Sunday, May 22, 2005

Slavery and Homosexuality in the Bible

I recently saw a self-described Christian on television asked if she condemned homosexuals. “Well,” she replied, “the Bible is quite clear that homosexuality is immoral.” She obviously felt that the Bible left a Christian no choice on the matter of homosexuality. She was not asked about slavery but I am sure that she also felt there was no question that a Christian would be against slavery. This is curious because although slavery is often mentioned in the Bible (much more often than homosexuality) it is never condemned or considered immoral. In fact, in Paul’s letters Christian slaves are admonished to obey their masters.
I have been reading the book “Bury the Chains” by Adam Hochschild which recounts the anti-slavery movement in Britain and the long campaign to abolish first the slave trade and then slavery in the British Empire. During this political struggle there was no obvious Christian position on slavery – there were Christians on both sides. Those who argued against slavery talked about a Christian understanding of the equality and dignity of all people irregardless of what the Bible had to say about slavery. After 40 years support for their side increased enough to win the political struggle and slavery was abolished. Now the vast majority of Christians take it for granted that a Christian will oppose slavery.
There is now a similar political struggle about homosexual rights. Once again there are Christians on both sides and once again those arguing for homosexual rights talk about the Christian understanding of the equality and dignity of all people irregardless of what the Bible says about homosexuality.
In 40 years will Christians regard the Bible passages condemning homosexuality the way they now interpret Bible passages about slavery, lending money at interest and people with mental illness being possessed by demons?

4 comments:

Connie Barrett said...

And don't forget women in the bible! Well said!

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tronbonne1718 said...

you need to learn more about the Bible and its translation oddities and errors

"slavery" as is mentioned in the bible is actually referring to servitude like a maid or butler, not slavery as America thinks of it

the Bible does condemn homosexuality because it is not what men and women were intended to do, such feelings did not exist until after the fall of man [when sin entered the world], sorry, but that's what we believe. Call us biggotted or hateful or whatever you want, but we're not all that, we just don't agree with homosexuality. We just don't.

Other rules in the Old Testament like don't eat pork, don't touch a woman on her period, etc are outdated and no longer apply, because the majority of them have to do with diseases that could be transferred in such acts (homosexuality also falls under this category). Remember we didn't have great sanity back in those days, so every precaution had to be taken (there's even passages about what to do when encountering different kinds of mold).

Please try to be more educated and open-minded when talking about the Bible.

Dave Barrett said...

tronbonne1718,
My friend, you are the one who is uneducated about the Bible.
You declare the rules about homosexuality to be still binding but other rules to be outdated on your own say-so. You could just as easily declare the prohibitions against homosexuality to be "outdated" as the rules against eating pork but you choose not to, because of your bigotry against homosexuals.