To the Editor:
I’m a Christian — AND I’m bisexual. Many people try to tell me that these two things can’t go together. At first, I bought into it: I told myself it was wrong and repressed a part of myself for years. After a long time, I discovered an interesting FAQ at thebible.com (“What does the Bible Really Say About Homosexuality?”), and after reading it something clicked … I stopped feeling “guilty” about who I was and began to realize something important: being “queer” (gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender) and being “Christian” CAN go together just fine. I’m writing here now to deconstruct the hype around this issue.
Recently, reading a quote in the Signal (before break) from Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) stating that “we [Christians] can’t support the GLBT community because our religion is against homosexuality” ENRAGES me. To me, it represents a greater cycle of a homophobic culture that tries to justify its bias and prejudice with religion, taking ancient Old Testament passages out of their cultural context and ignoring the interpretations that they don’t want to hear.
Christianity itself does not condemn homosexuality and queer relationships; however, “Christians” do. It is ignorance of the cultural, political and historial context in which the passages were written that leads to faulty translation and poor interpretation.
For example, Leviticus is often cited as the “ultimate” reference for God’s “condemnation” of homosexuals. Perhaps the two most widely abused verses used to condemn homosexuality are in this passage: “You shall not lie with man as one lies with a women; this is an abomination.” Leviticus 18:22; and “If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they should surely be put to death.” – Leviticus 20:13.
However, most people – both Christian and Jewish – ignore and do not abide by the other “rules” outlined in the same passage. Among other things, the Holiness Code of Leviticus prohibits the following:
Sexual intercourse during a women’s menstrual cycle; tattoos; wearing certain types of jewelry; eating certain kinds of meat; wearing clothing made from blended textiles (cotton-polyester blends); cross-breeding livestock; sowing a field with mixed seed; eating or touching the dead flesh of pigs, rabbits, and some forms of seafood; men cutting their hair or shaving their beards.
Obviously, the members of ICVF – as well as most of the rest of us – do not follow most of these regulations. The Holiness Code also endorses polygamy and requires Saturday to be reserved as the Sabbath. Obviously, it is unfair to use these passages to condemn homosexuality, while ignoring the fact that most Christians do not follow the rest of the rules and rituals outlined in the Holiness Code of Leviticus.