“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:13)
I was shocked the first time I saw this. I know religion is well known for its prejudice against homosexuals, but death? Surely that is too far for even the most bigoted homophobe.
Religion has always been the harshest critic of homosexuality. This is appalling as you cannot choose who you do or do not love; therefore homosexuals are condemned for something they cannot control. Even still I was surprised at the harshness with which homosexuality is condemned in the Bible, especially as a reason is never given.
The Bible is (unfortunately) rife with maltreatment of homosexuals which supposedly is justified by God. They are regularly referred to as dogs. God tells the Israelites to exclude whores, gays and dogs from their camp and their temple (Deuteronomy 23:17-8). So not only are gays ostracized but they are not even allowed live with the rest of the community. The entire city of Sodom (from which we get the word sodomy) is destroyed because its people “sinned”. Some people believe the sin in question was homosexuality. Though this begs the question, if God hates gays why has he not destroyed San Francisco?
God apparently supports the wholesale deportation of homosexuals! “Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land.” (1st Kings 14:24) Just in case the message wasn’t clear enough, his son also expelled them from the land (1st Kings 22:46) (In the King James Bible it is said he “took [them] out of the land” but in the Revised Standard Version, refers to “male cult prostitutes which were “exterminated from the land”).
Many parents wonder what to do when they find out their son is gay. One thing is they should definitely not do is consult the Bible. When Saul finds out his son his gay, he tries to kill his lover by throwing a javelin at him (1st Samuel 20:33). Personally I would rather if the Bible told parents to accept their son for who he is, but then again I’m a heathen so what do you expect?
Those who claim the Bible is great book filled with love that we should all live by, should stop and reflect on the fact the Bible commands the execution of people just for being gay.