Confessions of a recovering homophobe

Max Blaska, Clarion Staff Writer

When I first attended school here, while getting my first degree, I saw a poster that commemorated “national coming out month.” There was a crude sexual term on there, and I ripped down the poster. I used to think that homosexuality was a mental illness at best, a personal deviance at worst. I thought that homosexuals only cared about deviant sex.

I bought into the argument of the “gay lifestyle” of indiscriminate sex and people either wearing leather chaps or underwear while gyrating on gay pride floats.

There is no “gay lifestyle” just as there is no “straight lifestyle.” But there are promiscuous, selfish people in both camps. This is why I don’t understand when conservatives use the “gay lifestyle” to oppose gay marriage. Wouldn’t gay marriage be good for stopping it? When you marry and settle down, you are less likely to sleep around, although that doesn’t stop some people.
Another argument that the conservatives use is that if we legalize gay marriage, it is just a slippery slope before making bestiality or incest legal. That is a bogus argument.

To understand homophobia, you have to understand the Bible and fundamentalist Christianity. Many homophobic people are that way because of a literal rigid interpretation of scripture.

I will cite some of the scripture that are used as excuses to hate gays. The story of Sodom is where we get the name sodomites. However, the story of Sodom is not about consensual homosexual sex, it is about rape. The Sodomites who wanted to “know the angels” wanted to humiliate them and “put them in their place.” This is the same reason that there is prison rape.

Leviticus 20:13. This is one of the most dangerous pieces of scripture to take literally, and some conservatives think that homosexuals should be put to death. In ancient Canaan, as in Rome, there were temples dedicated to Asarte, Moloch, Diana, and Venus. In these temples there would be prostitutes and you would have sex in a ritual dedicated to them. The condemnation, I believe, is against that practice. In the Old Testament, pagan worship was a very serious offense – it showed you did not love God and that you were worshiping false gods.

Most of the New Testament admonitions were for the same reasons. There was one other sexual deviation that was found in ancient Rome. Wealthy older men would hire young men or boys as sexual playthings.

The condemnation can be found in First Timothy 1:10 and First Corinthians 6:9. Paul uses two words here, Arsenenikoi and Malekois. The first one roughly translated is, men who defile themselves with another man. Malekois means effeminate man, men with female characteristics. So this is roughly translated into men and the effeminate prostitutes they hire.
If this interpretation is true, than some Christians are needlessly blocking people from the faith, and isn’t that one of the greatest sins of all? I still believe that sex without love and without commitment is morally wrong. However, it is equally wrong when heterosexuals or homosexuals do it.

The main reason I switched my opinion on homosexuals is the hypocrisy and the hate-filled rhetoric of those on the other side.
Sally Kern, a state Representative from Oklahoma, said that homosexuals are a greater threat to America than terrorists.
“The whole point is, why in the world would you let two wrongs to be done? Murder is wrong, but allowing reverse harassment to be done and allowing teachers to actually dress up boys as girls, this is causing tension,” said Randy Thomasson of Save California.
This was said while commenting on the brutal slaying of a homosexual teen by a homophobic teen. He’s saying murder is wrong, but this teen’s homosexuality, and anti-homosexuality bullying, helped bring the murder upon himself. These are just three people – there are dozens more.

And this is where the hypocrisy is found. Even if homosexual sex in a loving committed relationship is a sin, the hypocrite’s hatred and bullying is also a sin and tore asunder the quote “hate the sin, but love the sinner.” Homosexuality is mentioned about seven times in the Bible. The sin of Greed is mentioned 25 times. However, these right wing hypocrites never mention that maybe it’s the greed of this country that’s causing natural disasters. That it has created the largest income inequality gap since the 1920’s, and that we have the largest poor population in 50 years. There are dozens of ex-gay clinics but no ex-greed clinics. Why? Because greed is a universal constant, homosexuality is not.

To all homosexuals who have been teased, bullied, and persecuted against. From a former homophobic and an Evangelical Christian, I am sorry.