i'm at work right now. ;)
yesterday, i talked a whole lot on aim with rachel p, a yalie friend of mine that used to be gay. she's now, in her words, "turned toward jesus and away from the sin of homosexuality". she likes to cite paul's letters in romans 1:26-27 for her reasoning why homosexuality is a sin, and i definitely reject such.
she recites from a translation. she's not reciting from the original hebrew. any translation for western society is exactly that: a translation for/from western society that (just) might be skewed to reflect the beliefs of the western translators. synonyms are synonyms, but synonyms still carry different connotations. for example, in learning a new language at all, one'll notice that some words just don't translate from one language to the other. i notice this all too often when i want to translate from spanish into english.
yet, let's not use that as a simple way out. i'll go ahead and assume the english translation as being correct, yet i don't think i'll want to assume her interpretation as being flawless.
i give her a common interpretation from more liberal christians of that same passage. it, in fact, is more thought out than her simple argument stating that "a man shall not lie with another man", blah, blah, blah:
she's selecting verses yet leaving out the total message, grrr. the verses are unrelated to homosexuality! the complete passage actually describes how ex-christians first engaged in orgiastic, presumably heterosexual, sexual activities. later, paul writes that god "gave them over" to something new: this being homosexual behavior. this, though, implies that throughout their lifetimes, these ex-christians were of a heterosexual orientation and engaged only in heterosexual sex. god had then influenced them so that they'd, then, engage in homosexual sex. this was, for them, a very unnatural activity, of course, and they were thus admonished because they engaged in sexual activity which was unnatural, again, for them.
for one of a heterosexual orientation, homosexual behavior, sure, is unnatural, perverted, shameful, and indecent. the passage, though, in romans is not a condemnation of homosexual behavior. rather, it disapproves of sexual behavior that is against one's basic nature (homosexual behavior by heterosexuals and even heterosexual behavior by homosexuals).
when the scripture is understood correctly, it seems to actually imply that it'd be unnatural for heterosexuals to live as homosexuals and for homosexuals to live as heterosexuals. simply said: be yourself.
romans 1:26-27 speaks only of heterosexual people who act contrary to their nature.
"god created each of us with a sexual orientation. to attempt to change it is, in effect, telling god that he created us incorrectly. the creation (being you and me) does not have the right to re-create itself."
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