As far as is known, Christ never said anything one-way-or-the-other about homosexuality. Yet, Christians are alarmed by same-sex affection. Well, maybe not all Christians are alarmed by same-sex affection, but there are enough influential and vocal church leaders to create a stir.
These church leaders teach their flocks that Jesus was against gay relations. Since Jesus was mute of the subject of homosexuality, where is the church getting the idea He would not disapprove of men living with one another, without wives? Take for example the Pope who has declared he wants his church to defrock any of its "homosexual" clergy. The Catholic clergy is supposedly celibate, so who is the Pope going to defrock? Why not simply defrock those who cannot keep vows of celibacy?
It goes deeper. Christian scriptures are translated as saying, "If anyone look with lust at a woman, he has already before God committed adultery in his heart." What the Pope is stuck with then is a premise, "If anyone look with lust at a man, he has already before God committed homosexuality in his heart." So the clergy who secretly lust after women are spared while those who secretly lust otherwise are cast out.
But you ask, who cares what the Pope believes, or what a fundamentalist Texas book publisher believes who is a guest on a Focus on the Family radio show? Nonetheless, we should be alarmed by the alarm of certain Christians who want government to step in on the fundamentalist side.
With the Church increasingly holding sway over the State, these attitudes cannot be ignored merely as someone's right to privately worship (or choose not to worship) God in the way they wish. Religious teaching are increasingly getting crafted into enacted legislation and proposed legislation. The legislation is intended to limit the rights of women, gay people, and non-Christians while giving tax breaks to certain "popular" religions and their belief systems. When religion gets involved in conception, who can marry whom, and Christian observances beyond the confines of a church building, a line is being tested and crossed. A war is being adroitly waged on a narrow front, which targets unpopular and not-so-powerful minorities, and a Trojan horse of theocracy is being rolled up to the gates.
So homosexuals are the latest target for a purge - dare I say exorcism? Are clerics on a witch hunt? I wonder.
Recently Christian book publisher, Tommy Nelson, gave his views on homosexuality - although he did slip a couple times and attribute the views to Jesus. Nelson cited the sybarite lusts of King David as proof that heterosexuality is biblically preferred over homosexuality. He suggested women are a "vessel," - a lesser one at that - put on Earth to make babies and to take orders from their husbands. One of Nelson's rhetorical queries about the stability of same-sex partnerships is that no one is in charge and the partners might have to flip a coin on who has to decide something.
Tommy Nelson says God meant men to marry women and to have children - something that neither Jesus nor Benedict XVI are known to have done.
Toward the end of Nelson's exegesis on homosexuality, he equates homosexual relationships with cheating in business, robbery, and other acts that are clearly against the public good and hence are illegal in their own right, religious views notwithstanding. With some pride, Nelson declares his heterosexuality. I declare my heterosexuality as well, but it does not make me better or my marriage better because I chose a partner of the opposite sex.
It is a circular argument to arbitrarily criminalize homosexuality, then to declare homosexuals are criminals, irrespective of any behavior. Certainly the Pope seems to believe that homosexuals have no place in his church. If the Pope went after pedophiles with the same zeal, maybe his church would be in better shape. As it is, a pedophile might be spared under Benedict XVI's purge, provided the pedophile is "heterosexual."
Yet we are left with the fact that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality and while Jesus was mute on this, a lot of scripture is being quoted in His name.
It is not so much about Jesus as it is the prejudices of certain people. I ponder the reasons behind these moves and worry about constitutional protections that are under assault outside of the church.