Friday, October 26, 2018

Taking on Tim Cook with Pray Away the Gay

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Tim Cook is the CEO of arguably the largest company on the planet (current market cap=$1.1 trillion). Thus I presume that Tim Cook is one of the smartest people on earth. Mr. Cook recently said: “Being gay is God's greatest gift to me.”

That doesn't sit well with Shane Idleman, lead pastor at Westside Christian Fellowship. According to the IRS, that is really Leona Valley Community Church in Leona Valley, CA (2010 population: 1,607). It is safe to say that Shane Idleman is probably not one of the smartest people on the planet.

Idleman writes: Is Being Gay "God's Greatest Gift" to Us?. “Us?” Tim Cook said “him.” It is an important difference. Idleman is a self-promoter. He responds:
I so appreciate Tim's heart to help others, but the Bible is crystal clear on sexual sin, including homosexuality. Unfortunately, those with opposing views are often categorized as irrational, judgmental, bigoted and intolerant. We are labeled "anti-choicers." But how can we warn if we won't confront, correct if we won't challenge and contend if we won't question? We must speak the truth in love. Opinions change, but truth does not. I had the privilege of discussing this last October with Lauren Green on Fox News. Take a listen here.
If Idleman is anti-choice (an issue of fact in contrast to a label) it has nothing to do with his views on gay people. Moreover, how he might be labeled also has absolutely nothing to do with his views of gay people or Tim Cook for that matter. He is attempting to claim that he has been victimized by his homophobia. Oh those poor persecuted homophobes.

I can say that the Torah (including Leviticus) is not “crystal clear” regarding homosexuality. In brief, Leviticus was a work written over a long period of time. It was probably completed in the fourth century BCE when Persia dominated the known world.

Homosexuality was unknown in the ancient world. It was kept tightly under wraps. What was known was pederast men having sex with slave boys. The Persians got it from the Greeks and passed it on to Roman society. In Central Asia the pederasty was known as bacha bazzi. Most Jews and liturgical Christians believe that the Torah condemned the only practice known to them: Pederasty.

Idleman is painfully verbose. He has several more Jesus quotes and he uses one to advocate pray-away-the-gay. I choose to quote just one more passage:
Jesus condemned "all" sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman when He said, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man"
The quote does not support the claim and “sexual immorality” is undefined. I, too, consider pederasty immoral. Slavery is immoral. Sexual slavery is immoral. And so on. I am informed that Jesus said not one word about homosexuality. I am also informed that he had a thing or two to say about judgmental people.

Idleman's god doesn't seem to have punished Tim Cook. Quite the contrary.

Religious drivel has been used to denigrate gay people for a very long time. Conservative Christians have the problem of explaining why their god would create gay people in the first place. They resolve this issue by claiming that sexual orientation is a chosen “lifestyle” in spite of a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

They are not terribly convincing.

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