Updated: Oct 25, 2020
By Julia Lewis
Image via University of Auckland.
If you’ve ever been to church, I’m sure you know the basic verses and phrases that the Bible teaches you. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”, “Treat others the way you want to be treated”, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”, etc. All of these verses are saying to love and care for one another, so why is it so hard for some people belonging to the religion to accept everyone, in specific the LGBT+ community, for who they are? Why do they have to try to change what makes that person unique and special?
As a religious person, I’ve had conversations with family and friends about difficult topics that cross with the Bible, and even sat and listened to a few services at my church about LGBT+, abortions, etc. What I’ve mostly heard is that abortion’s wrong, your sexuality should be suppressed, or you need to pray for God to lead you from temptation. Instead of trying to accept who the person is, they immediately want to change them or their thoughts. Many religions apart of the Christian branch may agree that the Bible says homosexuality is wrong, but what if I told you that it didn’t always say that? According to Forge, a German Bible verse from the 1800’s says, “Man shall not lie with young boys as he does with a woman, for it is an abomination”- Leviticus 18:22. The article states that the RSV translation in the Bible changed the words “young boys'' to “man” in 1946. Everyone has been using this specific verse to justify their homophobia, when in reality it’s talking about how pedophilia is the real abomination. With that knowledge, homophobia is completely unjustified when using religion.
With my Bible App opened on my phone, I’d like to take the time to look into some more verses that would un-justify discrimination of any sort. Matt 22:39 states, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” which would translate to loving everyone that shares this Earth alongside you. While this verse is in the Bible, why are Christians choosing to hate and discriminate against the LGBT+ community? According to the New York Times, the Trump Administration has proposed rules that could allow foster care and adoption centers to turn away LGBT+ couples from adopting, strictly on faith-based grounds. Trump has spoken out before on being religious, and if he’s “so religious”, why deny an innocent child a happy family? Why make a child suffer more waiting for parents to adopt them instead of allowing a qualified LGBT+ couple to adopt? It baffles me how someone can claim to praise God and then turn back and condone hatred and discrimination on others.
Another verse to look at is Matthew 7:3, which says “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” This verse is meaning to say you can’t judge someone for their sins when you have your own to bear. The Bible says that all sins are equal in God’s eye, so why should you attack someone for being gay, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, etc., even when it’s proven that the Bible was translated wrongly, therefore encouraging homophobia? Why should you also cherry pick which sins are the ones you actively go against, then brush off the others like it’s nothing? Obviously, there are many flaws within the Bible and the way Christians interpret it, but homophobia is one of the main things that need to be fixed within the religion.
Written by writer Julia Lewis