THE JOY OF SCRIPTURE
My own interpretation of Scripture is how extraordinarily valuable it is to us as LGBT Christians. The Gospels in particular, but also much of the rest, are rich in reassurances of God’s unbounding, unconditional love, and the importance to us all of love for God, for our neighbour, and ntot forgetting love for ourselves. The natural corollary of this is that the Christian message above all is one of redemption and inclusion, recognising neither male nor female, Jew nor Gentile, neither rich nor poor – and neither gay nor straight.
Against this, Jesus’s own disdain for Scribes and Pharisees, who put scrupulous and literal adherence to every detail of the law above love, is recounted in numerous parables.
LGBT SUPPORTIVE THEMES
The second feature that strikes me as relevant to us as LGBT men and women is how very little scripture has to say about same sex love. In the entire bible, there are only a handful of verses (and none at all in the Gospels) which come close to touching on the subject – this in spite of the cultural conditions pertaining in the Mediterranean world under Hellenisitc infuence and Roman military occupation, a world in which all manner of sexual practices, most specifically including sex between men was widespread. the only conclusion must be that to Jesus Christ, and to the writers of scripture, loving same sex relationships were of only incidental interest. Indeed, one can easily make an argument that the Gospels in particular lend themselves to a queer, specifically gay-frienfly reading. (see “The Gospels’ Queer Values)”
Numerous writers have commented also on LGBT supportive themes elsewhere in Scripture. In the Old Testament, there are also the relationships between David and Johnathan and between Ruth and Naomi, as well as the Sog of Songs, which was clearly written as a homoerotic love poem, but has been bowdlerised to eliminate the obvious. In the well-known story of Daniel and his companions, it should be noted that the reason they were taken in captivity to babylon appears to ahve been to serve as eunuchs for sexual use.
For a discussion on Daniel and his companions as eunuchs, see the Calendar of Gay & Lesbian Saints in the LGBT catholic Handbook, and click on the links for Daniel, and for his companions.
For an extended discussion of the Song of Songs, see a valuable review by Jim Kepner of Dr. Paul R. Johnson’s (regrettably out-of-print) book, “The Song of Songs, A Gay Love Poem” (Fidelity Press, 1995). The book may be no longer available, but the review may be read in the Wild Reed’s invaluable archives
For David and Johnathan, see the “Johnathan Loved David: Homosexuality in Biblical Times” by Thomas Marland Horner, or back to the “Calendar of LGBT Saints” again.
In spite of this, our opponents continue to to insist, on the flimsy evidence of a handful of clobber texts, that ‘homosexuality’ is somehow a uniquely wicked sin. This unfounded assertion would be ludicrous if it were not so widely held, and so often leads to hatred and violence, which is indeed in total conflict with the Gospel message. So, these texts must be taken seriously.
I do not intend to go into the counter arguments myself- these have been d0ne so well elsewhere. Instead, on the page headed “Countering the Clobber Texts”, I provide web links and book references to some of the many excellent writers who have already done this.