As an atheist, some might expect me hostile to the notion that a person can be both gay and Christian, but I think it depends on what sort of Christian you claim to be. If you are a member of an evangelical, Catholic, or most of the mainstream Protestant sects, your Christianity is actually incompatible with homosexuality. The O.T., in Leviticus and other passages, such as the story in Genesis of Lot and the Sodomites, condemns homosexuality, or appears to (that’s another story: take a look at R. Crumb’s illustrated bible, where he properly depicts the sin of the Sodomites as xenophobia, their ill treatment of nomadic peoples seeking hospitality in a city of the plain). The only place the N.T. condemns homosexuality is in the epistles of Paul, now generally acknowledged to have been not only a homophobe but a self-loathing gay man who also hated women, buying into the old Semitic crap about females being “unclean.” Saul-Paul the Tarsan was the founder of organized Christianity, the religion made “official” by Roman emperor Constantine during the 4th century C.E.

If, on the other hand, you are a non-aligned Christian in the sense that you try to live up to the values and ethics of whoever it was gave impetus to naming a prophet “Jesus Christ” (most surely a rabbi named Joshua; hence Reb Yeshua, although many aspects of his myth were culled from ancient paganism, mainly the resurrection deities such as Osiris/Horus, Attis, &c.) it is entirely possible that your Christianity is NOT incompatible with being gay. That is why I applauded Terry McNally’s bravery in writing a play about a man called Jesus, ironically titled “Corpus Christi,” after Terry’s hometown, where I, too, was born. McNally portrayed Jesus as a gay man; the disciples, twelve other men (duh!, what kind of prophet goes about with 12 men and, possibly, one woman — a common prostitute?). The compassion, empathy, and sensitivity to the problems of others are characteristic many gay men and women.

Even though I am atheist, I have what Pier Paolo Pasolini (filmmaker, director of “The Gospel According to St. Matthew”) called “a nostalgia for religion.” My nostalgia is for the non-Pauline Jesus I came to know in my childhood. The televangelists, megachurch pastors, and almost all of the evangelicals of today are a disgraceful bunch who, along with most Catholic bishops, besmirch the collective memory of that other Jesus: the one followed today by too, too few, including lgbt-queer people.

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Replies to This Discussion

James, what is the evidence that Paul wAs gay?

Sentient, read the books of the N.T. allegedly authored by Saul/Paul of Tarsus.  The inescapable conclusion upon doing so is that he was a cocksucking misogynist who denied his inclinations as to the former and agreed with the O.T. on the latter, sort of like an earlier version of Roy Cohn.

Cocksucking misogynist is an apt description of many hard core religious men.

Ted Haggard and Larry Craig are two who come to mind.

Those are just the two who got outed.  Many, many clerics are hiding from their homosexuality.  The cloth is a wonderful closet.  A friend of mine went on a cruise and met a score or so of Catholic priests.  When the ship put in at Pto. Vallarta, the gay bars were the first stops when the priests hit the shore.

No nostalgia here.

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