By Educate Truth Staff
One student got permission to write an article rebutting the church’s position on homosexuality, but Louie Bishop couldn’t get permission to distribute a letter to his classmates about the theory of evolution being promoted in the classrooms.
Because of my concern for the salvation of other students who could lose their faith because of the promotion of evolution in Biology classes at LSU, I wrote a personal note which I gave to about 20 of my fellow classmates.
For this alleged infraction I was disciplined by the so-called â€œJudicial Committee,â€ which does not appear to be an official committee of LSU. I was given a â€œLetter of Censureâ€ for not having my note approved by LSU before I distributed it. I have since sought approval for distribution of my letter through the process that the Administration requestedâ€”my letter was denied.
Here is the letter Louie wrote to his fellow classmates that was denied distribution:
Contrast this with a recent article (Winter quarter 2010) published in the Criterion called “Homosexuality and the misinterpretation of the biblical text” by Ricky Kim. According to the La Sierra University website, Kim is a sophomore majoring in religious studies and pre-dentistry. On the title page there is a quote from Peter Gomes:
No credible case against homosexuality or homosexuals can be made from the Bible unless one chooses to read Scripture in a way that simply sustains the existing prejudice against homosexuality and homosexuals … The “problem,” of course, is not the Bible, it is the Christians who read it…
The article begins with a little preamble about the legislation of Proposition 8 with a quote from Jeffrey S. Siker, editor of “Homosexuality in the Church,” and then states: “The purpose of this article then is to engage its readers within the ongoing discussion concerning homosexuality and the implication it has for us today by interpreting scripture within its original context.”
The article is broken up into three sections: “The Creation Story,” “The Levitical Holiness Code,” and “Sodom & Gomorra.”
The Creation Story
According to Kim, Genesis 1 and 2 do “not lead its readers to advocate the popular Christian notion that homosexuality is a byproduct of original sin.” He says the ancient “Israeli laws and traditions that governed marriage and sexual relations were never derived from the creation story….” He goes on to describe another purpose purposed by Victor Paul Furnish, author of “The Bible and Homosexuality.” Kim says Furnish “notes that the account found in Genesis 1 functioned primarily as an illustration to show how man was like and unlike God … that the Genesis account does not promote monogamy or the institutionalization of marriage.” Kim gives two quotations from Furnish to further bolster his assertion:
Old Testament heroes of the faith certainly did not model monogamy but rather followed the patterns of their culture, with multiple wives, concubines, and slaves as sexual partners. The Bible not only approves but appears to mandate such behavior.
Kim ends “The Creation Story” with this quotation from Furnish:
This notion that a model of monogamous, heterosexual marriage is somehow contained in Genesis 1 is simply not true. It appears to be an artificial construct designed to deny the rights of marriage to those who are homosexual.
The Levitical Holiness Code
This section addresses Lev. 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”
To explain this verse, Kim turns to Dr. Robert Shores-Gross, “a former Jesuit priest,” to explain the “sexuality code that dominated ancient Mediterranean practices”:
It is a mistake to identify the modern concept of homosexuality as understood in the Bible… [For sex was] comprehended within the model of active/passive or inserter/insertee or what colloquial language terms top/bottom. Men in the ancient Greco-Roman world were catalogued according to their social status (and thus power). Free men or citizens were expected to play the insertive role in sex with either female or male. Sex is essentially penetration of a person of lesser status–whether it is a female, a lesser male, or a youth. Penetration establishes or expresses a superior status over the penetrated.
In summary, Kim says:
[T]he priests held the view that God created the world by bringing into order the chaos that was founded throughout the universe. The role of man then was to replicate this action of continuing stability by being the world’s caretakers … the context of Leviticus is not so much concerned about homosexuality as it is with compromising their understanding of gender relations.
Sodom & Gomorra
Kim says that Genesis 19:4-5 is not depicting the “lust for homosexual intercourse” if we understand the concept of rape in the ancient world. He further states that many biblical scholars agree that the story of Sodom and Gomorra and God’s divine judgments are not carried out against them because of homosexuality, “but rather because of the violent and hostile nature of the cities’ inhabitants towards others. Kim cites Daniel Heminiak, professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia, and Victor Furnish as his authorities.
Kim concludes his article with this:
Much of the assumptions and positions that we have come to hold in the 21st century concerning sexuality are vastly different from those shared by the inhabitants of the biblical world. Issues regarding sexual conduct arose not over the question of homosexuality but rather social justice and gender role. To utilize these passages as a weapon against certain individuals within our communities not only does a disservice to the biblical text, but also further marginalize others from experiencing inclusiveness. It is important for one to note what really upsets God–more than anything, are not issues of personal morality, sexual sin, or not worshipping on the proper day in the proper way, per se…what really grieves God is when we fail to take care of those around us who really need help and are lacking a sense of dignity and a healthy place in society. It is when we fail to take care of the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized, and the orphans that God reaches the point of breaking his composure and is very capable of unleashing wrath of biblical proportions (Isaiah 1:16-17, Ezekiel 16:49-51). In today’s context we, as Christians, often fail to take care of and include members in our communities and churches the gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders among us. It is time that we realign ourselves with the true essence of Christianity by manifesting the love and acceptance Christ has shown us to others