Monday, February 18, 2013

Talking Points

What you need to know and say when they say:
“But the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality!”
Compiled and written* by Rev. Stephen Parelli
June, 2012, Bronx, New York
For this paper in word document format, click here
*Throughout this paper, the writing presented here is largely, but not entirely, in the words of the authors cited in brackets with some alterations in some instances, and in some cases the statement attributed to the author is actually a paraphrase or summary statement of what the author, cited in brackets, wrote.


This paper is a digest (in kind) of what some theologians, scholars and other notables have written on the Bible passages traditionally used to condemn homosexuals: Genesis 19; Lev. 18 and 20; Romans 1; I Cor. 9 and I Tim. 1; and Jude 7.

The intended use of this paper is to provide “talking points” that serve to support the proposition stated under each of the six topics presented. The outline is in four parts and is repeated per text(s) discussed: (1) Topic (heading), (2) In Point of Fact (stated proposition), (3) Talking Points (in support of the stated proposition) and (4) Conclusion (summary).

The object of this paper is to equip the reader (or, seminar participant as the case may be) with “talking points” so that he or she can succinctly speak in support of each In Point of Fact.


Topic #1: The erroneous use of the word “sodomite(s)” in the 1611 King James Bible (KJV; also known as the AV – Authorized Version)
Topic #2: “The Gen. 19 notorious story of Sodom and Gomorrah [is] irrelevant to the topic” of homosexuality
Topic #3: Modern Bible versions that use the word “homosexual(s)” or “homosexuality” in its translation of I Cor. 6:9 and I Tim. 1:10 are “driven more by ideological interests in marginalizing gay and lesbian people” than by scholarship
Topic #4: Romans 1, probably the passage most often used to condemn homosexuals, isn’t about homosexuality
Topic #5: Once the context is understood, it is clear that Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 – that a man should not lie with a man – is not a blanket condemnation of homosexuality
Topic #6: The reference in Jude 7 to Sodom and Gomorrah “going after strange flesh” is perhaps best understand in light of a first century legend
This paper was first presented in Kampala, Uganda, in July of 2012, by the author, at two separate conferences. Copies of the paper were made available to conference attendees

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