Clobber Passages: Genesis
For those who are still searching for answers on the debate of whether or not homosexuality is sinful, I would like to direct you to some findings that can help guide you. I had many of the same questions when I set out on my personal faith journey. If it isn't a sin then why is the term "homosexual" used over and over in the Bible? Why was it a sin in the first place? The holy book speaks about love being a priority, yet it would call the love for my husband an abomination? How can this be?
Let's first address the terms that are used against the lgbtq+ community. The most commonly used is Homosexual, yet the word is from the Greek "homo" meaning "the same", and the Latin "sexualis", meaning "sex". This invented term wasn't added to the Bible until around 100 years ago, first used in the 1946 RSV Bible. There is not a Greek or Hebrew Biblical word that is equivalent. Another term is Sodomite or sodomy of which has been misused tremendously. Sodomite actually refers to the inhabitants of Sodom.
Next, I would like to take a closer look at the "Clobber Passages", which are texts in the Bible notoriously used against our community. They are Genesis 19:1-9, Leviticus 18:22, Deuteronomy 23:17-18, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1:9-10, and Jude 1:7. We will discuss each of these in turn, which will develop into a multipart blog series as we move forward. Stick with us as we dive deep into a battle going back centuries.
If we go by order of the Bible in regards to Clobber Passages, we first come across Genesis 19:1-9 which tells the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
"Genesis chapter 19 is about the wicked city of Sodom. There was a lot going on in there and not just what people talk about on TV. It began with the two men with God from the previous chapter. However, now the men properly are called angels. They go to Sodom and are asked to come into the home of Abraham’s nephew, Lot. The wicked men of the city saw the angels that they thought were men earlier. At night they came to Lot’s residence demanding they 'know' the men. Lot offers his daughters, 'Get to know them.' But the wicked men of the city turn his offer down vehemently. The angels, seeing enough, blind the wicked men of Sodom, and prepare Lot to leave the coast. They confirm they will destroy the city with fire. Lot, his wife and two daughters are commanded to leave at once." (Source 1)
In order to fully grasp this story we must first understand its context. God had every intention of the destruction of Sodom long before he sent his angels to the city. Why did the Lord wish wipe this town off the map? Many who are anti-lgbtq+ want to shout that homosexuality is the root cause of the city's downfall, but when you read this passage, the only thing that screams out to me is rape; THAT is what the gang of men are trying to do to the angels of God. But what about Lot offering up his daughters you might ask? Well, Lot gave an answer for this, "Don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." This is crazy from our societal understanding. How could a loving father sacrifice his daughters to a mob? No matter how we try to understand this there isn't a good answer. This was a horrible incident that cannot be explained away. It does, however, show the societal views. In Lot's time period, hospitality was more sacred that just about anything else, even his own child. And with that belief, he was willing to sacrifice for his guest's well-being.
In conclusion, the "synn of Sodom" as the Wycliffe Bible coined, Genesis 19:1-9 is in no way about same-sex relations but everything to do with the horrors of rape and in-hospitality. Ezekiel actually explained what this sins of Sodom, "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good." Ezekiel 16:49-50. Nowhere did he say it was because of the GAYS! No, he spelled it out! And so, we can let this clobber passage rest and move onto the next.
To Be Continued…
Meet the Author
Alex Burchnell is the President of Queer Christian Family Values (QCFV). His passion is to help the marginalized in every aspect of society. He is married to Chris Burchnell, our editor, and together they have three cats who rule their home.
Christians should stand with Black Lives Matter!
I'm sure you are aware of what is happening in this world, whether you support the Black Lives Matter movement or not. I sure am.. We can't look at anything now and not see the pain of this world. But that is a good thing. Hear me out. The reason it is a good thing is because we are finally talking about it heavily in our society today. Change is happening!
I have heard people tell me that protesting is fine and all, but once you start looting and damaging property then that's the problem. Yet the people who are protesting are not looting. The correct statement would be that LOOTERS are TAKING ADVANTAGE of the protests. I want to be angry at those who don't see why these protests are so important. It is very difficult for me to understand how anyone can look at these protests and get defensive and threaten them.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) are fighting a battle, a war that has been going on for over 400 years. Do you realize that the last slave in the United States was only TWO generations ago? Look it up! Do you know when desegregation ACTUALLY happened? The legal ruling happened in 1954 but was fought and people found loop holes. Desegregation took decades to be fully realized in the United States. Did you know that white parents got around the desegregation of schools by pulling their kids out of public and putting them into "segregated academies"? Yeah that happened. Do you know what gerrymandering is? According to the dictionary it is, "manipulating the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class." This happened to school districts. The leaders rearranged the school districts to keep children of color out of their zones and keep the white ones in. Technically black kids could attend the white schools, but because of zones it was rare.
The segregation by communities caused them to be incredibly impoverished because no one would hire black people at a reasonable pay rate. Public schools rely heavily on property values/taxes, and thus the schools were impoverished as well. According to EquitableGrowth.org, "There is evidence that some school districts have purposefully gerrymandered district lines to segregate low-income students. A piece from Vox points out that since 2000, more than 70 communities have made attempts to secede from their school districts, two-thirds of which have been successful. As an example, organizers in Gardendale, Alabama seceded from the Jefferson County school district 6 years ago. These organizers made the argument that schools were already overcrowded and underfunded, and that by better controlling the geographic composition of the student body, they would be able to reallocate school resources. As a consequence, they were systematically carving out affluent school districts, leaving low-income students to be redirected to underperforming schools in the area."
Why should Christians care? In response, I want to leave you with a speech given by Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
"Somebody once remarked that we learn from history that in fact we do not learn from history. It is quite staggering that we should read of attacks by louts on foreign workers in Germany simply because they are of a different race. One would have thought that with the memory of the Holocaust fresh in their minds the last thing Germans would want to be guilty of is a resurgence of racism. Unfortunately, neo-Nazism has indeed reared its ugly head with the vicious attacks on Gastarbeiters by youths who have no compunction about evoking the memory of Adolf Hitler. We should be careful though that we do not become hysterical and my formulations earlier would be perilously close to the kind of generalization that can easily evoke a panic-stricken reaction. We should in soberness give thanks for the fact that tens of thousands of decent Germans have marched in massive demonstrations to protest against this new socio-pathological phenomenon. But we have sadly to admit that there is a new xenophobia abroad. It is a characteristic of periods of transition when familiar landmarks have been shifted or removed, landmarks that have served to help people find their bearings, that almost inevitably there is a nostalgia for the security that comes from having simplistic answers to complex questions and a desire for an absolute certainty.
No wonder there is a growth in fundamentalism, epically religious fundamentalism, especially among Christians and Muslims. These persons are upset that there are often no straightforward answers to the many ambivalences and ambiguities that characterize life as most people experience it. They are impatient with the diversity to be found as in a plurality of ideologies, political options, religious faiths, cultures and ethnic groups. They hanker after homogeneity. They spew forth intolerant views about issues relating to, for example, human sexuality and particularly homosexuality, about abortion, about interfaith dialogue, about morality, etc. Some of the more horrendous manifestations of this intolerance of diversity are being seen in what has euphemistically been called 'ethnic cleansing' in Bosnia and the awful genocide in Rwanda.
The circumstances obtaining today provide fertile ground for the growth of racism. When the economy is not doing too well and people are competing for scarce jobs in a time of high unemployment and recession and therefore of an increase in crime, then they start looking for scapegoats. Foreigners and those who do not resemble the majority in one way or another become ready-made candidates for bearing the blame for whatever is going wrong. Hitler was cunning in using the prevailing difficult economic situation of the day to blame the Jews for the misery that the true Aryan Germans were experiencing. He was on an unbeatable ticket. Nazism, which we all today condemn as so obviously evil and immoral, spread like wildfire, much to the surprise and chagrin of many of us.
We must be ever vigilant because racism is again on the rise and there are those who don’t think it is such a bad thing because it can be made to seem innocuous, dressed in the garb of ethnic pride and a legitimate self-determination, it has been possible for a Mr. Duke, known to have been a high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan, to be quite unbelievably a credible candidate running for the Governorship of Louisiana. His racist antecedents did not rule him out automatically and categorically as one might have expected. He put up a very good show at the time. And that is quite, quite scandalous, because my dear friends, racism can never be benign. It can never be respectable. It was racism that blotted the world’s copybook by giving us slavery-doing commerce in fellow human being.
It was racism that produced the awful ghastliness of the Holocaust in which millions of Jews were killed after being subjected to the most appalling suffering and degradation. There was nothing benign and nice about putting children into gas ovens after transporting them in inhuman conditions in cattle trucks.
It was racism which produced the awful excesses of the Ku Klux Klan whose emblem was a flaming cross – almost the ultimate blasphemy and sacrilege – when they made life a sheer hell for blacks through their lynchings. There was nothing benign or respectable about that.
It was racism that gave the world apartheid where people in the land of their birth did not vote just because of the colour of their skin; where children were stunted psychologically, emotionally, intellectually, and physically, not accidentally, but by deliberate government policy; where to oppose such a system earned you a banning order that consigned you to a twilight existence as a prisoner at your own expense, or detention without trial, where you might undergo unspeakable torture, or you died mysteriously in detention, as did Steve Biko. Or you served an unconscionably long prison sentence for having the audacity to claim that you too were human: that you had fundamental inalienable rights: that you had a dignity that should not so callously be trodden underfoot and rubbed in the dust – as had Nelson Mandela, spending 27 years in incarceration, and many others. Or to have to go into exile as happened to Oliver Tambo who, like so many others, was in exile for over 30 years. Or you were the target of sinister hit-squads.
No, my friends, there has been nothing nice and benign and respectable about the racism that was called apartheid. It was accompanied by harassment of innocent people, by their vilification and denigration in the State-controlled electronic media and in some of what were sycophantic lick-spittle newspapers which were the apartheid Government’s lap dogs. Let me add that there were undoubtedly courageous journalists and newspapers which helped to keep the torch of freedom flickering. But the point I want to stress is that there is a growing racism abroad and it must be opposed with all the vehemence and determination at our disposal, because racism can ultimately never be benign, nice and respectable. It is always evil, immoral and ultimately vicious and not to be tolerated by Christians and people of goodwill as well as those of other faiths. I want now to show that racism on all scores is immoral, evil, unbiblical and unchristian."
Read the full speech the second source linked below!
Written by Alexander M. Burchnell
Edited by Christopher J. Burchnell
1) EquitableGrowth.org https://equitablegrowth.org/gerrymandered-school-districts-perpetuate-segregation-by-keeping-low-income-students-out-which-is-bad-for-economic-growth/#:~:text=Gerrymandered%20school%20districts%20perpetuate%20segregation%20by%20keeping%20low%2Dincome%20students,of%20children%20in%20public%20schools.
2) Speech by Archbishop Desmond Tutu https://www.epicenter.org/why-as-christians-we-must-oppose-racism/
This blog post will be in essence a journal entry for myself. I have been struggling with motivation far longer than this quarantine. I think it started back in September of last year when I started experiencing medical issues. I just don't have much motivation to do my normal 9 to 5 job. I am able to work on personal projects but not 10 hours straight as my day job requires. My hope is to one day work in ministry full-time, but until then I need to bite the bullet.
I think God knew I needed time off. My company moved everyone to work from home, and since I am considered at risk, I was the first to go. Unfortunately, no one could get me access to work from home. It took over a month to get my pin to work that let me into our virtual system. So, during that time, I was able to work on passion projects and be lazy when I needed to be.
May 1st was the first day working at home. I only worked a couple hours before experiencing some more technical issues which are still present as I type this a day later. We hope to have it fixed by this afternoon. Am I experiencing burn out? Does it have something to do with my anxiety disorder? No clue. I pray that I am able to get through this.
Thanks for letting me vent for those who read this far. Let me know in the comments if you've experienced anything like this. If so, what helped?
Until next time!
Written by Alexander M. Burchnell
Edited by Christopher J. Burchnell