Videos of clergy inciting anti-homosexual sentiment have reinvigorated the push for gay rights in the US in the past few months. In Part 1 of this series, I outlined that intolerance toward homosexuals is able to survive in ideological pockets in America, and that groups of prejudiced citizens take comfort in the false security provided by an illusory moral consensus in their respective communities. However, in Part 2 I will attempt to explain that the primary justification for such intolerance lies within Biblical scripture.
Our greatest failure to those facing persecution is the refusal to publicly recognize and single out religious organizations as the major source of discrimination against homosexuals. And for millions of well-intentioned religious followers who both vehemently fight for equality and deny that God’s intent was to discriminate against this group, unfortunately the claim is very strongly justified in scripture. Consider the following three passages (of several) taken from the widely used New International version of the Bible:
“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.” [Leviticus 20:13]
This passage is obviously pretty damning toward gays, and it will be difficult to convince any Christian taking a literal interpretation of the Old Testament (OT) otherwise. For those seeking to win sympathy for the gay rights movement, this cluster of fundamentalists is likely a lost cause.
Brian T. Murphy is an Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @WritesOfMurph