John McNeill: Homophobic Abuse and Distortion of Scripture

Guestpost:

Gay theologian, psychotherapist and former Jesuit, Dr Fr John McNeill has sent me this commentary on Renato Ling’s interpretation of Leviticus 18:22:

John McNeill

The recent effort of evangelical pastor Martin Ssempa under the tutelage of American Evangelicals to pass a “kill the gays” bill in the Uganda parliament and the extensive persecution of GLBT people throughout eastern Africa is based primarily on a questionable interpretation of a passage in Leviticus 18: 22.

The words of the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of the Vatican Council II deal with the interpretation of Sacred Scripture:

“Since God speaks in Sacred Scripture through men in a human fashion, the interpreter of sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by means of their words”

This cautious investigation of the intention of the human author is especially called for in dealing with the biblical passages which traditionally been accepted as dealing with homosexual activity. We are keenly aware that back in the days of slavery, slave owners regularly quoted passages from scripture to justify keeping slaves as God’s will. There is a real possibility that the homophobia of the translators and their culture has led to a distortion of the meaning of scripture.

The best way to arrive at an understanding of what the author means by this verse is to read it within the overall context of Leviticus. “Just as the overall aim of Leviticus is to ban incestuous heterosexual practices. Lev. 18.22 may well be there to ensure that homosexual incest is added to the list of proscriptions

This understanding of Leviticus frees us from making the assertion that God wills the death or imprisonment of all those humans that God created gay.

John McNeill’s Books:


John McNeill’s Books:

The Church and the Homosexual

Freedom, Glorious Freedom

Both Feet Firmly Planted in mid-Air

Taking a Chance on God

Sex as God Intended

John McNeill’s Websites:

johnmcneill.com

mauriceblondel.com


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2 Responses to “John McNeill: Homophobic Abuse and Distortion of Scripture”

  1. Juston Thouron Says:

    Correction: His name is Martin Ssempa (not Scampa)

    http://www.martinssempa.com/

    • Terence@queerchurch Says:

      Thanks, Juston. (The correction to the text has now been made.)


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