Gay and Icky

You don’t have to be an atheist to understand what it is that really bothers opponents of same-sex marriage.

Exactly right.

If you’ve ever spent time with a homophobe attempting to explain away their bigotry and the reasons they’re against same-sex marriage, they’ll most probably speak of their belief that marriage is a sacred covenant reserved for one man and one woman. Same-sex marriage, they’ll tell you, violates the sanctity of marriage. They might even at some point grin and snort and inform you that homosexuality is a choice thing. The implication here is that if a gay person wants to get married, all they need do is choose a person of the opposite sex to marry. Easy. Switch on, switch off.

Well, the choice part speaks of their ignorance in regard to science’s understanding of sexual orientation, while the sanctity bit speaks of their ignorance in regard to how the Bible deals with the institution of marriage.

It’s got pretty stuff like Genesis 2:22-24,

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.”  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

…and then it’s got the not-so-pretty stuff like Deuteronomy 21:10-14.

When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nailsand put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

It’s all quite clear. Raid their land, kill their husbands, take their women, shave their heads, force them into marriage and rape them at will. But when she displeases you and you feel the need to cut off her shackles and let wifey loose, don’t you dare try to sell her for you’re about to make her an outcast. Just let the bitch go.

The sanctity of marriage indeed.

Tell you what, the next time some narrow-minded bigot brings up the sanctity of marriage in regard to same-sex marriage, feel free to ignore them and walk away with the knowledge that what really bugs the hell out of them is that they think gay people are icky.


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10 thoughts on “Gay and Icky

  1. “…she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.”

    That makes no sense when you know something about the history of the English language. The notion that the word “woman” derives from “man” in that sense may sound reasonable, but it’s a false etymology. Sit back and prepare for a lecture in language history.

    In Old English, the language which provided most of our most basic words (ninety percent of the hundred most commonly used words come from Old English), the word for a female human being was “cwæn” and the word for a male human being was “ceorl”. There was a word “monn”, but it was an indefinite term for a human being equivalent to the modern pronomial “one” as in the sentence, “Unless one is a bigot, sexual orientation is not a source of offense.” In modern German, the word “man” is still used in this sense. “Man sagt” is the German equivalent of “people say”.

    There was also an Old English word, “wifmonn”, which best translates as “wife-person”, i.e., a human being whi is, or could be, a wife. it is this word which comes to modern English as “woman”. I suppose it is sexist in a way, since it implies that the person to whom it is applied has no other function than to be a wife, but it in no way is derived from “man” as described in Genesis.

    There is also the fact that the Hebrew words for male and female human beings do not have a similar apparent relationship that they do in English; he is an “adam” (???) and she is an “ischah” (???)*. The logic that the English version of the verse applies there does not hold water in the source language.

    Since this verse is the wellspring of most biblical claims to male superiority, it should be noted that it doesn’t hod water in that respect.

    And what happened to the Old English words “cwæn” and “ceorl”? Well, the former came down into modern English as “queen” and the latter as “churl”. So for all of those who claim that English has an inherently anti-female sexist bias, I ask you – who got the better treatment: the queen or the churl?

    *While linguistics is my field of study, I am not that well versed in semitic languages and their transliteration. If I erred in my interpretation of the Hebrew here cited, I apologize in advance (and will welcome correction). I am only as competent in that area as my sources, and I did not have ready access to someone fluent in biblical Hebrew.

    If you want to find out more about the nice things the bible has to say about rape, visit The Evil Bible.

  2. I have to agree with merl,

    most just want gay sweaty sex themselves. It’s been my experience that when I meet someone who is homophobic, my gaydar goes off big time. If they were attractive, that was a good reason to do a little pursuing, if you know what I mean. I must admit, I haven’t met very many homophobic men who didn’t turn out to be just a big homo like myself.

    As far as the bible, if the people who are always spewing out verses from books like Leviticus and Deuteronomy actually had to live by all of that law, they’d all have a change of heart.

  3. I like to ask them who cooks for them when their wife is having her period. Or if they stone their kids for disobedience. It shuts them up for almost a full minute.

  4. merl: Try reading A.J. Jacobs’ book The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to follow the Bible as Literally as Possible . It’s the author’s account of trying to follow as many of the more than 700 (700+!) rules of behavior in the bible, including stoning adulterers, blowing a shofar at the beginning of every month, animal sacrifice and refraining from trimming the corners of his facial hair (which he followed by not trimming his facial hair at all).

    Most of the rules are totally ludicrous for today’s society, and almost all fail to make sense. Last I heard, the book had been picked up for a movie, but is stalled in production

  5. I’ve heard something about that book and was curious about it, then it slipped my mind. thanks I’ll check the library

  6. According to the text of the Torah, the rules only apply within the state of Israel. Some later rabbis convinced people that they are racist instead of geographical, that every Jews must obey. them everywhere in the world..

    Any orthodox rabbi will tell you that nothing in the Jewish Scriptures after Genesis I:8 (Noah) applies to gentiles. In 70 AD the apostles gathered together in Jerusalem and agreed to that rule. (Being Jewish, they knew that the Old Testament is only for Jews.) See the book of Acts.

    So both the so-called Old Testament and the New Testament agree that all non-Jews can ignore the Old Testament. Including the 10 commandments, of course. Although the latter are so trivial and easy to obey that I automatically obey then without every trying to just because I’m a decent guy.

    there is something so downright STUPID about anyone that says the “Bible” applies to Christians. I mean in saying that they are saying that what the “Bible” says is crap.

  7. I’m pretty sure that Moslems also use the Old Testament or some of it. As for the 10 commandments, you’re right, I follow them without needing to be told to. It’s kind of automatic, except the coveting the wife thing. And the necessary lies every one has to tell just so you don’t piss every one off.

  8. As for the 10 commandments, you’re right, I follow them without needing to be told to. It’s kind of automatic, except the coveting the wife thing.

    I don’t know about you merl, but I have a problem with those first three (four if you weren’t Catholic*) – that whole “no other gods before me”, “taking the ‘Name’ in vain” and “keeping the sabbath” (I don’t need some deity telling me not to work on any given day – I can make that decision on my own) – if you are not Christian, not religious or an atheist, they have no use.

    As for the rest, as you said, they’re mostly common sense – obeying your parents, don’t kill, cheat on your spouse, steal or lie. Coveting , on the other hand, is only human nature – and the foundation of capitalism (without it, why would we ever buy more than we need, and what is advertising if not artificial covetousness?), and they’re not unique to the bible, but were also part of secular law in places where biblical religion never influenced local legal theory.

    Personally, I like what Ambrose Bierce had to say about the commandments in The Devil’s Dictionary:

    DECALOGUE, n. A series of commandments, ten in number–just enough to permit an intelligent selection for observance, but not enough to embarrass the choice. Following is the revised edition of the Decalogue, calculated for this meridian.

    Thou shalt no God but me adore:
    ‘Twere too expensive to have more.

    No images nor idols make
    For Robert Ingersoll to break.

    Take not God’s name in vain; select
    A time when it will have effect.

    Work not on Sabbath days at all,
    But go to see the teams play ball.

    Honor thy parents. That creates
    For life insurance lower rates.

    Kill not, abet not those who kill;
    Thou shalt not pay thy butcher’s bill.

    Kiss not thy neighbor’s wife, unless
    Thine own thy neighbor doth caress

    Don’t steal; thou’lt never thus compete
    Successfully in business. Cheat.

    Bear not false witness–that is low–
    But “hear ’tis rumored so and so.”

    Cover thou naught that thou hast not
    By hook or crook, or somehow, got.

    *I was born into a Catholic family, but I shook it off while I was still in elementary school. The Catholics enumerate the commandments differently. They separate coveting the neighbor’s wife and goods into two separate commandments and leave out that thing about graven images (which seems kinda Muslim to me). In fact, I never really understood what that was all about – when I was really little, I thought that “graven image” had something to do with tombstones, and that visiting a cemetery was somehow a really bad thing.

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