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03 May 2012

Bullshit and the Bible

Gay-rights blogger Dan Savage told a conference for the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association that "we can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people." It caused quite a stir. It seems to me that there are three competing claims:
  1. The Bible is unclear, inconsistent, or silent on what we today call homosexuality.
  2. The Bible condemns homosexuality; thus, we must call homosexuals to repent and reorient.
  3. The Bible condemns homosexuality; however, we can overlook those parts of the texts.
Conservative Christians (e.g. Evangelical and Black Protestants) will reject 1 and 3 because of biblicism. Religious progressives (e.g. Jews, Mainline Protestants, and some Catholics) will reject 2. Atheists and other secularists are likely to reject 3. Gay-rights advocates, myself included, need to understand that sequestering portions of the Bible is a losing strategy. There is quite a bit of evidence for 1, and that should be played up.

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