Friday, April 15, 2016

Jesus' Stand On Homosexuality

A popular talking point among gay-friendly Christians arguing that traditional Christian homophobia is un-Christian -- if, that is, they are reality-based enough to admit that traditionally, Christianity has been homophobic -- is:

"Jesus never said a word about homosexuality."

Maybe not. But if he didn't, living and teaching as he did (assuming he existed, which I don't) in a cultural tradition which was decidedly homophobic, the logical conclusion would be that he went along with this homophobic tendency.

Even more logical would be for Christians to decide for themselves that homosexuality is okay, no matter what Jesus said or would have said about it. But of course, insisting that it doesn't matter what Jesus would do is entirely too logical for Christians.

Gay-friendly Christians ARE making up their own minds about homosexuality -- so far, so good. But they still have this completely irrational need to believe that they have Jesus' approval and that they are following Jesus' example. Nevermind that there is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus made any pronouncements which differed with the culture he came from on the subject of homosexuality.

But of course, theology and logic have been oil and water for a least a couple thousand years now. Evidence schmevidence, if there's no evidence we'll make up whatever we need. Of course, it's possible that Jesus was gay-friendly, and that this was edited out of the Gospels by those who may also have edited away that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, or in a gay relationship with one of his male disciples, or that he was married to Mary Magdalene and in a gay relationship with one of his male disciples. There are a few words' worth of evidence that Mary Magdalene's role in the group around Jesus may have been minimized in the New Testament. There's less evidence that Jesus was gay-friendly, and/or gay.

The thing is that there is so very little evidence about Jesus, period, which means that there has always been a great deal of room in which the imaginations of Christians could roam. It's possible that Jesus was gay-friendly, or homophobic, married or single, or that he never existed. It's certain that Christians have made whole libraries' worth of different versions of Jesus to suit what various ones of them have wanted to believe about him, out of the slender volume of dubious, self-contradicting evidence.

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