DON’T TELL ME GOD HATES GAY PEOPLE — Bible Boffoonery

Those readers who know something of my background may recall that I acquired a BA in religious studies before an MD in medical school. 

I have always been fascinated by religion, organized and otherwise.   When I began this journey I was the skeptical atheist who just enjoyed learning about religion.  I have changed.  I do believe that there is a spiritual dimension to reality.  But I also realize that religion is man's interpretation of this dimension, not the "word of God" itself.  Just the fact that so many different religions exist (each claiming to proclaim the 'truth') proves to me that there is no one correct path.

 It is just historical fact that any of the world's great religions have changed over the millenia as well as their sacred texts.  Professor Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus touches on this topic perfectly.  He was a fundamentalist Christian as a youth and believed every word of the Bible came directly from God.  As a student of religious history he discovered that different versions of the books of the New Testament had beenn found throughout the Middle East.  Some of these changes were do to scribe errors.  Others were clearly altered because of changing interpretations of older versions.

So-called apocraphyl books of all religions have been edited out of the official Canon of belief.  Who did the editing anyway? Obviously it was other people.  Can any of us be sure these texts are less "holy" than any others?

The Hebrew Bible / Old Testament was written down over two thousand years ago.  It was a time in which violence was justified over other tribes or groups, declared "unclean"  by virtue of the belief that God demanded it.    The Bible calmly prescribes the slaughter of women, children and farm of animals of such tribes–God's will to be sure.

We read of the Koran offering multiple interpretations of religious war and its attitudes towards nonbelievers.

Officially we no longer tolerate genocide or atrocities even during times of war. (Though clearly such events still occur.)   War crime tribunals, personal responsibility for atrocities, the recognition of genocide, women's rights, anti-slavery movements–all these emerged centuries after the Bible was written.

In my estimation the notion that homosexuality is an abomination to God is one of those preposterous, primitive and regressive interpretations of religious belief.  We know that homosexuality is not a choice.  Science has clearly demonstrated that homosexuals are biologically attracted to their same sex.  Brain scans, MRIs, etc. offer incontrovertible scientific evidence for this. 

The religious notion of sin implies choice.  It also implies evil.  Homosexuals cannot possibly be held morally responsibe for their sexual proclivities. It is not merely their subjective descriptions of personal sexual fantasies that need to be respected.  For those who insist on dictating moral behavior to others, just examine the scientific evidence here.  This is about biology, not moral choice. 

One can argue that they can feel these impulses but not act on them.  That is tantamount to denying a segment of the human population an intrinsic aspect of who they are.  Sexuality is biologically imprinted on us all.  To deny that fact is to criticize "God's creation".

Sexuality is no more sinful than any other biological imperative.  It can be abused and used in hurtful ways.  Gluttony, obesity and eating disorders are abuses of the biological imperative to consume nutrition.  So human urges are morally neutral.  How they are applied and used can have moral consequences.

So I recoil when I hear people stating that "God hates gays".  They have merely chosen to quote primitive Biblical paragraphs which support their beliefs.

Any by the way,  "hatred" is not one of those qualities that I would choose for God anyway.

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