Jun 24, 2011

Let's Stop Blaming the Bible for Our Homophobia
 
 
 

I stopped even peeking at "comments" sections a long time ago, like many writers. However, in the wake of a piece I did on the controversy over homophobia among black comedians, rappers and others, I have been pointed to some comments sections by other people writing on the subject, and have made an exception and taken a look.

What I have been struck by is how often perfectly sensible commenters approach this rich and delicate subject by simply stating that the Bible forbids homosexuality. It's clear that a lot of people out there honestly suppose that this just settles it. But I can't help thinking that there are times when we need to be more creative in deciding how the Bible fits into our lives -- black, white or other. And I mean something more than hating the sin but loving the sinner.

If the Bible has been used to justify racism and slavery and we've learned to value the Bible while letting those things pass, then can't we get a little more creative when it comes to the new phase in the civil rights revolution, the liberation of gay people? The new Book of Mormon musical is telling us to take exactly this approach to religious teachings -- channeling the spirit rather than getting caught up in the more fantastical details -- and audiences are cheering the roof off every night. They couldn't all be wrong.

I'm not sure the people who think of citing the Bible as a sufficient response to this issue realize what they are calling for in real life as real people live it. We have all become quite familiar with the "down low" phenomenon, but this seems to attract interest more for the infidelity aspect, as well as the health aspects, than for the specific human tragedy of having to spend your life living a lie.

 

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