Well, as it happens. God isn't all that concerned with what are known as "The sins of the Flesh" (which includes homosexuality).
Being a Christian I happen to know this. As a matter of fact the only reason that homosexuality can even be CALLED a sin is because such relationships don't produce offsoring which is the underlying purpose of sex, after all. God's first commanment was "REplenish the earth". In other words...produce kids. So, yeah, in the sense it doesn't fulfill its original function, it is a sin.
But it's not even that for Christians.
And I am going to tell you why. Because if there's one thing I really HATE It’s idiots that quote Bible verses who haven’t a clue about the real issues. Take the self-styled “Christian Fundamentalists” who aren’t Christians at all. Oh, it’s not ME saying that (well, okay, it IS) but only because the Bible says that.
Most recently they’ve hauled out those Biblical verses that condemn homosexuality as a sin and used that to bash gays over the head in a frantic attempt to avoid granting them the same privilege every other law-abiding citizen has. The privilege to marry the person they love.
Now, the Constitution of the United States of America (you remember, that social contract you read about in school that defines the rules that govern all our lives) says this: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
That’s Section 1 of the 14th Amendment. Note especially the words “No state shall make or enforce ANY law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States…nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the EQUAL protection of the laws.”
Now you’d think that would be clear enough for ANYONE, wouldn’t you? It means no state can legally pass a law telling you you cannot marry a person of the same sex as yourself. That wouldn’t be equal protection under the law which forbids abridging your rights, now would it?
Well, of course, these bigots KNOW that so they appeal to the Bible but even THERE they are NOT on firm ground.
The prohibitions against homosexuality (and many MANY other sins…including remarriage while your divorced spouse is still alive) are part of Mosaic Law. But Mosaic Law does not APPLY to Christians. Moreover we are specifically instructed NOT to turn to it for if we do we lose our salvation.
“WHAT???” you may say/
Let us turn in our Bibles to Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (the epistle that Martin Luther, founder of the Protestant Movement, most loved—-indeed his his commentary on it is something I highly recommend to all students of Scripture,)
We begin with the second chapter:
Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
For those of you who do not get the gist of this…let me explain…when Paul confronts Peter it is because Peter is playing the hypocrite. It is a sin (under Mosaic Law) for a Jew to eat Gentile (i. e. non-kosher) food but Peter did it anyway…as long as no other Jews were present. But “when certain came from James” he stopped and began putting on an act for THEM so that he wouldn’t get into trouble with Brother Jimmy back home in Jerusalem.
James. you must understand—if you are ever to understand one of the most glaring seeming contradictions in all of the New Testament, was the Head of the Church at Jerusalem…which was composed entirely of Jewish converts to Christianity. The reason why he was elected the head is because he was the younger brother of Jesus. (Technically, half-brother, because they had different fathers) and it was the norm to choose the next of kin to succeed a fallen leader. The only problem is that there is no evidence that James was ever a follower of Jesus before His Crucifixion. Actually, the available evidence indicates that he wasn’t: “When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “ He has lost His senses.” (own people means “kinsmen”) ( Mark 3:21 New American Standard Bible).
James was a devout Jew. In fact, he was known for that.St. Jerome (one of the early Church Fathers 347-420 CE) quotes an earlier writer Hegesippus (110-180 CE) thusly: “”After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord surnamed the Just was made head of the Church at Jerusalem. Many indeed are called James. This one was holy from his mother’s womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved or anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since indeed he did not use woolen vestments but linen and went alone into the temple and prayed in behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camels’ knees.””
So James tried to do what you might expect…unite the two covenants, the one given on Mount Sinai (the Law) and the one given on Calvary (Salvation by grace. Now, grace means “unmerited favor”. It is not something you EARN it is Christ’s gift) and James just couldn’t get his head around that (anymore than the Fundamentalists of today can) but at least James was willing to compromise with Paul when it came to the NON-Jewish Christians. Too bad the Fundamentalists can’t compromise when it comes to NON-heterosexual Christians, isn’t it?)
And give James credit..he did die for the Faith as Josephus (the Jewish Historian) records in Book 20 of his ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS : “But the younger Ananus who, as we said, received the high priesthood, was of a bold disposition and exceptionally daring; he followed the party of the Sadducees, who are severe in judgment above all the Jews, as we have already shown. As therefore Ananus was of such a disposition, he thought he had now a good opportunity, as Festus was now dead, and Albinus was still on the road; so he assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as lawbreakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.”
And by getting himself martyred James provides something some VERY stupid people claim Christians lack…proof that Jesus was ever born.
After all, you can’t be the brother of a non-existent person, now can you? Now, the Testimonium Flavianum (so called because Josephus’ first name was Flavius) an earlier mention of Jesus in Antiquities has been (quite rightly) attacked as being an interpolation by some zealous Christian Monk during the Middle Ages. In THAT passage Josephus (a Jew, I remind you) burbles on with phrases like “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah…” and so on and so forth. Something no Jew would ever have written.
On the other hand, no zealous monk would ever refer to Jesus as “the so-called Christ” but a Jew most definitely would. Now the Jesus-Birther Movement can’t have it both ways. Here we have a clear non-Biblical non-Christian mention of Jesus written no later than 94 CE. Now, James died in 62 CE by which time Josephus would have been 25 years old so he is contemporary with the history he is recording.
DAMN it! I’ve let myself get sidetracked by those idiot birther people again so now I’ll have to hurry.
Back to Galatians: the third chapter now: “
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Chapter four continues the argument put forward above (Paul just wrote a letter he never heard of chapter and verse—all that was added later and usually, as here, in the wrong place, Paul isn’t through producing his evidence yet): “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”
So you see, it is even as I told you when I began this…we are not UNDER the Law and if we TRY to live by it Christ will cast us out even as Abraham cast out the bond-woman and her child.