We chanced upon a radio remark from a Rabi who said,” The Bible is God’s first words not his last words!” Some of these first words have caused massive suffering. A prime example is in the third book of the Old Testament. In Leviticus 18 verse 22. It says, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman: it is an abomination.” The punishment for an abomination was a death by torture. The victim was buried up to the neck in sand and the neighbors smashed the head with stones.

In Leviticus Moses reports his instructions from God in the form of rules and regulations to govern the tiny nation of Israel. Their understanding was that God demanded certain rituals such as splashing sacrificial goat’s blood on a rock. The followers responded in profound Good faith. However in this instance they were criminally wrong. This passage has for thousands of years caused undeserved suffering for our innocent fellow humans who have inherited homosexual orientations.

Also our faithful honest hard-working ancestors were sure that the earth was created in six days; that people are in the image of God; and they knew that the Earth was not round or people would fall off. They had no hint about DNA and that sexual preferences are inherited in our genes as is the color of our skin or the shape of our nose.

Their vision of God was as a Divine Person. They had no idea of the over whelming power and creativity of God. Black holes and dark energy still remains beyond human understanding. In the beginning they believed God was in a holy box moving from place to place under a tent. Since these first words, we now know that in the cosmos earth is a tiny speck like a grain of sand in the desert. Unlike Moses we moderns have seen Neil Armstrong standing on the Moon and looking back at our tiny round blue Earth.

Some of the worst of bad ideas seem to live the longest. This is a classic example. Humans have lived for many years with a clear understanding that their sexual preferences were not learned but inherited. In spite of this clear evidence to the contrary the instinct is to believe that only heterosexuals are normal and that homosexuals are an abomination.

For thousands of years there is no evidence whatsoever that people who were born with homosexual preferences misbehave more often or are in any way inferior to heterosexuals. Conduct wise the very basic teaching of the Bible is that we are all sinners and as St. Paul notes, “fall short of the mark”.

Here are some more of these other first words and ideas from the Bible that have caused immense suffering: slavery is approved; blacks are inferior to whites; females are inferior males; and Jews are evil and must be eradicated.

Winston Churchill said.” Americans always do the right thing but only after they have exhausted every other possibility”. Now is the time to do the right thing. .

Homophobia is a very bad idea. Stop it!

Rev Bernard F. Hillenbrand

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