"Bring them out to us that we may know them."
Author's Note: "Know"
simply means know! No hint at homosexuality exists in the original
Hebrew. No later Bible references to Sodom ever mention
homosexuality as the sin of Sodom. Many modern translations
add words to the text to create the lie that the people of Sodom
not a biblical word. Laws against sodomy not only violate the
Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state; they also
use an incorrect and wrongly translated term for the laws. A
"Sodomite" in the Bible is simply a person who lives in Sodom, which
included Lot and his family. The term "sodomite" in the King
James Version of Deuteronomy 23:17 and I Kings 14:24 is an incorrect
translation of the Hebrew word for "temple prostitute." (See the
recent book by Mark D. Jordan:
The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology. University of Chicago Press, 1997.)
average person assumes that the Bible clearly condemns male to male
sexual intercourse as "sodomy" and that the city of Sodom was destroyed
because of homosexuality, which is seen as the worst of all sins in the
Bible. These assumptions are based on no evidence at all in the Bible.
Jewish scholars before the first Christian century taught that the sin
of Sodom was sexual. None of the biblical references to Sodom
mention sexual sins but view Sodom as an example of injustice, lack of
hospitality to strangers, idolatry and as a symbol for desolation and
destruction. See Deuteronomy 29:22-28; 32:32; Ezekiel 16:49-50;
Jeremiah 49:18; 50:41; Isaiah 13:19-22 and Matthew 10:14-15. In
Jude 7, the term "strange flesh" is Greek hetero sarkos
("different flesh" and from which the word "heterosexual" comes) and
refers to foreign idols or people. It is not homo ("the same") flesh or people. Sarkos
is never used in the New Testament as a word for "sex."
The word "know" in Genesis 19:5 is Hebrew YADA.
It is used 943 times in the Old Testament to "know" God, good and evil,
the truth, the law, people, places, things, etc. It is a very
flexible word, as are many Hebrew words. In Genesis 19:5, the
word was used to express the request of the people of Sodom that Lot
should bring out the strangers in his house so that they could know who
they were. Sodom was a tiny fortress in the barren wasteland
south of the Dead Sea. The only strangers that the people of
Sodom ever saw were enemy tribes who wanted to destroy and take over
their valuable fortress and the trade routes that it protected.
Lot himself was an alien in their midst.
strange response to the request was to offer his young daughters to the
men, an offer that seems to me to be far more reprehensible than any
problem of sexual orientation. If the men were homosexual, why
did Lot offer to give them his daughters? These hostile and
violent people were heterosexual, and homosexual orientation had
nothing to do with the incident.
Special note on YADA: The Hebrew word YADA
"to know" is never used in the Old Testament to mean "to have sex
with". People have been conditioned to think that "to know
someone biblically" means to have sex. The use of YADA
in Genesis 4:1-2 to say that Adam knew Eve and she conceived and gave
birth to Cain is followed by saying that later she gave birth to his
brother Abel without any reference to YADA. Why? Simply because YADA
does not mean to have sex. It is a general term that describes
many kinds of intimate relationships. I have studied all of the
uses of YADA in the Old Testament, and my personal
conclusion is that it never means what we mean by sexual
intercourse. Just substitute a common slang expression for sexual
intercourse instead of the word "know" in Genesis 4:1 and you will see
how inappropriate the idea is. The Old Testament Hebrew writers
never thought or wrote in those terms. The Bible never gives any
details about sexual acts. The only clear Hebrew term for sexual
acts is "to lie with," which is left without any further explanation.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN SODOM?
To twist the story to say what it does not say is to miss what it does
say. The story does not deal with sexual orientation or with
homosexuality and has no bearing at all on the issue of God's
acceptance or rejection of Gays and Lesbians. The story of Sodom
clearly teaches that evil and violent people who attack aliens and
strangers whom they do not know or understand receive God's quick and
The purpose of the story is to show that
misunderstood, strange, or feared minorities in any community are in
danger from violence by the majority when that majority is ignorant,
ungodly, selfish and afraid. The real message of Sodom is
backwards from the claims of homophobic preachers and
teachers. The Gay and Lesbian minority in our society today is
more like the guests in Lot's house who were protected behind closed
doors ("in the closet") than like the frightened mindless mob that
wanted to expose, humiliate and destroy people that they did not "know"
the record straight! Genesis 19 is about the fear (like
homophobia) and anger of a mob (like many misguided religious fanatics)
directed against a small group of isolated strangers (like Gays and
Lesbians today) in their midst. Sexual orientation is not the
issue here or anywhere else in the Bible.
Read also the strange story in Judges
19:1-30 of the Levite in Gibeah, which was patterned after the story of
Lot and the angels in Genesis 19. Jewish teachers before the time
of Christ never saw either of these stories as having any connection
with homosexuality or sexual orientation. Neither should we.
"You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a
female; it is an abomination."
a man lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have
committed an abomination and they shall surely be put to death."
Both of these verses refer not to homosexuals but to heterosexuals who
took part in the baal fertility rituals in order to guarantee good
crops and healthy flocks. No hint at sexual orientation or
homosexuality is even implied. The word abomination in Leviticus was used for anything that was considered to be religiously unclean or associated with idol worship.
these two verses in Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) have been used more
than any other Bible texts to condemn and reject gay and lesbian
people, the following material is given to help you think objectively
about traditional abusive use of the Bible regarding homosexuals.
use of Leviticus to condemn and reject homosexuals is obviously a
hypocritical selective use of the Bible against gays and
lesbians. Nobody today tries to keep the laws in Leviticus. Look
at Leviticus 11:1-12, where all unclean animals are forbidden as food,
including rabbits, pigs, and shellfish, such as oysters, shrimp,
lobsters, crabs, clams, and others that are called an
"abomination." Leviticus 20:25 demands that "you are to make a
distinction between the clean and unclean animal and between the
unclean and clean bird; and you shall not make yourself an abomination
by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I
have separated for you as unclean." You can eat some insects like
locusts (grasshoppers), but not others.
12:1-8 declares that a woman is unclean for 33 days after giving birth
to a boy and for 66 days after giving birth to a girl and goes on to
demand that certain animals must be offered as a burnt offering and a
sin offering for cleansing. Nobody today who claims to be a Christian
tries to keep these laws, and few people even know about them! Why do
you think that most people don't know about them?
Read Leviticus 23 to see the
detailed regulations concerning "complete rest" on the Sabbath day and
demands of animal sacrifices to be carried out according to exact
instructions. Leviticus 18:19 forbids a husband from having sex
with his wife during her menstrual period. Leviticus 19:19
forbids mixed breeding of various kinds of cattle, sowing various
kinds of seeds in your field or wearing "a garment made from two kinds
of material mixed together." Leviticus 19:27 demands that "you
shall not round off the side-growth of your heads, nor harm the edges
of your beard." The next verse forbids "tattoo marks on
yourself." Most people do not even know that these laws are in
the Bible and are demanded equally with all the others.
don't fundamentalists organize protests and picket seafood restaurants,
oyster bars, church barbecue suppers, all grocery stores, barber shops,
tattoo parlors, and stores that sell suits and dresses made of mixed
wool, cotton, polyester, and other materials? All of these
products and services are "abominations" in Leviticus. When have
you heard a preacher condemn the demonic abomination of garments that
are made of mixed fabrics?
The warning is given in Leviticus 26:14-16 that "If you do not obey me and do not carry out all
of these commandments, if instead, you reject my statutes, and if your
soul abhors my ordinances so as not to carry out all
my commandments ...I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over
you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the
eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you shall sow your seed
uselessly, for your enemies shall eat it up." The list of
punishments and terrors that will come from not keeping all of the commandments continues through many verses.
Read what Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-5 about hypocrites who judge others. "Do not judge lest you be judged yourselves... Why do you look at the speck in your
brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? ...You hypocrite!"
you have been led to misuse Leviticus and other parts of the
Bible in order to condemn and hate and reject people, you are on the
wrong path. Jesus quoted only one passage from Leviticus: "You
shall love your neighbor as yourself." (19:18). Jesus used
Leviticus to teach love. Many false teachers use Leviticus and other
writings to condemn, humiliate and destroy. I know which approach
seems truly Christian to me. Jesus never condemned homosexuals or
even mentioned anything that could be taken as a reference to sexual
against Gays and Lesbians based on the life and teachings of Jesus has to be dismissed for a lack of evidence!
use of Leviticus to judge and condemn anyone today is ludicrous and
absurd in the light of the total content of the book. To call the
content of the Book of Leviticus the "word of God" and try to enforce
any part of it today is without support in the teachings of Jesus and
in the letters of Paul.
in Mark 7:18-23 chided his disciples for their lack of spiritual
understanding. Jesus and his disciples had been condemned by the
religious leaders because they did not wash and eat according to the
Law. Jesus said, "Are
you too so uncomprehending? Don't you see that whatever goes into
your mouth from the outside cannot defile you; because it does not go
into your heart, but into your stomach, and is eliminated? (Thus Jesus
declared all foods clean."). And Jesus added, "That which
proceeds from within you, out of your heart, defiles you. Evil
thoughts, abusive sex acts, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of
coveting, wickedness, deceit, not caring, envy, slander,
arrogance and foolishness: all of these evil things proceed from within
and defile you."
Paul also rejected the absolute commands of Leviticus in Colossians 2:8-23, where he said, "If
you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world,
why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to
decrees, such as, 'Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!' (which
all refer to things destined to perish with the using) in accordance
with human commandments and teachings? These are matters which have, to
be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and
self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value
against human indulgence." (2:20-23). Paul declared in 2:14 that Jesus has "canceled
out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us which was
hostile to us; and Jesus has taken it out of the way, having nailed it
to the cross."
people have answered the argument that most of the "abominations" in
Leviticus referred to food by saying that the people back then knew
that pork was unhealthy, and that is why pigs were declared to be
unclean. If you follow that logic, you would declare anything
that is unhealthy to be an "abomination." We know that
cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, fat food and many other things are
unhealthy; so why are they not also called "abominations" and condemned
by the rabid Bible literalists with protests and pickets against
cigarette machines, all liquor stores and bars, all fast food outlets,
and any store that sells anything that is unhealthy? The reason
is simple. The use of Leviticus to condemn and reject anyone is
impossible to justify in the light of the facts.
use of Leviticus to condemn and reject homosexuals is absurd and makes
literal legalistic bible based religion look ridiculous.
me personally, the message of Jesus Christ always has been good news
for everyone. Personal evangelism has been my basic emphasis in
the ministry since I became pastor of a small rural church in South
Carolina in 1952 when I was nineteen years old. Our little church
led the Baptist Churches of South Carolina one year in per capita
baptisms. In all of my churches, both Baptist and MCC, my
emphasis has been personal evangelism. What is your emphasis in
your ministry? I personally have led hundreds of people to Christ
and taught other hundreds of people to become effective in sharing
Christ with others. During all of this time I have been
homosexual. I have realized that I was gay since I was a about 10 years
old. God loves me just as I am and uses me in ministry that fits
me and my life as an individual. I pray that you find the same
thing for yourself.
this reason God gave them over to degrading passions: for their women
exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature. And
in the same way also the men abandoned the natural use of the woman and
burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing
indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for
Author's Note: All of this refers to idolatrous religious practices that were
common in the time of Paul.
anything that Paul said out its context is like trying to drive a car
blindfolded. You don't know where you are, where you have been,
where you are going, or who you just ran over and killed!
Paul's writings have been taken out of
context and twisted to punish and oppress every identifiable minority
in the world: Jews, children, women, blacks, slaves, politicians,
divorced people, convicts, pro choice people, lesbians, gays,
bisexuals, transsexuals, religious reformers, the mentally ill, and the
list could go on and on. Paul is often difficult and confusing to
understand. A lot of Paul's writing is very difficult to
translate. Since most of his letters were written in response to
news from other people, reading Paul can be like listening to one side
of a telephone conversation. We know, or think we know, what Paul
is saying, but we have to guess what the other side has said. As 2 Peter 3:16-18 pointed out, we have to be on guard against using Paul's writings in unhealthy and destructive ways.
I taught a college course in the Book of Romans, I decided to memorize
Romans, as Augustine suggested. The effort paid off. Being
able to visualize the message of Romans as a whole immediately cleared
up a lot of Paul's thought that I had not been able to untangle before
by traditional means of study. It helped so much that I continued
to memorize the books of the Bible that I taught in college courses.
theme of the first 3 chapters of Romans is expressed in 1:16: "The
gospel is the power of God for spiritual freedom (salvation) for all
who believe." Paul
showed that all people equally need and can have Jesus in their
lives. Paul's gospel is inclusive, as expressed in Galatians
3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither
male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
1:26-27 is part of Paul's vigorous denunciation of idolatrous religious
worship and rituals. Read all of Romans 1:18 to 2:4 for the
context of the verses.
1:26-27 contains some words used only here by Paul. Familiar
words are used here in unusual ways. The passage is very
difficult to translate. The argument is directed against some
form of idolatry that would have been known to Paul's readers. To
us, 2,000 years later and in a totally different culture, the argument
is vague and indirect.
Verse 25 is
clearly a denunciation of idol worship, "For they exchanged the truth
of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature and not the
Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."." Paul at no point in his
writing dealt with same-sex orientation or the expression of love and
affection between two people of the same sex who love each other.
wrote Romans from Corinth, the second largest city in the empire and
the crossroads of world trade and culture. Pausanius observed at
about the same time as Paul that there were over 1,000 religions in
Corinth. The most prominent were the fertility cult of Aphrodite,
worship of Apollo, and the Delphi Oracle, which was across the bay from
Corinth. Paul's readers would have been aware of the religious
climate from which he wrote Romans and would have understood Paul a lot
better than we do.
The word "passions" in 1:26 is the
same word used to speak of the suffering and death of Jesus in Acts 1:3
and does not mean what we mean by "passion" today. Eros is the Greek word for
romantic love, but eros
is never used even once in the New Testament. "Passions" in 1:26
probably refers to the frenzied state of mind that many ancient mystery
cults induced in worshipers by means of wine, drugs and music.
do not know the meaning of "burn" in 1:27, because Paul never used this
particular word anywhere else, and it's origin is uncertain. The
term "against nature" is also strange here, since exactly the same term
is used by Paul in Romans 11:21-24 to speak of God acting "against
nature" by including the Gentiles with the Jews in the family of
God. "Against nature" was used to speak of something that was not
done in the usual way, but did not necessarily mean that something
"against nature" was evil, since God also "acted against nature."
more word needs special attention. "Committing indecent acts" in
1:27 is translated by King James Version as "working that which is
unseemly." Phillips goes far beyond the evidence and renders it
as "Shameful horrors!" The Greek word is askemosunen
and is formed of the word for "outer appearance" plus the negative
particle. It speaks of the inner or hidden part or parts of the
individual that are not ordinarily seen or known in public.
"Indecent" in 1 Corinthians 12:23 referred to the parts of the body
that remain hidden but are necessary and receive honor. 1 Corinthians
13:5 used the word to say that love does not behave "indecently."
This word for "indecency" was used to
translate Deuteronomy 24:1 into Greek to say that a man could divorce
his wife if he "found some indecency in her." The religious
teachers argued endlessly about what "some indecency" meant. Some
said it was anything that displeased the husband. Others were
more strict and said it could only refer to adultery. In Matthew
19:1-12, Jesus commented on Deuteronomy 24:1-4, but he did not define
Paul was certainly aware of
the variety of ways that the teachers interpreted the word "indecency,"
and he used it in a variety of ways himself. To read into
"indecent acts" a whole world of homosexual ideas is to abandon the
realities of objective academic study and to embark on useless and
damaging speculation that cannot be supported by the meaning of the
word or by Paul's use of it elsewhere.
Paul had intended to condemn homosexuals as the worst of all sinners,
he certainly had the language skills to do a clearer job of it than
emerges from Romans 1:26-27. The fact is that Paul nowhere
condemned or mentioned romantic love and sexual relations between
people of the same sex who love each other. Paul never commented
on sexual orientation. As in the rest of the Bible, Paul nowhere
even hinted that Lesbians and Gay men can or should change their sexual
SPECIAL NOTE on Romans 1:31, where the King James Version translated the Greek word astorgous as
"without natural affection." This is one of the characteristics
of people "with a reprobate mind" (KJV of 1:28). The word for
"reprobate" is more recently translated as "depraved" or "perverted" in
order more neatly to fit the sexualizing of everything possible in the
list. The literal meaning of "reprobate" (Greek dokimon) is "to fail
to measure up" or "to fail to meet the test" and simply means that the
list of things that follows is the result of a mind that has abandoned
God. The word astorgous,
"without natural affection," is used only here and in 2 Timothy
3:3. It has nothing at all to do with homosexuality or with
sex. It is the Greek word for "family love" or "family ties" with
the negative prefix. It refers to people who despise and reject
their family members. Rather than being directed at homosexuals,
it is a term that is directed at people who despise and reject their
own homosexual children and brothers and sisters! Modern translators,
knowing this, usually render the word as "unloving," and the
implication of some sort of "unnatural" or "perverted" affection is
removed. Many more translation corrections are needed elsewhere!
The use of Romans 1:26-27 against homosexuals
turns out to be a blunt instrument to batter and wound people who were
not intended in the original text. Paul clearly taught throughout
Romans, Galatians and his other letters that God's freely given and all
inclusive love is for every person on earth. Notice what Paul
said about judging others in Romans 2:1: "Therefore you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment, for
in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things."
I Corinthians 6:9:
unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. So do not be
deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the realm of God."
Author's Note: The Greek words translated "effeminate" and
"homosexual" do not mean effeminate or homosexual!
I Timothy 1:9-10:
is not made for a righteous person but for those who are lawless and
rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane,
for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and
fornicators and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and
whatever else is contrary to sound (healthy) teaching."
Author's Note: The Greek word translated "homosexual" does not mean homosexual!
These two verses contain completely wrong translations to create "homosexual ghosts"
that do not really exist! Ghosts may not hurt you, but they can
make you hurt yourself! The homosexual ghosts in 1 Corinthians
6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 were created by the inaccurate and intentionally
misleading translation of two Greek words.
1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 sound
very convincing in including lesbians and gay men in the most dreadful
lists of depraved human behavior imaginable. The fact is that the
word translated "homosexual" does not mean "homosexual" and the word
translated "effeminate" does not mean "effeminate"!
The English word "homosexual" is a composite word made from a Greek term (homo, "the same") and a Latin term (sexualis
"sex"). The term "homosexual" is of modern origin and was not used
until about 100 years ago. There is no word in biblical Greek or
Hebrew that is parallel to the word "homosexual." No Bible before
the Revised Standard Version in 1946 used "homosexual" in any Bible
The word translated as "homosexual" or "sexual pervert" or some other similar term is Greek arsenokoites,
which was formed from two words meaning "male" and "bed". This
word is not found anywhere else in the Bible and has not been found
anywhere in the contemporary Greek of Paul's time. We do not know
what it means. The word is obscure and uncertain. It
probably refers to male prostitutes with female customers, which was a
common practice in the Roman world, as revealed in the excavations at
Pompeii and other sites.
When early Greek speaking Christian preachers
condemned homosexuality, they did not use this word. John
Chrysostom (A.D. 345-407) preached in Greek against homosexuality, but
he never used this word for homosexuals, and when he preached on 1
Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, he did not mention
homosexuals. See the full discussion of this in John Boswell's
book: Christianity, Social
Tolerance, and Homosexuality - Appendix 1, "Lexicography and Saint Paul," pages 335-353.
"Soft" does not mean "effeminate." The word translated "effeminate in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is Greek malakoi
and means "soft" or "vulnerable." The word is translated as
"soft" in reference to clothing in Matthew 11:8 and Luke 7:25 and as
"illness" in Matthew 4:23 and 9:35. It is not used anywhere else in the
New Testament and carries no hint of reference to sexual
orientation. Malakoi in 1 Corinthians 6:9 probably
refers those who are "soft," "pliable," "unreliable," or "without
courage or stability." The translation of malakoi
as "effeminate" is incorrect, ignorant, degrading to women, and
impossible to justify based on ancient usage compared to the meaning of
This incorrect rendering of malakoi and
as references to gender orientation has been disastrous for millions of
gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual people. This mistaken
translation has enlisted a mighty army of ignorant religious fanatics
against homosexual people and has turned many Lesbians and Gays against
the Bible, which holds for them as for all people the good news of
God's love in Christ.
Evil homophobic Bible "translations from
hell" must not go unchallenged. The use of these translations by
ignorant religious bigots to incite fear and hate against Gays demands
a clear, academically sound, credible and easily understood
response. Material given in this web site is only a
beginning. Every Bible word that has been incorrectly used to
wound, alienate and oppress people must be examined in detail and
carefully exposed. God has called us to return the Bible to the
oppressed and outcast people for whom it was written.
Three of the passages: Genesis 19:5;
I Corinthians 6:9 and I Timothy 1:10 are incorrectly translated. The other three: Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 and Romans 1:26-27
are taken out of their original setting of condemning idolatrous
religious practices and wrongly used to judge and condemn people of the
same sex who love each other. None of these passages refer to
people of the same sex who love each other. None originally were
aimed at homosexuals. Contact me and I will answer your questions
about these passages by e-mail. See also my book, Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse and my NEW
"THE SODOMY MYTH"
Update for April 2, 2003
THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
again the attention of the United States is focused on the mythical
concept of "sodomy" as the highest court in the land wrestles with
illegal, unjust, dishonest, homophobic, abusive, inconsistent,
repressive state laws that are based on religious misunderstanding and
states have removed their state "sodomy laws." The kind of
arguments that the Texas Attorney General has made to the Supreme Court
would require the Court to demand that these states put back their
medieval "Sodomy laws" for the common good! The entire "sodomy"
issue is a bogus cause and unworthy of any serious intelligent debate
and dispute. (See links below.)
word for "sodomy" exists in biblical Hebrew or Greek! A
"Sodomite" is simply someone who lived in the city of Sodom, just as a
"Moabite" lived in Moab. Any use of the words "sodomy" or
"sodomite" in biblical translations is a vicious mistake that attempts
to read incorrect interpretation into the text itself and thereby
discredit all translations. No word for "homosexual" or for
"homosexuality" exists in biblical Hebrew or Greek. In fact, no
word for "sex" exists in the biblical languages! (Look in the
major concordances, and you will not find even one reference to "sex".)
cultural world of the biblical material is vastly different from ours
today, and not one word means exactly today what it meant 2,000 to
3,000 years ago in a different world and in languages that are not used
any more as they existed at that time.
SEE MY WEB SITE MATERIAL ON ALL OF THIS
city of Nashville is locked in a great community-dividing battle over
the issue of protecting the civil and human rights of GLBT
people. The presence of headquarters for nine major
fundamentalist religions in Nashville has greatly muddied the community
values regarding LGBT people. Southern Baptists, United
Methodists and National Baptists are among those with publishing and
administrative offices in Nashville. The Church of Christ and
other similar groups have their colleges in Nashville.
I became pastor of MCC Nashville in 1993, the state of Tennessee still
had state laws against "sodomy". One of my best friends, Dr.
Chris Simien, was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University at the
time studying for his PhD in clinical psychology. Chris joined
with several other young GLBT students who were preparing for careers
in counseling and challenged the Tennessee state laws against sodomy as
unconstitutional in view of the Tennessee State Constitution guarantee
of the individual's right to privacy. They won in 1995.
several court decisions and appeals, the Tennessee State Supreme Court
agreed that the state sodomy laws were a violation of the State
protection of the right to privacy. All sodomy laws were removed
from the state statutes. (See related links below)
local Nashville lawyer who handled this case for Chris and his friends
was Abby Rubenfeld, a prominent civil rights attorney, who happens to
be the sister of Paul Ruben, who is also known as "Pee-Wee
Herman." I talked to my friend Chris in Nashville this morning,
and he told me that the ordinance to protect GLBT human rights in
Nashville was just defeated.
THE IGNORANCE FACTOR
arguments against homosexuals and against GLBT civil and human rights
at the Supreme Court along with a lot of the questions asked by the
Justices themselves reflect an incredible level of ignorance concerning
the facts about GLBT people. Dedicated purveyors of ignorance and
misinformation have done a great job of confusing and distorting the
truth about homosexuality and homosexuals.
The "Ex-Gay Fraud"
and related religious distortion ministries by such groups as "Focus on
the Family" and "Family Research Council" have distracted multitudes of
people away from the facts about religious and social abuse of GLBT
misinformation and distortions takes a lot of research and
ever-changing approaches to reaching out with the facts in ways that
will be heard and accepted. My web site has been available since
September 1997, and I have continuously revised and added updates to
deal with current events. The detailed information that is on my
web site answers the distortions and misinformation, but it takes a lot
of time to work through all of the material.
of the most destructive results of the religious, political distortions
and misinformation about GLBT people has been the self-destructive
behavior including a steady rate of suicide among our own people who
have believed the lies forced upon them by their own families,
churches, politicians, friends and other sources of dedicated
ignorance. No simple easy remedy exists to the dilemmas faced by
LGBT people in our society.
every web site and book that tells the truth about GLBT life and
issues, hundreds of anti-gay homophobic religion based sources of
misinformation flood the Internet, bookstores, media, and public
institutions. We need each other. We need clear convincing
presentations of the facts. We need allies in every level of
society who can stand with us, stand in our shoes, understand us,
accept us, and affirm us in our human value and human rights.
WHERE DO YOU FIT IN?
are you personally doing to make a difference for truth, reality and
the facts? Are you well informed with the facts that you need to
know? The sources of information are endless. You have to
be selective and undistracted by false voices and uninformed
people. Learning what you need to know in order to make a
difference in this world for yourself and for other GLBT people will
demand and require everything that you can give of yourself, your time,
your relationships, and your opportunities to touch others.
web site gives a lot of information, but it also directs you to many
other web site sources and books that can help you to know the facts
and act with confidence in your own truth. New issues and new
situations emerge every day.
Chris and Barbara Purdom through their ministry of information
"Religion at Critpath" as part of Interfaith Working Group have helped me for years to keep up with what's happening in our world.
present debates and decision of the United States Supreme Court will
have a long-term powerful effect on GLBT people everywhere. Take
the time to become informed about all of the details of these
Do whatever you can to make a difference where you are.
(See new pictures of our kitties in my web site updates.)
Click here for references and other sites
Supreme Court related sites:
Links and stories from Washington Post:
Lambda Legal Challenge:
Click here to see the relationship of Jesus to the Bible
See a history of the Sodomy Law issue in Tennessee:
Other related sites:
Family Research Council: http://www.frc.org/
Focus on the Family: http://www.family.org/
on the Family and James Dobson recently devoted time and money to
promoting the totally bogus book by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi on "Preventing
Homosexuality". Nicolosi is a professionally discredited
psychologist, whose war against homosexuals has extended through many
years and many books that form the foundation for the "Ex-Gay" disaster
that confuses and distorts all issues related to GLBT people.
(This Update added on April 2, 2003)
Special Update added September 1, 2001:
"FLORIDA SODOMITES WIN!"
(a response to Florida law banning gay and lesbian adoptions.)
recent religious attack against progress for GLBT people declared: "The
sodomites have won again!" In view of the recent Florida decision
to deny the rights of GLBT people to adopt children, we need to take a
fresh look at just what the words "sodomy" and "sodomite" really mean.
WHO ARE THE SODOMITES?
The homophobic religious right often refers to homosexuals as "sodomites" not realizing that the religious right in their
ignorant rejection and abuse of GLBT people are the real "sodomites"! (See my discussion of Genesis 19:5 above
and in my book. No word for "sodomite" exists in biblical
Hebrew. The word "sodomite" is a homophobic invention. See
book below.) Name-calling is a favorite pastime of religious
fanatics. It creates an unreasoning emotional response in their
are not dealing with logical objective reasonable people in our battle
for acceptance and understanding as GLBT people. We are wrestling
with religious "principalities and powers and the rulers of the
darkness of this world." Religion has darkened the minds of
millions of people to the real truth of God's love and acceptance of
all people as having equal value before God.
churches have become blind to the personality and purpose of Jesus of
Nazareth. Slick portraits and statues of crucified feeble
"Christ's" have obscured the real Jesus and filled the imagination of
millions of people with a false image of Jesus that has no social and
cultural impact beyond the teachings and demands of oppressive
religious institutions. The traditional images of Jesus with a
flock of sheep or alone with face upturned to a blazing light or on a
cross has created a remoteness that makes it almost impossible for the
average person really to identify with the human Jesus of the Gospels.
ART AS ENEMY OF THE TRUTH
often has been our enemy. Literature also in such "masterpieces"
as Dante's "Inferno" and "Paradise Lost" and thousands of other flights
of imagination have replaced the realism of the Four Gospels with
fantasy and speculation that have caught and dominated human
imagination far more than the truth for over a thousand years.
Current writers and moviemakers have given vivid realistic images of
the "end of the world" and the so-called "rapture" so that the unending
cacophony of confusion about Jesus is multiplied through the Internet
and all other mass media of television and books.
are nowhere close to a resolution of our dilemma of knowing a different
Jesus from the Jesus of traditional religion that is entrenched in the
minds and hearts of millions of people in conflict with the real Jesus
of the Gospels. Fantasy and speculations have replaced the
realism of the Four Gospels. Artistic pictures of Jesus are far
more vivid in the minds of most people than the simple human portrait
of Jesus in the Four Gospels, where Jesus is most often pictured
sitting with the outcasts and eating with the unclean people of his
community. Jesus accepted and welcomed the people that everybody
else, including religion, rejected and despised.
suffering of Jesus is magnified in art at the expense of his realistic
humanity and identification with average people. To identify with
the pitiful image of the suffering Jesus is to abandon the realism of
living life to the fullest as a beloved child of God in the image of
God, which is what most of the Gospel story is really about.
"pitiful Jesus" has been magnified in art beyond the evidence to induce
emotional self-rejection and to arouse remorse instead of discipleship,
sadness instead of joy. "Man of sorrows and acquainted with
grief" is an unfortunate misrepresentation of the true Jesus, who
enjoyed life with his friends so much that his enemies accused him of
being party boy and a heavy drinker! Jesus welcomed and "ate with
sinners" instead of condemning and rejecting them.
THE IDEAL OF JESUS
call of Jesus is not to deny your real self and reject who you really
are. It is the same call that Jesus followed by accepting himself
as God had made him and accomplishing what he alone could do. You
also have a mission in life that fits you. It may not fit anybody
else who ever lived. But it fits you.
is that so difficult to grasp? Is it because religion itself has
taught you to reject yourself and deny your true nature and reason for
being? Religion has betrayed you, and religion also has betrayed
Jesus. How can you recover the "real Jesus" in your spiritual
path of faith?
can you really let go and move on? Try being logical and
realistic. What kind of God would create you as a gay or lesbian
person and then condemn you to eternal fires of hell because of how God
had made you? That kind of thinking is totally destructive and is
not logical or realistic. Whenever religion condemns and rejects
people because of how God made them, it is obviously false and out of
touch with reality. Yet millions still believe in it!
ESCAPE INTO REALITY
the comfortable fold of traditional abusive religion is often the
hardest decision a person has to make. It is far more difficult
than joining the church in the first place. Leaving the fold
invites rejection, condemnation, judgment and self-blame and
guilt. It is not an easy path out of delusion into the
truth. Yet your health and wholeness as a person depend upon your
escape from abusive religion.
receive e-mail every day from people who have made the leap of faith
out of destructive religion into the reality of God's love. I
know that you can do this too, and you can help others to do the same.
WHO ARE THE ANGELS?
the Sodom story in Genesis 19, the angels were the messengers from God
who represented the truth of God's love and protection for Lot and his
family. The angels were like GLBT people, who are different from
others and who are seen as aliens and strangers and therefore a threat
to those who are misinformed and who do not really recognize what God
is doing. The people of Sodom were the "sodomites" who wanted to
expose, demean, humiliate and destroy the angels, whom they did not
understand and who were strange and different.
it incredible that the biblical literalists have gotten the terms
backwards! They have called people who like the angels are
different and strangers, such as Gay and Lesbian people, the
"sodomites" when actually the sodomites are the rigid legalists who
judge and condemn people they don't understand and who seem to threaten
them and who must be attacked and destroyed!
legalists have distorted and misrepresented the Bible to create a
"power tool," a religious chainsaw, to massacre LGBT people. We
have to challenge and neutralize these deadly weapons being used
against us even by our own families and all too often used by us
against ourselves and against each other.
literalism always betrays those who try to force their ignorance on
others in the name of God. Run! Don't walk, to the nearest exit
WHO IS JESUS?
is the one person who rises above all of the misinformation and deceit
about the value of each individual to God. Jesus has already
accepted you and loved you and done for you everything that Jesus has
done for all people. Everything that Jesus did was done for the
entire human race, and that includes you and me! "Whosoever" is
not a mistake or a misprint. It is the basic principle of God's
way of dealing with humans, who are all represented in Jesus.
Jesus said, "Because I live, you shall live also." God's
acceptance and approval of Jesus is God's acceptance and approval of
you. Enjoy it!
Why can't religion
just leave us alone and let us enjoy being God's children created in
the image of God? Money? Political power? Is that
what is really at stake? Is the long torturous history of abusive
religion just one extended selfish mistake for the purpose of giving
power to people over other people in the name of some god?
logical, realistic, objective and practical comes at a high cost.
You have to let go of illusions, fantasies, imaginations and
inconsistencies, which seem to be what life is about for many
religionists. You have to grow up into the maturity of Jesus and
learn to love yourself and others in the Spirit of Jesus. You
really do have to let go and move on.
you? Are you willing to let go and move on? Or do you have
such a sick case of religion that you enjoy hating yourself and
others? Maybe you have to wake up before you can let go and move
There goes the alarm clock. Time to wake up!
See "The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology" by Mark D. Jordan:
The University of Chicago Press, 1997.
"OUT, PROUD AND FREE"
Update for June 15, 2004.
"GLBT PRIDE" is being celebrated this
week around the world. Many of us are "Out" and "Proud," but we are not yet "Free."
long as we continue to live under political, religious and cultural
oppression and abuse because of our sexual orientation, we cannot
really be free. Homophobia is a social and psychological
disease. Internalized homophobia leads to self destructive
thinking and actions for millions of GLBT people every day. (See:
"Society and the Healthy Homosexual" (1972) by George Weinberg, who
invented the word "homophobia" to indicate a treatable emotional
you are told every day by important people in your world that you are
evil and unfit because you are homosexual, you begin to believe that
some of it must be true. None of it is true! National news
recently announced that over 10,000 military personnel have been thrown
out of military service based on the "Don't ask. Don't tell" policy of
our national government.
"in the closet" to avoid being singled out and punished by your own
family and friends because of your sexual orientation is very painful
and self-destructive. "The closet is a dark room where negatives
THE POLITICS OF HOMOPHOBIA
I saw a television interview with Franklin Graham, son of famous
evangelist Billy Graham. Franklin gave his support to George Bush
and explained that he agreed with Bush's religious testimony and his
stand against liberal Christianity. Franklin also mentioned that
his father is a Democrat.
interview was broadcast nationally without giving any opportunity for
GLBT rebuttal. The politics of homophobia are based on ignorance
and religious misinformation and abuse. Homophobia is a serious
social and mental disorder. GLBT children have to be taught to
hate themselves from a very early age in order for homophobia to
develop into a self-defeating destructive lifestyle.
"GOD MADE ME DO IT"
Bush claims that his political and military decisions come from
God. Joshua in the Old Testament also claimed that God told him
to kill and destroy all of the native people, including babies and
children. Joshua justified military destruction (genocide) of
whole cties and races as the will of God.
No piece of ancient literature is more filled with violence, treachery, war and genocide than the "Holy Bible."
receive a steady stream of "hate mail" in response to my website.
Religious abusers selectively use bits and pieces of biblical material
to "prove" that God hates and condemns homosexuals. A badly
translated verse will be taken out of context and used to condemn me
because I have demonstrated (from the Bible) that GLBT people are God's
beloved children also.
people who write me to condemn me have only glanced briefly at my
website. Most of the questions that abusive fundamentalists ask
me to answer are already answered in my website material on "THE BIBLE
AND HOMOSEXUALITY." (See link below.)
THE FEAR FACTOR IN RELIGION
of Homosexuality also is being used by Baptists, Roman Catholics, and a
great host of other religions to gain political, financial and cultural
control of the United States at the expense of GLBT people.
Homophobia also is unfair. The news media at every level allows
homophobic hate and misinformation to be spread like bitter molasses
over the human pancake.
friend Jay Martin this morning sent news articles that report how the
rapidly accelerating homophobic activities of Southern Baptists and
other fundamentalists are tearing down centuries of respect for human
and civil rights for all people and obliterating the clear
Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state.
internalized poison of homophobia and abusive religion continues to
take human hostages and to diminish GLBT self-esteem and joyful
self-acceptance. GLBT pride events this month have done nothing
and can do nothing to change the misinformed homophobic world!
The only real change in your search for freedom from fear and
self-rejection happens within you and in your own heart and mind.
Use the occasion of GLBT Pride week to tell everybody you know about my "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse"
website (http://www.otkenyer.hu/truluck/) and book, published by Chi Rho Press.
(See links below.)
liberating power of learning the facts and accurate information about
homosexuality paves the way for you into a new world "over the rainbow"
and into "the promised land." Gene Kelly sang and danced in a
powerful movie sequence called "Singing in the Rain." Kelly, Judy
Garland and their songs were honored this week on television as among
the best movie songs ever performed. Are you moving forward into
your vision of hope "over the rainbow" while you continue to "sing in
the rain" of homophobic lies and distortions that reject and condemn
Your own self-rejection and homophobia will "kill you and your little dog too!"
ESCAPE FROM ABUSE
has helped you the most to resist homophobic rejection and build up
your own self-acceptance and self-esteem? How have you handled
your rejection by family, friends, church, etc.? Do you sometimes
feel like you are trying to jump out the window of a burning building
only to look down and see a self-righteous hand holding onto your feet
and preventing your escape from the torments of homophobic religion?
like to pretend that our family or friends actually "mean well" when
they quote biblical material to "save us" from homosexuality and from
our sin against God and nature. They do not "mean well"!
They are deluded and distracted by traditional abusive religion and
they are not thinking for themselves. They need accurate
information and truth. Give it to them!
WAR WITHOUT END
battles for acceptance, self-esteem, and survival are being played out
on a drastically uneven battlefield. The vast
religious/political/media homophobic forces that are arrayed against us
have far greater resources a lot more money, and far more deadly
weapons to use against us than we have to defend ourselves. We
are for the most part not even using the weapons that we have. Go
to the Internet and search my website (http://www.otkenyer.hu/truluck/) and follow the suggested links to other supportive informational sites. Do a Yahoo! Search for
"gay and lesbian" on "Yahoo News."
informed. Not knowing enough accurate information to be confident
in yourself that your sexual orientation is right for you is a great
disadvantage for you and can eliminate you from the battlefield before
you can engage the enemy and go beyond defense into effective contact
and conquest. Our battle for acceptance and respect is not
lost. "We have just begun to fight!"
THE BANNER OF TRUTH
move into battle under the banner of "TRUTH" and we fight for our own
survival as well as for the good of all GLBT people. The weapons
of our warfare are spiritual. (See the quote from Ephesians
6:10-20 in link below.)
great movie classics have become part of our modern mythology and
culture. The "Star Wars" series and the "Lord of the Rings"
series have informed and instructed all of us in the methods and
strategies of success against the unseen "dark side of the force" and
against the mindless robots of religious abuse and oppression.
two great culture challenging movies: "Metropolis" (which lays a
foundation for "Matrix") and Pink Floyd's "The Wall" (which exposes the
deadly power of regimented social/religious indoctrination). When
I first saw "The Wall" in Atlanta several years ago, I was struck by
how clearly the robot like actions reflected the mindless decisions
that built great emotional response to old fashion country "revivals"
that I once attended and even led myself.
can hardly wait to see the new Michael Moore movie "Fahrenheit
9/11"! You may recall that Michael Moore also did a brief
television documentary on "Fred Phelps" and his anti-gay crusade.
Moore included interviews with Fred and his family and let them
discredit themselves with their own words. Michael Moore is one
of the few media people with the talent and resources to create some
effective responses to the ignorant destructive "status quo" of
American media and culture.
"You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
(Jesus in John 8:32)