Queering the Bible Pt1

Out of the thousands of passages in the Bible, only 5 or 6 are traditionally said to address homosexuality, and a handful more on trans issues. Yet, from the amount of vitriol that LGBT people receive from some reactionary Christian groups, you would imagine the entire book is condemning them. This is an article that I wrote a while back, while I was the LGBT Officer at Bradford Uni, and had a lot of students come to me who felt that it was difficult to reconcile their sexuality or gender identity with their Christianity. I’m not a theologian, but I did a bit of research to bring this together. I’ve split it up into a few posts, because otherwise it would just be epically long. This is part 1 – exploring Genesis 1:27-28.

1. “So G-d created man in his own image, in the image of G-d he created them; male and female he created them. G-d blessed them and said to them, be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” – Genesis 1:27-28

The Creation story of Genesis is used to criticise homosexuality as it is argued that G-d created them Eve from Adam’s rib to be his helpmate, the woman being complimentary to the man, and thus G-d made woman for man, man for woman, and it is then argued that same-sex relationships are in violation of this divine order. This argument can be simplified to ‘G-d made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’

The authors of Genesis were attempting to answer the question of how we were created, and it must have seen obvious then as it is now that the only plausible answer is from the sexual union of a man and woman. The Creation story does not pretend to give judgement on any other form of relationship; it does not mention friendship, or the possibility of remaining celibate and single, and we do not condemn friendship or singleness. Simply because it does not mention homosexuality, does not mean that it is condemned.

Another argument is that G-d gave Adam and Eve the instruction to ‘go forth and multiply’ – to “be fruitful and increase in number”. Critics argue that because people in a same-sex relationship, they cannot procreate naturally and are because of that condemned.

This passage is all about recognising that heterosexual coupling is normative in most societies and leads to procreation; it does not expressively condemn same-sex relationships. The argument against homosexuality due to lack of procreation falls apart when we examine heterosexual marriages which do not lead to procreation, that are not condemned also. The lack of children doesn’t invalid these relationships nor does it devalue them. Neither should it for same-sex couples.

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  1. I think the Greek philosophers procreated with their female spouses but preferred their boy lovers…. so they “obeyed” this scripture to the T, with their “homosexuality” intact.

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