Notes Concerning the Eight "Flog Passages"
Used to Condemn LGBT People

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Leviticus also said 'no hair cuts' but I guess we are skipping that one.
Photograph by Paul Frederiksen Photography, taken at The National Equality March on Washington, October 11, 2009.

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  1. Genesis 19 (the story of Sodom)
    1. Sodom was slated for destruction before the angels visited: (Genesis 18:16-32).
    2. The mob that wanted to rape the angels included every last male in Sodom (Genesis 19:4). If all the men were gay, where did the children come from?
    3. In that culture and era, it was customary to humiliate male enemies by raping them.
    4. Jeremiah 23:14 and II Peter 2:6-14 associate Sodom with adultery.
    5. Jesus interprets the sin of Sodom as “lack of hospitality” (Matthew 10:11-15; Luke 10:10-13; see also Ezekiel 16:49.

  2. Jude 7 says the people of Sodom pursued “unnatural lust.” The Greek indicates that they went after “alien or other strange flesh” (i.e. angelic “flesh”).

  3. Passages in the King James Version that use the word “Sodomite,” such as Deuteronomy 23:17; I Kings 14:24, 15:12, 22:46; and II Kings 23:7 mistranslate a word meaning a male Canaanite priest (qadesh) or a female priest (qadeshah). Cult practices may have included same-sex acts, but mainly the fertility rites were heterosexual, intended to stimulate good crops. These passages condemn idolatrous rituals, not gay love.

  4. Leviticus 18:22 (see Leviticus 20:13 below)

  5. Leviticus 20:13 (The Holiness Code).
    1. The concern here was ritual purity – no mixing of two kinds of yarn in one material; no field planted with two different kinds of seed; no confusion of what men do with women by men doing it with men.
    2. The need for population required no waste of semen in masturbation (onanism), anal intercourse. premature withdrawal, or any other loss of semen. By contrast, our world is already overpopulated.
  1. Romans 1
    1. The whole chapter is about the idolatry of judging others instead of leaving judgment to God, as indicated by Romans 2:1: “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”
    2. The passage refers to lust, not love.
    3. Regarding the phrase “against nature” (26-27):
      1. Stoics taught that procreation was the only natural purpose of intercourse.
      2. Some scholars say this refers to oral or anal intercourse.
      3. Citizens (free males) could have sex with women, boys, foreigners, or slaves, but not with fellow free male citizens. This inequity violates the New Testament's emphasis on mutuality and one-fleshedness between sexual partners.
  1. I Corinthians 6:9-10, KJV (see I Timothy below)
  1. I Timothy 1:9-10, KJV
    1. “Effeminate” in I Corinthians is the translation of the Greek word “malakos” perhaps better translated “call boys.” To the 1611 translators “effeminate” meant lazy, self-indulgent, and womanizing (cf. Milton's Paradise Lost).
    2. “Abusers of themselves with mankind” is the translation of the Greek word “arsenokoites,” which is perhaps more accurately translated as “male prostitutes.”
    3. Both of the above refer to sexual abuses, not love. These abuses are on a par with lying, stealing, coveting, idolatry, or disparaging other people.


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