I have sworn off engaging in Bible debates over whether or not LGBTQ people should receive equal rights (such as marriage, ordination, adoption, employment, military service, and so forth). I find debates over the Bible tedious and pointless. Here is my bottom line:
Were the writers of what has become the Bible homophobic?
Yes, some were probably. People who wrote the Bible had all kinds of strange ideas. Just read the darn thing.
Is the Bible as homophobic as are the current true believers?
No. The true believers are desperate to find a way to justify their prejudice. They really have to search and obfuscate. The pro-slavery people in the 1850s had more evidence from the Bible for their greed and delusion than do the anti-gay people.
Do I really care what the Bible says?
I have said before that if 500 verses of the Bible and if the resuscitated corpse of Jesus appeared before me and both clearly stated that gays are going to hell, I'd be happy to go to hell with them than to honor a homophobic god.
It is all about prejudice. And if there is such a thing as "sin" prejudice is the sin that keeps on sinning. But since so many people seem to think the Bible is a big player in all of this, someone has to produce this resource as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is offered the opportunity yet again to redeem itself and remove discrimination from its constitution.
Aric Clark and Doug Hagler of Two Friars and a Fool have produced an LGBTQ Ordination Resource. You can even download it in the church-bulletin-ready half-fold booklet format and the hand-out-to-the-commissioners-before-the-presbytery-meeting-ready full-page portrait format.
The usual suspects are already responding.
Did I mention how tedious this is? Once you start with the Bible, mystical theological gobbledy-gook is sure to follow. Nevertheless, I heartily commend Doug and Aric. I will copy their resource, link to it on the sidebar, and pass it out like candy just to show that the Bible is not as homophobic as are those who want to beat you over the head with it.
The Bible is a book. Even my middle school youth group gets that. They don't need debates over the translation of Hebrew verbs to know how and how not to treat others.
The issue is prejudice. The focus is people. Be kind. Treat others as you want to be treated.
The prejudiced people are out there. I don't understand how they think. Do they really believe all that superstition they dream up about the Bible? I can't imagine why they would want to treat human beings the way that they do. Yet we have to co-exist with them some how. So far, they have a slim majority in the Presbyterian Church. So far.
It could be different this time, though.
The difference will be making sure you get your tail to the presbytery meeting and vote. And get others there to vote. Make those calls. The speeches at the meeting are less important than getting the bodies there.
Let us end this 35 year dysfunction and pass Amendment 10A now.