Whenever I set out to write this article, I have to admit that I had a completely blinkered view of where world faiths stood on the subject of homosexuality. However, after doing just a little bit of research I found that leading figures, in many of the largest faiths around the world, are working to dispel the long held belief that homosexuality is a sin. Previously I had wrongly assumed that those who shouted the loudest were the only voice. I am not just talking about forgiving homosexuals and allowing them to be judged by God either. These men and woman of faith are stating quite clearly that modern interpretation of their scriptures are completely wrong, and that homosexuality, in a consensual relationship, is as normal as heterosexuality.
The biggest argument being made, and one that was repeated constantly throughout the articles that I read, was that there was no word for consensual homosexuality during the times of the bible. In order to understand what the biblical authors were referring to, one must look at the literal translation of the words used in those texts. The following quoted text is from an article found on: http://www.religioustolerance.org
Outside of the conservative wings of religions, the word “homosexual” generally refers to sexual orientation. People have one of three orientations:
Most are heterosexual: they are sexually attracted only to members of the opposite sex.
A minority are homosexual: they are sexually attracted only to members of the same sex.
A smaller minority are bisexual: they are attracted to both men and women, but not necessarily to the same degree.
The term “homosexual” dates from the late 19th century, when human sexuality first began to be studied as a science.
There is no term that means homosexual orientation in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts of the Bible. The authors of the Bible did not understand sexual orientation and thus did not write about it. Thus, when you see one of these words in an English translation of the Bible, it is important to dig deeper and find what the original Hebrew or Greek text really means.”
Fundamentalists are always the first to use the argument that certain words are being misinterpreted when their faith is being painted in a bad light, but it seems that they see this as a one way street. Whenever the same rule is applied to scripture that, apparently, condemns homosexuality as an abomination, they refuse to even consider the possibility that they are wrong.
A young gay person has a lot to contend with as it is, without having to worry that God hates them. They are dealing with feelings that, even in today’s progressive western societies, are considered to be both sinful and immoral, by a lot of people. In other societies, outside of the western world, homosexuals are actually in danger of being murdered or executed because of these archaic interpretations of holy scriptures. There are countries where two people of the same sex, who are in a consensual relationship, are regarded as worse than rapists. Some countries have even went as far as to use corrective rape as a supposed means of changing the sexual orientation of those found to be engaging in homosexual acts.
The world needs more people of faith to start questioning that which they are taught by their religious leaders, not to just accept without argument or scrutiny. Although the quotes from the article that are referenced above, are a step in the right direction, there is so much more progress that could be made. People in the gay community should not be shut out of a personal relationship with God, based on the fallible interpretation of holy books by mere men. In writing this article I have tried not to point the finger at any one particular faith, as in my view, those who consider homosexuality a sin, already know who they are; and those who don’t, will need no enlightenment from me.
Thank you for reading this article, and I hope that together we can open our eyes to the truth – God loves homosexuals because he made them that way.