Misfit Disciples in an Orthodox World

Misfit Disciples in an Orthodox World
"You had better be a round peg in a square hole than a round peg in a round hole. The latter is in for life, while the first is only an indeterminate sentence." – Elbert Hubbard

The Bible and Sexual Oppression?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Religion Dispatches published an article this morning entitled Sex and Civilization: The Body as Battleground, written by Jay Michaelson. In this article, Michaelson defends sexual liberation in effort to promote homosexuality and to debunk homophobia. 

I do not consider myself homophobic (I am sure after this, some will deem me as such, regardless), but I am really getting weary of people like Michaelson either making sport of the Bible and its prohibitions, reducing the text to nothing more than the senseless ramblings of a patriarchal and repressive regime, or trying to rewrite scripture altogether, making it more homo-friendly than it really is. Both these arguments do harm, in my opinion. 

For one, the Bible is our sacred text, for better or worse. Obviously, most Christians believe that God has spoken through this medium. The world needs to see us wrestling positively with these texts in order to find God's voice in the midst of our culture. If there is any tension, it is here. And, I don't see this as a negative thing at all. 

Secondly, denying what the Bible says explicitly refuses to acknowledge where we come from and the changes that have taken place over time. It devalues our faith's ability to adapt and change, remaining relevant in any context. Trying to rewrite it seems like wasted effort to me.

What is wrong with simply acknowledging that the Bible clearly prohibits homosexuality, but its regulations are cultural and not meant to have a universal application? What's wrong with saying that given today's culture and context, these scriptures are not relevant, without having to trash the entire text and make it all about sexual repression, etc?

Lastly, I find this declaration by Michaelson to be incredible: 

Liberated sexuality is the first step toward liberated consciousness, for if we remove the yoke of oppression from our genitals, literally and figuratively, and we lighten it from our backs.

What? Where in the heck does he get this from? Didn't we try this in the sixties? 


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