In Response to a Biblical Literalist

Dear Sir:

I will give your serious question a serious answer.

Sexual orientation – gay or straight – is officially considered a naturally occurring physical phenomenon by

  • The American Medical Association
  • The American Psychiatric Association
  • The American Psychological Association
  • The National Association of Social Workers

We who are “straight” did nothing to “decide” we were “straight.”

Neither did gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people make a “choice.”.

Sexual activity is not the defining characteristic of a gay or straight person:

  • A celibate straight person is still straight.
  • A celibate gay person is still gay.
  • Bisexual people do have a choice, as reflected by folks who may have been married 25 years; then, following the death of a spouse become attracted to a same-gender partner

Scriptural admonitions about same-sex sexual activity were written at a time when Israel needed children, and folks were encouraged to “go forth and multiply.” There was no biological or scientific information about the natural occurrence of same-gender sexual orientation, so same-gender sexual activity was considered as wasteful of fertility as “casting one’s seen on the ground” in masturbation … also proscribed in scriptures.

An open-minded reading of scriptures reflects loving relationships which may well have been homosexual: Ruth and Naomi, and Jonathon and David, for example.

There is another scripture suggested by a religion professor at the Chicago Theological Seminary as possibly referring to a same-sex love relationship: The Centurian who stood in line to ask Jesus to heal his servant. The Prof said that in the original text the word for “servant” was the same word which could have meant “child” or “beloved.” A Centurian would not have had a wife, so would not have had a child. He may have been asking Jesus to heal his “beloved” who would have been another soldier. The Prof said that this would not have been shocking to Jesus, as such relationships between soldiers were not uncommon.

Attempts at literal embracing of scriptures often break down. It is impossible for Noah to have included every species on the Ark; the story is poetic metaphor. To me, the Ark story reflects the love of God for EVERY species …. a value not being valued by humanity today, as the rate of extinction of species today is withering … and is most likely to increase, wreaking savage havoc on the natural biological diversity that makes earth healthy, beautiful, and complex.

I think God is much more concerned about the preservation of God-created Nature than by the loving relationships of gays.

Nathaniel Batchelder