Table of Contents:
2.1 Key Terms
2.3 Con’s Case
3. Constructive Arguments/Analyses
3.1 Sodom and Gommorah
3.2 David and Jonathan
TW: Mentions/threats of rape and (allegedly) homophobic content in the Bible.
This one’s going to be a bit short, since I am rushing this due to lack of time. My procrastination seems to be becoming a theme, haha.
This debate is with regards to the condemnation or lack thereof of homosexuality/homosexual acts between homosexuals in the bible. Throughout history, bible passages have routinely been mistranslated or taken out of context in order to justify bigotry, and today I will aim to prove how a few examples of verses commonly used to condemn homosexuality do not actually support that interpretation.
In order to save time on rebuking every possible verse used to condemn homosexuality, I will be using the story of David and Jonathan in order to give substantive evidence to my case. In my arguments/analyses, I will also be looking at the tale of Sodom and Gomorrah, a story that has been taken out of context to a truly egregious degree.
As pro failed to model the resolution, I will go ahead and do so instead.
2.1 Key Terms
The Bible: A book composed of only the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament
Homosexuality: In this context can refer to a person who is attracted to the same gender that they are, romantic/sexual relationships between homosexuals of the same gender, romantic/sexual acts between two homosexuals of the same gender, etc…
Condemned: Stated or implied to be a sin, and/or weakening your relationship with the Christian deity, and/or implying future punishment, and/or stated or implied to be immoral/very bad.
Pro must prove the bible likely/on balance condemns homosexuality whereas con only needs to prove it is unlikely the bible condemns homosexuality and/or that, on balance, there is no good reason to believe it does. Con doesn't have to prove the counterfactual (i.e. The bible supports homosexuality/doesn't condemn it). The reasoning for this is fairly self-evident, as things are only considered sins in Christianity if there is good reason to believe it is. If there is no good reason to believe that it is, defending it or finding a biblical basis for it is not necessary for it to not be considered a sin. Things that aren't sins don't need to 'prove' that they aren't sins and we can reasonably conclude it is not condemned.
In the spirit of this debate and as is defined by the description of the debate, any argument made with regards to the condemnation of homosexuality can not apply to heterosexuality as well (i.e. a condemnation of all human sexuality or of actions not exclusive to homosexuality are not applicable).
2.3 Con’s Case
In this speech, con’s constructive arguments/analyses will be the following:
- Sodom and Gomorrah
- Sodom and Gomorrah is a tale of what scholars refer to as ‘inhospitality’ and I refer to as ‘attempted mob-rape of angels’. The connection that this refers to homosexuality in any way is insane.
- The interpretation that this story is against homosexuality is one that (supposedly) only began in the 3rd century CE.
- David and Jonathan
- The story of David and Jonathan is a story of two men who “loved one another more than any woman” that was blessed by the Christian deity.
- Intimate acts occurred between David and Jonathan and there is reason to believe it does not refer to a platonic relationship.
3. Constructive Arguments/Analyses
3.1 Sodom and Gomorrah
“...all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” -Genesis 19:4-5, NIV Bible
“”Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.” -Genesis 19:9, NIV Bible
These two quotes show one thing very clearly: the city of Sodom surrounded the house, attempted to force their way in to the house where two angels are, seem to be fully aware of the bad nature of their actions (hence the “We’ll treat you worse than them”), and specifically mentioned wanting to have sex with the men.
This story contains many sins that are much more prevalent, obvious, and serious in this story. Such as:
- Lack of faith in the Christian deity
- Harming angels
- Refusing to acknowledge the Christian deity as the ultimate ‘judge’, per se
To look at all of this evidence and then deduce that this is not a condemnation of despicable, potentially lethal violence against two angels or a condemnation of a lack of trust in them to be ‘judges’, but rather a condemnation of homosexuality, is absurd. You can look through the entirety of Genesis 19, and you will find no part of it that specifically finds issue with the fact the attempted rapists were men and the angels were men.
The closest thing you will find in this story to what is even barely an allusion to homosexuality is when the man who took the angels into his home offered up his virgin daughters to the mob. If you stretch it enough, and I mean really stretch it, you might be able to consider this interpretation. However, it seems to me to be self evident that, in the face of all of the other much more glaring issues with the story in question, in addition to the fact that the angels were not only just angels, but also his houseguests in an era where daughters were treated as a commodity to be sold.
Finally, the interpretation that this story was against homosexuality only began in the 3rd century CE by Phil of Alexandria. For all of these reasons, it seems clear to con that this story clearly does not condemn homosexuality.
3.2 David and Jonathan
David and Jonathan is a story that shows clearly, at the very least the bible does not condemn homoromanticism/homosociality. David and Jonathan were said to love each other more than they loved any other woman, and the book of 2 Samuel clearly describes them kissing one another.
One may recall that Hebrew has multiple words for love, each referring to a different kind of love (storge, philia, eros, and agape meaning empathetic love, a bond between friends, romantic love, and unconditional, deity-like love respectively). If we look at the Hebrew, we should be able to see, based on what the words used to describe their love for one another are used for in other verses, what kind of love it was referring to.
What we find when looking at the hebrew is that their love is described with ‘ahabah’. The word ahabah is also used to describe the love of one’s wife specifically in a sexual context in Proverbs 5:19. Throughout 1 Samuel 16-23, it is consistently mentioned that the Christian deity protects David from the murder attempts of Saul is ‘with’ David, showing clearly that he is not only far from a condemned person, but rather, a blessed person.
While scholars may choose to point to the distinct lack of sexual intimacy in the relationship between David and Jonathan despite the fact such intimacy is mentioned in detail with their heterosexual relationships or how both David and Jonathan were heterosexually married, those who take a homophobic interpretation of this passage must reckon with the meaning of the original Hebrew clearly disagreeing with them. (More info on this story can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_and_Jonathan#Homoeroticism
What we can conclude from this is, not only is there good evidence to believe there’s a story of two men who loved each other both romantically and sexually in the bible, but as well that it was not a sin in the slightest.
In my arguments and analyses I have given one example of a verse that is commonly used to condemn homosexuality and proven why it definitely doesn’t do anything of the sort. Bible verses and chapters have been taken out of context and mistranslated egregiously for hundreds of years and continue to be today. I could go through every example and show why every verse cited by homophobes doesn’t prove the bible condemns homosexuality, for now, I believe this more than suffices my burden of proof and gives a sufficient example to prove my claims.
I have also shown the story of David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, which clearly shows that the bible not only fails to condemn homosexuality in this instance, but actually blesses it and supports it in the same way as any heterosexual relationship. I believe that anyone who would like to disagree with my conclusion would face significant difficulty facing the facts I have presented today.
I apologize that I wasn’t able to create something more in depth, but if my other debate on the matter ends up not being a forfeit, then I will happily go through most if not all verses on the matter one by one.
For all these reasons, so proud to oppose.