Go to Table of Contents
WHAT IS REALLY AT STAKE
What is at stake is the outright condemnation and rejection of a significant portion of God’s children by the church based, according to most, on scriptural authority. I argue that the very few Biblical passages that possibly decry homosexuality lose their veracity since the Levitical condemnation of “abomination” is, at the least, suspect. It is incumbent on the church to wrestle out the implications of this in a very public way,
since the subject of LGBT relationships, marriage and participation in the church is a hot-button social issue, and the church is largely responsible for bringing it to the forefront of cultural consciousness.
The arguments against full inclusion of LGBT are professed to be based on scripture – a literal or conservative reading of scripture, no less. Most denominations, protestant at least, grant considerably more authority to scripture than to tradition. While the understanding of Leviticus being damning of homesexuality is a tradition interpretation, it is nonetheless an interpretation that scripture does not bear out. Bias of all kinds have been promoted by traditional based on slanted readings of scripture – whether the bias be against slavery, women, people of color or other marginalized groups – and a more thorough interpretation of scripture trumped the tradition and opened the door of justice in the church and society.
Honesty, theological reflection and knowledge, being essential components of Christian conversation, must be integral to this conversation. Humility must also enter the conversation, with the leadership of the church acknowledging that, despite traditional claims of academia and ministry, there is more than one legitimate way in which to understand and interpret the scriptures, especially those being bandied around as anti-GLBT.
Since scriptural prohibition is the hook on which the church hangs it hat, continuing to lay that claim allows the institution, and the individuals within it, to be less than reflective with regard to the other more basic and intrinsic fears or reasons for exclusion. Honest, knowledgeable, theologically reflective and humble dialogue on the subject of homosexuality requires removing the smokescreen of scriptural certainty, and dealing with the core visceral objections that have more to do with cultural tradition and social or economic fears. These other reasons for negative attitude may or may not have some legitimacy, but they can only be discussed honestly when we take the onus off God and bear the weight of our own feelings, apprehension and bias. To do otherwise would be to consciously allow the continuation of a theological dissimulation that had continued unabated and unchallenged until late into the last century.
Return to Table of Contents