Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Who Wins When the Bible is Blamed for Gay Bashing? - Mark Jordan at Religion Dispatches

Harvard Divinity School professor, renowned author, and all-around terrific human being Mark D. Jordan recently posted this article on Religion Dispatches. For the full article, follow the link below.

Who Wins When Bible is Blamed for Gay Bashing?
Mark D. Jordan - Religion Dispatches
Originally Published March 22, 2011

The news item is both grisly and depressingly familiar: a young man is accused of killing an older man for making sexual advances. The weapon was a sock filled with stones; the young man told police that he had been instructed in prayer to apply the Old Testament punishment of stoning. You want to stop there, recognizing old stereotypes of cultural homophobia coupled with age-prejudices—but mostly the unpredictability of violent delusions.

Unfortunately the story didn’t stop there. John Aravosis, political blogger and publicist for gay causes, is perhaps best known for leading a boycott against Dr. Laura; or else for outing a conservative “journalist” as a gay porn star. In a recent post, Aravosis says first that “the Bible does say to kill gays,” then quotes a string of alternate (and admittedly “wrong”) biblical translations before reiterating that they are “quite clear about the need to murder gay people,” only to conclude that “Christians do nothing about it, other than quote it against us in order to take away our civil rights.”

Before I say anything more about Aravosis, let me emphasize that some scraps of Christian language do seem to have figured in the delusions of the young man accused of committing the murder. Let me add that there is plenty of evidence (and much better evidence) that Christian churches in many times and places have cited their Bible to authorize crimes against a long list of people—including those accused of same-sex relations. But then let me ask the obvious question: Who gains when a gay activist endorses the most homophobic of marginal interpretations of the Bible after half a century of gay or gay-friendly efforts to establish better readings?

To read the full article (and you really should), visit Religion Dispatches.