12. Because the Bible tells me so
Many modern believers say that they are opposed to homosexuality because the Bible requires them to be. And there are, as we saw in Chapter 1, several passages in the Bible that condemn homosexuality. Yet there are hundreds of other passages that condemn things that most believers now approve, and approve of things that they now condemn. It wasn't always that way, of course. Witches and heretics were burned, slaves were bought and sold, and women were subjected to men because the Bible required it.
The Bible was wrong about witches, heretics, slavery1, and women. It's wrong about homosexuality, as well. It's time for believers to add another few verses to the long list of biblical passages that they ignore.
Here is just a small sample from that list.
Crime and punishment
If a thief ... have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. Exodus 22:2-3
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Exodus 22:18
He that sacrificeth unto any god save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed. Exodus 22:20
Whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Exodus 31:14
Every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death ... his blood shall be upon him. Leviticus 20:9
The man that committeth adultery with another man's wife ... the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10
If a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. Leviticus 20:14
The daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. Leviticus 21:9
He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16
If thy brother ... or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods ... Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 13:6-10
If there be found among you ... man or woman, that ... And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them ... Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman ... and shalt stone them with stones, till they die ... The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. Deuteronomy 17:2-7
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother ... Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city ... And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 21:18-21
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. Deuteronomy 22:23-24
If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free ... If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free ... Then his master shall ... bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. Exodus 21:2-6
If a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant.... Exodus 21:7
If a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and ... he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money. Exodus 21:20-21
If the priest buy any soul with his money.... Leviticus 22:11
And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee.... Leviticus 25:39
Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever. Leviticus 25:44-45
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ. Ephesians 6:5
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God. Colossians 3:22
Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. 1 Timothy 6:1
Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things ... that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. Titus 2:9-10
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 1 Peter 2:18
If a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. Leviticus 15:19
Whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged. Leviticus 19:20
If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated.... Deuteronomy 21:15
If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her ... and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate.... But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die. Deuteronomy 22:13-22
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city. Deuteronomy 23:23-24
When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her. Deuteronomy 25:11-12
The head of the woman is the man ... Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven ... if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn. A man ... is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man ... Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 1 Corinthians 11:3-13
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience ... If they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Colossians 3:18
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing. 1 Timothy 2:11-15
Teach the young women to be ... obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:4-5
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your won husbands. 1 Peter 3:1
It's all bathwater
Earlier in this chapter I suggested that believers just add another few verses to the parts of the Bible that they already ignore. And that, in fact, is what most believers have done, or are in the process of doing. It has become second nature to them. They did it with slavery; they did it with women's rights; and now, by God, they can do it with homosexuality.
And why shouldn't they, you ask? Why shouldn't they accept the parts of the Bible that are good and reject those that are bad? Let them love their neighbors as themselves as they suffer witches to live and women to teach. Let them pick what verses to accept and choose those to reject.
That might be a reasonable approach if believers honestly removed the bad verses from the Bible. But that they never do. Exodus 22:18 and 1 Timothy 2:12 remain the the Bible alongside Leviticus 19:18. There are no notes in the believer's Bibles saying the former two are wrong and the latter is right. The (very) few good verses are shouted from the mountain tops, which the many bad verses are hidden, explained away, or ignored.
It's time to be honest about the Bible. Any book that contains an idea like that expressed in Leviticus 20:13 is not a good book. A good god didn't inspire it and every good person should reject it. It's not good enough to ignore that particular verse (along with a thousand others equally bad), or even to outright deny it. A book that contains such a verse must be rejected in its entirety. It's time for all of us to do exactly that.
- Not all Christians are ashamed of the Bible's teachings on slavery. Steve Wilkins and
Douglas Wilson say this about the Bible's teaching on slavery and "sodomy":
If those that hate the Word of God can succeed in getting Christians to be embarrassed by any portion of the Word of God, then that portion will continually be employed as a battering ram against the godly principles that are currently under attack. In our day, three of the principle issues are abortion, feminism, and sodomy. ... [I]n this booklet ... we will say (out loud) that a godly man could have been a slave owner. ... Owning slaves is not an abomination. The Bible doesn't condemn it, and those who believe the Bible are bound to refrain in the same way.
[emphasis in the original], Southern Slaver As It Was, 11-12.