Thursday, April 7, 2011

Homophobia and Religion

Religion and homosexuality sometimes are made by ignorant people to be mutually exclusive. Religion is also used, by some, to proliferate homophobia and hatred. I don’t have guest authors on my blog often, but recently I was contacted by Rev. Gary Konecky and sent an article written by him. I found it interesting and a must read so I decided to publish a part of it as I believe you will find it an interesting read too!

About the Author:

Rev. Gary Konecky is an interfaith minister. He has spent his life working on gay and lesbian civil rights and AIDS issues. When you read the account of a gay, Jewish man being persecuted by the government of Fair Lawn, NJ, that man is the author of this piece. Rev. Konecky is also the author of a groundbreaking series exploring issues of sexual orientation and the bible and the founder of Loving Ministries / G-d Loves You. He can be contacted by clicking HERE.

Homophobia and Some Examples of Other Hatred as Well

Gays, lesbians, and other sexual minorities are subjected to discrimination and violence all over the world. Often, these attacks are justified, encouraged, and motivated by religious teachings. The religions most often responsible for these attacks are certain branches of Judaism, the Roman Catholic Church, certain protestant faiths, Christian fundamentalists, and Muslims. This analysis is going to detail the massive extent of homophobia in our society and then the biblical prohibitions against such discrimination and persecution.

One of the reasons gays and lesbians are condemned in society because they do not engage “natural sex”. As Rabbi Simchah Roth notes: “When heterosexuals involve themselves with masturbation, mutual masturbation, fellatio, anti-pregnancy pills, condoms, spermicides, curettage and the most amazing acrobatic feats in order to defeat conception, theheterosexual claim to ‘natural sex’ is sheer hypocrisy!”

Gays and lesbians are singled out as promiscuous, often by religious leaders and politicians. Yet when those same gays and lesbians attempt to form a committed monogamous relationship; those same religious leaders and politicians condemn gays and lesbians as they rant about the sanctity of traditional marriage and make false statements such as “the bible says marriage should be between one man and one woman.” Setting aside the multiple wives and concubines of the bible (as well as the commandment that a rapist marry his rape victim); this argument is nothing more than these homophobic politicians and religious leaders trying to have their cake and eat it too (in a damned if gays and lesbians do, damned if gays and lesbians don’t scenario).

Nor can we overlook the politicians and religious leaders that use gays and lesbians as whipping boys in their culture wars, in their fundraising, and in their political campaigns. Many of these politicians and religious leaders have gone so far as to demand that gays and lesbians be stripped of the limited legal protections currently afforded gays and lesbians. Least anyone think thatwill not happen here, it has already happened. In California in 2008, the Mormon Church allegedly violated campaign finance laws and bought the election to have same sex civil (as in married at City Hall and not a church) marriage repealed after the California Supreme Court ruled that under the California state constitution gay and lesbia ncouples have a right to civil marriage. Despite a federal court ruling that this repeal of same sex civil marriage is unconstitutional, gays and lesbians still cannot be married in California.

2009 saw same sex civil marriage repealed in Maine. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designated hate group the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) spent $2 million on this vote, and the Roman Catholic Church spent over half a million dollars on this vote, while at the same time closing local churches for lack of funds. NOM is still battling in court to keep the names of their donors’ secret, despite loosing every court ruling thus far. If NOM is as moral as they claim, what are they hiding? Why do NOM’s donors demand secrecy if they are doing G-d’s work as they claim?

By the way, this is the same Roman Catholic Church that has been rocked by a decades long, worldwide series of scandals involving pedophilia and child abuse. Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church’s persecution of gays and lesbians appears to be a smokescreen to divert attention from these scandals. Additionally, in an effort to divert attention form the naked bigotry and hate spread by the Roman Catholic Church (a hate that includes persecution of women and Jews in addition to gays and lesbians), the Vatican has gone crying to the United Nations claiming that their freedom of religion (which they define to include hate mongering) is under attack and that they, not their victims are being persecuted.

Nor is the hatemongering limited to religious groups. 2010 and 2011 are seeing the same repeal efforts, as well as voting judges out of office and attempting to impeach judges if they rule in favor of same sex civil marriage. The entire Iowa Supreme Court has been voted out of office or faces impeachment because they ruled the Iowa state constitution provides gays and lesbians with equality under the law, including the right to a civil marriage. Attempts to enact constitutional amendmentsto discriminate against gays and lesbians are currently underway in several states including Iowa. An effort to repeal same sex civil marriage in underway in New Hampshire. Both Iowa and New Hampshire are considered early must win states in the presidential nomination sweepstakes. Leading the charge in Iowa are several SPLC designated evangelical and Christian hate groups. Leading the charge to discriminate in New Hampshire is the SPLC designated hate group NOM. Additionally, the bigoted politicians in congress are attempting to re-enact the failed, unconstitutional policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).  They obsessed with re-enacting DADT, because if DADT stays repealed, then the world will know that the limp-wrested stereotypes of gay men are merely stereotypes; and that gay men are strong, honorable, men that capable of fighting and defending their country. To put all this activity into historical perspective, one need only look at the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany where first the Jews were first relegated to second-class citizenship and ultimately to the gas chambers and concentration camps. For those who think I am overstating the case, one need only look at theAmerican Christian fundamentalist inspired and promoted pending legislation in Uganda, legislation that carries the death penalty for being homosexual.

Prior to World War 2, Henry Ford wrote numerous anti-Jewish materials that were published in this country. Many of those writing sfound their way into Hitler’s Mein Kampf. History is now repeating itself in Uganda, where right wing politicians and the American Religious Righthave been very active in seeking laws criminalizing homosexuality, including making homosexuality punishable by death.


abotneil said...

very good article, thank for puting it up! There are some of us in the Occ or in DIGNITY-USA, who woark diligently to end the Homophobia in the RCC and elswhere. I'm a gay, married Catholic Priest/Abbot who's Community, does hands-on Nursing for the Terminally Ill; especially PWAs.

+neil, c.s.e.f.

Anonymous said...

What puzzles me is this: The US start wars all over the world in the name of democracy and equality, yet fail to provide their own citizens with the same equal rights they are trying to convince the rest of the world to follow. Can anyone say hypocrite?
The US / religious leaders have certainly learnt one thing: that detraction is the sworn friend of ignorance.

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