At a recent symposium on The Bible and homosexuality, theological experts representing the three major world faiths agreed that anti-gay Biblical verses are being taken out of context by modern religious leaders. So, according to the experts, how should the verses that have been used to oppress the gay community and equality for so long actually be interpreted?
“Biblical texts have been used to bash on LGBTs, but many of them have been taken out of context,” Reverend Robert Goss, of the MCC and a CSUN professor, said. “The scriptures aren’t about homosexuality, but about gender issues and misconceptions.”
CSUN's Sundial adds:
Scriptures in Leviticus and Romans can be explained as attempts to deter incest and female seizure of male dominance, both of which were viewed as sexually deviant in ancient times, Goss said.
“In the ancient world, when an army conquered another, they phallically penetrated the loser and ‘feminized’ them,” Goss said. “The underlying meaning of Leviticus is about a male betraying his dominant status by becoming penetrated.”
As far as the Muslim faith's newfound anti-gay sentiment, Ani Zonneveld, founder of Muslims for Progressive Values, shines some light on history.
“The word homosexuality doesn’t even exist in the Qu’ran, and that fact makes it a non-issue,” Zonneveld said. “Muhammad never punished homosexuals, and there’s no punishment stated in the Qu’ran for being a homosexual. Traditionally, Muslims were gay-friendly. Homophobia came about when Muslim countries were colonized by Christian imperialists.”
On Judaism's modern homophobic misinterpretations, Sundial reports:
Dr. Jane Drucker, an openly gay member of the Congregation of Kol Ami, represented Judaism and agreed with Goss’ assessment. She believes the meaning of scriptures have been tainted and mistranslated to appear anti-homosexual.
“The minute the original Hebrew or Latin was taken out of context and translated, it became someone’s interpretation,” Drucker said. “There was no such thing as homosexuality when any holy book was written.”
(Source and image source: Sundial)