translated "effeminate in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is Greek malakoi and means "soft" or "vulnerable." The word is translated as "soft" in reference to clothing in Matthew 11:8 and Luke 7:25 and as "illness" in Matthew 4:23 and 9:35. It is not used anywhere else in the New Testament and carries no hint of reference to sexual orientation. Malakoi in 1 Corinthians 6:9 probably refers those who are "soft," "pliable," "unreliable," or "without courage or stability." The translation of malakoi as "effeminate" is incorrect, ignorant, degrading to women, and impossible to justify based on ancient usage compared to the meaning of "effeminate" today.This incorrect rendering of malakoi and arsenokoites as references to gender orientation has been disastrous for millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual people. This mistaken translation has enlisted a mighty army of ignorant religious fanatics against homosexual people and has turned many Lesbians and Gays against the Bible, which holds for them as for all people the good news of God's love in Christ. Evil homophobic Bible "translations from hell" must not go unchallenged. The use of these translations by ignorant religious bigots to incite fear and hate against Gays demands a clear, academically sound, credible and easily understood response. Material given in this web site is only a beginning. Every Bible word that has been incorrectly used to wound, alienate and oppress people must be examined in detail and carefully exposed. God has called us to return the Bible to the oppressed and outcast people for whom it was written. Three of the passages: Genesis 19:5; I Corinthians 6:9 and I Timothy 1:10 are incorrectly translated. The other three: Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 and Romans 1:26-27 are taken out of their original setting of condemning idolatrous religious practices and wrongly used to judge and condemn people of the same sex who love each other. None of these passages refer to people of the same sex who love each other. None originally were aimed at homosexuals. Contact me and I will answer your questions about these passages by e-mail. See also my book, Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse and my NEW SPECIAL OFFER. "THE SODOMY MYTH"Update for April 2, 2003 THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT Once again the attention of the United States is focused on the mythical concept of "sodomy" as the highest court in the land wrestles with illegal, unjust, dishonest, homophobic, abusive, inconsistent, repressive state laws that are based on religious misunderstanding and ignorance. Many states have removed their state "sodomy laws." The kind of arguments that the Texas Attorney General has made to the Supreme Court would require the Court to demand that these states put back their medieval "Sodomy laws" for the common good! The entire "sodomy" issue is a bogus cause and unworthy of any serious intelligent debate and dispute. (See links below.) "SODOMY" No word for "sodomy" exists in biblical Hebrew or Greek! A "Sodomite" is simply someone who lived in the city of Sodom, just as a "Moabite" lived in Moab. Any use of the words "sodomy" or "sodomite" in biblical translations is a vicious mistake that attempts to read incorrect interpretation into the text itself and thereby discredit all translations. No word for "homosexual" or for "homosexuality" exists in biblical Hebrew or Greek. In fact, no word for "sex" exists in the biblical languages! (Look in the major concordances, and you will not find even one reference to "sex".) The cultural world of the biblical material is vastly different from ours today, and not one word means exactly today what it meant 2,000 to 3,000 years ago in a different world and in languages that are not used any more as they existed at that time. SEE MY WEB SITE MATERIAL ON ALL OF THIS . NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE The city of Nashville is locked in a great community-dividing battle over the issue of protecting the civil and human rights of GLBT people. The presence of headquarters for nine major fundamentalist religions in Nashville has greatly muddied the community values regarding LGBT people. Southern Baptists, United Methodists and National Baptists are among those with publishing and administrative offices in Nashville. The Church of Christ and other similar groups have their colleges in Nashville. When I became pastor of MCC Nashville in 1993, the state of Tennessee still had state laws against "sodomy". One of my best friends, Dr. Chris Simien, was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University at the time studying for his PhD in clinical psychology. Chris joined with several other young GLBT students who were preparing for careers in counseling and challenged the Tennessee state laws against sodomy as unconstitutional in view of the Tennessee State Constitution guarantee of the individual's right to privacy. They won in 1995. After several court decisions and appeals, the Tennessee State Supreme Court agreed that the state sodomy laws were a violation of the State protection of the right to privacy. All sodomy laws were removed from the state statutes. (See related links below) The local Nashville lawyer who handled this case for Chris and his friends was Abby Rubenfeld, a prominent civil rights attorney, who happens to be the sister of Paul Ruben, who is also known as "Pee-Wee Herman." I talked to my friend Chris in Nashville this morning, and he told me that the ordinance to protect GLBT human rights in Nashville was just defeated. THE IGNORANCE FACTOR Recent arguments against homosexuals and against GLBT civil and human rights at the Supreme Court along with a lot of the questions asked by the Justices themselves reflect an incredible level of ignorance concerning the facts about GLBT people. Dedicated purveyors of ignorance and misinformation have done a great job of confusing and distorting the truth about homosexuality and homosexuals. The "Ex-Gay Fraud" and related religious distortion ministries by such groups as "Focus on the Family" and "Family Research Council" have distracted multitudes of people away from the facts about religious and social abuse of GLBT people. Correcting misinformation and distortions takes a lot of research and ever-changing approaches to reaching out with the facts in ways that will be heard and accepted. My web site has been available since September 1997, and I have continuously revised and added updates to deal with current events. The detailed information that is on my web site answers the distortions and misinformation, but it takes a lot of time to work through all of the material. GLBT CONFUSION One of the most destructive results of the religious, political distortions and misinformation about GLBT people has been the self-destructive behavior including a steady rate of suicide among our own people who have believed the lies forced upon them by their own families, churches, politicians, friends and other sources of dedicated ignorance. No simple easy remedy exists to the dilemmas faced by LGBT people in our society. For every web site and book that tells the truth about GLBT life and issues, hundreds of anti-gay homophobic religion based sources of misinformation flood the Internet, bookstores, media, and public institutions. We need each other. We need clear convincing presentations of the facts. We need allies in every level of society who can stand with us, stand in our shoes, understand us, accept us, and affirm us in our human value and human rights. WHERE DO YOU FIT IN? What are you personally doing to make a difference for truth, reality and the facts? Are you well informed with the facts that you need to know? The sources of information are endless. You have to be selective and undistracted by false voices and uninformed people. Learning what you need to know in order to make a difference in this world for yourself and for other GLBT people will demand and require everything that you can give of yourself, your time, your relationships, and your opportunities to touch others. My web site gives a lot of information, but it also directs you to many other web site sources and books that can help you to know the facts and act with confidence in your own truth. New issues and new situations emerge every day. Chris and Barbara Purdom through their ministry of information "Religion at Critpath" as part of Interfaith Working Group have helped me for years to keep up with what's happening in our world. BECOME INFORMED The present debates and decision of the United States Supreme Court will have a long-term powerful effect on GLBT people everywhere. Take the time to become informed about all of the details of these developments. Do whatever you can to make a difference where you are. Rembert Truluck (See new pictures of our kitties in my web site updates.) Click here for references and other sites Supreme Court related sites: http://www.usnewswire.com/topnews/qtr1_2003/0326-144.html Links and stories from Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/nation/courts/supremecourt/20022003/ Lambda Legal Challenge: http://www.lambdalegal.org/cgi-bin/iowa/documents/record?record=1176 Click here to see the relationship of Jesus to the Bible See a history of the Sodomy Law issue in Tennessee: http://www.sodomylaws.org/sensibilities/tennessee.htm Other related sites: http://www.qrd.org/qrd/usa/tennessee/1993/sodomy.challenge http://www.aclu-tn.org/privacy01-02.html Family Research Council: http://www.frc.org/ Focus on the Family: http://www.family.org/ Focus on the Family and James Dobson recently devoted time and money to promoting the totally bogus book by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi on "Preventing Homosexuality". Nicolosi is a professionally discredited psychologist, whose war against homosexuals has extended through many years and many books that form the foundation for the "Ex-Gay" disaster that confuses and distorts all issues related to GLBT people.(This Update added on April 2, 2003) Special Update added September 1, 2001:"FLORIDA SODOMITES WIN!"(a response to Florida law banning gay and lesbian adoptions.) A recent religious attack against progress for GLBT people declared: "The sodomites have won again!" In view of the recent Florida decision to deny the rights of GLBT people to adopt children, we need to take a fresh look at just what the words "sodomy" and "sodomite" really mean. WHO ARE THE SODOMITES? The homophobic religious right often refers to homosexuals as "sodomites" not realizing that the religious right in their ignorant rejection and abuse of GLBT people are the real "sodomites"! (See my discussion of Genesis 19:5 above and in my book. No word for "sodomite" exists in biblical Hebrew. The word "sodomite" is a homophobic invention. See book below.) Name-calling is a favorite pastime of religious fanatics. It creates an unreasoning emotional response in their submissive hearers. We are not dealing with logical objective reasonable people in our battle for acceptance and understanding as GLBT people. We are wrestling with religious "principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world." Religion has darkened the minds of millions of people to the real truth of God's love and acceptance of all people as having equal value before God. Abusive churches have become blind to the personality and purpose of Jesus of Nazareth. Slick portraits and statues of crucified feeble "Christ's" have obscured the real Jesus and filled the imagination of millions of people with a false image of Jesus that has no social and cultural impact beyond the teachings and demands of oppressive religious institutions. The traditional images of Jesus with a flock of sheep or alone with face upturned to a blazing light or on a cross has created a remoteness that makes it almost impossible for the average person really to identify with the human Jesus of the Gospels. ART AS ENEMY OF THE TRUTH Art often has been our enemy. Literature also in such "masterpieces" as Dante's "Inferno" and "Paradise Lost" and thousands of other flights of imagination have replaced the realism of the Four Gospels with fantasy and speculation that have caught and dominated human imagination far more than the truth for over a thousand years. Current writers and moviemakers have given vivid realistic images of the "end of the world" and the so-called "rapture" so that the unending cacophony of confusion about Jesus is multiplied through the Internet and all other mass media of television and books. We are nowhere close to a resolution of our dilemma of knowing a different Jesus from the Jesus of traditional religion that is entrenched in the minds and hearts of millions of people in conflict with the real Jesus of the Gospels. Fantasy and speculations have replaced the realism of the Four Gospels. Artistic pictures of Jesus are far more vivid in the minds of most people than the simple human portrait of Jesus in the Four Gospels, where Jesus is most often pictured sitting with the outcasts and eating with the unclean people of his community. Jesus accepted and welcomed the people that everybody else, including religion, rejected and despised. The suffering of Jesus is magnified in art at the expense of his realistic humanity and identification with average people. To identify with the pitiful image of the suffering Jesus is to abandon the realism of living life to the fullest as a beloved child of God in the image of God, which is what most of the Gospel story is really about. The "pitiful Jesus" has been magnified in art beyond the evidence to induce emotional self-rejection and to arouse remorse instead of discipleship, sadness instead of joy. "Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" is an unfortunate misrepresentation of the true Jesus, who enjoyed life with his friends so much that his enemies accused him of being party boy and a heavy drinker! Jesus welcomed and "ate with sinners" instead of condemning and rejecting them. THE IDEAL OF JESUS The call of Jesus is not to deny your real self and reject who you really are. It is the same call that Jesus followed by accepting himself as God had made him and accomplishing what he alone could do. You also have a mission in life that fits you. It may not fit anybody else who ever lived. But it fits you. Why is that so difficult to grasp? Is it because religion itself has taught you to reject yourself and deny your true nature and reason for being? Religion has betrayed you, and religion also has betrayed Jesus. How can you recover the "real Jesus" in your spiritual path of faith? How can you really let go and move on? Try being logical and realistic. What kind of God would create you as a gay or lesbian person and then condemn you to eternal fires of hell because of how God had made you? That kind of thinking is totally destructive and is not logical or realistic. Whenever religion condemns and rejects people because of how God made them, it is obviously false and out of touch with reality. Yet millions still believe in it! ESCAPE INTO REALITY Leaving the comfortable fold of traditional abusive religion is often the hardest decision a person has to make. It is far more difficult than joining the church in the first place. Leaving the fold invites rejection, condemnation, judgment and self-blame and guilt. It is not an easy path out of delusion into the truth. Yet your health and wholeness as a person depend upon your escape from abusive religion. I receive e-mail every day from people who have made the leap of faith out of destructive religion into the reality of God's love. I know that you can do this too, and you can help others to do the same. WHO ARE THE ANGELS? In the Sodom story in Genesis 19, the angels were the messengers from God who represented the truth of God's love and protection for Lot and his family. The angels were like GLBT people, who are different from others and who are seen as aliens and strangers and therefore a threat to those who are misinformed and who do not really recognize what God is doing. The people of Sodom were the "sodomites" who wanted to expose, demean, humiliate and destroy the angels, whom they did not understand and who were strange and different. Isn't it incredible that the biblical literalists have gotten the terms backwards! They have called people who like the angels are different and strangers, such as Gay and Lesbian people, the "sodomites" when actually the sodomites are the rigid legalists who judge and condemn people they don't understand and who seem to threaten them and who must be attacked and destroyed! Homophobic legalists have distorted and misrepresented the Bible to create a "power tool," a religious chainsaw, to massacre LGBT people. We have to challenge and neutralize these deadly weapons being used against us even by our own families and all too often used by us against ourselves and against each other. Biblical literalism always betrays those who try to force their ignorance on others in the name of God. Run! Don't walk, to the nearest exit and escape! WHO IS JESUS? Jesus is the one person who rises above all of the misinformation and deceit about the value of each individual to God. Jesus has already accepted you and loved you and done for you everything that Jesus has done for all people. Everything that Jesus did was done for the entire human race, and that includes you and me! "Whosoever" is not a mistake or a misprint. It is the basic principle of God's way of dealing with humans, who are all represented in Jesus. Jesus said, "Because I live, you shall live also." God's acceptance and approval of Jesus is God's acceptance and approval of you. Enjoy it! Why can't religion just leave us alone and let us enjoy being God's children created in the image of God? Money? Political power? Is that what is really at stake? Is the long torturous history of abusive religion just one extended selfish mistake for the purpose of giving power to people over other people in the name of some god? Probably. Being logical, realistic, objective and practical comes at a high cost. You have to let go of illusions, fantasies, imaginations and inconsistencies, which seem to be what life is about for many religionists. You have to grow up into the maturity of Jesus and learn to love yourself and others in the Spirit of Jesus. You really do have to let go and move on. Can you? Are you willing to let go and move on? Or do you have such a sick case of religion that you enjoy hating yourself and others? Maybe you have to wake up before you can let go and move on! There goes the alarm clock. Time to wake up! See "The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology" by Mark D. Jordan:The University of Chicago Press, 1997.
In Lebanon men are legally allowed to have sex with animals so long as the animals are female. It is illegal to have sex with a male animal.