When Harry Met Jerry

Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD. (Genesis 13:13)

Why was God so damn primeval back then? His attitude toward Sodom’s GLBT community was positively Old freaking Testament. You’d think that, being Love, he’d have had a little more sensitivity about sexual orientations and alternative lifestyles. But nooo. Our Dude was all fire and brimstone. Our Dude got himself into a big testosterone huff and roasted the cocksuckers. Thanks to divine homophobia, the local GLBT fellowship met a flaming end. The robust citizens of Sodom and nearby Gomorrah tested positive for HIV (Homos In Vicinity) so he simply inoculated the whole damned Lot. Talk about your awkward moment in Biblical history for us folks who prefer our deity a bit more tolerant.

You’d think that the boys of the New Testament would have had a more progressive attitude. You would hope that they would have picked up some cues from Jesus who defied the religious prudes of his day by hanging out with weirdos and wackos of all kinds. Unfortunately for us religious hipsters, the New Testament authors are an undeniable rainbow coalition of sexual rigidity.

The Apostle Paul is the worst of the bunch and poses the biggest problem for those of us who wish to liberate Christianity from its archaic sexual outlook. Paul is an unabashed homocidal freak for whom same-sex trysts are downright “unnatural.” He’s a religious blowhard who holds that those who engage in homosexual acts are point-blank perverts (Romans 1:26-27). But he doesn’t stop here. Paul goes so far as to lump gays and lesbians with the rest of the “wicked” rabble who are excluded from salvation, announcing that neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Whoa. Talk about your Dick (and Jane) fixation. If Paul were around today Howard Schultz wouldn’t let him near a Starbucks. He’d have to drink Folgers in the Westboro Baptist Church basement.

So what are sophisticated, culturally hip Christians supposed to do with such embarrassing Biblical material? Some of us try to reinterpret or recontextualize the more blatant homophobic passages in the Bible in order to render them ignorable—or at least less objectionable. This hasn’t worked out all that well, in my opinion, since the most offensive passages are pretty dang unambiguous. Others of us sheepishly admit that the Bible does indeed include some unenlightened, draconian sexual attitudes, but they assert that, like Darwin’s monkey, we must evolve to survive. If it is to remain viable, they say, Christianity must keep in step with the times. Besides, nearly everybody these days, religious or not, believes that a religion which discriminates about anything deserves extinction.

Still, it looks like the Good Book and its barbarous defenders aren’t going to go down easy. They may be a bit wobbly, but they appear to have some desperate wind left before they finally—and maybe inevitably—give up the Ghost.

The good news for religious hipsters is that the Bible has become virtually irrelevant to Christian faith and practice. These days not many self-proclaimed Christians actually know—or care—what the Bible says about anything, let alone about same-sex relationships or marriage equality. This should be encouraging to those who find the Bible quaint, medieval, or just plain crap. If trends continue, the church may one day jettison the Bible altogether and welcome everybody into heaven without regard to sexual preference, marital status, moral inclination, or taste in underwear. Despite the frothing rants of those rabid Bible-thumpers, that old-time religion just may be going the way of the dodo bird.

The really cool thing is that eventually the Christian consortium may have to excise from the Bible all sin-mongering of any flavor. Imagine—it’s easy if you try—no more trespasses, nothing to be forgiven for, nothing left we need to be saved from! Now that’s a Christianity we can all live with. Maybe Jesus could then pass off that old Cross-dressing schtick to drag queens who could actually pull it off. Maybe he could finally join the party.

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6 Responses

  1. You gotta stop holding back Fred.
    And I’m probably doomed because I laughed. Good point though.

  2. Thank you so much! This is great.

  3. Huzzah!

  4. Of course, the church has always ignored that part about the greedy and the slanderers.

  5. Fred, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah isn’t about homosexuality, although its been interpreted that way, its certainly easy to understand why. Here’s a link to an article written by a colleague that you might find interesting. He deals with the subject in greater depth. http://www.weeklysouthernarts.com/gay-marriage.html

  6. One word——WOW

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