Religion and homosexuals have always been uneasy bedfellows. Indeed, Christians and followers of Islam have always propagated the belief that homosexuality is a sin. Yet about 2-6% of men are practising homosexuals, while the incidence of women who are practising lesbians - which is also a form of homosexuality - is somewhat less (see Demography of Homosexuality). So up to about 5% of people, or about one in twenty persons is homosexual, or has homosexual tendencies. However, despite the fact that homosexuality is so common, homosexuals in most countries of the world live in a sea of misunderstanding, discrimination, loathing, and even active hatred for their sexual proclivity, manifesting as beatings, killing, and laws against homosexuality (see Attitudes toward Homosexuality).
Advanced countries such as the United Kingdom even harbour regressive Islamic imams, such as Anjem Choudary, who in 2009 called loudly for the death penalty for homosexuality (see Mail Online 2009). The same is also true of Islamic clerics in Nigeria during 2008, when Professor Is-haq Akintola also demanded the death penalty for homosexuals (see Sun News online 2008).
These are examples from the Islamic world, but fundamentalist Christians are not one whit better. Even now, tub-thumping, fundamentalist Christian preachers in the USA soundly proclaim that homosexuality is a sin, and that homosexuals are evil, degenerate creatures (see New York Times 1988). There is even a Christian "Boot Camp" in the USA whose purpose is to "cure" homosexuals of homosexuality (see Times Online 2008).
The basis for this deplorable state of affairs for up to one in twenty of the population is rooted in ancient Jewish history from which came Christianity and Islam. So let us start with the Christians and examine passages relating to homosexuality in the Bible.
Moses received very clear instructions from God about how the tribes of Israel were to behave:
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'I am the LORD your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD. (Bible, Leviticus 18:1-5)
God's instructions were very clear regarding homosexuality - homosexuality is a sin (see also (Bible, Leviticus 18:22).
If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. (Bible, Leviticus 20:13)
It is simply impossible to read this divine law as a metaphor. There is no dispute about what this divine law means. What you read is that homosexuals must die according to this "merciful" God. But many people claim that this,s among many other such Mosaic laws were only meant for peoples of the tribes of Israel living in the desert and in Canaan, and accordingly are not intended for Christians of other nations. After all, as they say, Jesus rejected these old Mosaic Laws. But Jesus never rejected the laws of Moses. Look at this passage, where Jesus very clearly states:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Bible, Matthew 5:17-19)
That is certainly true say many Christians, and then go on to say that Jesus fulfilled, or accomplished the works of the prophets before him, so releasing Christians from the necessity to slavishly follow and obey Mosaic Law. However, it was not Jesus, but Saint Paul, a prophet claiming to spread the message of Jesus, who told us that Jesus fullfilled the words of the prophets.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Bible, Romans 8:1-4)
This is a very indirect revocation of Mosaic Law for Christians. Furthermore, it was Saint Paul who made this statement. Saint Paul was active after the death of Jesus. He never met Jesus, and Saint Paul was by character an opportunistic turncoat Jew (read the New Testament for many examples). So who would you prefer to believe - Saint Paul the turcoat Jew who never even met or spoke with Jesus, or Jesus the prophet whose message he claimed to propagate? Saint Paul was a hater of homosexuals and lesbians, who clearly stated that homosexuality is a sin and that homosexuals were deserving of death.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:26-32)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders. (1 Corinthians 6:9)
So here you have it, this is the position of homosexuality in the bible, and this is the biblical justification for discrimination and hatred of homosexuals. This was the basis for centuries of oppression of up to 5% of the Christian world. Tolerance and acceptance of homosexuals as normal people, but with a different sexual orientation, is something that has developed gradually over the last 60 years. It is new, and means freedom, as well as a fulfilled life for 5% of the practising homosexual population in a society accepting and tolerant of homosexuals. Most people in modern societies no longer believe that homosexuality is a sin. Nonetheless, even in some advanced western societies there are insane recidivists preaching a message of homosexual hatred to their followers, justifying their intolerant madness with the words of their evil holy book - the Bible. Here are two particularly ripe video's, well worth watching. They would be laughable, if these people were not so serious, and really did not believe in what they were saying.
This is the Biblical basis of the centuries long hatred and discrimination against homosexuals in Christian societies. But what if Christian theocratic madmen ever came into power and wanted to rigidly apply Biblical laws. Of course this would require the execution, murder, or killing - or whatever you want to call it - of all homosexuals. The population of the USA is about 306 million people, of which 72.4% are above 20 years of age (see Demographics of the USA), which means an adult population of about 221.5 million. If we assume about 5% of all people above 20 years of age are homosexual, this means about 11.75 million USA citizens need killing to satisfy the requirements of God's divine laws! This is more people than died in the holocaust of the Nazi extermination camps of the Second World War! Extend this worldwide, and apply Biblical laws to all Christians. The worldwide population of Christians is about 2.1 billion. Assume a similar population distribution to the USA, which would mean about 1.5 billion adults above 20 years of age. Satisfying the requirements of Biblical laws as regarding homosexuals means about 75 million Christian homosexuals need killing worldwide. This is appalling! A calculation for the insane. But what about the followers of Islam? Do homosexuals fare any better in Islamic communities and countries?
Sadly, homosexuals in Islamic countries fare no better than in Christian countries. Worse yet, just as Christian countries and societies become more accepting of the homosexual way of life, intolerance is increasing in many Islamic countries and communities. Executions of homosexuals still occur in Iran and Afghanistan, as well as in other fundamentalist Islamic countries. Worse yet, fundamentalist imams of Islamic communities in Western European Countries, such as the United Kingdom, teach that homosexuality is a sin, and approve and preach the necessity of killing homosexuals. The result is anti-homosexual violence and even murders of homosexuals occurring in the streets of many parts of the world (see Attitudes toward Homosexuality). Look at this video of a discussion between a rabid Islamic cleric and a homosexual I found on the excellent blog of Vlad Tepes
While viewing this toe-curling video, you realize that some really quite insane people are still alive and sharing this planet with you and I. So where does this imam get his wisdom that the Quran requires the death of homosexuals? In the video above he is shown sitting with a copy of an Arabic book, presumably the Quran. What does the holy Quran, which many followers of Islam believe to be the true and unadulterated word of God, have to say on the matter of homosexuals? sOne passage states:
If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful. (Quran 4:16)
This verse is very clear about the relationship implied, but says absolutely nothing about actually killing homosexuals. They first get a chance to repent after some unspecified punishment. Just imagine - the followers of Islam are actually far kinder to homosexuals than is prescribed in the old and new testaments of the Bible. They first get a chance to repent. The holy Bible offers homosexuals no opportunity to reflect and repent of their "evil" ways. Instead, the merciful holy Bible simply requires them to be put to death. While the fate of unrepentant Islamic homosexuals on this earth is not clear from the above passages, after death they can certainly expect an eternity of ghastly torment in the pain palace of God called hell! So do other verses in the Quran clearly specify the fate of unrepentant homosexuals on this earth? Indeed they do, because the story of Lut (the Biblical Lot) and the destruction of the sinful city of Sodom by God is also present in the Quran (see also Quran 11:77-84, 26:160-174, 29:28-33).
We also (sent) Lut: he said to his people: "Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? "For ye practise your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds." And his people gave no answer but this: they said, "Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!" But We saved him and his family, except his wife: she was of those who lagged behind. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime! (Quran 7:80-84)
So the wise Islamic jurists came to the conclusion that the appropriate earthly punishment for unrepentant homosexuals would have to be analogous to that visited by God upon the vile inhabitants of Sodom. Of course, after death, the souls of these Sodomites would necessarily also undergo horrid tortures for all eternity in hell. Sodomites died by: falling from buildings, under collapsing walls or buildings, or by falling stones. So according to these wise Islamic Jurists, divinely approved methods of killing depraved homosexuals were: throwing them from high buildings, collapsing walls upon them, stoning them, or depending upon ingenuity, combinations of two or more of these techniques. It's amazing! Just like the Bible, the Quran is also a complete book giving advice on all manner of subjects. Allah is indeed great!
Many Islamic countries claim that homosexuality does not exist in their countries. This is very doubtful. It is very likely that the incidence of homosexuality is about the same as in other countries, but that homosexuality occurs out of the public eye due to the dire penalties visited upon homosexuals in Islamic lands. So what would occur in Iran if all homosexuals were executed as required by a fanatical application of Islamic law? The population of Iran was about 70 million in 2006, of which about 75% are older than 18 years of age, which means 56 million adults. Assume about 5% of Iranians are homosexual. Accordingly, about 2.8 million Iranians would have to be killed for homosexuality. Extend this same calculation to the 1.5 billion followers of Islam worldwide. With 75% of these 1.5 billion people above 18 years of age, this means about 56 million followers of Islam require execution for homosexuality worldwide. Imagine if an unholy theocratic coalition of violently fundamentalist Christians and Islamites suddenly gained power over the whole world. The population of the world in 2009 is about 6 billion, of which about 65% are above 18 years of age, meaning about 3.9 billion adults, which 5% are homosexual. This would mean about 195 million divinely ordained executions would be required within a short time, which would convert the earth into a stinking charnel. The mind boggles at such insanity!
Religions fulminate against homosexuals. Homosexuality in the Bible is considered a major sin, and the same applies to the attitudes of followers of Islam and homosexuality. Believers in the evil holy texts of Christianity and Islam say that God considers homosexuality abhorrent, and tells humanity in these texts that homosexuals must die. But these same people tell us that God is omnipresent throughout our incredibly vast universe, and also tell us that God has no partner, neither male nor female. God has no sex, and is neither male nor female. Such a God has no human values because such a God is not human. So it is ridiculous to even suggest that God condemns homosexuality, because homosexuality would not even enter into the value system of such an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. Moreover this same God even created these same homosexuals that believers say are so abhorrent to God. Do they mean that God created these wretched homosexuals so that they can serve as bad examples and be punished and killed on earth, so they can subsequently suffer unspeakable torments for an eternity in hell? This is also not logical when you consider the inconceivable value systems of such a God. And if God did create homosexuals for eternal torment and punishment, then all we can say is that this is a very cruel and nasty God. In fact it means that the attitudes of Christians as revealed by their attitudes to homosexuality in the Bible are proof of the vile and evil nature of God! The same also applies to believers in Islam. Their attitudes towards homosexuality are also proof of the repellant and malevolent nature of God!
Test homosexuals against the criteria for the "Merchant of Venice" test of humanity, and they pass with flying colours. The "Merchant of Venice" is a play written by the English playwright, William Shakespeare (1564-1616 CE). Shylock, a moneylender Jew, is one of the main characters in the play. At one point he makes an impassioned speech in the court of Venice where the play is set.
I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? (Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act 111, Scene 1)
Homosexuals pass this test with ease. They are humans, albeit humans whose sexual inclinations are more for their own sex than for the opposite sex. Belief that homosexuality is a sin, discrimination, hatred, violence, and killing of homosexuals are biological relics originating in an ancient breeding imperative of small and weak population groups to improve their chances of survival. Ancient religions are no more than paradigms facilitating this imperative, which is why modern hatred of homosexuals is no more than a vileness originating the darkest sewer of this ancient corner of the human psyche.
The time is come for the world to recognise the humanity of homosexuals, to embrace them into the fold of society, and to welcome the extra contributions they make to our world by virtue of their differences.
This page last modified 29 April 2008