Thursday, September 20, 2012

Not Much Better

I've been reading, "A Question of Truth" which is primarily about homosexuality in the Catholic church and references to it in the Bible. It has a lengthy, careful but very easily read introduction, explaining many things to do with currently held views, the difference between the acts from intents, the damage it does to people and carefully describing the different aspects of sexuality, separating all the issues well and does a reasonably good job of describing the difference between intensional and extensional usage.

A lot of this is Bible study 101 - the modern ideas like love, homosexuality, marriage, property, slavery, and so on have moved or did not exist when the Bible was written, so what people often read into it is not the original intent - not that I would say that the original intent is much better - and that's the real problem.

The book effectively reasons around all the major passages that people use to treat gay people badly. However, in the course of the reasoning, it just seems to move away from from treating homosexuality as sinful to refining women's historical position in society.

For example, the infamous Leviticus and men not lying with men passage is reasoned to mean not the act that is wrong but that a man shouldn't treat a man like a woman. Another is the story of Lot and our friends the Sodomites, which again is about offering up your daughters for hospitality reasons and the suggestion is that Sodom was destroyed because they humiliated them not because of any need for gay love.

There's a sentence or two along the lines that no modern Christian would treat women in this way (or have slaves?) which I thought rather undermines the whole point of the exercise to me.