Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drunks

Thursday, January 30, 2014

If You're Going to Take Paul Literally on Homosexuality...

Posted by on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 12:20 PM

...then you have to take Jesus literally on money. John Shore:

The reason anti-gay Christians invariably give for their conviction that homosexuality is an egregious sin against God is, “That’s what the Bible says.”

“God said it, I believe it!” is their credo.

The question that raises is this: if you’re going to look to the Bible generally, and to the words of Jesus Christ specifically, for guidance and direction on how to live your life, then don’t you need to very assiduously attend to the actual words of Jesus? Christ said it; you believe it. If you’re a Christian, that’s your deal. And if you’re a conservative Christian, you most certainly look to Jesus for critical input about anything and everything in your life that is of particular importance to you.

Like money, for instance.

To find out what Jesus had to say about money—to see what fundamentalist anti-gay Christians ignore—go read John's post.


Comments (31) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I know, I know, us NALTs should talk to the right wing.. but c'mon Dan, can't you say "conservative Christian" here like John did?
Posted by Liam3851 on January 30, 2014 at 12:27 PM · Report this
pdonahue 2
Someone told me the super specific ban on guy on guy sex was more about rape and how roman legionares used it as a tool of war against the hebrews, any truth in that?
Posted by pdonahue on January 30, 2014 at 12:29 PM · Report this
Indighost 3
@2, if you're going to take everything the bible says "in context", then you're just reading a book about a religion only appropriate for ancient goat herders in a desert.
Posted by Indighost on January 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM · Report this
@2 Indeed there is......

Alas Bible thumpers rarely actually open the Bible let alone study it. Way too much work.

Posted by Machiavelli was framed on January 30, 2014 at 12:43 PM · Report this
rob! 5
Jesus, like many religious figures throughout history, also called usury—the taking of any interest at all, in its original meaning—immoral. That notion has certainly fallen by the wayside in the Western world.

Only Islam, among the major extant religions, still objects to charging interest, though to be fair, they have found ways to get around the proscription.
Posted by rob! on January 30, 2014 at 12:46 PM · Report this
Beth in NJ 6
Why should they listen to anything Jesus had to say about money when they refuse to even listen to what he said about prayer?

Matthew 6:5: "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full."

Somehow, they read that and come away with the idea that anyone who doesn't let them force their prayers on an entire public school, or who doesn't want to subsidize their holiday decorations with our taxes, is oppressing them.
Posted by Beth in NJ on January 30, 2014 at 12:52 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 7
Yeah, and the bible doesn't forbid abortion either but religious fanatics don't need a fucking excuse for anything.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 30, 2014 at 1:02 PM · Report this
debug 8
I wouldn't even go there.

The Bible, most religion, is a mind-virus. It is written in a way so that the rules seem clear but contradict each other. The purpose being that all followers can feel "right with god" no matter what they do or believe.

For instance both pro-government and pro-rich latch onto Jesus' quote:…

to back up why paying taxes to governments and steep fees to the rich is just fine with God.

Jesus also said he didn't come to planet Earth to replace Jewish law (old testament) so all the master/slave, multiple-wives, treatment of poor/women stuff is justifiable.

There are arguably zero ideas in the Bible that aren't directly contradicted by some other passage.
Posted by debug on January 30, 2014 at 1:13 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 9
"there is something profoundly wrong with any Christian who is not voluntarily as poor as the proverbial church mouse" Jesus did not advocate poverty, in fact he sought ways to slow it. Jesus did state that "the poor will always be with us". John Shore is not grasping the difference between charity to the needy and personal wealth (which is a fluid relative term).
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 30, 2014 at 1:16 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 10
The core issue is that the Bible must be interpreted for it to do any good. That, of course, also gives rise to a fracturing of the religion, as has been evidenced for over two thousand years. There has never been a single, unified interpretation of Jesus, let alone the entire Bible.

The basic raison d'etre of conservative Christians is that the Bible should never be interpreted, that there in one and only one way to read it. This is helpful when you want everyone to think alike. Not so helpful if you want people to think at all.

I think of CC as a sociological experiment in real time: can the world of 1984 ever come about? The results so far are fascinating: It is possible to maintain a close-minded culture that spans generations. However, the human mind is always growing, and this cannot be stopped. The work of CC are only a delaying tactic, they can never triumph for very long.

Which is hopeful, as far as that goes.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 30, 2014 at 1:34 PM · Report this
@ 9 - Nope. You are not grasping the difference between taking Jesus literally and applying a modern context to the Bible.

1 Timothy 6:7-8
7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

That literal meaning of that passage is pretty darned clear.

But the simple truth of the matter is that most modern "Christians" aren't. They are Paulists with an occasional dash of John (the old Church's interpretation of the other books) thrown in here and there.
Posted by MiscKitty on January 30, 2014 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 12
You're assuming any of them actually read the bible. They don't.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 30, 2014 at 1:42 PM · Report this
john t 13
As if Christians would allow the actual words contained in the Bible to influence their beliefs about what the Bible says. Quotations, citations, textual analysis, historical context — those are all techniques invented by Satan so that gay English lit majors can undermine faith.
Posted by john t on January 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 14
#11 NOPE! You're not getting it yet. that is not Jesus talking. I quote Jesus. I don't care what Paul says about money or Gay folk. John Shore does not understand what Jesus said about money. Nor does it appear you do either.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 30, 2014 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Dirtclustit 15
the elite ruling class had the most to lose by Christ's preaching. The Apostle Paul (AP) was the name given to the person in charge of countering the damage done to the ruling classes ability to maintain power and control.

I would be suspicious if the person or group in charge of being the vocal counterpoint to the truth suddenly did a 180 as soon as the opposition's leader was executed.

If Paul was the leader of the RNC, and engaged in a bitter war against the DNC, and the previous leader of the DNC were suddenly executed, I for one would be suspicious if Paul suddenly had a change of heart and made a run for the leadership position of the DNC

furthermore if a historical book were written about that executed DNC leader's life, I would be more than suspicious if over half of the book (perhaps three quarters) were written by Paul.

I would hesitate to take anything written by him seriously, especially when much of the rough draft that didn't make the canonical cut mysteriously disappeared, yet a full record of all of Paul's drafts are on file and written in Greek

seems strange to me that most of the record which is a testament to Jesus Christ, wasn't written by those who spent the most time around him. I would be more interested in the disciples records of Christ and not the records written by Paul, the head editor of a tabloid, which back in the day was known as the AP
Posted by Dirtclustit on January 30, 2014 at 2:10 PM · Report this
This guy is misquoting the Bible. It's not cool when fundamentalists lie and twist scientific "facts" to claim that the Earth is only 6,000 years old (it's not) or that science supports intelligent design (it doesn't), and the same rules have to apply here. Don't say that the Bible says something when it doesn't or doesn't say something when it does. Say why the old rules don't translate to modern life. Say how, in some ways, we've built an even more moral society than Jesus or Paul could have hoped.
Posted by DRF on January 30, 2014 at 2:31 PM · Report this
venomlash 17
@16: What's being misquoted?
Posted by venomlash on January 30, 2014 at 2:37 PM · Report this
The Bible. He's misinterpreting the quotes, I should say. He also says, "Paul never said that homosexuality is a sin." Yes he did. He just said a lot of the same things about heterosexual fornication and sex within marriage. If this guy's going to complain about people who use ignorant interpretations of the Bible to support their views, then he must remove the log from his own eye if I may be so Matthew 7:5.

John Shore says that Jesus removed "any and all wiggle room" about money and bases that claim on these: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” (Luke 12:33) “You cannot serve God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19) “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:25)

How the heck are these not open to interpretation? He's talking about how people should value spiritual well-being over material well-being. "Eye of the needle" was a nickname for a narrow gate in one city. It's super annoying to get a camel through that, but you can do it. There's also a kind of thick twine whose name looks a lot like "camel" in Aramaic. That's three possible meanings for just one quote right there.

"Homosexuality isn't sinful" is like saying "God created the world," but "The Bible says that homosexuality isn't sinful" is like saying "Science proves that God created the world." Those second two statements are lies or gross misinterpretations, depending on the mind of the speaker.
Posted by DRF on January 30, 2014 at 3:55 PM · Report this
@13 Actually, my mom's Bible study group is all about the historical context that gives meaning to the text. You want to go and tell those ladies that they don't care about what the Bible really means? Heh, they'd probably just say "You're too skinny" and feed you.
Posted by DRF on January 30, 2014 at 4:00 PM · Report this
venomlash 20
@18: Paul says that homosexuality is a sin IFF you ascribe to certain translations. Greek of the time isn't as murky as Biblical Hebrew, but nobody knows exactly what arsenokoitai means; all we know is that it contains the roots for "male" and "bed [sexually]". Could refer to gays, could refer to masturbation, could refer to patrons of temple prostitutes.
Never read a translation of the Bible that isn't annotated with possible meanings and alternate translations.

Also, nobody is saying that Scripture says that homogay isn't a sin. What's being said is that Scripture doesn't actually say anything definitive about it.
Posted by venomlash on January 30, 2014 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Dirtclustit, in response to your response to my comment the other day.... Your disjointed and barely comprehensible blathering never disappoints. You are exactly what I was railing against. Fuck you. Fuck you and throw your thoroughly fucked carcass into the consuming yet eternal hellfire that I wish could be created for the likes of you.
Posted by kwodell on January 30, 2014 at 5:01 PM · Report this
@20 Pardon me, but do you mean "Do not ever read a translation of the Bible that isn't annotated" or "I have not ever read a translation of the Bible that isn't annotated"? Reed read or red read?

Posted by DRF on January 30, 2014 at 5:15 PM · Report this
James6 23
NALTs: there's a myth. They ARE all like that.

Anyway, the people who scream loudest about how others aren't obeying the rules of their religion are inevitably the ones are aren't obeying the rules themselves, just like the ones who scream loudest about the gays are the ones who are trying to hide their own homosexuality. But in the end, who gives a crap what a mythical character in a book of fiction says or doesn't say ?
Posted by James6 on January 30, 2014 at 5:24 PM · Report this
Taking passages from the "bible" is akin to the Islamic faith of following the Quran. It was written a bajillion years ago and has no relevance to 2014.
Posted by longwayhome on January 30, 2014 at 7:04 PM · Report this
venomlash 25
@22: "Do not ever read"
Posted by venomlash on January 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM · Report this
Theological studies is a difficult slog.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on January 30, 2014 at 9:51 PM · Report this
Dirtclustit 27
kwaddell says: "Blah! blah-blah-blah die, hate, hellfire burn!"

Dirt says: "Go fuck yourself"
Posted by Dirtclustit on January 31, 2014 at 1:04 AM · Report this
venomlash 28
venomlash says: "You are a punk cunt. Also, you are certifiably insane."
Posted by venomlash on January 31, 2014 at 6:34 AM · Report this

As for not obeying the rules of my religion, I guess I'm not: I vote pro-choice and support medically accurate sex ed in schools and equal rights under the laws of man for homosexuals, though one could argue that the second two aren't against my religion. If you don't see any NALT Christians it's because you're not looking.
Posted by DRF on January 31, 2014 at 7:54 AM · Report this
McJulie 30
@2 there are definitely people who argue -- pretty convincingly -- that new testament passages against gay sex were based on common abusive practices at the time, and don't apply to our modern understanding of egalitarian same-sex romantic relationships.

@10 I think the "we don't interpret!" crowd comes partly from the weird literal-mindedness of evangelical theology. They read the text and have the understanding of the text that their religion has prepped them for, and so they think that this is IN FACT what the text means, and any other interpretation has to be corrupted in some way.

In order to be an evangelical, you have to be sort of immune to the experience of reading the text yourself and realizing that the common evangelical understanding of it isn't obvious or inevitable.
Posted by McJulie on January 31, 2014 at 8:29 AM · Report this
Dirtclustit 31
Why didn't you tell me earlier Venom, had I known another dipshit would get upset with me I would have kept my mouth shut.

But I didn't,

so go fuck yourself
Posted by Dirtclustit on February 1, 2014 at 12:45 AM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy