Yesterday was a strange day on my little blog. According to the “stat sheet,”  I usually get four or five hundred daily readers to the site. Yesterday, the site had ten thousand hits.  I have to assume that interest came from an article I wrote about homosexuality. The piece seems to have been picked up by a conservative site, because there were lots of Christians offering to correct the “errors” in my thinking.

There were too many responses to respond to them all, but they were all versions of arguments I’ve heard before.  It gets so tiring to hear the same parroted phrases presented as original thought. My mind went back over decades of conversations on this subject and debates all over the country. It made me tired just thinking about it. It always feels like you are starting over. It is exhausting work to have these conversations, so rather than writing a thousand emails I will try to respond to most of the letters as though I were addressing one person.

The letters usually start with some disclaimer, “I don’t hate homosexuals but…” I know you sincerely believe that, but I wonder what your definition of “hate” would be? If someone you did not even know branded you as evil, worked to ban your marriages, and to take your children, and never gave you a moment’s rest would you feel that they love you or hate you?

The letters go on, “This isn’t my opinion, I’m just defending the Bible clearly says…” Please put down the conservative commentaries you know will reinforce what you believe, and pick up actual unbiased study tools like a concordance. Test yourself to see if you might be wrong. After all we are not debating about you, we are debating about someone else. You should be sure beyond the shadow of a doubt. Any benefit of the doubt should go to the people you are accusing.

The English Bible is a translation. The original languages did not have a word for “homosexual.” The condemnation we see in scripture of what looks like homosexual behavior is from a larger code called the “Levitical” or “cleanliness” code. That code condemned as “unclean” sex between two men, certain foods, women on their period, men with crushed testicles and many other things. It is incredibly dishonest to waive the cleanliness codes for everyone but gays.

This is why, in Hebrews, Paul called such scriptures only a “shadow” of what God had in mind. When, in Acts we are commanded to “call no one unclean,” it is saying that the cleanliness code is no longer in affect.  So please stop saying that people who loved scripture enough to learn the Biblical languages are twisting it, and that the ones too lazy to learn them are the ones protecting it.

Finally, please stop trying to turn the tables and say you are the one being attacked. No one was calling you a “pervert.”  You called someone else that ugly word and we rose to their defense. No one was questioning your right to have personal beliefs that differ from ours. It stops being a question of your personal belief when you start bothering someone else. We aren’t talking about what you personally believe, we’re talking about your efforts to keep your brothers and sisters from having full lives. We are talking about the ugly lies you are spreading about them. We are talking about the lies you are telling about what Jesus said and didn’t say.  Jesus never once mentioned homosexuality, but he directly commanded you not to judge. We are asking you to learn that basic lesson before you appoint yourself judge over the rest of us.