Monday, April 30, 2012

Bible Study

Time to fact-check the preacher.

Houston-based mega church minister Joel Osteen said on Sunday that same sex marriage should be illegal, but insisted he was “not for discriminating against gay people.”

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked the pastor if being gay was a sin.

“I believe that the scripture says that being gay is a sin,” Osteen smiled. “You know, every time I say that, Chris, I get people saying, ‘You’re a gay hater and you’re a gay basher.’ I’m not. I don’t dislike anybody. Gays are some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world. But my faith is based on what the scripture says, and that’s the way I read the scripture.”

Well, far be it from me to call Mr. Osteen a liar, so I’ll just suggest that he’s factually incorrect. True, there is a biblical citation (Leviticus 18:22) against one man lying with another man, the same way there are prohibitions against eating shrimp, planting corn next to wheat, and wearing a cotton-blend shirt. But I still remember my Old Testament class from freshman year at St. George’s, and there is nothing in that collection of myths, fables, and magic that says being gay is a sin. (By the way, the word “homosexual” isn’t in the bible; it wasn’t even a word until the 19th century.) “Lying together” is an action (hot or otherwise) verb, but “to be” is a transitive verb, which means there is no action, there is just being; for example, “Bobby is gay.” He’s not doing anything about it, he just is. I would like Mr. Osteen or any other scholar of the bible to show me the passage where it says simply that a person being something such as gay, straight, black, white, left or right-handed, is a sin.

But then again, this guy makes millions of dollars a year by fleecing the gullible and exploiting their fears and ignorance, and he gets to go on TV and pass judgment on other people for fun and profit, and I’m just a poor Quaker who happens to think that there is more to being good or bad, sinful or saintly, than what was written in a book.

Maybe we should ask Jesus what he thought about gay people.

[crickets]

Oh, that’s right… he didn’t say anything about it. Okay, well, then, let’s move on to the next topic. About that talking snake….