Chris Sosa wrote a post for the Huffington Post "Gay Voices" blog today entitled "Fellow Liberals, Please Stop Claiming Jesus Accepts LGBT People" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-sosa/stop-claiming-jesus-accep_b_7051550.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices). In the piece, he chastises liberals for accusing right-wing Christians of not understanding their own religion. Mr. Sosa stated: "Paul condemns queer folks. And there isn't a shred of evidence that Jesus was a fan either, assuming he existed." He continued: "When Christians tell you that their book calls you an 'abomination,' they're more right than wrong. Despite how infrequently it occurs, clobber passages are there." A little later Mr. Sosa reveals the thing that is really irritating him: "if we bother arguing that the Bible supports us, we're conceding its validity as a moral text."
Mr. Sosa and others may not like it, but the reality is that there are a number of different ways to interpret the passages in Scripture which refer to homosexuality. Personally, I agree with the "right-wingers" and Mr. Sosa - I think that Scripture is very explicit in its condemnation of homosexual behavior in a number of passages (e.g. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13). However, I also believe that Scripture has numerous factual errors and contradictions. As a consequence, I have rejected the doctrines of inerrancy and Sola Scriptura. Hence, I feel comfortable in stating that the Bible is just wrong in the places where it condemns homosexual behavior. It is my opinion that most of the folks who interpret these passages in a way that does not condemn homosexuality are attempting to provide a framework for this topic that enables them (and their supporters) to continue to support the doctrines of inerrancy and Sola Scriptura. This is not the way that I have chosen to attack the issue, but I respect their right to see it differently than I do.
Unfortunately, many of the folks who adopt my approach (including apparently Mr. Sosa) feel justified in completely dismissing the Bible's "validity as a moral text." Having demonstrated to their own satisfaction that Scripture is full of errors and contradictions, they simply cannot see any value in continuing to consult the book or concede that it has the potential to make any meaningful contribution to our dialogue about morality. The Bible is a big book, and it presents a lot of information and viewpoints on a lot of different subjects. To me, it seems just as ridiculous to reject the whole thing as it does to accept it all without reservation.
When my father (or someone else) tells me that the Bible condemns homosexuality, I don't have any problem saying "You're right. And I, along with millions of open and affirming people across this great country, do not care." I can say that because I don't see the Bible in the same way that he does, but he is entitled to see it differently than I do. Moreover, from where I'm sitting, I don't think that my father is any worse off than Mr. Sosa. Sorry sir, I'm still going to say that Jesus accepts LGBT people (I believe that the weight of the evidence from Scripture, science/reason and the world around us points to the conclusion that God and Jesus love and accept gay folks).