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  • Last year, I made a video saying that the print version of The Skeptic's Annotated Bible was my favorite book of the year.

  • Well, that author, Steve Wells, is back with a new book.

  • It's called Strange Flesh,

  • and it's all about what the Bible says about homosexuality.

  • I asked Steve if I could share with all of you the first chapter of his book, which is all about the so-called "Clobber Verses"

  • in the Bible, and he said yes. So a lot of what I'm going to say here,

  • it comes directly from his book.

  • There are only a handful of verses in the Bible

  • that deal directly with homosexuality.

  • Conservative Christians cite them all the time.

  • Liberal Christians, on the other hand, hate these verses.

  • They call them the clobber verses, because these are the verses conservatives always clobber them with.

  • And they want to do anything they can to convince you it's not really as bad as it looks.

  • It sounds like one of those things we should be able to figure out by looking at those verses

  • and figuring out what they actually say,

  • and then see how both sides of that issue approach those verses.

  • So, let's do that.

  • Leviticus: chapter 18, verse 22.

  • "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind:

  • "it is abomination."

  • That's supposed to tell you how bad homosexuality is, right? It's an abomination.

  • But, hold on. Because in the Bible there are lots of things God says is an abomination.

  • So, let's run down just a few of those and see how seriously we take those issues.

  • Leviticus says: "anything without fins or scales in the water is an abomination."

  • So, that's shrimps, snails, squids, and lobsters.

  • Same with things that creep on the ground or crawl on their bellies,

  • like snakes. The book of Deuteronomy says that sacrificing a goat is an abomination.

  • And so is cross-dressing.

  • In the book of Luke, the Bible says: "anything we truly cherish is an abomination."

  • But if everything is an abomination,

  • why are we crying wolf? Why are Christians singling one point out about homosexuality?

  • Well, conservatives will say that the only sexual practice that's called an abomination,

  • is homosexual sex. So that's their reasoning.

  • So, what are some of the ways liberal Christians have responded to that verse?

  • Some have said, "Well, it says nothing about lesbian sex".

  • Or they'll say that the verse before that one involves child sacrifice.

  • So, God's only interested in sexual activity that happens at idolatrous religious ceremonies.

  • So, in other words, gay sex is okay, as long as you're not in a pagan temple.

  • Score!

  • They'll also say that Leviticus is the Old Testament

  • and the New Testament nullifies all those laws.

  • Leviticus: chapter 20, verse 13.

  • And this one's a little long, so I'm going to have to read it.

  • "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman,

  • "both of them have committed an abomination:

  • "they shall surely be put to death;

  • "their blood shall be upon them."

  • This is about as clear as the Bible gets on the issue and everyone just kind of wishes this verse would go away.

  • I mean, even Westboro Baptist Church, and Fred Phelps, and the God Hate Fags family.

  • Even they don't touch this verse.

  • Its meaning is pretty simple and indisputable.

  • God thinks we should kill male homosexuals.

  • Now, even conservative Christians tend to believe that God went a little too far on that one and...

  • So, liberal Christians don't even have a response for it.

  • Because if the conservatives don't take it seriously,

  • they don't need to respond to it.

  • But in general, the best response you'll hear to that verse is, again,

  • "It's the Old Testament, and the New Testament did away with all those laws."

  • Romans: chapter 1, verses 20 through 32.

  • Now, this is the only passage that mentions lesbians,

  • and that's a really long section, so let me just give you some highlights.

  • "God gave them up unto vile affections:

  • "for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

  • "And likewise also the men,

  • "leaving the natural use of the woman,

  • "burned in their lust toward one another."

  • "God gave them over to a reprobate mind."

  • "And they which commit such things, are worthy of death."

  • Now, in the context of that passage,

  • God actually makes men and women homosexuals

  • for the crime of not glorifying him enough.

  • So, it all starts with a lack of gratitude toward God.

  • God then makes ungrateful people gay

  • and that puts them down the slippery slope for having a reprobate mind.

  • In the end, those ungrateful wretches commit all sorts of evil deeds

  • and that means they're worthy of death.

  • Conservatives love this section.

  • Not only does it condemn homosexuality for both men and women,

  • it happens in the New Testament. So, you can't use that old argument about how it happened before, and it doesn't count anymore.

  • Though, even conservatives get a little squeamish with the whole put-to-death part.

  • So, how the liberals respond here?

  • Just to name a couple of their rebuttals:

  • Once again, they say Paul was talking about homosexual acts in pagan temples;

  • not homosexuality in general.

  • Or they say that Paul discouraged marriage and sex in marriage

  • because Jesus was coming soon.

  • Paul said a lot of silly things.

  • If we ignored him about all the other stuff, we can ignore him now.

  • First Corinthians: chapter 6, verses 9 and 10.

  • Paul is talking about who will not inherit the kingdom of God.

  • So, who's not going to go to heaven.

  • He writes: "The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

  • Neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind

  • shall inherit the kingdom of God".

  • That seems pretty bad.

  • But one interpretation of the words I just said was "effeminate". One interpretation of that

  • is that the word means "soft". So, Paul is actually talking about weak men.

  • So, if you're a gay guy, that's fine,

  • as long as you're manly about it.

  • Similarly, when we talk about "abusers of themselves with mankind",

  • it's not actually talking about gay people but rather male prostitutes.

  • Finally, we have First Timothy: chapter 1, verses 9 and 10.

  • And this is all about the people for whom the laws were made.

  • "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient,

  • "for the ungodly and for sinners,

  • "for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers,

  • "for manslayers,

  • "for whoremongers,

  • "for them that defile themselves with mankind,

  • "for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons,

  • "and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine".

  • A lot of the responses you'll hear to those verses

  • are things I've already said before.

  • There's a lot of misinterpretation going on here. A lot got lost in translation.

  • But specifically to those verses,

  • it's been said that First Timothy was a forgery.

  • So, we can ignore that.

  • Personally, I see a very clear takeaway from all of this.

  • The Bible may condemn homosexuality in the actual text,

  • but if that's not how you feel,

  • there are lots of ways to work around those verses.

  • If you believe that the Bible is truly a good book,

  • you're going to have to do a lot of rationalizing and explaining away of these verses.

  • And if you want to believe the Bible supports anti-gay bigotry,

  • well, you can find a way to make it say that, too.

  • Which is exactly why it's silly for anyone to say we should use the Bible

  • as a rulebook for life.

  • With so many ways to interpret it,

  • it's not very helpful at all.

  • Strange Flesh is a great book.

  • It expands on a lot of the things I'm saying in this video, and it has so much more in it.

  • So, check it out.

  • And if you want to order the book, we have an Amazon link below.

  • My name is Hemant Mehta, and I write at FriendlyAtheist.com

  • Leave a comment below

  • and we'll be sure to check it out. And don't forget to subscribe.

Last year, I made a video saying that the print version of The Skeptic's Annotated Bible was my favorite book of the year.

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聖書は同性愛について何を語っているのか (What the Bible Says About Homosexuality)

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    Caurora に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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