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19 April 2017

Sex Ed by Roger Corman and the Bible

There is a storefront church in the community where I work that is infamous for the messages it posts daily on a large outdoor changeable letter sign. Previous messages have included:

  • Not ML King but Jesus Christ![1]
  • Abortion doctors are cold-blooded murderers!
  • Gays and lesbians are disgraces to humanity! Leviticus 20:13[2]
  • Beauty and the Beast teaches bestiality!
  • Public school is child abuse by the state!
  • Bikinis on the beaches is [sic] worse than oil!
  • Replace the Constitution with the Ten Commandments!
The current message is, "Lesbianism is raw depravity! Leviticus 20:13 [updated 4/26/17] Romans 1:26-28 [3]." The "raw depravity" part strikes me more as a tagline for a women-in-prison exploitation film, like Caged Heat, than a biblical injunction. I don't think this is an accident. Sexuality in general, but certainly same-sex sexuality, understood through the heteronormative adolescent male perspective is something that is risky, dangerous, and difficult to restrain. It looks a lot like the B-movies that I grew up watching surreptitiously, late at night on USA's Up All Night. If one emerges from adolescence without reconciling these problematic notions of sexuality, he might find some of the fundamentalist ideas like those espoused by this church appealing.

[1] The rhetoric around race in many of the messages are doubly interesting since the leader of the church, Robert T. Lee, is himself black.

[2] Leviticus 20:13 - If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

[3] Romans 1:26-28 - For this reason, God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done.

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