Leviticus & Homosexuals
There are two particular Biblical laws in the Five Books of Moses with which I have wrestled since initially reading the Bible, over thirty-two years ago, at the age of 20. It is even possible I subconsciously wrestled with them prior to ever having read them. These two laws are quite similar, with the second being an expanded version of the first.
Due to the title of this page, you may already realize the two laws to which I refer. First is Leviticus 18:22- “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” The second is Leviticus 20:13- “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.”
As a student of Jewish history, I was not about to run to the Jewish “experts” to guide me on these nor any other Torah/Biblical laws. The track record of the Jewish community and its leaders speaks for itself. For one thing there was the Jewish belief in an oral law which was something I rejected. Such a concept seemed ridiculous. I'd learned in elementary school how information which depended upon word of mouth was likely to be communicated incorrectly along the way, even if a secret merely went around a classroom. Any orally communicated message could be significantly altered or inverted due to one person's misunderstanding or malice. Having read the written Biblical law, the challenges of this law were quite enough to handle.
These two particular laws are quite ambiguous. In spite of this obvious ambiguity however, society until recently deemed homosexuality an evil and an abnormality; claiming the Bible and these laws as a primary source for this condemnation. Once I had read these two Levitical laws I immediately had serious doubts about society's conclusions and hoped to challenge those conclusions one day. That day has arrived.
First of all, without a corresponding law or two stating that 'A woman must not lie with a woman as with a man...,' female homosexuality was neither being condemned nor even addressed in these two Levitical laws. Yet people (particularly those in Biblically based religions) have condemned female homosexuality, basing it upon Lev. 18:22 and Lev. 20:13. I completely disagree with that conclusion. Because there is no condemnation in either of these two laws, or any other written Torah law for female homosexuality, it seemed unfair for God to only condemn male homosexuality. However, things are not quite that black and white, hence the ambiguity. Obviously men are different from women, or at least this is obvious to me. To be both blunt and clear, men have a penis, women do not. Women, on the other hand have a vagina, men do not.
If Leviticus 18:22 had simply stated “Do not lie with a man.” then God's condemnation of male homosexuality would have been clear. If Leviticus 20:13 had said “If a man lies with a man, both of them have done what is detestable.” then God's condemnation of homosexuality would have been clear. However this is not the way these laws are written. Instead Lev. 18:22 says, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman.” Hence, this law is neither saying to men, do whatever you want with and to each other, nor is this law saying no sexual contact at all is allowed. Specifically, and this is the key, these two laws explicitly infer that neither male in a male-to-male relationship or encounter should consider himself or the other male, as a female. As obvious as that may sound to those unaware of the male homosexual scene, or to those who feign ignorance, this is precisely what the majority of gay males do. That is the overwhelming majority of homosexual men determine that they are either a top (the male) or a bottom (the female), usually able and willing to play both roles (versatile). What the overwhelming majority of gay men do is to pretend, or actually believe, that their anus or rear-end can substitute for a vagina. While biologically absurd, this is the thinking or lack of thinking, amongst the great majority of male homosexuals.
Being that the great majority of male homosexuals engage in sodomy (anal sex), mimicking a male-female relationship, and hence violating both Lev. 18:22 and Lev. 20:13, should they not, as Lev. 20:13 states, “... be put to death...” Apparently yes, they probably should be put to death, except by whom? A scenario recorded centuries after these laws were handed down illustrates one logical way to handle this and certain other alleged violations of laws which contain a “death penalty.” This can be found in the Gospel of John 8:7.2 “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone...” Nobody threw a stone, because all have sinned and should recognize this about themselves. Also as stated in the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.” Playing God, couched in morality such as in today’s death penalty is murder. While debatable, this is my current opinion, unlikely to be changed.
Over the past 30-40 years society has witnessed the decriminalization of sodomy. The 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence vs. Texas decriminalized sodomy across the United States. There are many people who may therefore conclude that sodomy is OK. Of course most persons who engaged in sodomy when it was not legal thought there was nothing wrong with sodomy then. Legalization takes away the fear and concern that such behavior may cause travails with human authority. With legalization, sodomy becomes a matter of individual morality and choice. Consenting adults may now choose sodomy without the fear of law enforcement busting down their door.
What I believe has developed, as a result of such behavior, both before and after legalization, is the spread of the deadly virus of HIV. HIV which leads to AIDS once the body’s immune system has broken down to the point it can no longer prevent the spread of HIV. Hence, as harsh and insensitive as this may sound, God or nature's wrath has delivered the death penalty to millions of homosexual men, as well as others, for over thirty years now. As horrible as HIV and AIDS have been, I believe this is preferable to having humans take matters into their own hands, killing the allegedly guilty.
One could analogize this with abortion. Abortion is now legal across the United States. Does this make abortion a wise choice? Does legalization make abortion an easy choice? One certainly hopes not, but just as some have absolutely no qualms about sodomy, others may view abortion similarly.
Another related concern is homophobia, the fear of homosexuals and homosexuality. While the homosexual community is quite concerned about this matter, few seem to acknowledge the justified fear of HIV and AIDS which hence reinforces the fear of the male homosexual and male homosexuality. By and large the gay community is seeking and anticipates a scientific cure for AIDS. Hence, little if any responsibility is taken for HIV and AIDS. Very few are willing to believe that certain actions are unwise and unnatural. Condoms are strongly encouraged throughout the male homosexual world for anal sex. Many are also taught that monogamy will keep those who are HIV- from becoming HIV+. As a result many gay males seek to mimic the heterosexual monogamous world in their relationships. Whether one man is the top (the male), the other the bottom (the female) or both versatile (alternating as top and bottom), the basic comprehension that neither male should play the female role is usually not considered.
This behavior harms not only those who engage in it. It harms others who might be seeking a male-to-male relationship without having to worry that such a relationship would lead to a deadly disease. Also harmed are those male homosexuals who reject sodomy. Because they consider themselves gay, they nonetheless are assumed to engage in and enjoy anal sex. Hence they face homophobia for being sodomites, though untrue in such cases.
In conclusion, it is not male homosexuality that is sinful. Males learning to appreciate their own bodies with other males and females doing likewise should and could be a natural, beautiful and harmless development or lifestyle. However, those homosexual or bisexual males who refuse any limitation in their sexual encounters with other males do cause harm and are likely to eventually become infected with HIV. As a result they not only destroy the beauty that such encounters could otherwise bring, they also reinforce negative stereotypes against gay males. This vicious cycle increases the homophobia most claim to be concerned about. To further conclude, whether Sodom and Gomorrah is a fairy tale or not, the action known as sodomy is the problem. It is time for gay and bisexual males to develop some self-respect and intelligence enough to understand what specific parts of their bodies are designed for and not designed for. Frankly it is patently obvious.