32623 In the beginning
Christianity from its beginnings has been markedly homophobic. The biblical basis for this homophobia lies in the story of Sodom in Genesis, and in Leviticus. Leviticus 18:22 reads: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination," and Leviticus 20:13 reads: "If a man 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."
This sounds remarkably harsh, yet Leviticus proscribes a great many other things, declares many of them "abominations," and prescribes the death penalty for several other acts, some of which are shockingly picayune. Leviticus 17:10–13 prohibits the eating of blood sausage; Leviticus 11:6–7 prohibits the eating of "unclean" hares and swine. Leviticus 11:10 declares shellfish "abominations"; Leviticus 20:9 prescribes the death penalty for cursing one’s father or mother. Leviticus 20:10 prescribes the death penalty for adultery; Leviticus 20:14 prescribes the penalty of being burnt alive for having a three-way with one's wife and mother-in-law. Leviticus 20:15 declares, "And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
One suspects that American Christians have never attempted to pass laws enforcing Leviticus 20:15, because if passed and enforced such laws would decimate both the rural, Bible-Belt population and the cattle industry. Curiously, given the multitude of prohibitions in Leviticus, the vast majority of present-day Christians have chosen to focus only upon Leviticus 20:13, the verse calling for the death penalty for homosexual acts. And some of them haven’t been averse to acting on it. To be fair, some Christian "reconstructionists" are currently calling for institution of the death penalty for adultery and atheism as well as for "sodomy."
Throughout history, homosexuality has been illegal in Christian lands, and the penalties have been severe. In the Middle Ages, strangled gay men were sometimes placed on the wood piles at the burning of witches (hence the term "faggot"). One member of the British royalty caught having homosexual relations suffered an even more grisly fate: Edward II’s penalty was being held down while a red hot poker was jammed through his rectum and intestines. In more modern times, countless gay people have been jailed for years for the victimless "crime" of having consensual sex. It was only in 2003 that the Supreme Court struck down the felony laws on the books in many American states prescribing lengthy prison terms for consensual "sodomy." And many Christians would love to reinstate those laws.
Thus the current wave of gay bashings and murders of gay people should come as no surprise. Christians can find justification for such violence in the Bible and also in the hate-filled sermons issuing from all too many pulpits in this country. If history is any indication, the homophobic messages in those sermons will continue to be issued for many years to come.
18. The Bible is not a reliable guide to Christ's teachings. Mark, the oldest of
19. The Bible, Christianity's basic text, is riddled with contradictions. There are a number of glaring contradictions in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, and including some within the same books. A few examples:
". . . God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man."
"And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham."
". . . for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever."
"Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever. Thus saith the Lord."
"If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."
(John 5:31, J.C. speaking)
"I am one that bear witness of myself . . ."
(John 8:18, J.C. speaking)
and last but not least:
"I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
"No man hath seen God at any time."
"And I [God] will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts . . ."
Christian apologists typically attempt to explain away such contradictions by claiming that the fault lies in the translation, and that there were no contradictions in the original text. It's difficult to see how this could be so, given how direct many biblical contradictions are; but even if these Christian apologetics held water, it would follow that every part of the Bible should be as suspect as the contradictory sections, thus reinforcing the previous point: that the Bible is not a reliable guide to Christ’s words.
20. Christianity borrowed its central myths and ceremonies from other ancient religions. The ancient world was rife with tales of virgin births, miracle-working saviors, tripartite gods, gods taking human form, gods arising from the dead, heavens and hells, and days of judgment. In addition to the myths, many of the ceremonies of ancient religions also match those of that syncretic latecomer, Christianity. To cite but one example (there are many others), consider Mithraism, a Persian religion predating Christianity by centuries. Mithra, the savior of the Mithraic religion and a god who took human form, was born of a virgin; he belonged to the holy trinity and was a link between heaven and Earth; and he ascended into heaven after his death. His followers believed in heaven and hell, looked forward to a day of judgment, and referred to Mithra as "the Light of the World." They also practiced baptism (for purification purposes) and ritual cannibalism—the eating of bread and the drinking of wine to symbolize the eating and drinking of the god’s body and blood. Given all this, Mithra's birthday should come as no surprise: December 25th; this event was, of course, celebrated by Mithra’s followers at midnight.
Mithraism is but the most striking example of the appearance of these myths and ceremonies prior to the advent of Christianity. They appear—in more scattered form—in many other pre-Christian religions.
Allosexual: A sexual orientation generally characterized by feeling sexual attraction or a desire for partnered sexuality.
BDSM: Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism.
Bear Community: a part of the queer community composed of queer men similar in looks and interests, most of them big, hairy, friendly and affectionate.
Bigender: Having two genders, exhibiting cultural characteristics of masculine and feminine roles
Bisexual: A person whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same and other genders, or towards people regardless of their gender.
Cross Dresser (CD): A word to describe a person who dresses, at least partially, as a member of a gender other than their assigned sex; carries no implications of sexual orientation. Former transvestite
Demisexual: Demisexuality is a sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond.
Femme: Historically used in the lesbian community, it is being increasingly used by other LGBTQIA people to describe gender expressions that reclaim/claim and/or disrupt traditional constructs of femininity.
Gay: A sexual and affectional orientation toward people of the same gender; can be used as an umbrella term for men and women.
Homosexual/Homosexuality: An outdated term to describe a sexual orientation in which a person feels physically and emotionally attracted to people of the same gender.