14 June 2006

Strange Fruit

MATTHEW 7:15-20
(Jesus Christ said) "Watch out for false prophets! They come to you looking like sheep on the outside, but they are really like wild wolves on the inside. You will know them by the way they act. Thorn bushes do not bear grapes, and briars do not bear figs. A healthy tree bears good fruit, while a poor tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a poor tree cannot bear good fruit. Any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire! So then, you will know the false prophets by the way they act."

Yesterday, I was surfing the Web and happened upon a web page called Jesus and The Homosexual(sic). At first, I thought it was something similar to this blog. I was thrilled to find another site devoted to frank discussion of the Christ's sexuality and the relevance of His life to Lesbians and Gay men. Unfortunately, I only had to read a few paragraphs to realize how wrong my first impression was.

This was one of those "ex-Gay" websites devoted to "delivering" homosexual men and women (but especially men) from their "sin." Imagine my surprise when I found out that the author of this page, one Lambert Dolphin, cites the same Gospel verses that I cite to prove God's acceptance of Gay people . . . only he cites them for the opposite purpose! The translation he quotes is a little bit different from the one found in my Good News Bible. It's worth reproducing here:

MATTHEW 19:9-12
(Jesus Christ said) "Whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery." The disciples said to Him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry." But He said to them, "Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it."

This translation of the verses is much clearer. "Some (cannot marry) because they were born that way," which is the way the Good News Bible phrases the beginning of Matthew 19:12, sounds vague in comparison. There's nothing vague about the word "eunuch." When the Christ speaks of "eunuchs who have been so from birth," I have no doubt that He is talking about Gay men. Used in this context, a "eunuch" would be a hermaphrodite, and you'll recall from my previous posting that in the ancient world, Gay people were thought of as hermaphrodites.

Diverse sexual orientation occurs in the human population far more frequently than hermaphroditism does, so not only can "homosexual" be understood as an alternate meaning for the phrase "eunuchs from birth," it was almost certainly the primary meaning. For more information on this topic, please read the very informative essays at . . .

If, as I believe, Jesus Christ was Himself homosexual in His human form, wouldn't He know the difference between Gay men and true hermaphrodites? Certainly He would. He would know the difference even if He weren't, but at that time in history, no separate word existed to describe homosexual orientation. The apostles had such difficulty understanding the Christ's teachings on other matters, just imagine what confusion would've resulted had He tried to explain sexual orientation to them in detail! Even today, most people are unable to grasp the concept. Therefore, the Christ used language His disciples would understand. Lambert Dolphin understands that language, too, but check out the convoluted interpretation he lays on that passage:

Marriage, Jesus implied, was for life. Only under exceptional circumstances, that is in the case of adultery, was divorce permitted. The disciples were evidently startled at the standards Jesus indicated when He quoted Moses as authoritative. They suggested to Jesus that remaining single might be preferable. To this Jesus responded that a celibate, single life, "for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven" was acceptable.

However, Jesus made no mention of homosexuality as a third option for those who might have been "born that way," nor did He suggest that all have a right to choose their own "sexual preference." He did not give us the slightest reason to suppose every individual has a God-given "right" to his or her body, to do with it as one wills. Evidently He believed that marriage, though at times difficult and demanding, is the only relationship where sexual expression meets with God's approval. Those who prefer to remain single are to live as "eunuchs," that is without expressing their sexual desires.

When factual evidence is lacking, there's always good old fabrication to fall back on! Jesus Christ said nothing in that passage about celibacy! He is talking specifically about men who do not have sex with women. What's more, ancient eunuchs were often not celibate! Dolphin is bending over backwards to justify his argument. Assuming that the Savior meant to say something He didn't actually say is putting words into His mouth.

Consider this: In the various Gospels, the Christ is quoted as speaking against many things. Specifically, he warns against greed, deceit, pride, praying in public (yes, it's true!), swearing oaths to God, passing judgment on others (hello!) , and most of all, acting in a hypocritical manner. At least four times in the New Testament, He speaks on proper relations between men and women, on marriage, adultery, divorce and lust. Is it possible that He would simply forget to prohibit homosexual relations?

No, it isn't. These marriage passages are exactly where such a prohibition would appear, but it does not appear here or anywhere else in His quoted speech. Frankly, I'm amazed that it doesn't! Given such strong societal opposition to homosexuality over the centuries, more than one Biblical copyist must've been tempted to attribute disapproval of homosexual relations to the Christ. God's Divine will is the only thing that prevented it from happening, I'm sure!

From here on out, Lambert Dolphin reveals his true agenda. Never mind his tacit acknowledgement that Jesus Christ's comment about "eunuchs who have been so from birth" was in reference to Gay men. He begins to characterize homosexuality as a cognitive disorder. (Let me note here that, according to his online résumé, Dolphin was trained as a physicist, not a psychologist.)

Using tortured language and Bible scripture that's even more tortured, he embarks on a rambling explanation of what causes men to engage in "homosexual acts"(recruitment is the main reason), describes how to "cure" this behavior, and ends by citing references to "ex-Gay" literature. He talks about something called "sissy boy syndrome" and digs up the tired old canard that too much coddling from Mommy can pervert an impressionable boy's natural (heterosexual) inclinations:

The important research of Elizabeth Moberly, Leanne Payne, Joseph Nicolosi, Jeffrey Satinover and others has shown quite conclusively that virtually all male homosexuals testify to having had poor relationships with their fathers. (Blogmaster's note: this research and the conclusions drawn from it have been discredited by the American Psychological Association.) Growing up to be a man is not as easy for boys (as) womanhood is for girls. All of us spend nine months in the womb of our mothers and we arrive into the world bonded strongly to our mothers . . . most of the time the male child identifies strongly enough with his father, an uncle, older brother or other male. Thus a new same-sex bond takes place, and mother gradually begins to take second place. In some (but not all) instances where there is an absent father, or perhaps a sensitive boy and a cold, indifferent father, taken together with a protective or possessive mother, there can be a thwarting of this normal transfer of identity bonding from mother to a suitable male role model.

Ah, yes . . . blame the mother! There's nothing like sprinkling a little misogyny into your homophobia to make an absurd argument more convincing. Dolphin tries so terribly hard to impress the abnormal nature of homosexuality on his readers, he seems to be trying to convince himself as much as anyone else!

In fact, that's exactly what he's trying to do. He calls himself "ex-Gay," but admits to still having homosexual desires. No matter how many Bible verses he twists, and no matter how many bogus scientific studies he cites, Lambert Dolphin will never fully convince himself that homosexual orientation is curable. He can't, because the truth of his natural sexual impulse exists within his own body . . . and within the Gospel According to Matthew.

Thousands of Gay people over many years, young people in particular, have been hurt by so-called "ex-Gay" ministries and their malicious promises of "deliverance" from homosexuality. The thorns and briars concealed within the religious rhetoric of homophobic preachers (the "poor trees" of which Jesus Christ spoke) leave lasting wounds on the spirit. It's because of such charlatans that Christianity has acquired an undeserved bad reputation among people who would otherwise be Christians.

Taken on their own merit, the Gospels offer nourishment to the soul. Taken with the teachings of a false prophet, they are anything but nourishing! A Christian Gospel mixed with bigotry is like fresh water mixed with poison: It looks refreshing, especially when you're very thirsty, but one sip can leave you at death's door.

How many Christians today are dying from poisoned faith? The number is frightening to think about. We need pure water to drink, and we need pure Christianity to nourish our souls. No other kind will do!