It’s our Bible too.

These past couple of days have been nothing short of draining. Emotionally, they have taken a personal toll. Since the emergence of a video made by Somizi about an incident that took place at Grace Bible Church, we have had to defend our livelihoods against modern day Christians who choose to interpret the Bible in a way that persecutes us. This was also a week of realisation, that we as the Queer community have a long way into acceptance.

The Bible contains some scriptures that Christians have interpreted to persecute homosexuals with, and one such, if not the most famous, is Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” This is the original verse that has now been filtered and rewritten by man. In newer versions you will notice the word homosexual is used. It is important to note that there is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew that is equivalent to the English word homosexual. The word first appeared in the 1946 Revised Standard Version (RSV) Bible.

Leviticus Chapter 18 is titled ‘Immorality is forbidden’ and tells the story of the Israelites being led by Moses. Moses is ordered by the Lord to tell the Israelites not to follow the practices of the Canaanites, to where he was leading them. The Canaanites worshipped false gods and took part in sex rituals. They worshipped the god Molek, in the context of “passing through the fire” of their children in order to have a blessed life, and practised sex ritual (they included male prostitution) to please these gods.

From v6-20, Moses writes of sexual relations not permitted by God, and then in v21 he goes off topic and talks about Molek and not allowing descendants to pass through his fire. There reason there is this break and introduction of Molek in v21 is because v21 and 22 are related. Since the worshipping of Molek was through children passing through the fire as sacrifices, after the ritual the Canaanites would need to have a sex ritual in order to be fertile again, and since it was common for the shrine prostitutes to be male, the men would engage in sex with the male prostitutes thus linking idolatry and sacred prostitution to be both an abomination. And that is what Leviticus 18:22 is about, it’s about rituals that the Canaanites performed that were an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. IT IS NOT ABOUT modern day homosexuality, even though they would like us to believe that with the inclusion of the word.

Another favourite amongst modern day Christians is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Many people insist that the cities were burned because of homosexuality. Another reach. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of problematic men, who happened to be bisexual. Before the cities were burnt, Abraham pleaded with the Lord to spare the people if he could find at least 10 righteous people in the cities. The Lord agreed and sent down 2 male angels. The angles were welcomed by Lot into his home. Upon their arrival, the townsmen gathered outside and demanded to know the 2 men who had visited Lot carnally. Lot tried to sway them away by offering them his virgin daughters (another problematic passage in the Bible) but they insist they want the angels. They manage to pull Lot and overpower him but the angels struck and blinded them and pulled Lot back inside. Lot was then ordered to take his family and leave the town as it was to be destroyed.

This passage does not at all imply that the cities were destroyed because of homosexuality, but rather because the people were immoral. He offers them his virgin daughters. His daughters are married to men of these cities. How are they gay? Judges 19:13-27 tells of a similar story, proving that the Bible contained bisexual men who happened to be problematic. How an attempt of gang rape by the inhabitants of these cities is used as a way to persecute homosexuality is something I do not get.

So why were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? Well, the Bible has some scriptures to that nature. You can read Ezekiel 16:48-50 and Jeremiah 23:14.

The other reference I hear a lot is Sodom being of Sodomy. There is no such thing and no such reference in the Bible. Sodom happens to be the name of the city and Sodomy happens to be anal sex between two men or between a man and an animal. Sodomy is not in the bible, but because the scriptures are interpreted with an agenda, you might be forgiven for thinking it is. Also, sodomite refers to shrine prostitution and not a homosexual relationship. (Refer to 1 Kings 15:12; 2 Kings 23:7 and Job 36:14).

Genesis 19 never mentions homosexuality and scripture never mentions same sex relationships. Leviticus 18:22 is a story about other abominations. Modern day Christians attempt of demoralizing homosexual relationships speaks to a higher agenda at play. Sometimes you have to ask yourself, why is it that I am always referring to a passage and not the whole scripture? It is not questioning faith; it is understanding it. My God did not make a mistake in creating me. If you believe He did, then that is your problem with God.

It is our Bible too.

Sivuyile Mtshemla



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