These Are My People
Chief Superintendent Maigret

Advise and Consent and Sexual Orientation

Talk about politically incorrect!

Senator Anderson punches his gay ex-lover in the mouth. The poor fellow drops face-down in the gutter. Now...there's a lot of things that can happen to a guy when he's punched, but this guy goes in the gutter! Face down! The unmistakable symbolism: that's where he belongs!!*

That's how Otto Preminger treated homosexuality in his 1962 movie Advise and Consent. A former Academy Award winning director, Preminger took bows for his film. Today, he'd be crucified for it. When the movie was re-done for DVD a few years ago , the homosexual sub-plot was replaced with a Jewish one. (even though the original plot was based upon a true incident.)

 

Times have changed. It's anyone with an unkind word about homosexuality who belongs in the gutter today. The District Overseer can barely believe his own words as he observes: "nowadays, only homosexuals want to get married." Evidence, he maintains, that the world is "upside down."

It sure seems that way from any historical perspective.  In my lifetime, I've seen homosexuality go from reviled fringe to cutting-edge alternative. There once seemed nothing more unlikely than this verse becoming reality:

Therefore God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, gave them up to uncleanness, that their bodies might be dishonored among them, even those who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and venerated and rendered sacred service to the creation rather than the One who created, who is blessed forever. Amen. That is why God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error.    Rom 1:24-27

It's an unflattering view of homosexuality, but I don't include it for that reason, rather, for it's implication that homosexuality would become commonplace. Nobody of my generation would ever have foreseen it. Seemingly, the going against what is "natural" was enough to rule it out. When you work with plumbing or electricity, you link the male end with the female end. Always. That's the way it's done. Nobody thinks it's cutting edge plumbing to solder two male ends together, or female. It doesn't happen. And it's always been that way with human sexuality. Doubtless, that's how we came to apply those terms to electricity and plumbing.

Preminger's portrayal plays mean-spirited today, yet it was right in sync with popular sentiment of that time - indeed,  of any time. Homosexuality used to be perverted. Now, however, it is edgy, and heterosexuality....well, a little unimaginative, if not downright dull. The very words straight (inflexible, efficient, but monotonous) vs gay (happy, live life to the full!) are rife with the implication. Tabloids breathlessly speculate about this or that star. Are they attracted to .....yawn, how boring....the opposite sex, OR are they enamored with.....cross your fingers, oh please, please, please....the SAME sex! Yes!! That's what I'm talkin about!!!

It's unbelievable!! How can this be the rage? How can it be mainstream? Yes, as a small fringe...that has always been, but how can it seriously rival "natural" sex attraction? Can they all really have been born that way?

Are any of them born that way? Freud used to say that sexuality was determined at a very early age based on interaction of the parents. He's shouted down today on that point, but is there reason to shout him down? Or is his theory, which implies abnormality, just not what people want to hear today?

Or are there yet other factors at work?

Otto Preminger pioneered in introducing taboo subjects to film: homosexuality in Advise and Consent, rape in Anatomy of a Murder, drug addiction in The Man With the Golden Arm. You can count upon films making abundant use of these juicy themes today, but in Preminger's time they were unheard of. Yet, from Advise and Consent (1962) on, every film treatment of homosexuality was more favorable than the one before. Today, there's no film stigma whatsoever about gays, as there was then. Quite the opposite. The gay character is cool, intriguing, hip, contrasting well with other dullards on the show.

I don't pretend to know how to weigh these 3 factors - genetics, Freud, media - or if there are yet other ones. The endorsement of the psychiatric profession, for example. Excess hormones, for another, readily found in modern food and water supplies. Not that this would cause homosexuality, I don't imagine. But it may push sexuality to be much more fluid, more susceptible to other influences. Pure guesswork on my part. I don't really know. But I'll tell you one thing. Never would my generation have anticipated that sexual identity would be so pliable as it has proved to be. That the Bible forecasts this, against all then-common wisdom, is a major point in its favor.

 

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[EDIT    Feb 21, 2010] The newly emerging field of epigenetics also suggests some possibilities.

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Tom Irregardless and Me                 No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Comments

Screech

I would also dare say that other sexual activites are becomming mainstream. I'm meeting people who feel that multiple parties in a "relationship" are better. That "consensual" cheating is ok.

Truly, the world is deciding to choose its own morality. Satan once told mankind that we would have our eyes open, knowing good from bad. Yet he never said anything about us being right on the matter. Our world is in a steady decay.

Did God refrain from destroying Sodom and Gomorrah or the world of Noah's day for such practices? What makes people think that He will refrain in our time? No, it will surely come "as a thief in the night" while men are buying and selling, and marrying and being given away in marriage. We are in a time where what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right. It is only a matter of time.

tomsheepandgoats

I've heard it said too that lifelong marriage is demeaning to a person, a "selling out" of their true self, since that level of committment necessarily involves a level of bending ones' personality to that of the other.

Jason Chamberlain

It seems to me that the clear message of Scripture is that homosexuality is a sin that must be repented of. But you know what? So is gluttony and I've struggled with that one. My point is that sin is sin and it needs to be dealt with.

We're all born with certain proclivities to sin. Some may be into materialism while someone else doesn't care. Some may be into pornography while others don't care. Some may be into drunkenness, etc. We all have sinful proclivities that we need to deal with.

I think the message we get from the media is that sex is a god. Therefore, these folks cannot enjoy their functional savior because their desires are for the same sex. Never mind how this marginalizes polygamists or those who want to participate in bestiality. And what about pedophiles? Why are we infringing on their "rights?"

The argument gets absurd pretty quickly, doesn't it? The world won't admit that it has turned sex into an idol, but that is how it acts.

tom sheepandgoats

Jason: I don't disagree with anything you say. The Scriptures make clear homosexual acts have no place within the Christian congregaton. I'm on the same side as you, etc, etc.

But it is with the caveat that beating homosexuality seems far more difficult than any ot the things you mentioned. That's I why I have enormous respect for those determined to do it, and none whatsoever for characters who hurl flaming invectives at gays. (not that I count you among them) They've never fought the same sort of battle they are insisting others fight.

TXatheist

In electrical wiring you can take two wires, twist them together and put a twister wiring cap. In piping you can taper a pipe and it will fit in the other pipe. Beat homosexuality? How do you "beat" cult mentality? Or is that not an illness but homosexuality is?

Jason Chamberlain

Tom: I quite agree. My point is just that it is easy for a lot of people to make a big deal out of calling out homosexuals while ignoring the sins in their own lives.

Yes, it's tough to beat. I would maintain that God's grace is stronger than the pull of sin. Gal 5:24 seems to suggest that as well. Yet no one should fire any flaming invectives at homosexuals unless they want to hear the same thing directed at their own sin. When I read through Gal 5:19-21 I am repeatedly convicted by how poorly I measure up.

Screech

Good points all.

TXatheist

How do you beat homosexuality when there is no scientific basis that it needs to be beat? If you say it's wrong then I say brainwashing with religion is wrong just like Steven Pinker says.

tom sheepandgoats

TXa: I guess if you maintain that all there is to be discovered science has already discovered, you have a point. I don't take that view, nor do I think that science has any business positioning itself as arbiter on "moral" questions, nor do I think most scientists themselves would take that extreme view. As to your prior comment, taking the traditional stand regarding homosexuality hardly indicates that one belongs to a "cult."

As for Screech, I published the last four comments at one time. (Been away) Would he agree that the comments immediately before his are among the "good points all?" Maybe, but I don't want to put words in his mouth.

Screech

I would say that the electrical wiring is not a good analogy. If you wirenut a "hot" and "neutral" wire, you get a tripped breaker and a lot of sparks. If you wire the hot and the ground together, you get another tripped breaker. You have to wire correctly, the way the engineer designed it. If you don't you'll get problems.

I've seen studies showing that in some the brain is "wired" like it is for the opposite gender. In such situations, I would agree that it is genetic. However, we all can choose our actions. If someone believes that homosexuality is wrong, they have a choice (albeit a tough one): act on their desires, or not to act.

The Bible never said that it is easy to follow Scripture. In fact, Jesus even compared being a Christian to torture (carrying your torture stake). Yet for those who choose to live their life by Christ's standards, it can be a happy life now and to come, despite the troubles.

TXatheist

Right, science right now has observed homosexual behavior in over 1500 species and since science isn't over I would guess that number will climb. I don't see homosexuality as moral or immoral but a part of nature. The traditional view of cult is just as relevant as the traditional view of homosexuality. .........Screech, so the designer/FSM made 1500 species exhibiting homosexual behavior right? But WHY would someone come to the conclusion that homosexuality is wrong? Would it be similar to not joining a cult because it's wrong? I don't want anyone to follow scripture but you can extract an occasional good idea like helping the poor but also get bad suggestions like killing homosexuals. md457@hotmail.com

tom sheepandgoats

TXa: The sexual orientation comment is on topic, and a contrasting point of view. I'm glad to have it. Maybe some other commenter will respond, or maybe I will.

But if you say "cult" one more time, you're comment will not be published. The post has nothing to do with whether anyone is a cult or not, (if the post was on that topic, that would be different) so it comes across as though you are hurling insults, roughly the equivalent of me calling you a "jerk," which I've not done or thought of doing.

Commenters don't have to agree with me. About half of them don't. But they do have to be reasonably respectful, not so much for me as for anyone reading. I don't want this to be a name-calling forum.

Screech

TXathiest: The short answer is that "I don't know." I would say a couple of things, however.

1. Human beings and animals are not the same thing. Human beings are more developed in many ways. Therefore, human beings have more choice in their actions than do animals (ie reason).

2. We do not live in the world that God intended for us. It has been damaged and been in a general state of rebellion for approximately 6,000 years. The Bible does give demonstrations that Satan and his demons have the ability to influence the behavior of animals. Of course, I don't pretend to offer this as an explaination.

I figure that the world has been so changed because of this rebellion that weird things are going to happen.

Yes, this has no rational or scientific merit. I don't expect you to agree with me in any way shape or form.

One other thing: Why should we assume that the animal kingdom is under the same standards as human beings? The Bible was not written for animals to follow, but man. It seems to me a moot point to use the animal kingdom in a moral argument.

tomsheepandgoats

And if you've ever suffered an attempted "hump" by one of these tiny poodle-type dogs, going at your pantleg when there's nothing to go after, you learn to take animal behavior with a grain of salt. I don't know how definitive are these homosexual behaviors in the 1500 species, or how meaningful.

TXatheist

tom, your use of phrase beat homosexuality is why I used cult. Just as you don't see JW as a cult gays don't see homosexuality as something to beat and it is insulting to gays I know. If you watch tv specials they have programs about people getting out/beating cults and leaving them. I wish you took homosexuality with a grain of salt and not worry about it.

Screech, next time give an example because you are wrong. 1. Dolphins can swim better, cats can see better in the dark, eagles can see from farther away, dogs can smell better, apes are stronger and many animals can reason but humans have the ability to write and that is how we evolved differently and can pass on information allowing our reason to benefit future generations. Humans are animals by the way in classification. 2. You do not know that god created this world and that it's not the way it's supposed to be. Cite the koran, gita or book of mormon and you are merely telling me what a story book says just like the bible. 6000 years, oh boy. :( 3. I'm not talking about morality for you see homosexuality is no more about morality than liking coffee. You either do or don't based on the way you are. The bible was not written for anyone to follow but is merely plagiarized mythology.

Screech

Controlled circumstances I'm sure. Are they reacting to extreme situations induced by man (ie species extinction, no mates avail, etc...)?

tomsheepandgoats

TXa: Okay, it's a skillful enough answer to keep you on for now.

Having said that, if I go on a gay blog and comment, I mind my manners. If I disagree, I do so without being disagreeable. I don't say things that I know will insult them. (unless mere disagreement does that, in which case I don't go on in the first place.

Also, I published your last comment and Screech's at the same time. Thus he could not read yours before replying, nor vice versa.

The "plagiarized mythology" remark also veers off into a totally different area, and I'll let it pass without comment, and trust Screech will as well. There's any number of posts I've written in the archives where it would fit logically, but this isn't one of them.

I like to stay on topic. Otherwise threads never end, yet also never go anywhere.

NateDredge

Aw Otto Preminger, one of my favorites. Advise and Consent is an excellent movie (I’m currently reading Allen Drury’s original book co-incidentally),Peter Bogdanovich once called it the greatest movie ever about American politics. Also interestingly the Brigham Anderson character, (a democratic senator from Utah with the first name of Brigham) is obviously suppose to be LDS. Between this and Angels in America, doesn’t it seem like the closeted Mormon homosexual is overrepresented in popular culture?

tom sheepandgoats

Could be, Nate, though we get the same.

I suspect we make better targets than the evangelist born-agains, some of whom are so rabid in their denouncement that they become caricatures of themselves. Jason put it well. Homosexual conduct is missing the mark, but so are many other forms of conduct.

laceysquarepants

Hi Tom. I have asked this question even on a talk radio show about same sex marriages. As yet to get an answer.

Question--" why in same-sex marriages, whatever the sex, one acts the female role, the other acts the male role?"

As examples, Elton John is female in his marriage and has said publicly that he is the 'queen' in his relationship. Rosie O'Donnell/Ellen DeGeneres project the male role in their marriages.

My generation,same as yours, never thought of same-sex marriages, civil
unions, or domestic partnerships.

My husband and i have discussed the 'Sodom & Gomorrah' subject for a number of years, agreeing that during the 'last days', the whole world would succumb to that ancient condition. And we know we will be poo-pooed just as the Bible says.

“2 Peter 3: 3 For YOU know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires”

Those ones that mock and scorn the Bible are fulfilling that scripture as they, “proceed according to their own desires.”

tom sheepandgoats

LSP:

Sorry, I don't know either. And like you, I've always heard that it is so. But I wonder if it is in every case? Or might we sometimes project the male/female roles upon them? Don't know.

When you've asked the question on the radio, does the host agree with your premise, that there are male and female roles?

laceysquarepants

Yes,he had observed the same situations & had no explanation.

Jason Chamberlain

There are lots of behaviors that various religions condemn. The Golden Rule is certainly against our natural inclinations. But isn't selfishness something that we are to fight?

There is an old joke that asks, "why does a dog lick himself?" Answer -- "because he can." Well, there are a lot of things that as humans we can do, but because of decency and various other reasons we don't. I just can't buy the idea that we are simply a different flavor of animal and the rules are no difference for us than for the horny poodle.

Or, to quote Dan Aykroyd in "Dragnet" -- there are two things that separate us from the animals. One, we use cutlery. Two, we are able to control our sexual urges.

emanuel

In all honesty, I think that people have too many ideas about what homosexuality is or isn't, myths like the male and female roles of all gay people, or the idea that all gay guys engage in anal sex are prevalent, but not at all true. The portrayal of gay people in the media is just as about as out of touch with reality as anything else that you encounter in the media, and since when does anyone take portrayals in the media at face value anyway?
I didn't find this article attacking gay people so much as merely a bit of an amused observation. Homosexuality is not any more commonplace than it ever has been, we just have more access to information now, and, contrary to statements in the watchtower magazine, I don't think that it is going to encroach on or threaten "natural" sex roles, because it is not on an agenda. Ultimately how we live and love is a matter of our own personal emotions and natural state of being. The bible is really a code book of cultural beliefs that people subscribe to that has some wisdom about the world and life, but also it has some hateful stuff; Apostle Paul really was just a grouchy old man, I like jesus' teachings better.

tomsheepandgoats

We take the view that the writers of the New Testament were in harmony with Christianity's founder, and with each other. Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses enjoy unity on such questions of lifestyle and doctrine, following a pattern of the first century congregation.

At any rate, Jesus was a Jew and thus would be expected to agree with the Hebrew writings on sexuality. These were as explicit as those of Paul, if not more so.

For whatever reason, Emanuel, the link back to your URL is not operative. Not my doing, I assure you.

Brandon

Emanuel/TX Athiest-- I have only one thing to say... REALLY?! Those in the gay community are even suprised at the rise in the number of people who are homosexual now. And if we can take a page out of history we know that one of the main downfalls of the Roman Empire and several others was that it had an anything goes attitude and could not find it's moral compass. What seperates us from animals is that we have a conscience! Whether we choose to use it or not is one thing. Could we debate that murder is wrong? Animals murder one another that must mean that it's ok? What about rape? Animals do that too does that make it right? Rules and regulations are not imposed on animals because they have no idea what you'd be talking about... try training a pig not to desire food! Rules and regulations... morals... are there for the betterment of all. And if anyone needed direction it would be humans because we are the most destructive. Just look at what man did to the planet earth because no one thought about what carbon would do to the air. SO I say really?!

tom sheepandgoats

Homosexuality provokes visceral responses, both for and against. The main point of my post is that no one saw it coming, save the apostle Paul, and he under claim of divine inspiration.

Phil

Although at various times and in various places it has been easier, or even 'fashionable' to be open about a sex drive oriented to one's own instead of to the opposite sex, such evidence as has been collated and studied suggests that the proportion of persons in that position has been constant at 2.9 percent through history and across all cultures.

There is little reason to suppose that the percentage is any different among those raised as Jehovah's Witnesses.

All of the solid science of the last 15 years is pointing to a biological causation, rather than to anything relating to upbringing. Solid science points to a comnbination of a genetic factor not yet identified and a biochemical factor operating in the womb.

Evidence for upbringing factors as cause, is completely lacking. (As an example, if, as some opine, distubance to family dynamic, such as a distant or absent father, causes a homosexual orientation, then there should be a HUGE and absolutely unmissable "blip" in homosexuality in the generation who were children in World War Two. That period saw the biggest movement of population in UK history, as children were taken from their families and for safety evacuated to families in rural areas. And of course, millions of fathers were taken from their families for years , many never to return, in order to fight).

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible does not allow for sexual intimacy outside of a marriage of a man to a woman. This means that heterosexual aqdultery and heterosexual fornication are also perverse and condemned by God. The use of the words "natural" and "unnatural" are not particularly helpful in these discussions. Or is the author of this Blog prepared to say that heterosexual adultery is natural?

The challenge for a Christian who finds that his (or her) sex drive operates toward the same instead of toward the opposite sex, is to find a way to live a happy and balanced celibate Christian life, or possibly, on a basis of complete honesty, to marry a Christian of the opposite sex (although anecdote suggests that this is not often a good solution).

For further reading, it is useful to consult: Born Gay, The Psychobiology of Sex Orientation by Proessors Wilson and Rahman, 2005; Straight to Jesus by Tanya Erzen; Anything But Straight, by Wayne Besen; A Natural History of Homosexuality by Francis Mark Mondimore; Ex-Gay Research Eds Drescher & Zucker.

In the 1960s in the UK Lord Wolfenden chaired a commmittee to examine and make recommendations concerning the law on homosexuality. They regarded the matter with admirable clarity. They recommmended that sexual intimacy between persons of the same sex should be de-criminalised. Wolfenden stated that it was not their intention to promote or advise fornication of ANY sort, but that it was unjust for only that one kind of fornication to be a criminal offence, when others were not.

It has been noted sometimes, that some Witnesses may not be quick enough to condemn as unnatural and perverse, cohabiting opposite-sex couples.

Tru Agape

I'm amazed at how you oversimplify the homosexuality topic. I think that your article touched on several components of sexuality in general. Sex before marriage is called fornication. Sex outside of your marriage mate is called adultry. Sex with an animal is called bestiality.
All of these crimes can be either hetrosexual or homosexual. For some reason, you're fixated on the homosexual side of it. Why?

If you contend that Rom. 1 is addressing the topic of homosexuality, then do you also believe that even just having "gay feelings" convicts gays of having a "disgraceful sexual appetite", putting the sin emphasis on not just the action but the feelings as well? And if the men in Romans were the subject of this "homosexuality condemnation", then why were they with the "natural use of the woman" to begin with?

Tru Agape

Brandon. I find it very interesting about how you talk about the bible being higly valuable for us self-destruting humans. I agree with you on that. The interesting thing is that the example you give of just how destructive we can be (e.g. carbon), happens to be a topic the bible never addresses.

Tru Agape

Tomsheepandgoats- What about the "trend" towards contraception? Have you helped advance this phenomenon? I understand that the Society's views regarding this have been altered despite the fact that the scriptures that were used as a reference haven't.

tom sheepandgoats

Fortunately, none of us are judged on our feelings, even our lustful ones, but rather on our deeds. Nevertheless, it's good to get one feelings aligned with God's standards, if at all possible, because feelings have a way of eventually showing up as deeds. I have only admiration for those Christians with gay leanings who nonetheless are determined to live in accord with Bible standards. They are determined to stay celibate, if need be, in their service to God, with faith that it will turn out well for them in the end - that their homosexual leanings will disappear over time, whether in this system or the next. This, in the face of a cacophony of popular wisdom that insists "once gay, always gay." With them, it's like swimming when swept out by the tide. They don't try and swim against it....that is, trying with all one's might to be straight. It's a good recipe for failure. Rather, they swim parallel to the current, in hopes that it will lesson, and by degrees they will again reach shore. It's a course that takes tremendous faith - far more than that displayed by their rabid critics. One might argue that their faith in God is deeper than that of most, since they stay loyal to his arrangements despite the very real testimony of their own bodies.

Singleness as a way of life was once a quite common and respectable lifestyle, with no overtones of "what's wrong with he/she?" Reading the classics makes that point abundantly clear. But today, largely through the media, everything is sex, and people have come to define themselves according to their sexuality. It's a difficult time for a gay person to be "fighting the fine fight," in Paul's words. (he was not then speaking of sexuality) I have nothing but admiration for those determined to do it.

I'm inclined to accept Phil's figure of 2.9% attracted to their own sex. How it came to be that way is a matter of fierce debate, but I accept it is that way. "Solid science" may point that way, but science, especially the softer social science, has a way of responding to what people want to be true, instead of determining what really is true. I don't blow it off as if it's nothing, but I do note that scientific studies frequently reverse or contradict other studies. Here in the United States, (if not worldwide) gay activists cite 10% (or more) based upon the Kinsey report, which subsequently came into disrepute, since the subjects of the study were all prisoners. Still, the 10% has held in the popular imagination and it is used by some to advocate a lifestyle that is by no means so common.

TrAg: no mention of contraception in this post (that I could see). Did you mean that comment for another post? At any rate, I'm not aware of any change in JW policy towards it.

Tru Agape

Tomsheepandthegoats: You mentioned "God's standards." Well regarding the topic of homosexuality, that warrantes a discussion all its own. I want to share with you an article I wrote in response to Mike Huckabee and his use of the term "God's standards" along side his conservative views towards homosexuality. Here is that article:

"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe its a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And thats what we need to do - to amend the Constitution so its in Gods standards rather than try to change Gods standards so it lines up with some contemporary view" - Presidential Hopeful: Mike Huckabee

Mr. Huckabee uttered these words amidst a Michigan audience Monday January 14th 2008. I, for one, welcome his statements. They open a door to the scattered debris buried throughout history regarding the word of the living God and changes. As a result, one might therefore ask, How would history respond to Huckabee? Would it support Huckabees claim that its easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God? Lets consider just two examples.

Approaching the 13th century, the story about Sodom and Gomorrah had already developed a history of being altered. Now, it was officially adopting this more contemporary view - one which associated it with homosexuality. Initially, the reasons for those cities fate were confined only to the reasons given within Scripture. Not one biblical reference equated the cities with homosexuality. Nor could it, after all, the victims in the Genesis account were not even human. They were materialized angels, or as Jude 7 terms it sarkos heteras, literally flesh different.

After the erroneous authorization of homosexuality as one of Sodoms sins, came defined derivatives of its name: sodomy, sodomize, sodomite - manufactured terms whose influence dates during the 13th century. Ancient New Testament records, the Septuagint, and ancient Hebrew texts contain both the Greek and Hebrew words for both Sodom and Gomorrah. But they do not contain original Greek or Hebrew words for sodomy, sodomize, sodomite or any derivative of the name Sodom. History confirms that it was the traditions of men that furthered this misleading addition along with its artificial definitions because according to the word of the living God, as some of the earliest manuscripts record it, the term sodomite is nowhere to be found. But according to the word of the living God as succeeding translators translate it, its scattered throughout both the Greek and Hebrew scriptures! This introduced into the text misleading notions and false conclusions. Because the city of Sodom, whose name formulates the word sodomite, could now be biblically associated with same-sex activity. Such an alteration provided a bridge for importing into scripture dishonest ideologies and words such as: homosexuals, homosexual offenders, those who practice homosexuality, and homosexual perversion just to quote a few bible translations.

First Corinthians 6:9 contains two Greek words: malakoi and arsenokoitai. Bibles such as the Wyclif (1508), Young (1898), Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (1958), Jerusalem (English) (1968), New King James (1979), New Jerusalem (1985) and the New Revised Standard (1989), all change one of the Greek words, arsenokoitai, to either synn of Sodom or sodomites. Others, such as the New World Translation with References (1984) supply a footnoted reference containing sodomite to justify its faulty rendition. On the other hand, bibles such as The New American Standard (1963), the New International (1973), the New American Catholic (1987), and the New Living Bible (1996) change arsenokoitai to homosexuals, homosexual offenders, and practicing homosexuals. The New King James (1979) opted instead to change the Greek word malakoi, which literally means soft, to homosexuals.

Some of the editions of the same Bible use entirely different choices for arsenokoitai. Compare the 1st and 2nd editions of the NIV. Other translations such as The Amplified Version (1958), the New English Bible (1961), Todays English Version (1966), and the Living Bible (1971) opted to combine both Greek words to render a synthesized phrase involving the word homosexual in some form or another.

Even more astonishing is that some translators, while combining both Greek terms to render a reading in 1Cor.6:9, will footnote their reason, then without any explanation, provide the exact reading at 1 Tim. 1:10, where this time, only one of the Greek words arsenokoitai(s), is used. The New World Translation with References (1984) allows the addition of the s to manipulate its rendition at 1 Tim. 1:10. Not surprisingly, this action goes unreferenced. In fact, study the differences by comparing the two scriptures as translated in The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the GREEK SCRIPTURES (1985). Still, others such as the NIV (2001) use two different translations for the same word and yet, provide no footnote at either location. This shameful stunt easily goes undetected! Then you have the NET Bible (2005) providing extensive commentary to colorfully excuse its predisposed decisions. It does a savory job creating the illusion of being scholastically conclusive.

While the English word for homosexual didnt come onto the scene until around 1869, the Greeks already had such specific terminologies and employed them (ironically, sodomite was not one of them). None of those terms, however, occur in the Genesis, Romans, Corinthians, or Timothy passages as recorded in both the Septuagint, or in modern-day Greek copies of the New Testament even as written by such consulted scholars as Wescott and Hort. But as history has shown, with the stroke of a pen, the word of the living God can be changed, and has been! Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY, publicly justified such a change on his radio program January 2, 2008 by referencing, albeit erroneously, Romans 1, saying female-female homosexuality, a phrase that passage never contains. Thereby, in Mr. Mohlers view, it paves the way for homosexual (both sexes going after their own sex) to perform as a viable translation for arsenokoitai, which literally means male-bed. In fact, take a listen to him for yourself http://albertmohler.com/radio_show.php?cdate=2008-01-02 within the elapsed times of 26:30 - 30:20 min.

Carelessly, anyone attempting to justify arsenokoitai being changed or even compared to homosexual, male or female (especially based on the 'Scripture interpreting Scripture' approach, as Mohler suggests) has first failed at recognizing the cohesive relationship the Scriptures maintain, and then, simply put, failed to translate! The first red flag should have been the fact that arsenokoitai, unlike the word homosexual, does not bear any reference to females. Thats interesting, especially when one considers that so-called Christians try to co-relate Romans 1 with the 1 Corinthian passage to support their erroneous claim. But despite such an unscriptural effort, a glaring omission inadvertently arises. Because while the Romans passage uses a Greek word translated by most as likewise to compare the rebellion of both sexes, addressing those women who exchanged the natural use of themselves, its actually only the men whom the passage records as being burned out with lust after one another after leaving women. More importantly, however, is that the account in Romans never once uses the term malakoi or arsenokoitai. And by the same respect, neither 1 Corinthians nor 1 Timothy utilize the wording found in Romans 1. Yet, coincidently, the same writer, Paul, wrote all three of these books! In fact, its worth noting that not even the early Church Fathers used 1 Cor. 6:9 or the two words found there in conjunction with homosexuality or Romans 1. That dishonest practice had yet to formulate, and it wouldnt become a part of Sacred Tradition until centuries later. All the while, not even the structure of the words themselves ever allowed for such a comparison, this fact even being realized by modern translators as early as the penning of the Latin Vulgate which literally interprets arsenokoitai as liers with males. And interestingly, contrary to Albert Mohler, the father of Protestantism - Martin Luther, interpreted arsenokoitai as "child abusers."

All along, however, it was the original biblical setting of the Romans 1 passage itself that provided the framework and dimension to Pauls words found there to give it its perspective; because even history contextualized this passage in association with rampant orgies, bestiality, and idolatrous sexcapades. In fact, even within the Mosaic Law, the Levitical Law Code remained contextually accurate regarding the Canaanite culture of its day by addressing the idolatrous sex rituals its male priests engaged in. Hence, the absence of any reference to females. And the explanation of the Law, also known as the book of Deuteronomy, emphasizes this idolatrous theme by this time warning all of Israel against becoming temple prostitutes and cross-dressing, inturn, keeping itself apart from the pagan practices that lay ahead. So fittingly, Pauls denunciation in Romans for their passions of dishonor is something all Christians, gay, straight, or transgendered, agree with! All of this, however, presents a sharp contrast to the reaction Jesus had towards the faithful centurion who asked that his pais be healed; or the interaction between the Gospels and the Ethiopian eunuch (or as some presume to hastily finalize: court official).

The fact is, the mess religion has made throughout the ages by being more exacting than the scriptures, and ripping apart text from its context concerning the issue of homosexuality is without debate! Even more unfortunate is that such influential people as James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, have chosen to hide such scriptural exploitations, by using terminologies as the traditional Christian understanding and pro-family to mask the facts. And to make matters worse, the latest trend by many so-called Christian leaders is to pacify their guilty past of distortion by using compassion and love as their Trojan Horse.

The truth, however, is that the sad consequences of such scribal manipulation are far from innocent, revealing certain aspects of the Judeo-Christian alliance to by anything but pro-family! The division and discrimination each group has been responsible for throughout every segment of their influence is unparalleled. Many actions and teachings branded with their seal of approval have influenced bible based weaponry and merciless isolation against certain types of individuals all because of their orientation! History well documents how these ones have been tossed out by their families, societies, congregations, and in various cases, themselves. Imagine the constant heartache of being in love with your soul-mate only to believe God is rejecting you as a result. Indeed even the fundamental desire for love and companionship has been trivialized and reduced to merely a tendency to be dealt with! And while a few may appear to, its at the peril of giving society false, generalized expectations and simplified conclusions regarding others. Ask yourself, how would all of this make you feel? Regrettably, some, trying to escape the mental torture have been stumbled into denying God and his Word altogether, while many others have sadly gone out searching for comfort within the arms of suicide!

But not all changes to the word of the living God had the veneer of merely being variations of translation. Consider slavery. What was Gods standard regarding that Mr., Huckabee? According to his statements, any contemporary view should be trumped by the word of the living God. Was it?

The Bible chronicles history throughout the maturity of humanity. So naturally within its pages, one finds the institution of slavery becoming progressively nullified. Prior to Jesus, the regulation of slavery by the Mosaic Law was a relief in comparison to the conditions of societal norm. But with Jesus came the new commandment to love one another just as I HAVE LOVED YOU. So while in the Old Testament its regulated, in the New Testament its woven into the background of biblical settings. And it would soon be made clear that there was no distinction between freeman or slave, Jew or Greek, nor male and female in Christ. Thus, escorting the understanding that all, from the womb onward are created equally and should be treated as such. It was this spirit of the law that Jesus introduced to those early 1st century Christians, and it was this same law that was to be written upon their hearts.

However, on June 21, 1844, Baptist minister Basil Manly, president of the University of Alabama gave a sermon entitled National Stability. In it, he supplied many convincing errors that proved effective at keeping guilt and slavery at opposite ends. Several scriptures were quoted in efforts to give owners justification. He attempted to decorate the institution with Christian principles and accent any benefits slavery provided. His biblical references, in his opinion, projected slavery as a divine ordination. And in a warped pattern of thought, he reasoned that such an ordination was especially beneficial in that it gave slaves the opportunity to hear the Gospels.

True, during the 1st century, the decay of slavery had yet to be fully excavated from the early Christian congregation. They were still in their formative years! Despite this, Christians were not relieved of their obligation to uphold tenure or to walk two miles when told to walk one as Jesus prescribed. Even more so, Christian principles were not off limits. As a result, the bible records Onesimus, himself being converted to Christianity, ultimately heeding Jesus example by allowing Paul to return him back to his master. Pastor Manly, however, taught that this and other biblical references implied approval and condoned slavery. As it was, not even a year after his sermon, the Baptists split; and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) was officially formed on May of 1845.

Illiteracy for slaves was encouraged. It was feared that if Gods word were studied, their liberation would be realized. That seemed like an odd concern if, according to the word of the living God, it was sanctioned. Such an apprehension revealed the Southern Baptists awareness of what the word of the living God was actually communicating. Although the letter of the law may have remained unaltered, it was certainly the religious leaders spirit of the law that was highly tainted. Not surprisingly, Jesus issued a similar indictment against the Pharisees, who too exploited doctrine for personal gain.

The consequences of the SBCs decision to promote slavery would play a major role in furthering racial relations in America to extreme lows. Their actions would serve as a critical reminder of one of the greatest and simplest commandments expressed by Jesus: Love your neighbor AS YOURSELF. More than a century would pass, however, before the Southern Baptists organization as a whole would admit any wrongdoing. Hence, in 1995, in a decision referred to as the Declaration of Repentance..., an apology was officially declared. No longer able to deny the scriptural facts, their conservative, contemporary view was finally renounced; and regarding slavery, the word of the living God had been restored. Such biblical hic-cups, however, would mar the SBC as having a racist and tragic past. All the while, the odor of the racial excrement the SBC polluted America with continues to linger as methods to stabilize racial equality continue to be hotly debated on the political stage today.

The Constitution, by comparison, denounced slavery nearly 130 years before the SBCs public apology. And in due course, Jesus, through his perfect example, would confirm that the word of the living God never even supported it! Even with its 27 amendments, the Constitution has remained remarkably consistent with its intent as expressed in the Preamble. Amending it entails a two-thirds vote of both the House and the Senate and a three-fourths approval by the States. It ultimately has to win the hearts and minds of a nation before it can be altered. Not so with the word of the living God. As history unmistakably confirms, by merely having the clout, the committee, and the hope that most will be too uniformed to notice, it most definitely can be changed, with ease and with devastating effects! Such actions are a disgusting insult to human dignity and above all Truth!

Mike Huckabees scene in Michigan presented a subtle reminder of the power of prestige and the prestige of power. If a former Baptist preacher hands it out, well then it must be true! His cheerful audience didnt seem to have a problem with it. History, on the other hand, does. Without a doubt, Huckabees statements were a masquerading facade. They veil the un-Christian details of some of the religious rights positions and rhetoric, both past and present. The fact is, its not easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. Clearly, the word of the living God has easily been changed. It is therefore not any surprise to find that in more place than one, its loving Author, aware of the possibility of manipulation, sternly warned against it!

Authors Pen Name: Tru Agape

Tru Agape

tomsheepandgoats: Regarding contraception and the Society's views:

If you look in our old Aid to Bible Understanding Book on page 1591 1st column third paragraph, you will find this sentence: "They give evidence of his displeasure toward anyone who would willfully and deliberately have an operation performed solely for the purpose of sterilization." (which would describe a significant number of our brothers and sisters)

If you look in the Insight book on page 1088 1st column 1st paragraph you'll see that that same sentence was replaced with "and would strongly indicate that an operation that would destroy a person's procreative powers simply because he had no appreation for that gift from God would be wrong." (which puts that same number of brother and sister's mind at ease. How convenient...FOR THOSE BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

All the while, the scriptures that were used as a reference for both views never changed. It was only within the past century that Protestanism, freed itself from the Catholic teachings regarding contraception.

tom sheepandgoats

TrAg:

You can't seriously think anyone's going to read a comment that long. You lost me at Mike Huckabee. Possibly you know that Jehovah's Witnesses are non-political, entirely neutral. Mike Huckabee may be trying to amend laws so as to force others to live according to his standards. We're not. Our chosen way of living affects us alone. We don't force others to live as we do.

Seeing that that point was so irrelevant, I reasoned that perhaps the rest was, too. Break it down into smaller pieces next time. (but not all at once)

With regards to your shorter comment on contraception, I don't see much difference between the two statements. The wording is different, yes. The impact seems the same. You seem to be implying some sinister plot. I don't see it.

Listen, TrAg, I appreciate the comments, but for the time being, hold off, or comment on other posts. I don't want our discussion to hog all the dialog.

Tru Agape

LOL!! Yea it is long. Sorry bout that. But it is packed with indisputable realities regarding this very serious subject. So please don't treat it cynically. I do realize that Witnesses are non political. I was raised as a Witness and got baptized at 16. So I'm very familiar with our neutral stance. The piece that I wrote was not political even though the statement Mike Huckabee made was for a political cause. My article was calling into question that the accuracy of his statements.

And no I do not have a sinister plot. So are you saying that women and men who have operations to not have children are going against God's standards?

tom sheepandgoats

Okay, fair enough, and my response was probably blunter than it had to be. Sorry. Still, it may take me awhile to digest it all and respond. I'm not always as free time-wise as I would like to be.

I will respond right off to the comment about sterilization, though. I've thought about it some since you brought it up. I don't quite see what you're driving at. Both statements in the 'Aid' and 'Insight' publications put sterilization in a negative light. I don't see much difference between them.

You don't hear much about vasectomies or "tying one's tubes" anymore - the contraceptive pill makes it seem very extreme. But that was not true in the early days of the pill, three or four decades ago. The pill was not instanly adopted by everyone, nor was it foolproof (though better than anything else to date). Then, male and female sterilization was more common, and many held it a very sensible, humane solution for not bringing unwanted children into the world, even within the marraige arrangement. I remember a certain brother who had the operation after the birth of his first son. I remember I didn't think it such a good idea. I mean, it's can be permanent, and who's to say it is something that would be reversed in the new system? No, I didn't like it. But it was thought to be one of those items of personal conscience, where you do what seems right based upon your own appreciation of scripture, but wouldn't dream of telling someone else what to do. Seemingly, it was a point that could be argued both ways, with no explicit scriptural direction one way or the other.

But then, if I recall correctly, around 1980 there was an article in the Watchtower speaking along the lines of the two quotations you gave. So now there was more direction, and our people tend to yield to guidance from the governing organization. Nobody held it against the brother, of course - he acted in good conscience, but from that point on I think such operations became less and less. At the same time, use of the pill became more and more established. Of course, in most cases people would keep these things to themselves, so you'd have no idea who'd had an operation or not unless they chose to tell you.

Jehovah's Witnesses are not an organization of rules (contrary to what some think) and unless a practice is explicitly discussed in the Bible, they generally steer clear of making rules. But JWs are people not self-willed, rather they are "ready to obey," (Jas 3:17) and the views of the governing arrangement, whom they respect, carry much weight with them, though not so much as the Bible itself.

You seem to be implying there was a flip-flop. The quotes you show certainly don't make that point.

Tru Agape

I respectfully disagree with your last sentence.

tom sheepandgoats

Then explain it for me. How are the two statements different? Maybe I'm missing something.

Tru Agape

tomsheepandgoats: According to the statement in the Aid book, our brothers and sisters who have, or will have a contraceptive operation are going against God's Standards and bringing about Jehovah's "displeasure". Are you saying that this is a view endorsed by the Society as the Aid Book would indicate?

Tru Agape

Tomsheepandgoats: you say: "Both statements in the 'Aid' and 'Insight' publications put sterilization in a negative light. I don't see much difference between them."


In the "Aid" book the displeasure is willful and deliberate sterilization. In other word's its the "act" itself that's bad - the sole purpose being sterilization.

In the "Insight" book the displeasure is no longer the "act" but one's unappreciateve attitude towards the gift of procreation.

Yet God's Word never changed.

Imagine if the topic were homosexuality. Would the difference be clearer to you?
In one instance it's the "act" (the same-sex relationship) that brings the displeasure. (Aid Book)

Whereas on the other hand it's ones'lack of appreciation towards the gift of companionship that's the problem, not the same-sex relationship itself. (Insight Book)
Would the differences be more aparent then?

Tru Agape

Tomsheepandgoats: You say: "Fortunately, none of us are judged on our feelings."

Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. And there are many "unfortunate", tragedies that have resulted. Families disowned members, and sent children to therapy for simply being a "homosexual". And when people didn't change, many were devastaed. Fatally so. In fact if you look at the NIV, 1st edition, at 1 Cor. 6:9 it lists "homosexuals" as being barred from the Kingdom. And some of our publications even vouched for such a translation. Later the 2nd edition added the word "practicing." In fact even in the Society's latest track "The End of False Religion is near," it mentions religions that ordain "gays", and "lesbians" - something that even some of us celebate Witnesses are! Do you think such a statement adds or subtracts from the misconceptions many in the congregation have about homosexuality?

Your article even asked the question...how can it rival "natural" sex ATTRACTION...? So when you say that fortunately we're not judged on our feelings, that is simply not true.

tom sheepandgoats

Comparing the matter to homosexuality merely confuses things, IMO. There's a strong instinctive urge to satisfy one's sexuality. There is no corresponding instinctive urge to sterilize oneself, regardless of one's spirituality.

I take your point about one passage emphasizing an act and the other an attitude, but I think you're stretching matters. As far as I can see, they are used more or less interchangeably, with no particular agenda behind it.

tom sheepandgoats

I should have specified that in this case I was speaking of judging by God. Imperfect humans judge for any number of reasons, some noble, some base, some substantial, some frivolous.

Tru Agape

In all honesty if I was stretching matters, then their wouldn't be a need for the Society to re-word itself. I don't think that I'm stretching anything. There's a difference in the wording of what constitutes Jehovah's "displeasure". Nothing has to be stretched to realize this.

Regarding your statement about there being a strong urge to satisfy one's sexuality, homosexuality and sterilization are in that same league. If one didn't want to have children, they, just as the homosexual is taught, can remain celebate within their marriage. But it's because of one's "strong instinctive urge to satisfy one's sexuality", that sterilization of any method is practiced by couples. I'm curious, are you willing to refrain from "satisfying you own strong instinctive urge for sexuality" for the sake of having no more children?

tom sheepandgoats

No. I have no idea what they "endorse" and am not sure that is the appropriate term to use. They are capable of saying what they mean, and I have no special insight into discerning the meaning behind their words. But if they offer counsel on this or that subject, that is not the same as endorsing it.

It may be merely my taste for the shades of meaning in words, but it seems that offering counsel, however strongly, respects that we are free moral agents and can choose whether we will apply counsel or not. "Endorsing" implies that the choice has been taken from us....and we should just do whatever we are told. God doesn't deal with us that way, nor does his visible organization.

tom sheepandgoats

Alas, (I trust she will not be unduly upset with me) Mrs Sheepandgoats is past childbearing age.

We don't all fight the same battles. The "fallen flesh" has fallen differently for all of us (and I don't, of course, only refer to sexuality) I acknowledged several comments ago that Christians with gay orientation determined to live by God's standards face unique and particularly difficult challenges. One is even tempted to say "unfair." I will say it, in fact, but it is with the recognition that anyone with any sort of unique trial may consider it "unfair." I don't claim that it is not, only that it's not a mindset that helps matters.

With regard to the Society's "need" to restate matters, I don't think it should be looked at that way. They are not "laying down law." They are discussing the subject for a new generation, and need not feel obligated to repeat the same words which, if they did so, might suggest that they DID regard their previous words to be law. In my opinion, they don't.

Tru Agape

tomseepandgoats: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see where I used the word "endorse."

Tru Agape

Tomsheepandgoats: When it comes to gays, the issue isn't how unfair it is to live up to God's Standards. It's living up to "men's standards". As my long comment (the Mike Huckabee article) examined, there is a clear distinction between "scripture and 'homosexuality'" and "church teaching and 'homosexuality'". If sterilization where viwed through the same lens homosexuality was, then the same "unfair" treatment you discussed would be an uncomfortable reality for you and a majority of others regarding your own lives. It's the double standard, not to mention the extra biblical perspectives that isn't fair or right.

Tru Agape

Tomsheepandgoats: you say: "With regard to the Society's "need" to restate matters, I don't think it should be looked at that way. They are not "laying down law." They are discussing the subject for a new generation, and need not feel obligated to repeat the same words which, if they did so, might suggest that they DID regard their previous words to be law. In my opinion, they don't."

Now with all due respect, this is "stretching."
In one post you said: "I don't see much difference between them." (talking about the wording in the aid book and the insight book). Yet in your quote above, you say just the opposite and justify it by saying the audience this time is a "new generation" and by saying they're not trying to "lay down law". I'm not completly following you.
It should be noted that other sentences between the Aid book and Insight book under this heading remain unchanged. It largely reads verbatum. In fact in the Insight book the following sentence was removed altogether "A Christian thus deliberately mutilating himself would hardly be presenting his entire body, which belongs to God, as a living sacrifice."

tom sheepandgoats

Look, I don't really know. I don't have an Aid book, which went out of print decades ago. Perhaps whoever wrote the Insight article wished to soften the impact of the Aid article, so he focused on motive, rather than act. Perhaps because he knew some had had such an operation in good conscience, imagining only the distraction of having children in the "last days" yet also the importance of rendering the marital due. (though Paul and Jesus stayed free from both of those tasks) It's just guesswork, TrAg, and I start to tire of the subject, which doesn't seem too significant regardless of the thinking of the author. Both remarks present sterilization in a negative light. Humans write these books, and humans are full of foibles. I don't feel I have to figure them all out, and in any event, I don't think it's possible.

I still haven't read the long Mike Huckabee comment. You've kept me hopping with all these lesser ones. (smile) I'll get to it in time.

You did use the word 'endorse' - see comment of Oct 10, 8:14 PM

See what I mean about lots of comments? You can't keep your own comments straight, nor can I mine.

Tru Agape

For the most part, your sentiments are shared with me as well. It isn't true that both statments put sterilization in a negative light. But you are right about humans being "full of foibles". And when the topic is homosexualtiy, this fact is even more true. That's no small matter.

And thanks for bringing my attention to my mistake about my use of the word "endorse". And it's not about keeping comments straight. It's the fact that unlike a forum, it's hard to follow what specific post is being responded to. Enjoy your day brother!!
P.S. I do enjoy your other articles. Nice blog you have here!

tom sheepandgoats

TrAg: Okay. I read it.

It's a lot of word derivations. A lot of comparing translations. I like stuff like that, and it's interesting to see how some have given "homosexual verses" an extra twist of the knife, adding their own extra emphasis. And also how, taking some liberties with the text, lesbians got written into a translation or two.

Still, I'm not sure how it changes the bigger picture. If, for example, the two guests at Sodom were not actually men, does it really matter? They sure looked like men. The townspeople thought they were men.

Likely, straight society overreacts to homosexuality, singling in out as the "vice among vices." But that still doesn't mean that homosexuality is the way God meant us to be. It is one of a great many deviations from the norm that have come about since Eden, and I know of no easy solutions for the 3% Phil spoke of.

Phil

" I have only admiration for those Christians with gay leanings who nonetheless are determined to live in accord with Bible standards. They are determined to stay celibate, if need be, in their service to God, with faith that it will turn out well for them in the end"

And I have only admiration for those Christians with heterosexual leanings who nonetheless are determined to live in accord with Bible standards. They are determined to stay celibate, if need be, in their service to God, with faith that it will turn out well for them in the end.

I think, for example, of a brother in a congregation not too far from me whose divorce many years ago was not in circumstances that leave him free to re-marry. He has to resist his heterosexual leanings and remain celibate and his faithful example is a genuine encouragement to me.

And if you are picking up here, that I think the term "leanings" is an inadequate one, you are right! I don't think the sex drive is really "leanings".

Your comment, Tom, about former and current attitudes to the bachelor or spinster life is interesting. In the Christian congregation there is the added knowledge that while marriage and childbearing were approved for Eden and for Israel, for Christians they are NOT the favoured choice. Jesus and the apostle Paul both made this very clear.

And yet, the VAST majority in the Christian congreegation choose to give in to their heterosexual leanings, and marry and even procreate.

With respect to the 2.9 percent, and the Kinsey 10 percent: The point of the original post here was, as I read it at the time, to suggest that the incidence of persons with a sex drive directed to their own sex was *increasing*.

My reply was to suggest that it is not; that it is constant.

As for the reliability of figures: This is probably not the place to go into all this. Suffice it to say that although the 10 percent figure does get bandied about, it seems (from wide reading of reputable current sources) that this figure is not accurate, and that 2.9 percent is accurate.

If any are interested to look further into this matter, I can suggest suitable book titles.

A ratio of 2.9 percent means that there are around two hundred thousand of Jehovah's Witnesses whose sex drive is directed towards their own sex instead of the opposite sex.

With regard to contraceptive choices, the position taken in the publications has been amended over the years to be careful not to "go beyond the things written". There is a Question from Readers relevant to this in W99 6/15; also in W85 5/1 and in W75 3/1. It will be seen that the reasoning is refined in the light of medical advances and Scriptural considerations.

The question is probably academic, however, since Christians do not marry but follow the counsel of Christ and Paul that it is better to remain single...... (which of course calls for suppressing one's hetersexual leanings.....)

tom sheepandgoats

True enough. Jesus and Paul recommended singleness. Few follow their recommendation.

Tru Agape

tomsheepandgoats:

In looking at the Sodom story and all of the details that are retained within scripture, even the smallest elements within the account of Sodom and Gomorrah remain consistent. And if Genesis 19 is the reference that is used to support the idea that homosexuality was Sodom's sin, then there are glaring biblical facts surrounding this account that make such a position erroneous. This will also explain why the other scriptures that many equate with homosexualtiy never refer to the Sodom story as a reference.

In looking at the Kingdom Interlinear at Jude 7, the Greek captures the reference to Sodom's sin by using the phrase "sarkos heteras", literally "flesh different". This phrase accurately aligns with the details of the Sodom account as initially recorded in Genesis. Because even though the mob referred to the strangers as "men", the fact remains, they were materialized angles. So the ability for the mob's encounter with them to be a "homo"sexual one isn't even plausible. And the original language of Jude 7 highlights this detail with remarkable consistency. The bible does not precisely indicate what practices the mob had in mind when they responded to Lot. But what ever the mob had in mind, it is clear from the account itself that their intent was abuse. Note the response the mob gives to Lot when he tries to prevent them, "...This lone man came here to reside as an alien and yet he would actually play the judge. Now we are going to do WORSE to you than to them." (Gen. 19:9). So what ever abuse the mob intended toward the strangers, it was going to be even worse for Lot. I think that Jehovah's own commentary regarding the sin's of Sodom is the most revealing. In highlighting the prostitution of Isreal, HE tells how the Isrealites' sinfulness is worse than their sister Sodom. Here Jehovah is the first one to specify what Sodom's sin was:

Ezekiel 16:49-50
"Look! This is what proved to be the error of Sodom your sister: Pride, sufficiency of bread and the carefreeness of keeping undisturbed were what happened to belong to her and her dependent towns, and the hand of the afflicted one and the poor one she did not strengthen. And they continued to be haughty and to carry on a destestable thing before me, and I finally removed them just as I saw fit.

So in the Genesis account, if in fact the mob mistook the strangers for mortal men, when almost an entire city approaches these two strangers in Lot's house, it begs the question: What would nearly an entire city, known by Jehovah, for their inhospitality, want with two strangers who appeared as they themselves were? If you take the position that it was homosexual fornication, then what would these two strangers be able to provide that the city itself couldn't ? Furthermore, when the mob says that it would do worse to Lot, would you take the position that they somehow wanted to homosexually fornicate with Lot in a way that was even worse? All of the scripture evidence compiles to reveal that the intent of the mob was abuse. It was abuse in some form or another, be it rape, carnel dehumanization, castration. Whatever form of abuse the mob had in mind, it was clear that Jehovah was aware of their hateful deeds. In Genesis 18:20 Jehovah reveals that there is a "cry of complaint" about Sodom and Gomorrah and intends to see for himself the accuracy of the cries for which he heard. And when he sees how they treat him, via his materialized angels, it becomes evident just what those "cries of complaint" were in response to: abuse.

Even the evidence outside of scripture highlights the impression Sodom's sin had on the proceeding Jews. And their umbrage towards the sin's of Sodom remains consistent with biblical history. Their perspecive is telling. Did they associate Sodom with homosexuality? Even a casual search on something as assessible as wikipedia reveals that they didn't. Here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodom_and_gomorrah

The idea that homosexuality played a part in Sodom's destruction is an invention of men that didn't come onto the scene until many centuries later. That's the reason why I talked about the etomology of the term "sodomite". Sodomite, which has become synnomous with "homosexual" in everyday talk, is not a biblical term in structure or definition. Yet many bibles will use this term even though the original language of scripture doesn't even remotely allow for it. The most quoted in regards to homosexuality is 1Cor. 6:9 where the Greek work arsenokoitai is rendered in some translations as "sodomite". Unfortunately the New World Translation with References uses "sodomite" in a footnote, and then changes the actual Latin from "liers with males", to "MEN who lie with men". But what's interesting is that the Greek word arsenokoitai isn't used in Romans 1 or even by the "Church Fathers" in their early writings regarding homosexuality. That's especially interesting with regards the "Church Fathers", because it was around their time that the account of Sodom and Gomorrah began its evolution into it's association with homosexuality. In Jude 7, the NWT's rendering of "sarkos heteras", as " flesh for unnatural use" does more to invite the perception of homosexuality and less to accurately convey the account as recorded in Genesis. Whereas an actual rendering of the Greek for Jude 7, doesn't do this.

tom sheepandgoats

"The bible does not precisely indicate what practices the mob had in mind when they responded to Lot."

Gen 19:5 - "And they kept calling out to Lot and saying to him: “Where are the men who came in to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have intercourse with them."

Doesn't that say it all?

I'm not sure what you're after. If you're maintaining it's unfortunate that the account has come to typify homosexuality in the eyes of many, I would not disagree. Rochester has a sizable gay community, second in the state only to NYC itself. It is one of the safest areas in the city. Our old Kingdom Hall used to be in that neighborhood. We sold it and built another because it was very cramped, certainly not because of any homophobia or fear that Gen 19 might repeat itself locally.

Tru Agape

tomsheepandgoats:

No, the biblical account itself along with all of the other scriptures within the bible that reference this story says it "all". History is stained with extra-biblical sources that attempt to pull from this story a homosexual context. Every last one of those attempts deny “all” the biblical evidence present within the scriptures itself. To keep from writing a book, I will summarize by saying that trying to draw a homosexual content from this account denies the facts of the story itself. For example you conclude that since nearly the whole city, from boy to old man, approached these strangers, then this is an indicator of the homosexual activity prevalent within the city. You're kidding right? As I asked before, what would nearly an entire city want from two mere strangers that they, the city, couldn't provide to each other? But on the other hand, if the city was as inhospitable as Jehovah explicitly claimed, and even Jesus alluded to, then their actions begin to make sense. They weren't seeking a homosexual encounter they had each other for that. They were seeking an attack on two outsiders. And yes their form of abuse could have very well been of a carnal nature as the word “yada”, (to know) can indicate. History confirms certain acts were used to humiliate and dehumanize, especially if the victims were outsiders or prisoners of war. Again as I showed in my last post, Gen 19:9 clearly shows the intent of the mob when they threatened to do WORSE to Lot. Like I said before, the bible does not indicate what practices the mob had in mind. Their intent was abuse, it could have been rape, physical humiliation, or maybe even castration. But if you think they what nearly an entire city wanted was intercourse with the strangers, as your isolated post suggests, then what do you think they wanted to do to Lot that was worse than “yada”? Your position assumes that if the mob consisted of women, then there would have been no sin and hence no intervening by the angels or Jehovah at this particular junction. How ridiculous!

Please keep ALL of this story’s scriptural elements in tact. Consider how Lot was willing to divert their attention (hardly a sinless move) by offering up his daughters instead. Yet Jehovah never condemns him for it. If a reading of the account regarding Lot's actions were read in the same dim light that the homosexuality theory was read within, then it would seem just as obvious from the account itself that the next time a mob of "homosexuals" is proceeding to threaten someone's guests then it would be perfectly okay to throw virgin daughters at them in an attempt to appease them and perhaps "minimize the sin". The thinking being that at least in this manner the fornication would be heterosexual and the byproduct would only be abuse to women. I could even see how some who support the homosexuality theory could go as far as to use this part of the story to promote the idea that gays should marry the opposite sex as some sort of a "cure". Hence creating two miserable people in holy matrimony. The possibilities are endless.

In the end, I believe that your position is an example of the dangers that can result when scripture is read outside it's historic and cultural context, and without regard to ALL of the factual elements that are retained within the original language (e.g. Jude 7) of a particular scriptural account. Because regarding Lot's actions, for example, when the cultural context is left in tact, it helps explain why Jehovah was able to not judge Lot's actions as unrighteous despite our perception of absurdity. Because culturally speaking, in his space and time, his heart was in the right place.

But ADD TO ALL OF THIS the fact that out of ALL the scriptures that many equate with homosexuality, not one of them refer to the Sodom account. Nor do the biblical references of Sodom ever equate it with homosexuality. Not Jehovah, not Jesus, not Paul, not Peter, and not Jude. Not one inspired writer or scripture does this. So why do you? Even the Jews (who were willing to “go beyond the things written” regarding Lev. 18:22 to include females) couldn’t escape the fact that homosexuality and Sodom was a foreign notion as even their own history indicates. The only references that link this story to homosexuality are all found outside of Scripture beginning nearly a millennium after the biblical account itself. And the evidence of the “progress” man-made Traditions have made continuing down that trend is indisputable. Ultimately, your final opinion is not based on the facts of the story itself, but rather an interpretation that is guilty of negating the context the original account was written within and the detailed elements that the account itself retains all throughout the actual language of scripture. Such an interpretation supports religion, not scripture.

Tru Agape

tomsheepandgoats:
I just got through re-reading your article again and I must say it makes me very angry!! How can you trivialize this topic and make some of the remarks that you do?!! It's so un-empathetic to the reality of what it's like to be gay and a Witness at that. Reading your article this second time around is so distancing to me.

Tru Agape

tomsheepandgoats:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6M1ljM4Cjw&feature=related

I need to share this clip of this Mormon mother's testimony with you. Every last syllable she utters is heartbreakingly true!

Tru Agape

tomsheepandgoats:

Also, regarding your article's reference to Freud, I think you'll find this letter of his in dispute with you claim Freud "implied".

In 1935, Freud wrote a mother who had asked him to treat her son a letter that later became famous[3]:

I gather from your letter that your son is a homosexual. I am most impressed by the fact that you do not mention this term yourself in your information about him. May I question you why you avoid it? Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function, produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them. (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime –and a cruelty, too. If you do not believe me, read the books of Havelock Ellis. By asking me if I can help [your son], you mean, I suppose, if I can abolish homosexuality and make normal heterosexuality take its place. The answer is, in a general way we cannot promise to achieve it. In a certain number of cases we succeed in developing the blighted germs of heterosexual tendencies, which are present in every homosexual; in the majority of cases it is no more possible. It is a question of the quality and the age of the individual. The result of treatment cannot be predicted.

What analysis can do for your son runs in a different line. If he is unhappy, neurotic, torn by conflicts, inhibited in his social life, analysis may bring him harmony, peace of mind, full efficiency, whether he remains homosexual or gets changed.[10] (taken from the link below)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud's_views_about_homosexuality

tom sheepandgoats

"Because regarding Lot's actions, for example, when the cultural context is left intact, it helps explain why Jehovah was able to not judge Lot's actions as unrighteous despite our perception of absurdity. Because culturally speaking, in his space and time, his heart was in the right place."

I don't agree with your premise that the Bible is like a giant report card in which God puts a grade upon every reported event. Most actions pass without comment - it is just recorded history - without indication as to whether God approved or not. If Jehovah specifically condemned, or specifically approved - yes, that would be significant. But to merely "refrain from judging" means nothing. Nor do I necessarily agree that Lot's "heart was in the right place." When given the choice where to live, he chose Sodom, in spite of the report that "the men of Sodom were bad and were gross sinners against Jehovah." He at first lived in the district, later at the gates, later in the city, always working his way closer to the heart of things. When he warned of God's coming destruction and everyone thought he was joking, possibly it's because he'd made himself so comfortable in the city. His salvation appears to be more due to Abraham's stature than his own.

When people are afraid, there's no limit to the cowardly things they may do. The Bible reports Job's actions to the mob without comment, neither approving or disapproving. What he did was certainly cowardly. Perhaps he also thought that raping angels would be worse? Did he know they were angels by that time? He had also surrounded himself with non-worshipers of Jehovah for many years - who knows what practices of theirs may have rubbed off on him? At any rate, the two daughters he offered "had never had intercourse with a man." You think he offered them as bridge players? But no, the mob wasn't interested in the daughters. Maybe Lot even knew that they wouldn't be and was somehow "buying time." (it didn't work) They said they were going to do WORSE to Lot than to his two guests. I don't understand the significance you put on "doing WORSE." There's no crime so bad that I can't imagine it being worse.

And is not "yada" (taking your word for it that that is the Hebrew term) always linked with intercourse in the Bible? as in Genesis 4:1 and every successive instance? Are there any exceptions? So I think there's little doubt as to what the guys had in mind.

I already acknowledged that Sodom is not typical of any homosexual community I know of today. Theirs was pure, out and out, depraved lust. Are we to imagine that materialized angels were pot-bellied, balding, and knock-kneed? They were good-looking guys, no doubt, not like the local slobs. This observation, I think, is enough to answer your question "as I asked before, what would nearly an entire city want from two mere strangers that they, the city, couldn't provide to each other?" We're not speaking of homosexual love, in this case. We're speaking of homosexual lust.

As to Freud, my post made no mention of right or wrong from his point of view, only "abnormal," and 'stemming from childhood.' The quotation you've provided agrees with that assessment: "we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function, produced by a certain arrest of sexual development." 'Arrested development' does not imply that all is normal.

Tru Agape

tomsheepandgoats:

I'm sorry but you are lavishly consumed with an interpretation that presumes your own bias over the clear and simple facts of the story itself - the story as it is presented, referenced, and literally captured within all the pages of scripture.
I won't take the time to answer your question about "yada" and it's references as its used throught scripture. I know the answer but have the feeling (as your latest post shows) that you will find a way to interpret your own pleasure within that. You have the same access I have available to me to inform yourself to yada and its scriptural references. But in the mean time if you choose to utterly dismiss the unchangable facts of both scripture and history in lieu of your own perception as influenced by the imginations of those outside of scripture, we'll that is your choice. And consequently, for scriptural reasons, I definately can not respect that.

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