If being LGBT is a sin, why isn't it in the Ten Commandments?
The Ten Commandments, according to the Christian bible, are laws set down by God for his people to follow. Now at the time the Ten Commandments were written, God’s people were the Israelites, but after Jesus formed the New Covenant and a bunch of Roman emperors decided Jesus was the Messiah, those laws were passed out to the newly formed Christian religion.
These commandments were (again according to the Christian bible) written by God on two stone tablets and given to Moses. According to Mel Brooks, there was a third tablet, but Moses dropped it. The laws were pretty self-explanatory:
That’s it. These are the laws considered by the men who wrote the bible to be the most important. Don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t cheat on your spouse or partner, be respectful to your parents, don’t worship other things and don’t covet things other people have. Stop saying “God dammit” every time you stub your toe. Take Saturday off. And of course because God is jealous (it says so in the bible), you can only worship Him.
Fundamentalists will have you believe that being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is so awful, so evil that anyone who is one of those things is automatically going to hell. Which begs the question: If being LGBT is so horrible, where’s the Commandment Against Homosexuality? Adultery made the list, and last I heard, no one’s taken Newt Gingrich out into the town square and stoned him to death.
Murder’s on there, and murder is an actual crime in almost every country on Earth. Stealing is also a crime and also a commandment. Coveting is pretty tame, in my opinion. Who among us hasn’t seen the new Lexus in our neighbor’s driveway and thought “Well, shit, I see Bob got another raise, wish I could afford a Lexus.”
What fundamentalists are usually referencing is the Book of Leviticus. Leviticus is from the Greek, meaning “relating to the Levites.” Levites were a tribe from whom priests were drawn. The Book of Leviticus gives instructions for those priests and addresses roles and duties of the laity. Chapters 17-26 contain the “Holiness Codes.” These include prohibitions of numerous things from sacrificing animals outside a temple to a myriad of sexual contacts to cursing one’s parents to blasphemy. The code ends by telling the Israelites they have a choice: follow the law and enjoy prosperity or be subject to horrible punishments, the worst of which would be expulsion from the land. In other words, do what you’re told or we’ll throw you out into the desert.
If you attempt to point out that Leviticus is an ancient text filled with rules for priests and the tribes of Israel, odds are you will be met with Romans 1. This is the passage fundamentalist Christians whip out when some silly person claims Jesus didn’t say anything about being LGBT. Unfortunately for the fundamentalists, Jesus didn’t say anything about being LGBT.
And many scholars believe Paul, whose writings are heavily featured in Romans, wasn’t really condemning homosexuality either, he was a product of his time. Paul was pretty uptight about everything, including women’s role in religion. I think he was jealous because Jesus didn’t pick him as the rock on which he would build his church. Paul was coveting.
There are some rather interesting things promoted in the Old Testament like rape, slavery and abortion. I haven’t noticed fundamentalist Christians mixing up abortifacients and handing them out to unwed, pregnant women. But they drone on and on and on about being gay or bi or transgender or lesbian like it’s the worst thing a person can be. Well, GOD didn’t think it was the worst thing a person could be, because if he did, he would have written it on those two stone tablets. Or three, depending on who you like more-God or Mel Brooks.
Look, I’m a liberal Christian, which means I believe in evolution and equality and acceptance and taking care of people less fortunate than I am. I believe that two adults who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together should be able to do that. I do not believe that an LGBT teenager should have to stay in the closet because if they reveal who they are, their parents will throw them out onto the street. And I do not believe God hates LGBT people. I don’t believe God hates anyone, anymore than I believe God wrote the bible. Men wrote the bible, men who didn’t know jack about the world. They wanted to propagate, they needed more people, they needed control and power, and they used archaic laws and fear to get it.
Let’s end with this. If everything in the Christian bible is 100% accurate, that means the moon is a star. According to Genesis (no, not the band), God created a light for the day and a light for the night. The moon’s a rock.