ROOTS OF HOMOPHOBIA
Three cheers to the 2014 Olympic athletes! They performed magnificently. I am so proud of them! Also I am happy that there was no ugliness like act of terrorism nor homophobic incident. The gay bar was not shut down in Sochi. I wonder if the media hype made Russia nervous, hence didn’t act against homosexuality. I want to celebrate the steps of progress made in this regard.
Imagine, the Deputy Mayor of Vancouver city, Tim Stevens, who went to Sochi representing the former host city of Winter Olympics is the first openly gay man ordained into the United Church ministry: the issue that spilt the church and nearly destroyed it in 1988. I am amazed how fast homosexuality has become a litmus test of a progressive society around the world, though it is still dangerous for gay persons to come out in many places. Nevertheless, I think there has been some progress towards inclusiveness.
As I was preparing for a Bible study it dawned on me that there was no prohibition of lesbian acts in the Bible. It’s all about against male homosexuality. The argument is; homosexuality is against nature therefore against God’s will. But this is a gender specific commandment applied only to men. From this, I hypothesized that it was about preservation of the species, the race, the family name and the tribe. Infant deaths were ubiquitous in those days. Therefore the norm was: “It’s important to make many babies. Seeds were invaluable gifts from God: Don’t waste them.”
Those days are long gone. Thank God. In my last pastorate before retirement, during the five years of ministry in a community of about 2,000 people, I had never buried an infant, not one. Children rarely die these days and people live longer and longer. It’s a good thing. But some people are worried about population explosion. How to feed several billions is a serious concern. Maybe we should make waste of food a sin. Times change, so do ethics.
Homosexuality is unnatural? Even an amateur like me have seen homosexuality among animals. Many times.
I think it all comes down to the question of accepting situation ethics, or not. We don’t stone a child to death who speak against parents any more. Those days are long gone. Times change. It can be uncomfortable. But things change with time. So we change too,