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Elton Sherwin
The Bible and Homosexuality
Part 1
Sodom and Gomorrah
And the Old Testament “Clobber Verses”
How this Presentation Came to Be
You may have seen the headlines:
Harvard Study:
“Religious upbringing linked to
better health and well-being”*
Young Adults Happier and
Less Likely to Use Drugs
Numerous studies have documented the positive effects of
church attendance on wellbeing.**
Sadly, there is one group of children for whom church
attendance is dangerous…
* https://opentheword.org/2018/09/24/harvard-study-church-attendance-as-a-child-has-positive-influence-on-a-person-in-their-20s/ and
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/religious-upbringing-adult-health/
** https://open.bu.edu/bitstream/handle/2144/6/litreview.pdf?
…LGBTQ children and young adults who attend
churches believing that all homosexual acts are sinful
are more likely to contemplate self-harm and to
commit suicide.*
Recent Research Indicates…
* https://www.huffpost.com/entry/queer-youth-religion-suicide-study_n_5ad4f7b3e4b077c89ceb9774 and
https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(18)30050-3/fulltext
This has motivated some parents and
churches to revisit their church’s, and
the Bible’s, teaching on homosexuality
and sexual minorities.
This 3-part presentation takes a fresh look what the
Bible actually says about homosexuality
Does the Bible claim that all homosexual acts
are inherently evil or immoral?
Are all gays called to a life of celibacy?
Benj/Wikipedia
This presentation discusses homosexuality, sodomy, rape,
gang rape, STIs (STDs), temple prostitution, menstruation,
masturbation, and the death penalty for children who swear
at their parents. Parents of pre-teens should assess
suitability for their children.
PG13
What Does the Bible Actually Say
About Homosexuality?
More accurate translations and
improved scholarship give new insights
Part 1
 Old Testament “clobber verses”
Part 2
 Affirming scriptures blessing
sexual minorities
Part 3
 New Testament “clobber verses”
 Helpful LGBTQ History
No Story Has Had a
Greater Influence
on the Christian
Condemnation of
Homosexuality
than the Story of
Sodom and
Gomorrah
Jacob Jacobsz. C. 1680
Wikipedia
Sodom and Gomorrah Afire
Genesis 19: 1-29
 Two foreigners arrive in
Sodom. They are angels
disguised as foreigners.
 Lot, a servant of the Lord, insists they stay at
his house and not sleep in the town square.
 ALL THE MEN OF THE CITY surround Lot’s
house and called out: “Where are the men
who came to you tonight? Bring them out to
us so that we can have sex with [rape] them.”
Image from: The Brick Bible
© 2019 Elbe Spurling.
The Story Ends Badly for Sodom
 The angels save Lot and
some of his relatives.
 God destroys the city.
What was God’s message?
 Is it about mob violence?
 Gang rape?
It turns out: God had been angry
with Sodom for a while and the
prophet Ezekiel tells us why…
Why Was Sodom Destroyed?
“Sodom’s sins were
pride, gluttony, and
laziness, while the
poor and needy
suffered outside her
door.” Ezekiel 16:49
Where Are All the Gay Guys?
 Wait, where is all the
“sodomy?” Where are all
the homosexuals? Not
there.
 This is a story about
mob violence, gang rape
and the poor treatment
of foreigners.
 No gays in it.*
WOW!
* https://www.westarinstitute.org/blog/sodom-and-gomorrah-how-the-classical-interpretation-gets-it-wrong/
Scholars Weigh in
“There is not the least reason to believe, as a
matter of either historical fact or of revealed
truth, that the city of Sodom and its neighbors
were destroyed because of their
homosexual practices.”
Derrick Sherwin Bailey, Ph.D.
Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition
Quoted in
Human Sexuality: New Directions in American Catholic Thought
A Study Commissioned by The Catholic Theological Society of America (p.193)
The Easter Bunny on Calgary!
Over the centuries, as we will see in the
following story, homosexuals have paid a huge
price for this fictional addition that contradicts
Biblical scripture.
Just as the Easter bunny was
added after-the-fact to the Easter
story: Homosexuality was added
after-the-fact to the story of Sodom
and Gomorrah.
The Consequences of “Sodomy Laws”
The Homosexual Who Saved Great Britain
Alan “Turing played a
pivotal role in cracking
intercepted coded
messages that enabled the
Allies to defeat the Nazis...”
Wikipedia
In 1952 Convicted of Being a Homosexual
 A British court gave him
the choice of prison or
chemical castration.
 He chose castration.
The country he helped save
castrated him
 Two years later he was
dead of cyanide
poisoning. The coroner
ruled suicide at age 41. Alan Turing at age 16
This Story Breaks My Heart
One of the greatest minds of
the 20th Century
 Father of computer science
 Mathematician
 Logician
 Cryptanalyst
 Philosopher
 Theoretical biologist
Dead at age 41 Alan Turing at age 16
…LGBTQ children and young adults who attend
churches believing that all homosexual acts are
sinful are more likely to contemplate self-harm and
to commit suicide.
A Cautionary Tale for All Churches
The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah Is the First of
What Are Now Called “The Clobber Verses”
Seven scriptures used to
condemn the LGBTQ
community.
When speaking of
homosexuality, the story of
Sodom and Gomorrah is
Christianity's original sin. A lie
retold so frequently and so
confidently, it is now common
wisdom, imbedded in our
language.
Except it has nothing to do
with homosexuals.
Clobber Verse #2
The Murder of the Levite’s Concubine
A Dark Story of
 Mob violence
 Gang rape
 Murder
 Tribal warfare
 Genocide
 Enslavement and
forced marriages of
400 young womenThe Levite of Ephraim
A. F. Caminafe (1837)
Wikipedia
Judges Chapters 19-21
The Murder of the Levite’s Concubine
What is this story about?
 Hospitality to travelers
 Gang rape
 Tribal warfare
 Genocide
 Abuse of women
Probably all of the above
But it is not about
homosexuals or
homosexuality
The Levite of Ephraim
A. F. Caminafe (1837)
Wikipedia
First 2 “Clobber Verses” Are “Off Topic”
Have Nothing To Do Homosexuality*
Verse Off topic
Number of
Disputed
Words
Disputed
by context
1 Genesis 19:1-29 √ √
2 Judges 19:1-30 √ √
3 Leviticus 18:22
4 Leviticus 20:13
5 Romans 1:18-27
6 I Corinthians 6:9-10
7 I Timothy 1:8-11
* There is an extended “Master Class” on this topic in the appendix
#3 Leviticus 18:22
3. “You shall not lie with a male as with a
woman; it is an abomination.”
 Leviticus 18:22
Seems Pretty Darn Clear
#4 Leviticus 20:13 is Even Worse
3. “You shall not lie with a male as with a
woman; it is an abomination.”
 Leviticus 18:22
4. “If a man lies with a male as with a woman,
both of them [both guys] have committed an
abomination; they shall be put to death…”
 Leviticus 20:13
Yikes: …they shall be put to death…
In English and Out of Context
They Seem Very Damming
3. “You shall not lie with a male as with a
woman; it is an abomination.”
 Leviticus 18:22
4. “If a man lies with a male as with a woman,
both of them [both guys] have committed an
abomination; they shall be put to death…”
 Leviticus 20:13
First, let's look at context
Then, let's look at the Hebrew
Context
Leviticus Bans Over 70 Activities*
Including Bans on:
 Cursing your mother or
father (death penalty)
 Mistreating foreigners
 Selling land
 Tattoos
 Mixed fiber clothes
 Trimming beards
 Body piercing
 Unkempt hair
 Making idols
 Planting different types of
seeds in the same field
 Not standing in the
presence of elderly
 Drinking alcohol in holy
places
 Marrying a widow
 Working on the Sabbath
 Eating shrimp or crab
 Eating pork
… it is a long list
* https://leviticusbans.tumblr.com/post/23730370413/76-things-banned-in-leviticus
Think How History Would Have Changed
If Christians Had Followed Levitical “Laws”
“But your Bible says:
‘The land shall not be
sold permanently…’
How about a 49-year
lease?”
The Purchase of Manhattan Island
Alfred Fredericks
Wikipedia
Manhattan - 1626
What Are All These Rules? and
Why Does Everyone Ignore Most of Them?
They are part of the
Holiness Code
 Designed to keep Israel
separate from the
surrounding nations
 Non-Jews have: Tattoos, body piercing,
temple prostitutes, etc.
Devout Jews do not do these things
Most Churches Today Ignore All the Dietary Laws
And Many of the Other “Rules” in Leviticus
#3 - Leviticus 18:22
#4 - Leviticus 20:13
Holiness codes
designed to keep Israel
separate from her
neighbors.
Today, Churches ignore
most of these “rules”
Leviticus bans promiscuous sex and
temple prostitution during religious
ceremonies and religious feasts
Christian Churches Claiming All
Homosexuality is Forbidden
 Don’t believe: Selling
of land is forbidden
 Don’t believe: Cursing
your mother or father
should be punished by
death
 Don’t believe: Marrying
a widow is immoral
 Don’t believe: Mixed
fiber clothes are sinful
https://leviticusbans.tumblr.com/post/23730370413/76-things-banned-in-leviticus
What makes “men lying
with men” different?
 Why must we keep this
part of the Holiness
Code, but can ignore
other parts?
 There is no satisfactory
explanation. It appears
to be a cultural bias.
And Then There is TO’EBAH
“Ritually Unclean” or “an Abomination?”
* Evangelicals Concerned Inc. https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/leviticus-1822-2013/
“Abomination” (TO’EBAH) is a technical cultic term
for what is ritually unclean, such as mixed cloth,
pork, and intercourse with menstruating women.
It’s not about a moral or ethical issue.”*
You shall not lie with a male as with a
woman; it is ritually unclean
That does change things a bit…
Many of Levitical “Laws” Were Actually
Public Health Messages
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman;
it is ritually unclean
(Or ye might get a disease)
Getting an STD 2,700 years ago was life threatening
“ ” without protection
An update of Leviticus 18:22 might look like this:
A Disputed Translation
And a Confusing Context
The Translation is disputed
 Is it an abomination or ritually unclean?
Context is a Jewish Holiness
Code
 May be talking about temple
prostitution
 May be talking about rich men
having sex with young boys
 May be an STD warning
Perhaps all of the above. We don’t
really know.
Bible Commentator Janet Edmonds
Comments on Levitical Laws
“…all these texts were concerned with “ritual purity”
and were intended to distinguish Israel from its
pagan neighbors.”
Canaanite religions surrounding the Israelites often
included… “Sex with temple prostitutes, family
members, and homosexual sex [which] was
performed at the Canaanite temples and thought to
bring good luck to help crop and livestock
production.”*
* https://www.rmnetwork.org/newrmn/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Booklet-
about-Homosexuality-and-the-Bible-Sept.-2016.pdf
Canaanite Temple Sex
“Dear, I am off the he Temple to have sex with
a shrine prostitute and see if it will improve this
year's crops.”
You can see this might have appeal to
certain men
You can also see why Jewish leadership
forbade the men of Israel from participating
It Is a High Bar
For the Bible to Condemn All Homosexuality…
To claim that all homosexuals must
 Abstain from all sex
 Never marry
 Forgo leadership in churches
The scriptures would have to be:
1. Clear, undisputed in translation
2. Affirmed by their context
3. Not contradicted by the Prophets or Jesus
© Marie-Lan Nguyen
Wikipedia
…Disputed
…Challenged
Four Old Testament Clobber Verses
Two are off topic
and
Two are…
Upcoming
Part 2: Seven Verses Affirming Sexual Minorities
Part 3:
New Testament
Clobber Verses
How Did These 7 Scriptures,
These “Clobber Verses” Gain So Much Influence?
 Hundreds of scriptures on taking care of the
poor, foreigner, widow and orphan
 Don’t judge, lest you be judged…
 Love all your neighbors
 Not just the ones you like
 Scripture condemns gluttony
 Where are all the anti-gluttony sermons?
How did these 7—with their disputed translations
and imprecise words—gain so much influence?
A Bit of Historical Background
Christian Homophobia
 When they were young men,
several of the early church
fathers were wild and
promiscuous (had sex with a lot of
different people).*
 When they finally settled down
they went overboard inventing
rules to protect the rest of us.
St. Augustine
St. Jerome
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome & http://saintjerome.blogspot.com/
and https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/19/how-st-augustine-
invented-sex Also https://qspirit.net/augustine-hippo-queer-saint/
…And Then There is Sperm
 For 1800 years, many medical professionals
and clerics believed boys were born with
“limited seed.” Today we call “seed” sperm.
 They believed that every time a guy
masturbated he was wasting his precious
sperm and hurting his future chance of
having children.
 Today, we know the opposite is true: Guys
who masturbate create even more sperm.*
* https://www.livescience.com/32437-why-are-250-million-sperm-cells-released-during-sex.html
The “Wasted Seed” Argument
 For example, if you were the king and caught
your eldest son masturbating or having sex
with another guy, wasting his sperm that you
believed were destined to be your
grandchildren and the future rulers of your
kingdom…
 You can see how a bit of bad knowledge got
out of hand and created centuries of
needless grief and trauma.
What About Women?
 Historically, girls were mostly
ignored.
 Women masturbating or having sex
with women did not waste anything.
There were no accidental
pregnancies and it did not mess up
any bloodlines or inheritance.
 In recent decades, conservative
churches have attacked female
masturbation and lesbian sex—but
historically it got a lot less attention.
Alexandre Cabanel
The Daughter of
Jephthah, 1879
Wikipedia
The Words Homosexual and Homosexuality
 In scripture and in antiquity, there was no exact
synonym for our word “homosexual.”
 Sexual minorities were categorized and described
differently in the ancient world. (more on this in part 2)
 The English word, homosexual, does not even
appear until the 1800s.
 The word homosexual was absent from English
Bible translations until after the Second World War!*
* https://medium.com/@adamnicholasphillips/the-bible-does-not-condemn-homosexuality-seriously-it-doesn-t-13ae949d6619
Christianity Has Been Hard
On the LGBTQ Community
Scriptures about mob violence and the
poor treatment of foreigners
“reinterpreted” to blame homosexuals.
Formerly promiscuous clerics inventing
rules they themselves cannot keep.
Homosexuality added to English Bible in
the 1940s.
Christianity Has Failed Gay Believers
Closing Thoughts
200 Years Ago
Many American Churches Believed
 Slaves should obey their masters
 Wives should obey their husbands
 Fathers should beat their disobedient sons
 Native Americans had no rights to their…
…Land
…their religion
…and their children
Scripture says all these things
But Does It
Reflect the Love and Character of God?
“Any interpretation of scripture that hurts people,
oppresses people, or destroys people cannot be
the right interpretation, no matter how traditional,
historical, or exegetically respectable.
“There can be no debate about the fact that the
church’s stand on homosexuality has caused
oppression, loneliness, self-hatred, violence,
sickness and suicide for millions of people.”
Dale Martin in
Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation*
* https://books.google.com/books?id=QRv4Cb41nv8C&pg=PA50&lpg=PA50&dq=%E2%80%9Chomosexuality%22
Err on the Side of Love
“We all make errors in our theology; you and me both.
So my recommendation is to err on the side of love.
Why?
- - -
“Because God is not doctrine. God is not a denomination.
God is not war. God is not law. God is not hate…
God is Love”
Pastor Brian Zahnd
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2019/10/love-doctrine-and-mystery.html or
https://twitter.com/brianzahnd/status/1012201620216696833?lang=en
To Parents of LGBTQ+ Youth
It seems unwise to encourage an LGBTQ+ youngster to
fall in love with a denomination’s youth program and
then discover the denomination believes they are:
 “Intrinsically disordered”
 “Sinful unless celibate”
 “Contrary to the natural law”
 “Gravely immoral…” It is a sad, long list.
Research* and common sense dictate that it is not
healthy for the “7% kids” to attend churches professing
these non-scientific, non-scriptural beliefs.
* https://www.huffpost.com/entry/queer-youth-religion-suicide-study_n_5ad4f7b3e4b077c89ceb9774 and
https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(18)30050-3/fulltext
Closing Blessing
If you are straight…
…Do not let the “teachers of the law” steal your ability
to enjoy and love God’s entire creation, including the
7% that are not like you.
If you are—or might be—somewhere in the
rainbow…
…Do not let the “teachers of the law” steal your self-
confidence, your joy of life or your faith.
God created you uniquely and exactly as you are.
The Bible and Homosexuality
Part 2
 Affirming scriptures blessing
sexual minorities
Part 3
 Three “clobber verses” in the
New testament, plus useful
historical background
Discussion Questions
What Does it Mean to Be LGBTQ?
A Deeper Discussion of these Difficult Passages
Resources for LGBTQ Christians and Their Families
Expert Opinions on the Clobber Verses
Image Credits
References and
Resources
Discussion Questions
1. Do you think “all the men from every part of the city
of Sodom—both young and old” who surrounded
Lot’s house were gay?
2. Leviticus was written about 2700 years ago. Do you
think Christians should follow all, or some, or none
of its laws?
3. Do you think the Leviticus verses mean all
homosexuality is an “abomination” or is this a
mistranslation and really about temple sex and
shrine prostitution.
4. What other thoughts or observations do you have
about the four Old Testament clobber verses?
What Does it Mean to Be LGBTQ?
Image: Thelmadatter/Wikimedia
A Complex Question
With a Helpful Answer
“What about people born with
ambiguous genitals or
whose chromosomes are not XX or XY?”
They struggled to answer the question.
Here is how I would answer it.
At a recent college gathering two
Christian theologians were asked
the following question:
90 to 93% of Humans Come in 1 of 2 “Models”
The Boy Model
√ Has XY chromosomes,
√ Has a male body
√ Believes they are a boy
√ Is primarily attracted to
girls
The Girl Model
√ Has XX chromosomes,
√ Has a female body
√ Believes they are a girl
√ Is primarily attracted to
boys
God’s Special Editions
7 to 10% of the population
does not fit in these two boxes, instead:
…Their DNA is neither XX nor XY; or
…Physically their bodies have some physical
characteristics of both a boy and a girl; or
…Their feelings don’t match their body’s physical sex.
For example they have a girl’s body but since
childhood think of themselves as a boy; or
…They have significant attraction to their own gender.
The Most Common Colors in
the Rainbow
There are many variations and combinations in the LGBTQ+
rainbow, including:
 Gay or Homosexual: Primarily attracted to people of the same
gender
 Bi or Bisexual: Attracted to both genders
 Undecided or Questioning: Not yet sure of their sexual
orientation
 Trans or transsexual: Gender identity does not correspond
with birth sex. For example, a child with a girl’s body who feels
or “knows” they are a boy.
 Fluid or gender fluid: Someone whose sexual orientation
changes over time.
 Intersexual: a person “…born with a combination of male and
female biological characteristics, such as chromosomes or
genitals…”
“For those whose physical and emotional attractions are
consistently and exclusively directed toward persons of "the
other sex," knowing one's sexual orientation is easy. These
individuals are fortunate to live in a society – and family – that
unequivocally affirm heterosexuality and present no obstacles
to the recognition and acceptance of one's heterosexuality.
“Others experience some degree of same-sex attractions and
struggle to make sense of what those attractions mean,
especially in the context of a society and family that regards
heterosexuality as the ideal sexual orientation.”*
*Am I Gay?" A Guide for People Who Question Their Sexual Orientation:
www.yoursexualorientation.info Dr. Richard H. Reams
Master Class
A Deeper Discussion of these
Difficult Passages
The Levite of Ephraim
A. F. Caminafe (1837)
Wikipedia
Sodom and Gomorrah Afire
How Are These Stories Connected to Gays?
Both Stories have similar beginnings
They start with mobs of men
surrounding homes with visitors and
the mob wanting “know” (abuse,
strip or rape) the male visitors
The Levite of Ephraim
A. F. Caminafe (1837)
Wikipedia
Sodom and Gomorrah Afire
How Are These Stories Connected to Gays?
Then, in both stories
 The mobs are offered virgin girls to
rape in place of visiting older men
 In both stories the mob wants the
men not the virgin girls!
 Sexual violence by straight men on
straight men is difficult to discuss
 Easier to imagine these are mobs of
sex-deprived gay men…?
IS IT LIKELY (or even possible) THESE
WERE GANGS OF HOMOSEXUAL
RAPISTS?
The Levite of Ephraim
A. F. Caminafe (1837)
Wikipedia
Sodom and Gomorrah Afire
Gangs of Gay
Rapists?
“…all the men from
every part of the city
of Sodom —both
young and old—
surrounded the
house. They called
to Lot, “Where are the
men who came to
you tonight? Bring
them out to us so that
we can have sex with
them.”
Gen 19:4-5
Image from: The Brick Bible
© 2019 Elbe Spurling.
Gangs of Gay Rapists?
Probably Not
“…all the men from every part of the city of Sodom —
both young and old—surrounded the house.”
 There are no know instances in history of entire
towns being homosexual males.
 There are few, if any, know instances of large
gangs of gay males raping anyone.
There are many know instances of gangs of
straight men raping other men. This happens to
prisoners, in wars, to foreigners and by powerful
men asserting their dominance over other men.
The Whole City Was Not Gay Males
Teen boys
Fathers
Grandfathers
Single men
Image from: The Brick Bible
© 2019 Elbe Spurling.
“…all the men from every part of the city of Sodom
—both young and old—surrounded the house.
Gen 19:4
Three Theories
Theory #1:
 A large group of straight men tried to sexually
abuse two foreigners
Theory #2:
 Men and boys of Sodom recognized the
messengers as celestial beings and believed
they could obtain special powers by having
sex with an angel
Teen boys
Fathers
Grandfathers
Single men
Theory #3
Rev. Dave Barnhart proposed an intriguing 3rd theory:
Angels have no sex and the men of Sodom wanted
the angels stripped so they could see what was
underneath.
“Let’s find out if those two are really men or
women!”
Reverend Barnhart observes:
“We see this kind of violence against trans and
queer persons on a regular basis.”*
Teen boys
Fathers
Grandfathers
Single men
* https://rmnetwork.org/genesis19/
Theory #3
Reverend Barnhart
Observes:
“We see this kind of violence against trans and queer
persons on a regular basis. In May of 2014, on
Atlanta public transportation, a crowd of people not
only assaulted two transgender women of color, but
recorded it on video as they punched, kicked, and
stripped them naked. The crowd cheered. Their
words are eerily similar to the mob’s words in
Genesis 1—they wanted to “know” the “real”
biological sex of the two women.*
Teen boys
Fathers
Grandfathers
Single men
* https://rmnetwork.org/genesis19/
It Is Highly Improbable that
Every Male in Sodom
Was Homosexual
 Today, around the world, in both modern and
pre-modern societies, we see sexual
violence directed at foreigners and “queers”
 Sexual violence initiated by straight men
 It is unheard of for large groups of gay males
-- including boys, adult men and grandfathers
-- to gang rape anyone.
 It is common for groups of straight males to
sexually assault minorities and foreigners.
Teen boys
Fathers
Grandfathers
Single men
But What If the Mobs Were Homosexual Rapists
Seems Very Unlikely,
But What If…
…Then the lesson has to do with homosexual
gang rape.
 We can all agree that rape, gang rape,
homosexual or straight is a sin.
 Neither of these stories has anything to do
with consensual sex.
Resources for LGBTQ Christians
Their Families, Their Pastors and
Spiritual Advisors
The Christian Message
Affirms Minorities and Sexual Minorities
Sojourners
 https://sojo.net/articles/10-bible-passages-teach-christian-
perspective-homosexuality
Unclobber
 http://www.unclobber.com/
Pastor Brandon Robertson
 http://www.brandanrobertson.com/
“Must Read” Documents for Bible Scholars,
Pastors, Elders, Deacons and Church Staff
 Affirming verses friendly or welcoming
 https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2018/4/0
3/difference-between-welcoming-church-and-
affirming-one-huge
 The Janet Edmonds’ white paper:
 https://www.rmnetwork.org/newrmn/wp-
content/uploads/2016/09/Booklet-about-
Homosexuality-and-the-Bible-Sept.-2016.pdf
Resources for LGBTQ Christians
 Queer Grace: http://queergrace.com/
 Online communities: http://queergrace.com/communities/
 Geeky Justin: Christian video blogger extraordinaire
 http://geekyjustin.com/
 https://www.youtube.com/user/GCNJustin/featured
 NALT: Christians proclaiming their belief in full LGBT equality
 http://www.notalllikethat.org/
 Christian/Denominationally-Based LGBT Organizations: Catholic,
Mormon, Baptist, Eastern Orthodox, United Church of Christ, Et al. Some of
these groups are unapproved resistance groups supporting queer believers and
pushing for denominational change.
 http://www.welcomingresources.org/links.htm
 Canyon Walkers: http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/
 Q Christian Fellowship: https://www.qchristian.org/
 The Reformation Project: www.reformationproject.org
 Justin Hershey, Forge: https://www.forgeonline.org/
Secular Resources
 The Trevor Project: Crisis intervention and
suicide prevention services for lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning
(LGBTQ) young people under 25
 https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
 FLAG: Founded in 1973 after the simple act of a
mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG
is the nation's largest family and ally
organization.
 https://pflag.org
Secular Resources
 The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
National Help Center: www.glnh.org
 Moderated chat rooms for LGBT youth and teens
 Operates 3 hotlines:
 The LGBT National Hotline,
 The LGBT National Youth Talkline,
 The LGBT National Senior Hotline
 Largest collection of resources for the LGBT community
in the United States
 The Bisexual Resource Center
 http://biresource.org/
Additional Resources
https://medium.com/@adamnicholasphillips/the-bible-
does-not-condemn-homosexuality-seriously-it-doesn-t-
13ae949d6619 (see list near the end of article)
Additional Videos
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OJVlgpe-R0
 http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/family-videos
 https://youtu.be/KLuB7fvMlhc (“welcoming” churches)
Michelangelo’s poetry changed and Da Vinci jailed
for sodomy (this reference contains an obscenity)
 http://rictornorton.co.uk/though19.htm
Four Affirming Books
1. Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-
Christians Debate (Justin Lee)
 https://www.amazon.com/dp/1455514306
2. God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in
Support of Same-Sex Relationships (Matthew Vines)
 https://www.amazon.com/dp/160142518X
3. UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on
Homosexuality (Colby Martin)
 https://www.amazon.com/dp/066426221X
4. Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and
Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism
(Deborah Jian Lee)
 https://www.amazon.com/dp/0807075078
Expert Opinions on the
Clobber Verses
Scholars Weigh in
“There is not the least reason to believe, as a
matter of either historical fact or of revealed
truth, that the city of Sodom and its neighbors
were destroyed because of their
homosexual practices.”
Derrick Sherwin Bailey, Ph.D.
Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition
Quoted in
Human Sexuality: New Directions in American Catholic Thought
A Study Commissioned by The Catholic Theological Society of America (p.193)
Analysis of the 7 Clobber Verses
Gay Church
 https://www.gaychurch.org/homosexuality-and-the-bible/the-bible-
christianity-and-homosexuality/
Huffington Post
 https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-
condemning-homosexuality_b_1396345
The PostBarthian
 https://postbarthian.com/2017/10/11/clobber-verses-six-
scriptures-cited-gays-lesbians-sex-relationships-lgbtq/
The Janet Edmonds’ white paper
 https://serendipitydodah.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/the-clobber-
verses/ or https://www.rmnetwork.org/newrmn/wp-
content/uploads/2016/09/Booklet-about-Homosexuality-and-the-
Bible-Sept.-2016.pdf
Additional Analysis of the 7 Clobber Verses
Old and New Testament
 https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_homosexuality
Old Testament Verses
 http://www.religioustolerance.org/hombiblot.htm
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_the_Hebrew_Bible
Leviticus
 http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/leviticus-18-20-say-sex-
behavior/
 https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/leviticus-1822-2013/
 https://blog.smu.edu/ot8317/2016/05/11/leviticus-1822/
 https://www.gaychristian101.com/in-hebrew-does-leviticus-1822-
really-say-while-with-a-woman.html
 http://www.religioustolerance.org/interpreting-Leviticus-18-22.htm
New Testament Clobber Verses
New Testament verses
 http://www.religioustolerance.org/hombiblnt.htm
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_the_New_Testament
 Romans 1:26-27
 https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/romans-126-27/
 http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/romans-126-27-say-sex-behavior/
 https://www.forgeonline.org/blog/2019/3/8/what-about-romans-124-27
 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
 https://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2015/08/clobberi
ng-the-confusion-about-1-corinthians-69-10/
 http://queergrace.com/corinthians/
 http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/1-corinthians-1-timothy-say-sex-
behavior/
 I Timothy 1:8-11
 https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/i-corinthians-69-timothy-110/
The 7 Scriptures Used Against Gays
Janet Edmond Summarizes:
“Many Christians want to remain faithful to God’s Word
through the Bible. This has caused Christians who
read the Bible without background information or
cultural context, to have difficulty accepting
homosexuals. They see gays and lesbians as sinners
who need to change and repent or remain celibate.
But when we study the seven scriptures typically used
to condemn homosexuals, it’s evident that none of
them have anything to do with consensual homosexual
relations.”
This presentation has no copyright.
You may use, reprint or modify it with or without attribution.
However, the iStock images, the 123rf image and the two HBO images in
part two may, in some situations, require licenses
These 10 images are licensed from iStock by Getty Images
This image is
licensed from
123rf.com 12771762
1081015038
510855527* 123925899 1035496496
1142504449 1138408623
* Change iStock to search for illustrations to find this iStock ID #
515274762
182812065
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The Bible and Homosexuality, Part 1: Sodom and Gomorrah and the Old Testament “Clobber Verses”

  • 1. Elton Sherwin The Bible and Homosexuality Part 1 Sodom and Gomorrah And the Old Testament “Clobber Verses”
  • 2. How this Presentation Came to Be You may have seen the headlines: Harvard Study: “Religious upbringing linked to better health and well-being”* Young Adults Happier and Less Likely to Use Drugs Numerous studies have documented the positive effects of church attendance on wellbeing.** Sadly, there is one group of children for whom church attendance is dangerous… * https://opentheword.org/2018/09/24/harvard-study-church-attendance-as-a-child-has-positive-influence-on-a-person-in-their-20s/ and https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/religious-upbringing-adult-health/ ** https://open.bu.edu/bitstream/handle/2144/6/litreview.pdf?
  • 3. …LGBTQ children and young adults who attend churches believing that all homosexual acts are sinful are more likely to contemplate self-harm and to commit suicide.* Recent Research Indicates… * https://www.huffpost.com/entry/queer-youth-religion-suicide-study_n_5ad4f7b3e4b077c89ceb9774 and https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(18)30050-3/fulltext
  • 4. This has motivated some parents and churches to revisit their church’s, and the Bible’s, teaching on homosexuality and sexual minorities. This 3-part presentation takes a fresh look what the Bible actually says about homosexuality Does the Bible claim that all homosexual acts are inherently evil or immoral? Are all gays called to a life of celibacy? Benj/Wikipedia
  • 5. This presentation discusses homosexuality, sodomy, rape, gang rape, STIs (STDs), temple prostitution, menstruation, masturbation, and the death penalty for children who swear at their parents. Parents of pre-teens should assess suitability for their children. PG13
  • 6. What Does the Bible Actually Say About Homosexuality? More accurate translations and improved scholarship give new insights Part 1  Old Testament “clobber verses” Part 2  Affirming scriptures blessing sexual minorities Part 3  New Testament “clobber verses”  Helpful LGBTQ History
  • 7. No Story Has Had a Greater Influence on the Christian Condemnation of Homosexuality than the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah Jacob Jacobsz. C. 1680 Wikipedia Sodom and Gomorrah Afire
  • 8. Genesis 19: 1-29  Two foreigners arrive in Sodom. They are angels disguised as foreigners.  Lot, a servant of the Lord, insists they stay at his house and not sleep in the town square.  ALL THE MEN OF THE CITY surround Lot’s house and called out: “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with [rape] them.” Image from: The Brick Bible © 2019 Elbe Spurling.
  • 9. The Story Ends Badly for Sodom  The angels save Lot and some of his relatives.  God destroys the city. What was God’s message?  Is it about mob violence?  Gang rape? It turns out: God had been angry with Sodom for a while and the prophet Ezekiel tells us why…
  • 10. Why Was Sodom Destroyed? “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” Ezekiel 16:49
  • 11. Where Are All the Gay Guys?  Wait, where is all the “sodomy?” Where are all the homosexuals? Not there.  This is a story about mob violence, gang rape and the poor treatment of foreigners.  No gays in it.* WOW! * https://www.westarinstitute.org/blog/sodom-and-gomorrah-how-the-classical-interpretation-gets-it-wrong/
  • 12. Scholars Weigh in “There is not the least reason to believe, as a matter of either historical fact or of revealed truth, that the city of Sodom and its neighbors were destroyed because of their homosexual practices.” Derrick Sherwin Bailey, Ph.D. Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition Quoted in Human Sexuality: New Directions in American Catholic Thought A Study Commissioned by The Catholic Theological Society of America (p.193)
  • 13. The Easter Bunny on Calgary! Over the centuries, as we will see in the following story, homosexuals have paid a huge price for this fictional addition that contradicts Biblical scripture. Just as the Easter bunny was added after-the-fact to the Easter story: Homosexuality was added after-the-fact to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • 14. The Consequences of “Sodomy Laws” The Homosexual Who Saved Great Britain Alan “Turing played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis...” Wikipedia
  • 15. In 1952 Convicted of Being a Homosexual  A British court gave him the choice of prison or chemical castration.  He chose castration. The country he helped save castrated him  Two years later he was dead of cyanide poisoning. The coroner ruled suicide at age 41. Alan Turing at age 16
  • 16. This Story Breaks My Heart One of the greatest minds of the 20th Century  Father of computer science  Mathematician  Logician  Cryptanalyst  Philosopher  Theoretical biologist Dead at age 41 Alan Turing at age 16
  • 17. …LGBTQ children and young adults who attend churches believing that all homosexual acts are sinful are more likely to contemplate self-harm and to commit suicide. A Cautionary Tale for All Churches
  • 18. The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah Is the First of What Are Now Called “The Clobber Verses” Seven scriptures used to condemn the LGBTQ community. When speaking of homosexuality, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is Christianity's original sin. A lie retold so frequently and so confidently, it is now common wisdom, imbedded in our language. Except it has nothing to do with homosexuals.
  • 19. Clobber Verse #2 The Murder of the Levite’s Concubine A Dark Story of  Mob violence  Gang rape  Murder  Tribal warfare  Genocide  Enslavement and forced marriages of 400 young womenThe Levite of Ephraim A. F. Caminafe (1837) Wikipedia
  • 20. Judges Chapters 19-21 The Murder of the Levite’s Concubine What is this story about?  Hospitality to travelers  Gang rape  Tribal warfare  Genocide  Abuse of women Probably all of the above But it is not about homosexuals or homosexuality The Levite of Ephraim A. F. Caminafe (1837) Wikipedia
  • 21. First 2 “Clobber Verses” Are “Off Topic” Have Nothing To Do Homosexuality* Verse Off topic Number of Disputed Words Disputed by context 1 Genesis 19:1-29 √ √ 2 Judges 19:1-30 √ √ 3 Leviticus 18:22 4 Leviticus 20:13 5 Romans 1:18-27 6 I Corinthians 6:9-10 7 I Timothy 1:8-11 * There is an extended “Master Class” on this topic in the appendix
  • 22. #3 Leviticus 18:22 3. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”  Leviticus 18:22 Seems Pretty Darn Clear
  • 23. #4 Leviticus 20:13 is Even Worse 3. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”  Leviticus 18:22 4. “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them [both guys] have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death…”  Leviticus 20:13 Yikes: …they shall be put to death…
  • 24. In English and Out of Context They Seem Very Damming 3. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”  Leviticus 18:22 4. “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them [both guys] have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death…”  Leviticus 20:13 First, let's look at context Then, let's look at the Hebrew
  • 25. Context Leviticus Bans Over 70 Activities* Including Bans on:  Cursing your mother or father (death penalty)  Mistreating foreigners  Selling land  Tattoos  Mixed fiber clothes  Trimming beards  Body piercing  Unkempt hair  Making idols  Planting different types of seeds in the same field  Not standing in the presence of elderly  Drinking alcohol in holy places  Marrying a widow  Working on the Sabbath  Eating shrimp or crab  Eating pork … it is a long list * https://leviticusbans.tumblr.com/post/23730370413/76-things-banned-in-leviticus
  • 26. Think How History Would Have Changed If Christians Had Followed Levitical “Laws” “But your Bible says: ‘The land shall not be sold permanently…’ How about a 49-year lease?” The Purchase of Manhattan Island Alfred Fredericks Wikipedia Manhattan - 1626
  • 27. What Are All These Rules? and Why Does Everyone Ignore Most of Them? They are part of the Holiness Code  Designed to keep Israel separate from the surrounding nations  Non-Jews have: Tattoos, body piercing, temple prostitutes, etc. Devout Jews do not do these things
  • 28. Most Churches Today Ignore All the Dietary Laws And Many of the Other “Rules” in Leviticus
  • 29. #3 - Leviticus 18:22 #4 - Leviticus 20:13 Holiness codes designed to keep Israel separate from her neighbors. Today, Churches ignore most of these “rules” Leviticus bans promiscuous sex and temple prostitution during religious ceremonies and religious feasts
  • 30. Christian Churches Claiming All Homosexuality is Forbidden  Don’t believe: Selling of land is forbidden  Don’t believe: Cursing your mother or father should be punished by death  Don’t believe: Marrying a widow is immoral  Don’t believe: Mixed fiber clothes are sinful https://leviticusbans.tumblr.com/post/23730370413/76-things-banned-in-leviticus What makes “men lying with men” different?  Why must we keep this part of the Holiness Code, but can ignore other parts?  There is no satisfactory explanation. It appears to be a cultural bias.
  • 31. And Then There is TO’EBAH “Ritually Unclean” or “an Abomination?” * Evangelicals Concerned Inc. https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/leviticus-1822-2013/ “Abomination” (TO’EBAH) is a technical cultic term for what is ritually unclean, such as mixed cloth, pork, and intercourse with menstruating women. It’s not about a moral or ethical issue.”* You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is ritually unclean That does change things a bit…
  • 32. Many of Levitical “Laws” Were Actually Public Health Messages You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is ritually unclean (Or ye might get a disease) Getting an STD 2,700 years ago was life threatening “ ” without protection An update of Leviticus 18:22 might look like this:
  • 33. A Disputed Translation And a Confusing Context The Translation is disputed  Is it an abomination or ritually unclean? Context is a Jewish Holiness Code  May be talking about temple prostitution  May be talking about rich men having sex with young boys  May be an STD warning Perhaps all of the above. We don’t really know.
  • 34. Bible Commentator Janet Edmonds Comments on Levitical Laws “…all these texts were concerned with “ritual purity” and were intended to distinguish Israel from its pagan neighbors.” Canaanite religions surrounding the Israelites often included… “Sex with temple prostitutes, family members, and homosexual sex [which] was performed at the Canaanite temples and thought to bring good luck to help crop and livestock production.”* * https://www.rmnetwork.org/newrmn/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Booklet- about-Homosexuality-and-the-Bible-Sept.-2016.pdf
  • 35. Canaanite Temple Sex “Dear, I am off the he Temple to have sex with a shrine prostitute and see if it will improve this year's crops.” You can see this might have appeal to certain men You can also see why Jewish leadership forbade the men of Israel from participating
  • 36. It Is a High Bar For the Bible to Condemn All Homosexuality… To claim that all homosexuals must  Abstain from all sex  Never marry  Forgo leadership in churches The scriptures would have to be: 1. Clear, undisputed in translation 2. Affirmed by their context 3. Not contradicted by the Prophets or Jesus © Marie-Lan Nguyen Wikipedia
  • 37. …Disputed …Challenged Four Old Testament Clobber Verses Two are off topic and Two are…
  • 38. Upcoming Part 2: Seven Verses Affirming Sexual Minorities Part 3: New Testament Clobber Verses
  • 39. How Did These 7 Scriptures, These “Clobber Verses” Gain So Much Influence?  Hundreds of scriptures on taking care of the poor, foreigner, widow and orphan  Don’t judge, lest you be judged…  Love all your neighbors  Not just the ones you like  Scripture condemns gluttony  Where are all the anti-gluttony sermons? How did these 7—with their disputed translations and imprecise words—gain so much influence?
  • 40. A Bit of Historical Background
  • 41. Christian Homophobia  When they were young men, several of the early church fathers were wild and promiscuous (had sex with a lot of different people).*  When they finally settled down they went overboard inventing rules to protect the rest of us. St. Augustine St. Jerome * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome & http://saintjerome.blogspot.com/ and https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/19/how-st-augustine- invented-sex Also https://qspirit.net/augustine-hippo-queer-saint/
  • 42. …And Then There is Sperm  For 1800 years, many medical professionals and clerics believed boys were born with “limited seed.” Today we call “seed” sperm.  They believed that every time a guy masturbated he was wasting his precious sperm and hurting his future chance of having children.  Today, we know the opposite is true: Guys who masturbate create even more sperm.* * https://www.livescience.com/32437-why-are-250-million-sperm-cells-released-during-sex.html
  • 43. The “Wasted Seed” Argument  For example, if you were the king and caught your eldest son masturbating or having sex with another guy, wasting his sperm that you believed were destined to be your grandchildren and the future rulers of your kingdom…  You can see how a bit of bad knowledge got out of hand and created centuries of needless grief and trauma.
  • 44. What About Women?  Historically, girls were mostly ignored.  Women masturbating or having sex with women did not waste anything. There were no accidental pregnancies and it did not mess up any bloodlines or inheritance.  In recent decades, conservative churches have attacked female masturbation and lesbian sex—but historically it got a lot less attention. Alexandre Cabanel The Daughter of Jephthah, 1879 Wikipedia
  • 45. The Words Homosexual and Homosexuality  In scripture and in antiquity, there was no exact synonym for our word “homosexual.”  Sexual minorities were categorized and described differently in the ancient world. (more on this in part 2)  The English word, homosexual, does not even appear until the 1800s.  The word homosexual was absent from English Bible translations until after the Second World War!* * https://medium.com/@adamnicholasphillips/the-bible-does-not-condemn-homosexuality-seriously-it-doesn-t-13ae949d6619
  • 46. Christianity Has Been Hard On the LGBTQ Community Scriptures about mob violence and the poor treatment of foreigners “reinterpreted” to blame homosexuals. Formerly promiscuous clerics inventing rules they themselves cannot keep. Homosexuality added to English Bible in the 1940s. Christianity Has Failed Gay Believers
  • 48. 200 Years Ago Many American Churches Believed  Slaves should obey their masters  Wives should obey their husbands  Fathers should beat their disobedient sons  Native Americans had no rights to their… …Land …their religion …and their children Scripture says all these things
  • 49. But Does It Reflect the Love and Character of God? “Any interpretation of scripture that hurts people, oppresses people, or destroys people cannot be the right interpretation, no matter how traditional, historical, or exegetically respectable. “There can be no debate about the fact that the church’s stand on homosexuality has caused oppression, loneliness, self-hatred, violence, sickness and suicide for millions of people.” Dale Martin in Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation* * https://books.google.com/books?id=QRv4Cb41nv8C&pg=PA50&lpg=PA50&dq=%E2%80%9Chomosexuality%22
  • 50. Err on the Side of Love “We all make errors in our theology; you and me both. So my recommendation is to err on the side of love. Why? - - - “Because God is not doctrine. God is not a denomination. God is not war. God is not law. God is not hate… God is Love” Pastor Brian Zahnd https://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2019/10/love-doctrine-and-mystery.html or https://twitter.com/brianzahnd/status/1012201620216696833?lang=en
  • 51. To Parents of LGBTQ+ Youth It seems unwise to encourage an LGBTQ+ youngster to fall in love with a denomination’s youth program and then discover the denomination believes they are:  “Intrinsically disordered”  “Sinful unless celibate”  “Contrary to the natural law”  “Gravely immoral…” It is a sad, long list. Research* and common sense dictate that it is not healthy for the “7% kids” to attend churches professing these non-scientific, non-scriptural beliefs. * https://www.huffpost.com/entry/queer-youth-religion-suicide-study_n_5ad4f7b3e4b077c89ceb9774 and https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(18)30050-3/fulltext
  • 52. Closing Blessing If you are straight… …Do not let the “teachers of the law” steal your ability to enjoy and love God’s entire creation, including the 7% that are not like you. If you are—or might be—somewhere in the rainbow… …Do not let the “teachers of the law” steal your self- confidence, your joy of life or your faith. God created you uniquely and exactly as you are.
  • 53. The Bible and Homosexuality Part 2  Affirming scriptures blessing sexual minorities Part 3  Three “clobber verses” in the New testament, plus useful historical background
  • 54. Discussion Questions What Does it Mean to Be LGBTQ? A Deeper Discussion of these Difficult Passages Resources for LGBTQ Christians and Their Families Expert Opinions on the Clobber Verses Image Credits References and Resources
  • 55. Discussion Questions 1. Do you think “all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old” who surrounded Lot’s house were gay? 2. Leviticus was written about 2700 years ago. Do you think Christians should follow all, or some, or none of its laws? 3. Do you think the Leviticus verses mean all homosexuality is an “abomination” or is this a mistranslation and really about temple sex and shrine prostitution. 4. What other thoughts or observations do you have about the four Old Testament clobber verses?
  • 56. What Does it Mean to Be LGBTQ? Image: Thelmadatter/Wikimedia
  • 57. A Complex Question With a Helpful Answer “What about people born with ambiguous genitals or whose chromosomes are not XX or XY?” They struggled to answer the question. Here is how I would answer it. At a recent college gathering two Christian theologians were asked the following question:
  • 58. 90 to 93% of Humans Come in 1 of 2 “Models” The Boy Model √ Has XY chromosomes, √ Has a male body √ Believes they are a boy √ Is primarily attracted to girls The Girl Model √ Has XX chromosomes, √ Has a female body √ Believes they are a girl √ Is primarily attracted to boys
  • 59. God’s Special Editions 7 to 10% of the population does not fit in these two boxes, instead: …Their DNA is neither XX nor XY; or …Physically their bodies have some physical characteristics of both a boy and a girl; or …Their feelings don’t match their body’s physical sex. For example they have a girl’s body but since childhood think of themselves as a boy; or …They have significant attraction to their own gender.
  • 60. The Most Common Colors in the Rainbow There are many variations and combinations in the LGBTQ+ rainbow, including:  Gay or Homosexual: Primarily attracted to people of the same gender  Bi or Bisexual: Attracted to both genders  Undecided or Questioning: Not yet sure of their sexual orientation  Trans or transsexual: Gender identity does not correspond with birth sex. For example, a child with a girl’s body who feels or “knows” they are a boy.  Fluid or gender fluid: Someone whose sexual orientation changes over time.  Intersexual: a person “…born with a combination of male and female biological characteristics, such as chromosomes or genitals…”
  • 61. “For those whose physical and emotional attractions are consistently and exclusively directed toward persons of "the other sex," knowing one's sexual orientation is easy. These individuals are fortunate to live in a society – and family – that unequivocally affirm heterosexuality and present no obstacles to the recognition and acceptance of one's heterosexuality. “Others experience some degree of same-sex attractions and struggle to make sense of what those attractions mean, especially in the context of a society and family that regards heterosexuality as the ideal sexual orientation.”* *Am I Gay?" A Guide for People Who Question Their Sexual Orientation: www.yoursexualorientation.info Dr. Richard H. Reams
  • 62. Master Class A Deeper Discussion of these Difficult Passages The Levite of Ephraim A. F. Caminafe (1837) Wikipedia Sodom and Gomorrah Afire
  • 63. How Are These Stories Connected to Gays? Both Stories have similar beginnings They start with mobs of men surrounding homes with visitors and the mob wanting “know” (abuse, strip or rape) the male visitors The Levite of Ephraim A. F. Caminafe (1837) Wikipedia Sodom and Gomorrah Afire
  • 64. How Are These Stories Connected to Gays? Then, in both stories  The mobs are offered virgin girls to rape in place of visiting older men  In both stories the mob wants the men not the virgin girls!  Sexual violence by straight men on straight men is difficult to discuss  Easier to imagine these are mobs of sex-deprived gay men…? IS IT LIKELY (or even possible) THESE WERE GANGS OF HOMOSEXUAL RAPISTS? The Levite of Ephraim A. F. Caminafe (1837) Wikipedia Sodom and Gomorrah Afire
  • 65. Gangs of Gay Rapists? “…all the men from every part of the city of Sodom —both young and old— surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” Gen 19:4-5 Image from: The Brick Bible © 2019 Elbe Spurling.
  • 66. Gangs of Gay Rapists? Probably Not “…all the men from every part of the city of Sodom — both young and old—surrounded the house.”  There are no know instances in history of entire towns being homosexual males.  There are few, if any, know instances of large gangs of gay males raping anyone. There are many know instances of gangs of straight men raping other men. This happens to prisoners, in wars, to foreigners and by powerful men asserting their dominance over other men.
  • 67. The Whole City Was Not Gay Males Teen boys Fathers Grandfathers Single men Image from: The Brick Bible © 2019 Elbe Spurling. “…all the men from every part of the city of Sodom —both young and old—surrounded the house. Gen 19:4
  • 68. Three Theories Theory #1:  A large group of straight men tried to sexually abuse two foreigners Theory #2:  Men and boys of Sodom recognized the messengers as celestial beings and believed they could obtain special powers by having sex with an angel Teen boys Fathers Grandfathers Single men
  • 69. Theory #3 Rev. Dave Barnhart proposed an intriguing 3rd theory: Angels have no sex and the men of Sodom wanted the angels stripped so they could see what was underneath. “Let’s find out if those two are really men or women!” Reverend Barnhart observes: “We see this kind of violence against trans and queer persons on a regular basis.”* Teen boys Fathers Grandfathers Single men * https://rmnetwork.org/genesis19/
  • 70. Theory #3 Reverend Barnhart Observes: “We see this kind of violence against trans and queer persons on a regular basis. In May of 2014, on Atlanta public transportation, a crowd of people not only assaulted two transgender women of color, but recorded it on video as they punched, kicked, and stripped them naked. The crowd cheered. Their words are eerily similar to the mob’s words in Genesis 1—they wanted to “know” the “real” biological sex of the two women.* Teen boys Fathers Grandfathers Single men * https://rmnetwork.org/genesis19/
  • 71. It Is Highly Improbable that Every Male in Sodom Was Homosexual  Today, around the world, in both modern and pre-modern societies, we see sexual violence directed at foreigners and “queers”  Sexual violence initiated by straight men  It is unheard of for large groups of gay males -- including boys, adult men and grandfathers -- to gang rape anyone.  It is common for groups of straight males to sexually assault minorities and foreigners. Teen boys Fathers Grandfathers Single men
  • 72. But What If the Mobs Were Homosexual Rapists Seems Very Unlikely, But What If… …Then the lesson has to do with homosexual gang rape.  We can all agree that rape, gang rape, homosexual or straight is a sin.  Neither of these stories has anything to do with consensual sex.
  • 73. Resources for LGBTQ Christians Their Families, Their Pastors and Spiritual Advisors
  • 74. The Christian Message Affirms Minorities and Sexual Minorities Sojourners  https://sojo.net/articles/10-bible-passages-teach-christian- perspective-homosexuality Unclobber  http://www.unclobber.com/ Pastor Brandon Robertson  http://www.brandanrobertson.com/
  • 75. “Must Read” Documents for Bible Scholars, Pastors, Elders, Deacons and Church Staff  Affirming verses friendly or welcoming  https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2018/4/0 3/difference-between-welcoming-church-and- affirming-one-huge  The Janet Edmonds’ white paper:  https://www.rmnetwork.org/newrmn/wp- content/uploads/2016/09/Booklet-about- Homosexuality-and-the-Bible-Sept.-2016.pdf
  • 76. Resources for LGBTQ Christians  Queer Grace: http://queergrace.com/  Online communities: http://queergrace.com/communities/  Geeky Justin: Christian video blogger extraordinaire  http://geekyjustin.com/  https://www.youtube.com/user/GCNJustin/featured  NALT: Christians proclaiming their belief in full LGBT equality  http://www.notalllikethat.org/  Christian/Denominationally-Based LGBT Organizations: Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, Eastern Orthodox, United Church of Christ, Et al. Some of these groups are unapproved resistance groups supporting queer believers and pushing for denominational change.  http://www.welcomingresources.org/links.htm  Canyon Walkers: http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/  Q Christian Fellowship: https://www.qchristian.org/  The Reformation Project: www.reformationproject.org  Justin Hershey, Forge: https://www.forgeonline.org/
  • 77. Secular Resources  The Trevor Project: Crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25  https://www.thetrevorproject.org/  FLAG: Founded in 1973 after the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the nation's largest family and ally organization.  https://pflag.org
  • 78. Secular Resources  The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender National Help Center: www.glnh.org  Moderated chat rooms for LGBT youth and teens  Operates 3 hotlines:  The LGBT National Hotline,  The LGBT National Youth Talkline,  The LGBT National Senior Hotline  Largest collection of resources for the LGBT community in the United States  The Bisexual Resource Center  http://biresource.org/
  • 79. Additional Resources https://medium.com/@adamnicholasphillips/the-bible- does-not-condemn-homosexuality-seriously-it-doesn-t- 13ae949d6619 (see list near the end of article) Additional Videos  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OJVlgpe-R0  http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/family-videos  https://youtu.be/KLuB7fvMlhc (“welcoming” churches) Michelangelo’s poetry changed and Da Vinci jailed for sodomy (this reference contains an obscenity)  http://rictornorton.co.uk/though19.htm
  • 80. Four Affirming Books 1. Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.- Christians Debate (Justin Lee)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1455514306 2. God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships (Matthew Vines)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/160142518X 3. UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality (Colby Martin)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/066426221X 4. Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism (Deborah Jian Lee)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0807075078
  • 81. Expert Opinions on the Clobber Verses
  • 82. Scholars Weigh in “There is not the least reason to believe, as a matter of either historical fact or of revealed truth, that the city of Sodom and its neighbors were destroyed because of their homosexual practices.” Derrick Sherwin Bailey, Ph.D. Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition Quoted in Human Sexuality: New Directions in American Catholic Thought A Study Commissioned by The Catholic Theological Society of America (p.193)
  • 83. Analysis of the 7 Clobber Verses Gay Church  https://www.gaychurch.org/homosexuality-and-the-bible/the-bible- christianity-and-homosexuality/ Huffington Post  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not- condemning-homosexuality_b_1396345 The PostBarthian  https://postbarthian.com/2017/10/11/clobber-verses-six- scriptures-cited-gays-lesbians-sex-relationships-lgbtq/ The Janet Edmonds’ white paper  https://serendipitydodah.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/the-clobber- verses/ or https://www.rmnetwork.org/newrmn/wp- content/uploads/2016/09/Booklet-about-Homosexuality-and-the- Bible-Sept.-2016.pdf
  • 84. Additional Analysis of the 7 Clobber Verses Old and New Testament  https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_homosexuality Old Testament Verses  http://www.religioustolerance.org/hombiblot.htm  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_the_Hebrew_Bible Leviticus  http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/leviticus-18-20-say-sex- behavior/  https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/leviticus-1822-2013/  https://blog.smu.edu/ot8317/2016/05/11/leviticus-1822/  https://www.gaychristian101.com/in-hebrew-does-leviticus-1822- really-say-while-with-a-woman.html  http://www.religioustolerance.org/interpreting-Leviticus-18-22.htm
  • 85. New Testament Clobber Verses New Testament verses  http://www.religioustolerance.org/hombiblnt.htm  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_the_New_Testament  Romans 1:26-27  https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/romans-126-27/  http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/romans-126-27-say-sex-behavior/  https://www.forgeonline.org/blog/2019/3/8/what-about-romans-124-27  1 Corinthians 6:9-10  https://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2015/08/clobberi ng-the-confusion-about-1-corinthians-69-10/  http://queergrace.com/corinthians/  http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/1-corinthians-1-timothy-say-sex- behavior/  I Timothy 1:8-11  https://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/i-corinthians-69-timothy-110/
  • 86. The 7 Scriptures Used Against Gays Janet Edmond Summarizes: “Many Christians want to remain faithful to God’s Word through the Bible. This has caused Christians who read the Bible without background information or cultural context, to have difficulty accepting homosexuals. They see gays and lesbians as sinners who need to change and repent or remain celibate. But when we study the seven scriptures typically used to condemn homosexuals, it’s evident that none of them have anything to do with consensual homosexual relations.”
  • 87. This presentation has no copyright. You may use, reprint or modify it with or without attribution. However, the iStock images, the 123rf image and the two HBO images in part two may, in some situations, require licenses These 10 images are licensed from iStock by Getty Images This image is licensed from 123rf.com 12771762 1081015038 510855527* 123925899 1035496496 1142504449 1138408623 * Change iStock to search for illustrations to find this iStock ID # 515274762 182812065 918973072*490478936