f Humanisticus: Equal Marriage: Are Christians Merely Expressing Religious Freedom or Just Bigoted

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Equal Marriage: Are Christians Merely Expressing Religious Freedom or Just Bigoted

Christians who are against equal marriage for homosexuals constantly profess that they are not bigots; they are simply expressing their religious conscience. The usual dictum of ‘hate the sin, not the sinner’ is espoused. But the simple fact is that this is bigotry and here is why. First of all, by definition bigotry is the intolerance of other people based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, race etc. So based on this simple definition alone it shows that they are bigots as although their religion teaches homosexuality is a sin they still force this opinion on those outside their religion which is a blatant display of intolerance. However, I would like to delve a bit deeper than this and reveal that their dislike of homosexuality is based on personal bigotry not religious belief.


There are many verses condemning homosexuality in the Old Testament such as Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13. So if Christians believe homosexuality is a sin based on verses from the Old Testament then why don't they follow the rest of the doctrines laid down? For example verses that condone slavery. Leviticus 25:44-46 dictates the rules you should follow when buying a slave. Exodus 21:2-6 informs you how to treat Hebrew slaves. Exodus 21:20-21 governs the rules on beating your slaves. Now how about  sexism, both Genesis 3:16 and Esther 1:22 declare men should rule over women in the household. Deuteronomy 22:5 states that women who wear the same clothes as man are an abomination. I could go on with many more quotes regarding slavery and sexism but I think you get my point. If you believe homosexuality is a sin based on what the bible says then women should be governed by men and slavery is perfectly acceptable. So if you are against slavery and believe in gender equality but are against homosexuality then these beliefs are clearly not based on the bible but on personal beliefs and your dislike of homosexuality is based on intolerance and you are merely using the bible as a mask for your bigotry

Now many Christians will say that the Old Testament does not count as a new covenant was formed when Jesus sacrificed himself. If that is the case then surely the verses against homosexuality are nullified alongside the sexism and slavery. Jesus himself said nothing against homosexuality so now where do Christians base their belief that homosexuality is a sin? Well you also find quotes condemning homosexuality in the New Testament too, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. But once again the New Testament allows slavery: 1 Timothy 6:1-2 and Luke 12:47-48, and sexism: 1 Timothy 2:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 11:3. So Christians face the same conundrum, if you base your morality on the bible then why is it you are against slavery and sexism while the bible is not only perfectly ok with it but actively endorses it. Once again the same logic applies; you are applying your own morality to the bible and ignoring the parts you do not like while using the bible to justify your bigotry.

When faced with the slavery and sexist verses Christians generally reference two get-out clauses. First is the ‘golden rule’ and the teachings of Jesus, but if the golden rule and Jesus’ teachings overrule the slavery and sexism then why doesn’t it overrule homosexuality unless you have made a conscious personal decision that it does not, once again applying your own morality to the bible. The second get-out clause is the ever famous ‘you are taking those quotes out of context’; however, I have never heard an acceptable explanation how these quotes are taken out of context or in what context that they are in which allows the sexist/slavery verses to be disregarded. Also isn’t curious the greatest Christian thinkers, including several Saints, never realised this, and it wasn’t until after abolitionist and suffrage movements began that Christians realised the context which allowed them to ignore those verses. Not really, because simple fact is Christians do not get their morals from the bible but from the culture they live in and then they apply those morals to the bible. If morality came from the bible or God then morals would be absolute and static, however, the briefest scan of history reveals that this isn’t the case. Morals are constantly changing and Christians have constantly been using the bible to justify their morality and their actions. Slave-holders saw slavery, racists see racism, sexists see sexism, and now homophobic bigots see homophobia.

NB: I actually took a light hand when referencing things we now deem immoral that are in the bible. Such as stoning an unruly son, how a rape victim must marry her rapist, stoning of women if they are not virgins on their wedding night etc. Simply because there are too many to mention and the post is long enough so I just concentrated on slavery and sexism as I feel it is adequate enough to prove the point I am trying to make.

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4 comments:

  1. That Christians cherry pick among the many outrageous edicts to kill as proscribed in the book of Leviticus, I cannot believe that they are "merely expressing religious freedom." It seems to me that the cherry picking itself is the expression of religious freedom. So - its just bigotry. Just like slavery was "ok" because it's in the Bible, so is hating on gays because it's in the Bible.
    Bigotry.

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  2. Was not Eve made out of the ribs of Adam!! So they went on to have childern and they then married each other!! Lets tackle incest then good old Christianity!!

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  3. I am a bit put off by the convenient definition of bigot to include sexual orientation (probably did not appear in older dictionaries).

    Merriam-webster.com defines bigot as: "Definition of BIGOT
    : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance "

    Similar definition in dictionary.com.

    Sexual orientation is not specified (or ruled out) in either definition. The definition in both cases seems to center on the nature of the intolerance of the individual rather than the particular subject they oppose (which still qualifies a lot of these folks as bigots.

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    Replies
    1. Language is constantly evolving and definitive change constantly, racial or ethnic groups did not appear in older definitions either. Original definition of bigot is a religious hypocrite which perfectly applies to the above case of Christians ignoring sections of bible while following others.

      The definition I have given above is from Oxford English Dictionary and is not 'convenient', as you have stated a bigot is someone who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred or intolerance, and homosexuals are definitely a group in our society. The examples of racial and ethnic are just that, examples. It does not exclude homosexuals.

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