Christianity, Rants

Does Religion Promote Hatred Towards Gays?

I came across an interesting article on Fox News yesterday that had Elton John saying that organized religion spawns hatred towards the gay community.

Elton John: I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people

Elton John’s solution is to ban religion completely. Although I can’t relate to his frustration, I can see where he’s coming from.

From a Christian perspective, the Bible labels those who engage in homosexual acts as homosexuals (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB). However, within the same verse, Paul is condemning the greedy, alcoholics, adulterers, fornicators, and several other groups. I don’t believe that being a homosexual is a larger sin than any of those already mentioned. Homosexuality is a title given to a person that commits homosexual acts, just like an alcoholic is a label given to someone who is addicted to alcohol.

I don’t feel that the Christian religion promotes hatred towards gay people. If anything, people have taken several verses out of context and have acted out negatively towards the gay community. Ideally, Christians should welcome gay people and see being gay as a side-effect of a sinful, fallen world.

On the other hand, I can see why Elton John might think that religions are condemning gays rather harshly. In the Bible, homosexuality is a sin. Some gay people don’t see it as a sin; they might see it as something they were born with and have no control over. In recent times, the gay community has gathered strength and started having parades and being more vocal about the gay lifestyle. As a result of homosexuality becoming increasingly public, religion has started to be more vocal towards gays in general.

Taking the above verse (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), homosexuality is given as an example of unbelieving behavior (along with adultery and other sins). However, homosexuals have made their sexual beliefs more public by having Gay Pride Parades and other public displays. I seriously doubt a bunch of adulterers or alcoholics would get together and start having parades in order to feel more accepted. If there was an “Adulterers’ Pride Parade”, I anticipate that organized religion would condemn that group as harsh, if not harsher, than that of the gay community.

The fact that gays are becoming more accepted (and more public) in society is probably the reason that religion is started to get more vocal in its contempt against the gay community.

Religions shouldn’t “hate” gays, but I certainly don’t see organized religion ever accepting homosexual acts as acceptable behavior.

Comments

  1. I read that article and found it interesting too.. I personally take the stand point of accepting someone who is gay or lesbian and not passing judgement.. I leave that up to someone of higher standards.. God.. You know something else that Elton John mentioned was interesting as well.. How come churches are not taking more of a role in the Wars around the world.. Any thoughts on that?

  2. I'm anxious to hear what cetroyer thinks about your comment, Jacob. He's without Internet at the moment, so be patient. 🙂

    I didn't get exactly the same thing out of Elton John's statement that you did. From what I read, it seemed as if that he wanted religion to be more aggressive towards world violence. I find this a contradiction since Elton John wants religion eradicated, yet wants religion to be more active regarding world violence.

  3. Religious leaders have also failed to do anything about tensions and conflicts around the world, he said.

    "Why aren't they having a conclave? Why aren't they coming together?" he asked.

    Um, where's the part about war? He "specified war?" I think not. Did you read the article? 😛

  4. I see I continue to be censored… How do you know I even wrote that.. cause for all I know you censored me and wrote something under my name.. There is really some "big brother" stuff going on here.. literally.. lol elton john is gay just like you.. haha I bet I get censored!

  5. I don’t think this is fair at all. Homosexuality is a human condition, not a sin, and I can’t agree at all with the Bible’s labeling of people who may not even be Christian, and therefore do not fall under its jurisdiction. It’s ridiculously harsh to call people “sinful” because of their sexual orientation, and it does not fall in the same category as adultery, etc. There are things that society should accept and should not accept — lying and cheating (adultery) is not the same as a natural and in my opinion, fully acceptable, relationship.

  6. I think that morality as a concept is a social and not a religious concept. People have, and as long as religion exists will continue to, used religious texts to add weight to their own fears and insecurities; i.e. to make them bigger than themselves to show that their thinking is correct. This is no different from the way anyone convinces themselves of anything; for example, once you decide to buy something it will often become much better than the alternatives, in your own mind, to prove your decision to purchase was correct.

    As long as society continues to give unwarranted weight to religious opinion, i.e. it is religion therefore untouchable, people will be able to use it to give weight to their own fears under the guise of morality. To this extent then all religions can promote hatred.

    On the flip side is the fact that the bible explains morality from the perspective of those living 1500 years ago in an entirely different world. It is therefore quite surprising that even with significant interpretation it is possible to find even the slightest shred of common ground between modern morality and the contents of the bible, or any other later book based on it.

    Given the other content in the bible that is selectively considered to be metaphorical as it no longer conforms to social norms (the treatment of women is a very good example) it should be fairly clear that those using it to justify statements against anyone, not least gay people, are using it only as a lens to their own fears, and that it isn't the bible, or Christianity, that is the problem but the very nature of religion itself.

    You might find this examination of the evolution of a universal moral code interesting. It is a long read but the bit on the experiments is very interesting:
    http://shroudedindoubt.typepad.com/bag_of_worms_y

  7. Biscuitrat, Andrew,

    Thank you for responding to this controversial topic.

    I’ve been trying to think of a way to respond to your comments, but I feel it won’t be too beneficial since I am approaching the topic from a religious (and Christian) standpoint. I believe the Bible will always be relevant. My Christian Bible also clearly labels homosexuals as sinners (referenced in the above verse in the post), but I am no means implying that the behavior I commit as a Christian is any less sinful.

    Andrew,
    Thanks for the link. I’ve bookmarked it and will give it a read soon hopefully.

  8. I don’t understand how people can use religion as an excuse to discriminate against any group of people, especially gays. I can fully understand where Elton John is coming from when he says that organized religion should be banned as it seems to only cause violence and discrimination in the modern world. It really saddens me when people are so hateful because a book tells them to be so.

  9. Payge » I agree that religion shouldn’t be used to discriminate. I think the problem with a lot of people following a “book” so-to-speak is that they take it too literally or interpret the words to a harsh extreme.

  10. Right now I am rather torn, honestly. I can completely understand why Elton John made that statement; Christians today tend to live more along the lines of the old testament, speaking only of God’s judgment, preaching fire and brimstone instead of demonstrating Christ’s mercy and love.

    However, I do see homosexuality as a sin. Context clues (i.e. men can’t get pregnant or procreate with each other..the bible speaks of gay sex as an “unnatural” activity, as sex was intended for a man and woman) and scripture references clearly label it as such. I see the gay uprising and resentment towards Christian “haters” as not so much a case of matryrdom and “persecution for righteousness’ sake” for the christians, but more as a result of the many social follies and interpersonal errors that christians have stubbornly continued to make over the years for “righteousness’ sake”.

    It is not the christian’s call to judge or condemn, that is God’s job and God’s job alone. When God called us to “go into the world and preach the gospel” I do not think he was using the word
    “preach” in the context that we perceive it as (i.e. church-style preaching). I believe he was telling us to communicate the gospel, but through our actions. He was telling us to LIVE the gospel, which speaks of love and service. I can guarantee that if Christians were actually living the gospel and showing love (not conformity) to the gays instead of trying to constantly butt heads with them and tell them they are filthy sinners, then not very many gay pride parades would be taking place. The psychological cause of behavior such as huge public protests and parades is a sense of being cornered and condemned; Gay pride parades are a direct result of gays feeling smothered and condemned. If they did not feel this way, they wouldn’t find it necessary to give a loud, public display of their beliefs. It is when people feel judged and backed into a corner that they revolt and speak out in the strongest manner possible. In all honesty, I think gay pride parades are an indirect result of christian misbehavior in dealing with homosexuals. Christians want to pin it all on the devil, saying that his influence is swarming our nation when in reality some of the very cultural happenings they revolt against are an indirect result of their own errors in judgement when it comes to dealing with non-christians. Christians tend to have a victim mentality, blaming the state of their world on the influence of godless individuals when the very fall of mankind was the direct result of Christian misbehavior, not the misbehavior of an ungodly, adulterous homosexual; Adam and eve were christians, for they walked with God and loved him. Those are just my thoughts..

  11. “but I feel it won’t be too beneficial since I am approaching the topic from a religious (and Christian) standpoint.”

    I simply don’t understand this. It’s like saying, “I am approaching this topic from the point of view that I can’t be wrong”. But that’s what religion is – a lie to the self that you already know all the answers. The rationalizing away of Mr John’s obviously true points is no surprise.

  12. What I find interesting about this topic is that people are so uptight about the homosexual agenda and forget what is really important about being a “CHRISTIAN” Last time I checked the bible did not say anything about “Oh by the way why don’t you become a hipocrite and criticize people about what you don’t like?” I think it is “inmoral”, in my opinion to think that you are so almighty that God hates the same people you do. I am oh so very gay and proud. I am not a side-effect by the way. So for you, a simple human just like me, to tell me that I am a side-effect is very offensive. Of course I am sure that you will probably not even publish this comment at all because you love to express whatever the hell you want to say, but when someone criticizes you, you find it offensive and against your policies. Funny isnt it, that even the good ol’ straight christians can be biggots. Oh I also have several tattoos, including one with “Dominus reget me” simbolizing Psalm 23. I particularly don’t feel like I need a Church to tell me that I need to be close to God. I already am. So why don’t you write about important issues rather than your biased opinions about humanity. I hope your kid ends up gay and see where this blog is going to end up going. Hopefully learn more about how to live through God, not the masses.

  13. Being a Christian is not about being perfect and it’s not about not sinning. And the bible clearly identifies the act as a sin but I agree with Ronald, being gay is no worse than any other sin. But if you are a Christian then you should be motivated to improve, to be better – to not sin, and this includes homosexiual acts.

    Being gay, doing nothing about it and proclaiming to be Christian is no different than proclaiming to be Christian and practicing any other sin including theft, lying, cheating, or any other sin outlined in the Bible. If you have convinced yourself that it’s OK to continue ‘as is’ then you have some serious studying and soul searching to do.

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