Sometimes, as we fight the culture war battles, it seems as if we are wasting our time, at least those of us who are fighting Iron Age thinking developed from biblical precepts. Here is just one of those precepts:
If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. — Leviticus 20:13
Lest ye say that is just the Old Testament and we are living under the New, Paul the Apostle called homosexuality “shameful” and said such folks who practice it were due a “penalty for their error,” which, of course, means “death.”
Today, twenty centuries later, things are finally—finally—starting to change:
As you can see from the graphic, things are changing rapidly among Democrats, whose party may include in its platform a marriage equality plank. But things are not so rapidly changing among Republicans, whose ranks include a horde of Iron Age thinkers called evangelicals, folks who enthusiastically endorse the Bible’s view of homosexuality expressed in Leviticus and by Paul, if not the penalty associated with it. These days even the zealots don’t believe gay bashing includes the electric chair.
My point, though, is that it matters greatly what message gets transmitted by culture-war infantrymen, whose job it is to engage bigotry and senseless discrimination, especially that brand brought to us by ancient texts, the kind that approved of murderous deeds like David perpetrated in the Old Testament, especially when he had a hankering to become part of the king’s family:
David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.
You see, when conservatives in either party tell us the Bible has the last word on the propriety of homosexuality, we have to object and object loudly, we have to engage in that battle. We have to win that fight. Because the same ancient culture that produced a book that pronounced God’s wrath on gay people also had no problem condoning ritual slaughter like the kind David committed, or any number of slaughterous episodes one can find in the Bible.
It goes without saying that today even the most committed, Bible-laden Christian would not endorse foreskin hunting, and the message has to be continually sent out to all that it is simply past time to put away all antiquated thinking derived from the Bible, and those who refuse to do so should be aggressively challenged in the public square until such time as hating on homosexuals is as unacceptable as cutting off the foreskins of Philistines.
Thankfully, recent polling shows that at least on the gay marriage issue the cultural tide is turning.