Religious Scholar Says An Original Draft Of The Bible Allowed Gay Sex

What would the world have looked like if the Bible never called homosexuality an “abomination?” That’s the question many will be asking after a recent statement from a Bible scholar.

Harvard fellow and Biblical scholar Idan Dershowitz recently wrote an article through the New York Times that shares the idea that the infamous Leviticus 18:22, which states: “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination,” wasn’t in the first draft of the bible.

Dershowitz claims that this section, that has altered history greatly, was a later edition to the religious text.

“Like many ancient texts, Leviticus was created gradually over a long period and includes the words of more than one writer.”

“Many scholars believe that the section in which Leviticus 18 appears was added by a comparatively late editor, perhaps one who worked more than a century after the oldest material in the book was composed.”

He added: “There is good evidence that an earlier version of the laws in Leviticus 18 permitted sex between men.

“In addition to having the prohibition against same-sex relations added to it, the earlier text, I believe, was revised in an attempt to obscure any implication that same-sex relations had once been permissible.”

What makes Dershowitz believe this? He says there are clues of a shift in the incest laws of Leviticus or a  “strong evidence of editorial intervention.”

According to Pink News, Dershowitz believes there are signs that the passages used to refer to banning incest between female and male relatives.

The idea is that the existence of a ban on incest between men implies that sex between two non-related men would be legal.

As Dershowitz explained:

“Now, apply this principle to Leviticus 18: A law declaring that homosexual incest is prohibited could reasonably be taken to indicate that non-incestuous homosexual intercourse is permitted.

“A lawmaker is unlikely to specify that murdering one’s father is against the law if there is already a blanket injunction against murder.

“By the same token, it’s not necessary to stipulate that sex between two specific men is forbidden if a categorical prohibition against sex between men is already on the books.”

As he simplifies, “that made sense when sex between men was otherwise allowed.”

Certainly, Dershowitz has led the door to a very interesting conversation about homosexuality and the bible. Hopefully, other scholars and religious leaders will pick up on the topic and not chastise it.

Only time will tell.

h/t: New York Times, PinkNews

Gay Couples To Be Added to The Mormon Church's Genealogical Database

Are Mormons becoming more accepting of LGBTQ life?! Well, not exactly, but things are looking up a little with this recent update.

The Mormon Church is getting ready to update its genealogical database to allow the submissions of names of people in same-sex relationships, according to the Columbian.

The Mormon Church’s genealogical database, called Family Search, is used to search for genealogy, for church members to record changes such as marriage or death, and to request church services.

In April, the website released a statement saying that several of its systems will be redesigned to expand its functions. This wish to expand was initially announced in 2015, but this statement announced that it's finally being worked on and will be completed sometime in 2019.

“The goal of FamilySearch.org is to capture, store, and provide records and an accurate genealogy that represents past, present, and future families of the world,” the statement said. “To support this goal, same-sex relationships, including same-sex parents and same-sex couples, will be provided in FamilySearch Family Tree.”

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean the Mormon church will suddenly start approving of same-sex relationships or parenting. Instead, it’s more like the Mormon Church is willing to acknowledge same-sex couples in order to have accurate records.

“No judgments are made as to the legitimacy or character of the relationships found in these public records, nor can they be,” church spokeswoman Irene Caso said in a statement. “They are simply collections of data to be assessed for their genealogical value by each researcher.”

In addition, some functions on the website will not be accessible to same-sex couples such as requests for temple sealings for ancestors.

This is just another way that the Mormon Church has tried to appeal sympathetic towards LGBTQ people while still condemning the act of homosexuality.

Again, the FamilySearch update is expected to be completed in 2019.

h/t: The Columbian

Irish Priest On "Personal Leave" After Viral Video Shows Him Having Sex On A Church Altar

An Irish priest went on leave after he was a part of a gay sex scandal.

Earlier this year, a video emerged of two men having sex in St. Bartholomew’s Church in Kildorrery, Ireland. The video also showed that one of the men was wearing priest vestments.

After catching wind of the video, Bishop Pat Buckley brought it to the attention of his church superiors.

He added: “I reported the images to the Catholic Church hierarchy and I am told they have gone to the gardai.”

Now, the Irish Mirror reports that church authorities discovered who the priest, who's identity is being withheld, was. Plus, the priest later went on personal leave.

A source for the news outlet said:

“He has taken so-called personal leave to deal with his issues.

"It is understood he has been suffering from some mental difficulties and some addiction problems.

“When the video came to public attention he suffered a lot of adverse attention and in discussions with his bishop it was decided he would take time out.

“This has been a major scandal in the area and people are devastated by it all.

“The guards are investigating the incident and it is ongoing.”

Chile's Pedophilia Scandal Has Led To The Pope Accepting Three Bishops's Resignations

Pope Francis has a lot on his hands as he has to deal with the after effects of a large Chilean sex scandal (and his direct fault in it).

In 2011, Rev. Fernando Karadima, a preacher who was close with Chile’s Catholic elite, was sentenced to a lifetime of penance and prayer after engaging in multiple sex crimes. This would become the start of a decade of investigation into the cover-ups of sexual abuse all throughout the country of Chile.

As ABCNews reports, the most recent event involved Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, whom many didn’t want in the position of leadership to begin with.

A recent Vatican statement announced that Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of Bishop Barros as well as Bishop Gonzalo Duarte of Valparaiso and Bishop Cristian Caro of Puerto Montt. Francis then named a temporary leader for each diocese.

It was Pope Francis himself who appointed Barros in his position in Chile just three years ago in 2015. When that happened, the decision was met with intense pushback. This is because Barros was already known for ignoring the sexual abuses caused by his colleagues and superiors.

While Barros denies those charges to this day, Pope Francis admits his mistake after he read a 2,300-page report compiled by Vatican investigators Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu. The report explained the depth of Chile's scandal.

Pope Francis also came to this conclusion after speaking to Juan Carlos Cruz.

We shared with you last month that Cruz, who was a victim to sexual abuses by Catholic officials, admitted to having a one-on-one conversation with the Pope.

Cruz shared that the Pope not only apologized to him but allegedly said, “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The Pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”

Those two conversations led to Pope Francis summoning Chile’s Church leaders to the Vatican last month to finally address the issues. That meeting resulted in the resignation of 30 active bishops, including Barros.

After hearing of Barros’s resignation, Juan Carlos Cruz tweeted out the following:

"A new day has begun in Chile's Catholic Church"

“I'm thrilled for all those who have fought to see this day," he added. "The band of criminal bishops ... begins to disintegrate today."

While 30 Bishops offered their resignations, Pope Francis has only recently accepted three of them. Barros’s resignation was joined by the other two bishops mentioned earlier who say they only wanted to retire. That said, victims of the sexual abuse cover-ups say the Bishops were also involved in it all.

It seems that Pope Francis has his work cut out for him.

Hong Kong Has A Conversion Therapy Problem

To date, 12 US states have banned conversion therapy for minors. As we celebrate when a new state bans the practice, we also have to remember that it’s still fully legal in many other countries.

One territory that’s had many problems concerning LGBTQ people, and specifically gay men, of late is Hong Kong. Primarily, Hong Kong is having a growing problem with conversion therapy.

Christianity is one of the main religions in Hong Kong. There are about 480,000 Protestant Christians and 379,000 Catholics in the city. Yet, it seems that conversion therapy is becoming more prevalent in the Asian territory.

As the Thomas Reuters Foundation reports:

“Stop watching porn, look ‘macho’ and avoid spending time alone with other boys - this was the advice Alvin Cheung in Hong Kong received after reaching out for help when he realized he was gay.”

“He began going to regular counseling and prayer sessions, during which he was told he could become straight.”

“Soon he was struggling to sleep, he lost weight and had trouble focusing on his final year of undergraduate study. Doctors diagnosed him with depression.”

“‘It made me feel guilty all the time. I felt ashamed and blamed myself for being different to other people,’ Cheung said. ‘I wanted to commit suicide.’”

Scientists and researchers have yet to be able to prove that conversion therapy works. Instead, they’ve been able to prove that it’s damaging.

“It is hugely damaging for the mental health of LGBT individuals,” said tycoon heiress Gigi Chao. After coming out, Chao’s father offered a $65 million reward to whatever man could get his daughter to marry.

All of these negative attitudes towards them has led many LGBTQ people to leave Hong Kong for other countries such as New Zealand.

“A lot of my close friends who I grew up with, for example - gays or trans - they have chosen not to come back to Hong Kong,” Chao said. “They have chosen not to be part of this homophobic culture.”

As for the LGBTQ people who stay, there’s now a steady rise in HIV rates and chemsex happening in Hong Kong.

With problems like depression, stds, and drug use taking over LGBTQ people, conservative citizens and government officials need to stop trying to force extra pressure onto them. Instead, special attention should be turned towards helping them find safety and health in the city.

Otherwise, they may turn to other locations.

h/t: Reuters

22-Year-Old Preacher Matt Powell Says The Bible Asks For Humane Killing Of Gays

Nowadays, it seems that people will do anything to get a following online.

Matt Powell is a 22-year-old Christian preacher who’s trying to build his Youtube channel. While he only has a little over 350 subscribers right now, he’s gaining attention for his anti-gay rhetoric.

As DeadSlate reports, Powell appeared on a webcast with atheist Youtuber Skylar Fiction and shared his hateful thoughts on the program.

Fiction argued that Christianity promotes harmful mentalities like anti-homosexual rhetoric, and Powell only proved him right.

“As far as homosexuality goes, I believe the Bible puts the death penalty on it,” Powell said. “I believe it’s disgusting. And incidentally, every scientific test has come back and said that homosexuals are 50 more times likely to get AIDS… we got this AIDS thing spreading… it’s a fact that this is the case.”

“You don’t believe that gay people should be stoned to death, do you?” Fiction asked.

“I believe the Bible puts the death penalty on it,” Powell replied. “Obviously, not by me or anybody in a regular society, obviously. I believe it’s the government’s job to execute criminals. I believe that the Bible says clearly that homosexuality is a criminal crime. It’s a crime. It’s one of the worst crimes ever.”

“Is that what you’re advocating for?” Fiction pressed. “That our government should stone gays to death to execute them?”

Powell responded, “By whatever means they execute people. And obviously, I believe in humane, you know, putting to death.”

Skylar then pointed out the hypocrisy of a “humane killing,” and asked how other biblical offenses, such as disobedient children, should be punished. Powell responded by saying the same punishment was appropriate.

Its scary what some homophobes will say.


Gay Man Says Pope Francis Told Him God Made Him “Like This”

A Gay man by the name of Juan Carlos Cruz is sharing that he had a one-on-one conversation with Pope Francis and that the Pope told him that God loves and accepts him.

What brought this conversation about was actually a terrible scandal involving Reverend Fernando Karadima. Karadima was found guilty of abuse in 2011, and Cruz was one of his known victims.

The whole of the Vatican was in a panic after the conviction due to the widespread cover-up by members of the clergy.

While all 34 Roman Catholic bishops offered to resign as penitence, Pope Francis has yet to make a decision about how to handle the situation.

In order to help him figure out what to do, Pope Francis talked to Cruz in private. Cruz then later spoke to Spanish newspaper El País and said that the Pope supported him and his sexuality.

Cruz recounted that the Pope allegedly said, “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The Pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”

Pope Francis has yet to confirm these comments, but James Martin, a prominent advisor to the Pope, tweeted out the story on May 19.

As GayStarNews reports, Juan Carlos Cruz later tweeted out how happy he was to have had a conversation with the Pope.

In the tweet he said:

"I’m very excited with all of this,’ he tweeted. ‘It’s good for our beloved country, for so many people who have suffered because of corrupt and deceitful bishops, and also survivors who have been ignored all over the world.’

He added: ‘There’s no going back. History has changed. Thank you, truly.’

h/t: GayStarNews

The Vatican Received a 1200-Page Dossier Outing Hypocritical Gay Priests

We have the latest sex scandal to take over the Vatican (that’ll probably be swept under the rug like all the others).

A gay escort working near Naples, Italy has released a list of 34-40 priests and seminarians that he’s had interactions with.

Through a 1,200-page dossier, gay escort Francesco Mangiacapra has tried to accuse the multiple priests of having gay sex (or, at least, attempting to). That said, he wanted to point out that none of the men are pedophiles, just hypocrites.

"We’re talking about sins, not crimes,” as the Associated Press heard from him.

To back up these claims, the dossier contains WhatsApp chats and other evidence.

The evidence seemed so plausible that the archdiocese of Naples eventually sent the dossier over to the Vatican.

As the Associated Press reports:

“In a statement on the diocesan website, Cardinal Cresenzio Sepe said none of the identified priests worked in Naples. But he said he decided to forward the file to the Vatican because ‘there remains the gravity of the cases for which those who have erred must pay the price, and be helped to repent for the harm done.”