Monday, March 1, 2010
“For The Bible Tells Me So, Or Does It?”
I’ve written before about the right wing Christian arguments about homosexuality and poked some holes in a few of the scriptures they use based on context and the historical time when they were written. The Christians believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God, can not be added to or subtracted from, and its words are inspired by God. They use verses in the Bible to justify these positions. Let’s start there;
Let’s put aside for a moment the weakness in the argument of a source being used to verifying itself. Let’s also accept that the Bible is God’s truth revealed to people thousands of years ago. This truth would be useless if it were not revealed in a way that people of that time would understand. What if I could jump into a time machine and go back to find the apostle Paul. I bring with me a flat screen TV and give it to Paul as a gift. Paul would have to use his 33 AD mind to try and understand the flat screen TV. He would not be able to grasp its purpose or use it as it is intended to be used. So while the flat screen TV’s intended purpose does not change, its usefulness or uselessness depends on the understanding of the person it is given to. So it would make no sense for God to impart a truth to people who were not yet equipped to understand it. So if we believe that the truth of God doesn’t change than we have to think about our understanding of that truth as it is clear that a human being’s understanding evolves and changes with the times.
Even the right wing Christian knows this, and here is an example. In the New Testament book of Revelation the apostle John sees a vision of large flying locust like creatures with the faces of men. Modern day right wing Christians theorize John was describing helicopters flying in apocalyptic times. His mind, his understanding as a man of the time he lived in, had no understanding of a helicopter or even the word. So he described what he saw in terms of what he was familiar with at the time. Modern day Christians have an evolved understanding and use that to theorize he wrote of helicopters. Very few hold that he actually spoke of large insects with the faces of men. So it is conceded that while God’s word or truth may be unchanging our understanding of it can evolve.
Why than does the right wing refuse to evolve its thinking on homosexuality and the truths God may have actually imparted about this. Why can they not acknowledge Paul’s limited understanding of sexuality at the time of his writings? It is illogical to assume our understanding of truth can change for one part of scripture but not another. In 2010 we have clear scientific proof of homosexuality occurring naturally in both the human race and in the animal kingdom, thus making Gay people a planned part of God’s creation. By not honoring us as such the right wing is actually rejecting a creation of the God they follow. Aggravating their actions, they preach against our equality diminishing our humanity and the image of the God that we also share. In doing so they insight discrimination, hate, and violence.
In writing this I’ve accepted the premise that the Bible is the infallible word of God and the accepted right wing Christian belief that our understanding of scripture can evolve over time. There is no logical reason to not apply the same premise applied to John’s vision, to form a modern day Christian understanding of God’s homosexual creation. If allowed to theorize on the facts, I find their need for an enemy to demonize in order to keep bringing dollars into established religious institutions a possibility for their actions. Their tactics are built on lies about us and are designed to scare and incite our neighbors. Neither of these things seem very Christ like to me. Having ears to hear with but not hearing, having eyes to see with but not seeing is quite different in God’s book than willingly and knowingly spreading hate and lies. Gay people can hear and see that.