Maurice Forum Posting

Posted by Censor Librorum on Aug 11, 2006 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

On August 8 I received this comment for the Forum:

“You probably won’t show this!

I have read all the statements.

Homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible.

If i’m to agree with you, and I have read many of your statements and felt happy and sad, I will go against the teaching of the bible.

Are we to dismiss the old testament as being outdated.

If Jesus, who often quoted from the old testament, came back today would he accept your way of life.”


No, I didn’t publish Maurince’s post, because I try to keep the Forum as a “safe space” for Catholic lesbians and women questioning their sexuality. This statement doesn’t fit those criteria. And yet, Maurice’s statement wasn’t mean-spirited or a nasty attack. I felt it was sincere, and troubled on a number of levels. I wanted to respond to him, and can do so here.

Dear Maurice,

Thank you for writing. The Forum is a place for Catholic lesbians to express themselves, not justify our existence or beliefs to others. This is why I did not publish your post. However, my blog is my own so I will respond to you from here.

Yes, homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible. However, so are many other things which we have dismissed as Christianity has spread from the original Jewish followers of Jesus to gentiles of Europe, Asia, Africa, etc. The cultural norms, pollinated by trade and exchange, have changed over the centuries. So has our understanding–and application–of the laws of Moses and what Jesus taught. Slavery is permitted in the Bible, and so is stoning. Should we return to them? I think most people would say no.

I don’t think the Old Testament is outdated. As in any good piece of literature, the stories in the Bible–because they are about the struggles of fellow human beings–contain emotions and situations we can identify with even today. Over the centuries, the readership of the Old Testament has expanded from those for whom it was exclusively intended (Jews) to non-Jews. I read the Bible as a non-Jew, English-speaker, woman, American, Catholic Christian, affluent person. I bring my background, religious formation, cultural biases and ideals to each word. All this affects how I read the Bible.

Do I think the Old Testament is outdated in its treatment of homosexuality? Yes, I do. Up until recently, families needed many children for support and labor. Scratching out an existence on land or sea required lots of children, especially since so many did not live past childhood. So, any homosexual acts and even inclinations became taboo as a threat to population expansion. We do not have that same problem today. We also know a lot more about human sexuality than the authors and writers of the Bible had access to.

If Jesus came back today, would He accept my way of life? Truthfully, I don’t know if he would or would not. But then, I don’t know if Jesus actually resurrected. As a Catholic, I say, “I believe”–I don’t say, “I know.” I believe Jesus resurrected from the dead. I also believe Jesus would encourage me to believe in one God, and that God is a loving father (or parent). Loving fathers may not agree with their children, or accept everything they do, but they love them completely. So I do believe God does love me, and wants me to enjoy being part of creation, no less than the lillies of the field.

Jesus the wandering rabbi appeared to toy with authority, and quoted Scripture for his own purposes–much like all the clergy do today. Jesus didn’t say anything directly about sex. I can only infer from his actions his interpretation of the laws. He did save the woman who was going to be stoned as an adulteress, by challenging the men with rocks in their hands to let the one who was without sin to step forward and cast the first stone.

The one part of my life that I feel Jesus would reject and condemn would be the whole American consumer lifestyle, and the aggression, poverty and exploitation that feeds and sustains that lifestyle. I believe Jesus would upbraid and admonish me to do something about it. That is the area of my life where I have much to do and to repent.

Maurice, I was touched by your statement that you were both “happy and sad” by reading our statements. What made you “happy and sad?”

“What the Bible Really Say about Homosexuality,” by Dr. Daniel A. Helminiak, is a book that addresses the questions you have raised in your message. I recommend it to you as another viewpoint on this issue.

I wish you well.


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