[The Sexuality Blog]: Is it homophobia if my religion doesn’t permit me to support gay marriage? – a rejoinder

So there was this article on TheNakedConvos (which after that disastrous episode with the adaptation of their web series Our Best Friends Wedding, has bounced back to tackling sexuality issues intelligently) from a user about homophobia. The main gist of the article which you can read here, is that Christianity’s primary book, the Bible documents several men of God and God himself both in the Old and New Testament denounce homosexuality and call for Christians to deny/ostracise homosexuals in their communities. It is on the basis of these statements, particularly the book of Leviticus and the writings of the Apostle Paul that many post middle age civilisations have based their ethics and moralities.

However, we forget that the Bible itself also records a staggering level of flexibility in God’s dealings with humans, a flexibility that humans have chosen deliberately to ignore so that they can engage their personal biases.

A prime example?

The God of the Bible originally used to smite people to death for blasphemy. It didn’t matter if they adhered to Christianity, or as it were back then Judaism. There are several records of millions of people dying in the Egyptian wilderness because they dared to ‘look away’ from God, deadly desert snakes sent to bite them to death. There was the man who died for impulsively steadying the ark of Covenant. For touching a wooden box. Israelites went to war with the Amalekites and committed genocide against them at God’s request because they had dared to attack Israel and taunt them about their God. There weren’t that many sins in the Bible that warranted a swift death as blasphemy.

But the God of the Bible, who Christians insist is inflexible, saw the fallibility of humans and chose to not smite people for being human. If He can change His mind on something as fundamental to his worship as that, is it that much of a stretch that he would want any Christian fighting any battles of blasphemy in his name.

Perhaps this might be a lot to take in, so let’s simplify.

One of the things the Bible is very, very clear on, right to its very last page, is the worship of false gods. It admonishes Christians to flee every ‘semblance’ of this, even the faintest hint. But many of our heterosexual Christian marriages feature elaborate traditional weddings, where the couple is married in the eyes of the ‘community’. Perhaps the modern traditional marriage has been neutered enough that we perform the motions without many contexts for their origins, but traditional weddings sought the blessings of the gods (small g) and ancestors traditionally worshipped by an ethnic group. The alcohol they ask for is traditionally for libations, the live animals traditionally for sacrifices to the gods for good health and to ward off evil. Some families actually secretly perform these rituals away from the public events. So if many heterosexual marriages keep alive an important part of ancestor worship, isn’t it in direct conflict with us not supporting some kinds of marriages because our religions do not allow it.

As Christians do we actively push for legislation to deny Muslims the right to marry four wives because Christianity calls bigamy and polygamy a sin?

Do we fight for legislation to ban the ritual marriages to Yoruba Orisa that still happen to this very day? After all, Christians say this is a literal worship of demons, and a personal assault to the lives of others, and many children do not understand what being married to the River Osun, or Yemoja, or Sango, or Esu can do to their lives and destinies.

Do we fight for legislation that forbids Christians from marrying non-Christians, because the Bible is quite clear about being yoked with unbelievers, or adherents of other religions? Apostle Paul actually forbids it, calling that it will affect a Christian’s spiritual walk with God?

If your activism isn’t uniformly spread and is only directed to same-sex marriages, then you are homophobic. Plain and simple.

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