Religious experts agree anti-gay texts of major faiths taken out of context

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Reverend Robert Goss (middle) was one of three religious experts on the panel representing one of the major faiths; Christianity. Goss believes that his religion does not condemn homosexuality. The Queer Education Fair was held Tuesday night at the USU Grand Salon. Photo Credit: Karlee Johnson / Daily Sundial

Neither Christianity, Judaism or Islam condemns homosexuality, according to a panel of religious experts representing those major faiths at the Queer Education Fair held Tuesday night in the USU Grand Salon.

Reverend Robert Goss, an openly gay pastor, member of the Metropolitan Community Churches and CSUN professor, represented Christianity and told an audience of about 50 many of the anti-gay texts in the Old Testament wouldn’t apply in contemporary times.

“Biblical texts have been used to bash on LGBTs, but many of them have been taken out of context,” Goss said. “The scriptures aren’t about homosexuality, but about gender issues and misconceptions.”

Scriptures in Leviticus and Romans can be explained as attempts to deter incest and female seizure of male dominance, both of which were viewed as sexually deviant in ancient times, Goss said.

“In the ancient world, when an army conquered another, they phallically penetrated the loser and ‘feminized’ them,” Goss said. “The underlying meaning of Leviticus is about a male betraying his dominant status by becoming penetrated.”

Dr. Jane Drucker, an openly gay member of the Congregation of Kol Ami, represented Judaism and agreed with Goss’ assessment. She believes the meaning of scriptures have been tainted and mistranslated to appear anti-homosexual.

“The minute the original Hebrew or Latin was taken out of context and translated, it became someone’s interpretation,” Drucker said. “There was no such thing as homosexuality when any holy book was written.”

Drucker also asserts the scriptures’ creation stories of a man and woman should have no impact on whether homosexuality is biologically correct or not.

“Eve was created as a companion for Adam,” Drucker said. “No mention of procreation was made at the time. At that point, her gender was irrelevant.”

Ani Zonneveld, the founder of Muslims for Progressive Values, represented Islam and said the Qu’ran does not mention homosexuality in any of its scriptures.

“The word homosexuality doesn’t even exist in the Qu’ran, and that fact makes it a non-issue,” Zonneveld said. “Muhammad never punished homosexuals, and there’s no punishment stated in the Qu’ran for being a homosexual.”

Even though there is no mention of it in their holy book, Zonneveld attributed modern Muslim homophobia to Christian influences.

“Traditionally, Muslims were gay-friendly,” Zonneveld said. “Homophobia came about when Muslim countries were colonized by Christian imperialists.”

Goss, Drecker and Zonneveld unanimously agreed that faith shouldn’t stop a person from being who they are.

“If you go to a church or synagogue that says you’re evil because you’re gay, then you need to get out and find a place that accepts you,” Drecker said.


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  • Ferd

    Bashing is a sin, “Judge not lest ye be judged” (MATTHEW 7:1-5). But I would be extermley careful if you believe the Bible is the word of God, to twist it either way.  Some of the theological positions in this article are doing just that.  Seek God and he will reveal himself to you.  Don’t seek Man’s approval or acceptance but God’s.  Jesus himself said they didn’t accept him and they won’t accept the true believer either. (Matthew 16:24, John 14).

  • Anonymous

    This is the perfect example of how anti-gay people change the bible’s words for their anti-gay agenda.

    Corinthians 6:9-11
    Let us examine that very closely.

    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [malakoi], nor homosexual offenders [arsenokoites], nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    First of all, before we address this line, let us consider one thing. Supposedly taken from a 2000+ year old book, understand that the word “homosexual” was not coined until 1869 by Austrian-born novelist Karl-Maria Kertbeny. So how it happens to be included in a true reading of the particular biblical passage should make you ponder how accurate the interpretation actually is. So man changing the words of the Bible to conveniently spread hate?

    Absolutely.

    • Luke E

      The Bible you are useing comes from corrupt wescott and hort greek text. The king James Bible wich is translated from the textus Receptus wich is the majority texts of the Bible and was accepted by the Reformers of the Potistant refromation such as martin luthor reads.

      9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
      Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
      effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

      10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor
      revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye
      are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the
      Spirit of our God.

    • Luke E

      protestant* my bad i cant spell but i do know what the Bible Says

  • Anonymous

    For those of you claiming homosexuality is a “lifestyle”, that is a false and ignorant statement. Homosexuality is not a choice.  Just like you don’t choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.

    http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
    Gay, Straight Men’s Brain Responses Differ
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
    http://www.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2008/06/16/172/

    There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. “Nurture” may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.

    And it should also be noted that:
    “It is worth noting that many medical and scientific organizations do believe it is impossible to change a person’s sexual orientation and this is displayed in a statement by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and National Education Association.”

    • Luke E

      Being homosexual is different than the color of your skin. The ACT of haveing sex with other men (if your a man) identifys you as being a homosexual. but you have no controle over the color of your skin you have a choice to have or not have sex with other men.

  • Anonymous

     We need to get the word out to religious communities that anti-gay people are twisting God’s words to condone their hate.

    Homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible is constantly being taken out of context to support anti-gay views. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, Greek temple sex worship, prostitution, pederasty with teen boys, and rape, not homosexuality or two loving consenting adults.

    http://www.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
    http://www.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
    http://www.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
    http://www.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
    http://www.gaychristian101.com/
    http://www.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
    http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html
    http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
    http://www.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html

  • csun

    “Eve was created as a companion for Adam…No mention of
    procreation was made at the time. At that point, her gender was
    irrelevant” I don’t understand how that’s possible…how does the Bible not mention procreation and how is her gender irrelevant?? It says in Genesis 2:23-24 “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh”

    Clearly, it says woman, so Eve’s gender is relevant. It does not say procreation per se but it says they will become one flesh, they’re married, obviously they are here to procreate.

    People can’t add or take away from the Bible…homosexuality is a sin, man shall not lie with a man as he does with a woman…

    • Anti-gay Theology is Sin

      “homosexuality is a sin, man shall not lie with a man as he does with a woman…”

      Setting aside the errors in that translation, gay men do not have sex as with a woman.

      Proverbs 6 lists the things God hates and detests:
       16 There are six things the LORD hates,
         seven that are detestable to him:
          17 haughty eyes,
            a lying tongue,
            hands that shed innocent blood,
          18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
            feet that are quick to rush into evil,
          19 a false witness who pours out lies
            and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

      Homosexuality is nowhere to be found on this list.  But those who teach ‘homosexuality is sin’ do all things, in one way or another, as a result of their belief about homosexuality.

      • Brock Newman

        What’s the correct translation of that phrase? I’ve tried looking online and can’t find anything. Always interested me.

      • Luke E

        Proverbs 6:18 in the KJV says ….An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations….
        even though this scripture is not sepecific to Homosexuality it certainly applys to it. besides there are many other scriptures that are in the new testement mind you that specificaly condemn Homosexuality such as Romans 1:27 best read in the KJV the most accurate version of the bible taken from the textus receptus. Unlike your bible version translated from corrupt vaticanus and sinaticus texts and put into greek by roman catholic westcot and hort

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christine-Spencer/100001800593168 Christine Spencer

       Ok, I will go so far as to grant that Eves gender was relevant in this context, however, we live in a fallen world.

      I believe homosexuality and gender diversity are a fall out from the original sin.  All scientific evidence leads us to that conclusion and I would say the same thing for other human conditions from mental health to birth defects.

      None of it is a choice.  This is conclusively studied and researched.  Even people that spent there LIVES working in the ex-gay movement have come out and said this.  Take most recently, Smid.

      So then what we have is a dilema.  Some people are claiming that this is forbidden and some people are saying that God wants us in a relationship with him.

      What we ABSOLUTELY KNOW though is that there is a time and season for ALL things and NOTHING is forbidden just not everything is good.  PAUL told us that.

      He told us in no uncertain terms how to behave as a church.  These differences have existed between believers since we were debating what food was ok to eat and I like shrimp.  What becomes important is how we handle them.  Paul told us what to do!

      He said don’t go around judging one another.  (Jesus told us this too)  He said love one another.  He said the one who is acting under grace through faith should not force someone who believes it is a sin to commit the sin but likewise the one who believes it is a sin shouldn’t condemn the one who doesn’t.  Peace and love.  That’s what we need.

      It’s our saviors job to sort out the wheat from the tares.  It’s our job to point people to our savior and we do that by being different.  By loving in a world where so little genuine love exists…and WE CAN’T DO THAT WHEN WE ARE FIGHTING!

    • Patrick

      It “clearly says” that eve is a woman yes.  In English.  It’s entirely possible that the translation took the most obvious meaning, disregarding other possible ones.  

      I do translations.  Nothing on a grand scale, as I’m still learning.  But they can be very challenging.  You may take what you believe to be the correct word out of many, but you may be wrong.  I’ve had to ask native speakers what they thought the correct translation was of something when there were two words that would both work, but with slightly different meanings.

      So the fact that a translated text calls Eve “woman” doesn’t mean that it’s actually significant or even correct.

      And that verse you quote, from Lev, 20:13, is actually a PERFECT example of this: http://hoperemains.webs.com/leviticus2013.htm

      (PS: have you read the rest of Lev?  If so, I hope you don’t eat shrimp, wear polyester, work on the Sabbath, eat cheeseburgers, keep a vegetable garden, or have tattoos–jst to name a few)

      • Luke E

        If your trying to say that Eve wasnt a women that is the most obserd thing ive ever heard, cuz Eve bore Cane and Able (and many others) fyi only Women can have children incase your still figureing that out. Plus Homosexuality is not only condemed in the Old Testiment but Also in the New such as Romans 1 wich im shure you know. As far as translation goes i would recomend reading in the King James version if you are unshure that some of the new bible versions such as the NIV or NLT condemn Homosexuality. The King James was taken from the majority of the texts ever found compiled to form the Textus receptus. other versions are taken from Vaticanus and sinaticus texts that where later formed into a corrupt greek by Westcot and Hort. but Homosexuality is condemed in the newer versions of the bible as well so…………I hope you take some consideration to this if you do not repent of your sin just like everyone els must repent of there sin the Bible says you will be thrown into a terrible place called hell. God nor I wish that anyone should go to hell (see Ezekiel 33). Jesus will be there to forgive you if you ever decide to repent of your sin Homosexual sin. it is no diferent from other sexual sin. Please consider turning away from this sin and turn to Jesus. I hope to see you in heaven some day. Speaking the rightly divideing truth in love, Luke 

        • Patrick

          Save your sarcasm for when you learn how to write coherently.  No, seriously, you can’t even spell Cain and Abel correctly.  I’m NOT going to take you seriously when you can’t spell “because” or “sure”.  

          And when I say translation, I’m not talking about the bible translations.  I’m talking about linguistics.  And honey, I’d rather spend an eternity in Hell than ANY paradise if people like you are there. Now go, spread your horse manure fairy tales elsewhere.

  • Ameer_r2

    Nonsense.. Chapter 7v. 80-84. In the Quran when Lot had angelic “nvisitors, the people of the city wanted contact with them and he offered his daughters.” Will you commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?LLo you come with lust unto men instead of women. No, but  you are a wanton folk.” They wanted  to drive them out of their township saying these are What folk who keep pure. What more and woman to woman swa also condemned 

    • Anti-gay theology is sin

      The problem is this – rape does not used to condemn all heterosexual intercourse. 

      Further, Muhammad borrowed the story of Lot and Sodom from the Torah, and that text does not support the idea that the men of Sodom were homosexuals or were trying to have consensual sex with the visitors.  It does indicate that they want to interrogate, possibly torture them.

      If the Qur’an truly says something different, it reduces Muhammad’s credibility.

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