Friday, October 01, 2010

In Memory: Tyler Clementi and...

Today is Thursday, 30 September 2010.

The proximate origins of homophobia in the USA/USE lie fundamentally in the teaching and preaching of many “Christian” churches. It is most frequently derived from Leviticus 20.13: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them”. (RSV)

Those who invoke this passage to condemn homosexuality do so in the context of a Bible which they claim, and claim to believe, is literally and infallibly true and binding upon them and upon all humanity. However, this passage does not merely condemn homosexuality in principle: it also imposes on the believer the positive obligation to execute all practicing homosexuals. Yet, almost none of those who cite this passage to justify their homophobia obey the clear and binding obligation to execute practicing homosexuals.

When challenged on this point, they dissemble: “Oh, it’s not the law of the land”. However, according to them, it is The Law of God, whom they profess to believe is Master of the Universe, and whose Will overrules that of nations.

Such persons are hypocrites, who use the Bible to justify their bigotry, their bullying, and their violence, while refusing to obey the obligation they claim the Bible places upon them, and thereby demonstrating that they believe in none of it. Their homophobia probably has its ultimate origin in the same thing which probably caused it in the bigot or bigots who wrote the passage in Leviticus: irrational fear of The Other, and evil socialization.

I’m not yet at the point of advocating the criminalization of all hate speech, whether against homosexuals, Jews, Blacks, the developmentally challenged, etc., but the concept raises an interesting question. If such hate could be preached only from within prison walls, how many bigots would have the courage of their “convictions”?

It’s up to each and all of us, in season and out, by word and deed, to oppose true perversion: bigotry, bullying, and hate.


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