Written By Thomas Perez. December 24, 2013 at 2:16AM. Copyright 2013.
Phil Robertson, known for his homophobic views, was once asked a question in 2013 concerning homosexuality and the LGBTQ community in general. His answer was that they were sinners and that the act itself was sinful. An act against nature and God. Comments in reference to the comment he made on social media swung in both directions. Some were in agreement with what he said and some were against it. But one particular comment stuck out to me like a sore thumb. The commentator said; “sin does not exist, and has not existed for 2,000 years or so.” Now before we jump on the band wagon, allow me to say that I certainly understand the theological reasons behind this thought. But at the same time I must pose a series of questions; the first being “What is considered sin in the Scriptures?”
Sin is defined as an act – whether you believe in its existence or not – it is still defined as an act. “What is an act?” An act is something that we do. Acts of righteousness (loving your neighbor, charity, providing for the poor, volunteering, caring for the elderly, etc). Acts of murder, thievery, pedophilia, obstruction of justice, slander, gossip, lying, cheating, are all considered to be “naughty acts.” In fact they are bad – evil. Yet, I find it rather odd that folks, especially Universalist’s, are quick to condemn the above naughty things, but are slow to include what is also included in that very same list; sometimes in the very same chapters and verses of our Bibles: Homosexuality, bi-sexuality and lesbianism, etc.
But is the act in and of itself really sinful and/or evil? This is a loaded question. A question that must be thoroughly examined before we even attempt to answer it.
The only thing I can say to this is that while the above evils and naughty things do hurt others, the LGBTQ community, and their actions, hurt no one. But it can hurt the individual engaged in certain sexual activities. Anal sex can lead to many diseases, so can swallowing semen; whether it is from a penis or a vagina. They run the risk of hurting themselves in the long run. However, I must also include the heterosexual – they too, practice these things (some do anyway). If one prefers to practice these things, it should be done in complete faithfulness to the partner/spouse. We have enough diseases to deal with already, why add coal to the fire?
If the practice of these things are truly done within the confines of a monogamous relationship, then are those within the confines of the LGBTQ community naughty and evil when they practice monogamy? The answer to that question is “No.” If it is love, then I would have to go out on the limb and say; it is better to experience a perception of love than not to experience it at all. Even straight folks don’t have the final say on conceptualized love, otherwise there wouldn’t be such a high divorce rate among them. Let God judge the heart of the love found in all straight, gay, bi, lesbian, queer and transgender individuals. However, the Scriptures says what it says. We can put a spin on various Biblical verses that speak against the LGBTQ community if we like, but the activity is still included with the list of “naughty” things and evil acts found within many Biblical citations. Or can it be that some of these acts are to be merely seen from an historical perspective?
Rape, murder and child killings are all considered evil, wrong and bad. These acts are condemned in Scripture, and in any civilized society in general. But at the same time, even the Bible depicts genocide. Genocide of men, women and children. In some cases the women were taken as concubines, and the children as workers. Moreover, they (the Israelites) were told to do these things by the very same God who gave Humanity the decalogue. However, a closer examination into this scenario will reveal the theology of Yahwism: The Israeli god (small “g” intended), as opposed to our Father in Heaven.
The Bible is full of indiscretions, ethnic struggles and cultural structures. But it is a structure pertaining to one particular culture of people: The Israelites. There are many other cultures just as well, all with their own set standard of rights, wrongs, religious convictions and persuasions. The Chinese, Indian and Caucasian cultures all have their own applied standard of religious or non-religious sexual upbringings.
Many religious Universalists scream bloody murder when a Fundamentalist errors when declaring that God will burn the LGBTQ community in the “Lake of Fire” forever. They often cite the Fundamentalist as; “Not keeping things in its context!” “They are not looking at it from its historical relevance!” But the soft hearted Universalist does the same thing in regards to the LGBTQ community too. When trying to explain Biblical passages of Scripture that condemn the LGBTQ community in general Universalists often cite; “We must look at it from its historical context!” Well, that’s just my point. The LGBTQ community is not of the historic majority in reference to morality. Although it goes way back, it was never considered the majority favored lifestyle. Therefore, perhaps warranting the condemnation in Scripture.
But someone will cite; “But what of the animal kingdom?” “Some species have been known to practice homosexual acts and tendencies.” “And what of genetics?” Certainly they have an historic majority.” “Moreover, many (humans) claim that they were born that way.” “Therefore, the Bible should not condemn it.”
Yes, you are correct. There are about 1,500 species who practice homosexual activities and actually change sexual preferences. This includes Sheep and even Dolphins (a mammal known for its intelligence). Odd that the sheep was a constant sacrifice upon the alter of Yahweh. Allegorically speaking, one can view Jesus as the Lamb of God and we His sheep (of which we are so affectionately called). Perhaps God is trying to tell us something with regard to our sexual preferences? But I suppose this particular case is demonstrating the dumbness of humanity; as in “all we like sheep have gone astray.”
According to worldhistory.net “Scientists who study animal life are called zoologists. They have recorded 20,000 species of fish, 6,000 species of reptiles, 9,000 birds, 1,000 amphibians, and 15,000 species of mammals. And, although there are a million named species of insects, scientists estimate that there could be another million waiting to be discovered and named!” The BBC puts it at 8.7 million species. Other sources vary. With all those numbers and estimates in the animal kingdom there could be many unknown species today performing the acts of homosexuality and gender changes. https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/04/12/trans-gender-bending-animals-change-sex/
If this is true, and I believe it is; well, you do the math. But again, even in the animal kingdom, the majority is one of male to female – female to male; the mating process. “
Homosexual behavior occurs in more than 450 different kinds of animals worldwide, and is found in every major geographic region and every major animal group.”
Bagemihl B (1999). Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity (Stone Wall Inn ed.). New York City: St. Martin’s Press.
It has been scientifically proven that we are all born with male and female hormones inbuilt at the moment of conception. During the growth of the fetus, hormones are increased to build on the gender it has become. But sometimes this process is flawed and the opposite hormone takes precedence for the gender being created. Hence, the phrase; “I was born gay.” Abnormalities in sexual development happen in the womb every day. There are numerous studies that address human ambiguity at birth, masculinized female infants, abnormal sexual development, sexual dimorphism, hermaphroditism and infants that cannot be identified at birth as male or female.
This does not make the person strange, odd or sinful; anymore than an individual born without legs, arms and so forth does.
The LGBTQ individual may be the least pronounced of those irregularities and no one should be demonized for the way they were born – if that is the case. I cite, “If that is the case” because it is still unfortunately debated today. But in my opinion, I believe it can be inherited, or simply genetically given. Some may disagree with me on this; that is fine. Everyone is entitled to their own conscience.
Perhaps this is what the Bible means by the phrase “Your sins will be passed on, etc.” That phrase sounds a lot like inheritance to me. That is how they saw it historically and how some still see it in its historical context today. Perhaps the passage should be rendered “your genetics will be passsed on.” Perhaps, for those geared toward Eastern beliefs and concepts, the act of reincarnation may be at play here. In either case, the genetics I speak of is called, “Non-Gender Child Conformity.” See the following video.
Non-gender conformity children usually grow up identifying themselves with the LGBTQ community. As far as being genetically born that way, I can cite; God is neither male nor female. This appears to be evident in some created species as well, as in the animal kingdom, but again; it is not the majority. For it is said that God created them “male and female created He them.” It is the majority. But again, like in the animal kingdom there are exceptions – thousands of them. Are they all condemned to the firey pits of Hell? I think not.
In reference to other causes, sometimes non-gender conformity is attributed to an individuals social upbringing. Perhaps the imbalance of hormones are activated by what psychiatrists call “Triggers.” That porno magazine, that porno tape/DVD, or that neighbor next door. All of these things can ignite hidden triggers. Even movies and television can play a role in childhood development. This may even, to a certain degree, affect adults who are, by nature, morally upright. The more you dabble, the more you run the risk of conformity behavior. The best thing to do in these situations is to simply avoid them.
And while the topics mentioned above remain a hot debate among the LGBTQ community, conservative individuals and evangelical circles, it would appear that the majority is still winning. But who is creating the rules for the majority: God? Who are the referees anyway? Are they of the former ‘Moral Majority Movement’ of the 1980’s? Are they the Apostles? Of course those who would opt to believe the Scriptures unconditionally will cry aloud; “Yes!” “As believers who obtained truth, we must defend truth and Holy Writ!” But what is truth? (See my article “Truth”). We can discuss morality and ethics all day, but it will get us no where. I can quote all the Scriptures in the world and it still wouldn’t end the debate. History tells us this. But we can discuss another concept – the concept of various sociological structures, or the “referees” if you will.
Sociological structure is the distinctive, stable arrangement of institutions whereby human beings in a society interact and live together. Social structure is often treated together with the concept of social change, which deals with the forces that change the social structure and the organization of society. There are many factors here. I see structure – as in the family unit, the assurance of reproduction (be it in or out of a family unit). But I also see the concept of potential change, “social change,” – it stems from the question “why.” Why is slavery wrong? Why is discrimination against the female gender wrong, etc?
When people begin to ask questions, it usually comes with a challenge. A challenge that will either fail or succeed. Blacks are no longer slaves, they now have the right to vote and are considered equals. Woman also have the right to vote and are considered equals. This is what happen when individuals direct their sociological inquiries to theory. Theory within the social structure is known as “sociological theory.” Sociological theory explains why society behaves the way it does with relation to government, law, education, religion, etc. This relation is known as the “status quo.”
But we have seen the status quo challenged quite successfully – gender equality, racial equity, and religious equality (found within a democracy) all succeeded. The latest challenge facing the structural established order and status quo is the plight of sexual equality. While sexual discrimination is against the law, the LGBTQ community still feels discriminated against. The discrimination is due to that “majority” spoken of earlier. In the 1960’s Structural Functionalism was quite popular and often used in research. However, we have come a long way with regard to equality.
But it appears that the status quo has failed us (the Korean War, the Vietnam War – which gave birth to various hippie movements, drug use, the sexual revolution and pornography, etc). The failed status quo has now come to our finger tips, via the internet and the keyboard. One can easily push a button and get hard core porn through their cable internet provider. One can easily Google any sexual oriented word and click images – and “bingo,” you got porn on the internet! But of course anyone with a measure of intelligence or morality can simply block it. Moreover, they can also simply block any spammer or virus affecting their computer with such material.
The Social Change
In the West there have been, in the last 300 years, a set of huge changes in all aspects of Human life; which have reverberations in cosmology, epistemology, the paradigms and so forth; affecting not just society, but religious point of views as well. Such changes included:
The Scientific Revolution. Although this happened earlier as seen in the eastern cultures, it nevertheless; through western influence, greatly improved life.
Rationalism (Rationality). An interlinking between the west and the new world began to take shape, a new kind of rationalism (rationality) was thus conceived. When we think of the word ‘rationalism’, we think of Descartes, Newton, and others.
Liberty: The liberty of the individual. Some people date it to the English Civil War, some to the French Revolution, or to the Revolution of England in 1688, which led to a new political world; which is summarized in the word ‘liberty.’ The liberty of the individual!
The Industrial Revolution. From about 1750 and onward, a sudden tremendous burst in the ways of producing wealth on this planet was generated and discovered. Hence, the Industrial Revolution was born.
But for our intent and purposes concerning this article; we are concerned with Liberty. The liberty of the individual. But just how far can freedom and liberty demonstrate her strength?
In his book, De la démocratie en Amérique – aka ‘The Democracy of America’ Tocqueville speculates on the future of democracy in the United States, discussing possible threats to democracy and possible dangers of democracy. In his belief, Tocqueville concluded that democracy has a tendency to degenerate into “soft despotism” as well as the risk of developing a tyranny of the majority. Tocqueville suggested that democracy was capable of breeding its own form of despotism, albeit one without the edges of Jacobin or Bonapartist dictatorship with which Europeans were all too familiar. The book spoke of “an immense protective power” which took all responsibility for everyone’s happiness – just so long as this power remained “the sole agent and judge of it.” This power, Tocqueville wrote, would “resemble parental authority” but would try to keep people “in perpetual childhood” by relieving people “from all the trouble of thinking and all the cares of living.”
In other words, “big brother would eventually succumb to the cries of equality.” Equality for the LGBTQ community. And in the meantime big brother would continue to pacify and satisfy – as long as they remain conformed to what they consider the structured normality. But, there’s the strength of the LGBTQ individual. He or she does not conform to the status quo. But eventually when they win (and I believe they will) they will conform to a new paradigm.
However, when that equality or paradigm fringes or interferes with my own individual right to demonstrate my religious beliefs, be it Jewish, Christian, Hindu or Muslim; then I will take offense. In other words, do not push your agenda or convictions on me like all far left Liberals want to do. Fortunately, not all members of the LGBTQ community are gung-ho far left Liberals.
Phil Robertson was asked a question – he answered it according to his conscience. Since when did the conscience become a thing to be bargained for, or a thing to be restricted to the social changes taking place today? Since when did the conscience become bound to what is considered “politically correct?” I suppose that many, if faced with a death situation concerning their Christianity, saw a way out of impending death through the mechanism of “political correctness” they would in all likelihood opt to compromise. All I can say to that can be summed up in one word, “cowards.”
I firmly believe in the separation of church and state. I do not appreciate it when the church, or any other religious body for that matter, decides the dictates of society. So yes, I believe in the individual rights of the LGBTQ community. But in reference to religious matters, I would opt to say that the apparent condemnation of the LGBTQ community can be found in Scripture with what is found in the list of naughty things. But it is no different to me when compared to murder, thievery, adultery, fornication or pedophilia, etc. Since when did one so-call sin out weigh another? But thanks to the erroneous teachings of Catholicism (as in venial and carnal sins), it has. But again, even in this, many fail to see the historical perspective.
Let liberty be done at the voters poll. Share your message and opinion, but share it with understanding and love. And to the LGBTQ community – I say, do not give in to the same rhetoric given unto you. Speak your peace, go to the polls, demonstrate a Christ like love in all monogamous relationships.
I am sorry my good brothers and sisters in Christ, I simply can not deny the fact of real love potentially existing between members of the same sex – as I have seen in documentaries – even existing to the point of departure – ending when the great equalizer called death separated the couple. But I can deny, whether straight or gay, the act of lust. Even Solomon (son of David), who wrote most of the Proverbs and the Book of Ecclesiastes, in all his glory had several wives, but it was arranged through several marriages. Today that activity is called polygamy. We consider polygamy to be sinful and evil – and in most states it is unlawful. The difference between Solomon and David (his father) was the fact that David wasn’t married to Bathsheba. – it was basically good old fashioned lust and adultery – which led to David’s down fall and David’s murder of Bathsheba’s husband and the death of his (David’s) first child. Yet he wrote many of the Psalms, and he is referred to as a man after God’s own heart!
So, to actually state that “sin is no longer a reality” is an error. This line of reasoning is akin to claiming that murder, thievery, pedophilia, obstruction, cheating, slander, gossip, lying, and so forth, are nothing but conceptualized thoughts perceived to be bad, sinful, evil and naughty but in actuality they are not. Nothing can be further from the truth. They are considered acts. And certain acts are considered sinful and/or against the law. And to not put the LGBTQ community in that light is to cheat them of their conformity to the status quo. Moreover, many would quote I Cor 6:9-11 in support of their position concerning the acts of unrighteousness mentioned there. But we also read in the next verse (Vs. 12) that “all things are lawful, but not expedient.” Many would often forget to quote verse 12. The word “expedient” means – not something to be gained for self gratification. Paul is discussing issues of morality in chapter 6 of First Corinthians. If all things are lawful, then by the same token can thievery be lawful? The answer to that question is, “Yes.”
It may be justifiable in some situations. It may also be possible for two different moral responsibilities to contradict one another warranting a judgment call based upon priority. Social psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg often used stories to investigate the development of moral reasoning in people. He defined ‘Three Conventional Moralities.’ For example, we might say, “I won’t have sex before marriage because the church says it’s bad.” Or, “I never cheat on my taxes because in our family we never lie about anything, even taxes.” The people Kohlberg interviewed responded with replies such as “A person would be justified in stealing a drug because it is the job of a husband to take care of his wife.” Or, “a person should not steal the drug because it is against the law.” They were thinking in terms of Conventional Morality. Upholding the law, simply because it is the law. It is typical of someone with a Conventional Morality mind set.
Pre-conventional Morality is thinking that hasn’t reached the Conventional stage yet. Children under the age of ten will typically answer the Heinz questions from this level of moral development. “A person should steal the drug because he likes his wife and wants to have her around.” Or, “A person should not steal the drug because if he got caught he could go to jail.”
Post-conventional Morality, and this type of thinking is not so much a function of what others around us believe to be correct, but what we have decided is right or wrong. This means that we have an internalized set of moral values that we believe protect the rights of all members of society, and underscore our ability to appreciate such abstract ideas as the sanctity of human life, nonviolence, equality and human dignity. Someone functioning from this level of moral development might say, “a person should steal the drug because the value of human life is more important than the right of property ownership.” This principle applies to lying also. Hence, morality may be subjective in these cases.
Do you believe morality is subjective? In other words, “I” decide what is moral or immoral, there is no universal standard of right or wrong. But if that was the case, then why do we always say to others: “Hey you OUGHT not do that?” Are you not naturally appealing to some universal morality when you say: “Hey, you should not do that.” This also applies to any of the aforementioned vices above; I.e., murder, thievery, pedophilia, obstruction, cheating, slander, gossip, lying, injustice, covetousness, and so forth. If you shout “Hey you shouldn’t do that” then you are declaring, “I wouldn’t want such a vice be done onto me, my wife, children, or my friends.” Therefore, the vices are wrong and improper!
But if you believe morality is subjective, then this article is completely meaningless, since you can decide to make anything right, and anything wrong, and nothing we say, or do, means anything, since you create your own morality. LGBTQ individuals are to be lawful – but not expedient – not something to be gained for self gratification. Remember what was said about the animal kingdom. Furthermore, I believe that the LGBTQ community deserve equal rights. The church should never interfere with social change. So the statement: “Sin does not exist, and has not for 2,000 years or so” – is due to a perception of logic which has no bearings of avarice. Though they would prefer it to sound like it does. Now do you see how absurd a statement like that can be?