“Focus on Homosexuality”

Lefty pinko atheist commies like me usually criticize the religious right for obsessing over homosexuality while ignoring everything else in their so-called “good book”.  And, what do you know, CNN has seen fit to publish an op-ed in which Albert Mohler, a bobble-head from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to make excuses for Typical Christian Hypocrisy. Joy. There’s a lot of bullshit in it, of course, but the title is unintentionally revealing:

My Take: The Bible condemns a lot, but here’s why we focus on homosexuality

“Focus on homosexuality.” I love it. I can almost hear the other Christians out their shouting, “Hey! You said ‘homosexuality’ where you should have said ‘family’! You gave away the game, you stupid son of a bitch!”

It’s rare for fundamentalists to just come out of the closet and admit that they’ve got TEH GAY squarely in their sights most of the time. That they spend more hours than even most gay people imagining big, sweaty men bangin’ each other from behind, or beautiful young ladies with their fists up each others’ twats. That the filthy details of other people’s private lives are their focus. Because, you see, the Ruler of the Entire Universe is deeply concerned with proper dick and twat utilization.

Mohler starts out by lobbing softballs:

Are conservative Christians hypocritical and selective when it comes to the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality?

Fuck, that’s an easy one: Yes. Are we done now?

With all that the Bible condemns, why the focus on gay sex and same-sex marriage?

A better question would be, “Why consult a 2,000 year old book of fairy tales at all when trying to solve modern, real world issues?” Seriously, it’s hard to find the term “gay marriage” anywhere without finding terms like “Bible” or “Christian” or “religious” nearby. It poisons the whole discussion. The religion words are like little stalkers, telling themselves that “Gay Marriage” really loves them and wants to be with them and that “Bible” and “Gay Marriage” belong together in every paragraph. Actually “Gay Marriage” thinks “Bible” is creepy, and should just mind his own god damn business and leave her (or him, as the case may be) alone.

“Gay Marriage” changes his phone number, moves to a new neighborhood, deletes his Facebook account, but it doesn’t matter. “Bible” keeps showing up and insisting they belong together. “Gay Marriage” suggests maybe “Bible” should see other people more like him, like “Quran”, but “Bible” insists they have nothing in common. Besides, all “Bible” ever does is tell “Gay Marriage” to cut off that “Gay” pony tail.

Given the heated nature of our current debates, it’s a question conservative Christians have learned to expect. “Look,” we are told, “the Bible condemns eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics and any number of other things. Why do you ignore those things and insist that the Bible must be obeyed when it comes to sex?”

Before we even get to that, you need to explain to me why the Bible should be obeyed when it comes to anything at all.

First, the question can be asked to suggest that the Bible’s clear condemnation of sexual sins can simply be set aside. The other way of posing the question represents a genuine attempt to understand how the Bible is to be rightly applied to life today.

In truth, those asking the question the first way really don’t want an answer.

No, we just know you’re just gonna bullshit around rather than give an answer. Commence bullshitting in 3…2…1…

An honest consideration of the Bible reveals that most of the biblical laws people point to in asking this question, such as laws against eating shellfish or wearing mixed fabrics, are part of the holiness code assigned to Israel in the Old Testament. That code was to set Israel, God’s covenant people, apart from all other nations on everything from morality to diet.

As the Book of Acts makes clear, Christians are not obligated to follow this holiness code. This is made clear in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:15. Peter is told, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

In other words, there is no kosher code for Christians. Christians are not concerned with eating kosher foods and avoiding all others. That part of the law is no longer binding, and Christians can enjoy shrimp and pork with no injury to conscience.

Since when aren’t arbitrary restrictions on sexual behaviors also part of ritual cleanliness and holiness codes? This makes no sense. So “Don’t wear polyester” is just mere “holiness code”, but “No dicks in the cornhole” is an eternal truth? They both sound like equally trivial and intrusive commands from a petty dictator to me.

The Bible’s commands on sexual behavior, on the other hand, are continued in the New Testament. When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible’s teaching is consistent, pervasive, uniform and set within a larger context of law and Gospel.

I’ve already talked about how the supposed condemnations of homosexuality in the New Testament rest on some pretty dubious translation, so I won’t rehash. Although I do get a kick out of the suggestion that anything in the Bible is “consistent, pervasive, [and] uniform.” Probably the only thing about the Bible that can be described that way is its noxious effect on our culture.

Some people then ask, “What about slavery and polygamy?” In the first place, the New Testament never commands slavery, and it prizes freedom and human dignity.

Bullshit. Bullshit bullshit bullshit. Where’s the “human dignity” in these New Testament passages:

Ephesians 6:5-6 — Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

Colossians 3:22 — Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

1 Timothy 6:1-2 — Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed.  If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful.  You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts.  Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.  1 Timothy 6:1-2

No one who “prizes freedom” would tell slaves to obey their masters with religious fervor in everything they ask. These verses tell slaves to submit and remain enslaved. (Note that it doesn’t even make an exception for masters who beat or rape them.) These verses are the voice of the patriarchal overlords using religious gullibility to keep the plebes down.

And also, note that Mohler specifies that the New Testament doesn’t command slavery. He has to do this because the Old Testament clearly does in many places. For instance:

Leviticus 25:44-46 — However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.  You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land.  You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance.  You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.

I’m sorry, but anyone who denies that the Bible is a pro-slavery document is lying, deluded and/or stupid.

The Old Testament did allow for polygamy, though it normalizes heterosexual monogamy. In the New Testament, Jesus made clear that marriage was always meant to be one man and one woman.

“Have you not read that He who created them made them male and female?” Jesus asked in Matthew. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” For this reason, Christians have opposed polygamy on biblical grounds.

Nowhere in that verse does it limit the man to just one wife. Nowhere does it prohibit himself to becoming one flesh with multiple women. The notion of “opposing polygamy on biblical grounds” remains laughable.

Why are Christians so concerned with homosexuality?

Because they’re sanctimonious busybodies who want to lord their personal views over everyone else?

In the first place, that question is answered by the simple fact that it is the most pressing moral question of our times.

This one sentence is a wide, gaping glory hole into the right wing bigot’s mindset. Ask a sensible person what the most pressing moral question of our time is, and you’ll probably get answers like war, inequality, sexual abuse, child abuse, or something like that. Ask a bigot, and he responds, “Fags.” With all the problems in the world today, our country is bogged down in the ever-pressing Fag question by millions of tiny minds attached to tinier dicks who can’t mind their own fucking business.

Christians must be concerned about adultery, pornography, injustice, dishonesty and everything the Bible names as sin. But when my phone rings with a call from a reporter these days, the question I am asked is never adultery or pornography. It is about homosexuality.

Yeah, you see, here’s the thing. THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN TO OTHER PEOPLE. Do you think every public figure gets “So, how do you feel about buttsex?” as their lead in question? People ask you this because you won’t shut up about it. If you’d focus on something else, so would they.

The situation here is so comical it’s hard to believe it’s real. It’s like if someone devoted his entire life to running through the streets flinging poo in the air. And since everyone asks him about poo-flinging all the time, he concludes that this must be what everyone is talking about and it’s the most important topic in the universe. So he demands that all non-poo-flingers must become poo-flingers or else society will collapse.

Christians who are seriously committed to the authority of the Bible have no choice but to affirm all that the Bible teaches, including its condemnation of homosexuality.

Well, since the Bible clearly says to kill gay people, will you be doing that? If not, then we’re back to that whole cherry-picking thing that your article was supposed to be addressing.

At the same time, our confidence is that God condemns those things that will bring his human creatures harm and commands those things that will lead to true human happiness and flourishing.

The Bible has a rather, shall I say, queer viewpoint on topics like human dignity and happiness. But we all know Mohler and all the other bigots on the far right don’t give a fuck about whether other people are happy and flourishing. As long as they’re not sucking dick while reading the Quran, they can fucking starve for all the Religious Right cares.

The church failed miserably in the face of the challenge of divorce. This requires an honest admission and strong corrective.

Somehow I doubt that honest admissions and strong correctives of any sort will be forthcoming.

At the same time, this painful failure must remind us that we must not fail to answer rightly when asked what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Love requires us to tell the truth.

Translation: “We suck at divorce, so let’s pick on some fags.”

Well, I’ve gotten to the end of the op-ed without Mohler once actually addressing the issue of cherry-picking and hypocrisy. He didn’t address the whole “kill the gays” part of the Bible that he and all the other Christians ignore. He didn’t address all the things in the New Testament that Christians ignore, such as that whole “sell everything you have and give the money to the poor” schtick. He never addressed the fact that Jesus, the perforated zombie man-god they supposedly follow, never said a single word about gays, but was constantly condemning those who amass riches while the poor live in squalor (apparently they had Republicans back then, too. I wonder how the rich men that Jesus condemned felt about gays…). He didn’t address the fact that Christians ignore MOST of what’s in the Bible, in lieu of just shouting at people who have different lifestyles.

People have been making these objections for years with no response. In other words, he reads his critics like he reads his Bible. Barely at all, and only paying attention to the convenient parts.

 

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