Sunday, October 21, 2018

Polemicist ponders Jesus' disapproval of homosexuality

R.L. David Jolly
R.L. David Jolly is not overly fond of gay people
Image via Twitter
R.L. David Jolly (not the former Congress Critter) writes: Did Jesus Approve of Homosexuality?. Predictably, Mr. Jolly cites sufficient scripture to conclude that Jesus did not approve of homosexuality. He is correct. I agree.

However

The understanding of homosexuality throughout the Roman Empire was not the same as it is today. What Jesus knew to be homosexuality was the conduct of heterosexual patrician men having sex with young slave boys. Doing so was perfectly acceptable in Roman high society as long as the elite was the “top.”

Therefore, Jesus' concept of homosexuality involved straight men who were making a choice. They were also pederasts. Jesus knew nothing about gay men or women because, outside of the elite, homosexuality was carefully hidden. For example, if two men in the legion were caught having sex then both would be crucified.

Getting back to Mr. Jolly, he writes:
…Jesus condemns anyone who teaches that homosexuality is ok. In God’s eyes, homosexuality is still an abominable sin and should not be practiced or tolerated. I know that goes against the liberal tolerances and inclusiveness of today’s depraved society, but man does not have the right to change God’s Word as warned by Jesus in Matthew 5:17-19.
I might actually agree with David Jolly (and Jesus for that matter). If we ever bring back slavery and if straight men force themselves on pretty slave boys then I would condemn that practice.

Mr. Jolly is quite fond of that quote in Leviticus:
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.
Leviticus was written over an extended period of time and was probably completed in the fourth century BCE when the culture was dominated by the Persian Empire. Pre-Islamic Persians adopted the Greek custom of men having sex with boys, presumably slaves. Again, these were straight men who were making a choice. Some Persians, by the way, gelded the young boys that they had sex with.

Hence, it is perfectly reasonable (if not obvious) that Leviticus (which documents God's instructions to Moses) reflects the times in which it was written and did not consider that two consenting men would want to have sex because of their sexual orientation. Sexual orientation was an unknown construct in the ancient world. It existed just as it does today but was deeply hidden.

Moreover, just a few passages away, God told Moses that insolent children should be put to death (along with non-virgin brides and many others). There are numerous estimates for when Moses lived but it took about a thousand years before someone documented what God supposedly told him.

As for putting people to death, by the third century CE, Jewish law (halakhah) made that virtually impossible to carry out.

David Jolly can cite scripture but it is irrelevant. David Jolly can try to discern the opinions of Jesus Christ but that is also irrelevant. David Jolly can even cite Torah passages, It is all irrelevant because none of it applies to gay people. It's about straight pederasts.

Christian literalism inspires critical thinking skills comparable to the average toad. Indeed, Mr. Jolly is also a young earth creationist. Radiocarbon dating is meaningless along with the foundations of modern biology and science in general.

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