TW: Discussion of stories containing rape and violence
Note: While my opponents forfeit in the 2nd round cancels out my forfeit in the 1st, I do still want to sincerely apologize to my opponent for failing to show up. Time got away from me and I completely forgot.
People have, throughout history, used the bible as a tool of oppression; as a weapon from which their bigotry can be justified, In my speech, I will be tearing down the constructive arguments presented by my opponent and presenting constructive arguments of my own. While my opponent may think his evidence to be irrefeutable, I will be showing how that is clearly not the case.
My opponent presents a few main things.
- Tale of Sodom and Gomorrah
- Ham, his brothers, and Noah
- Sexual Depravity in Romans 1
- Corinthians and Timothy
Q: May a vote ever consider things from outside the arguments?
A: Generally no, but if a voter properly justifies it there are exceptions; such as if a spectator identifies plagiarism.
My opponent quite literally links certain things and, instead of analyzing it or even saying what is said within the link, just says "this is the strongest condemnation." This is, at best, abuse of the character limit, and at worst completely dismisses these points. It's not any debaters responsibility to refute arguments that are beyond the debate speech entirely for the same reason you can't just link an argument from Wikipedia and say "this is my argument" with nothing else at all.
Their analysis of Sodom and Gomorrah, for example, literally extends no further than saying "This condemns homosexuality." You don't just get to make a claim and have it magically be true.
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...
”...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:
To look at this and deduce that this is not a condemnation of violence against angels or of a lack of trust in them to be ‘judges’, but rather 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.
2. Noah, Ham, and his brothers
Pro hasn't explained why this story condemns homosexuality at all. There are no homosexual or homoromantic acts mentioned here, there is no mention of the fact these were sons with their father, there's no mention of what actually is wrong at all. How does this condemn homosexuality at all? Pro sure as hell isn't telling us, and so it's hardly worthy a rebuttal.
3. Romans 1
"As I have proven, one cannot claim Paul understood the modern notions of “orientation”when writing Romans 1:18–27, since the understanding of sexual orientation is a contemporary development. This text does not deal with sexuality but with idolatry; which I have shown and further contextualized within a twenty-first-century American setting. When one analyzes this text with those factors in mind, it becomes clear that there is no justification for using this text to condemn consensual same-sex relationships. Paul understood that sexual interactions should fulfill the gospel message of love, so he condemned the Roman mentality of sex, which was equivalent to patriarchal domination, as having no place in a post-resurrection society."
-ENGAGING ROMANS: AN EXEGETICAL ANALYSIS OF ROMANS 1:26-27 pg#33-34, Micheal Younes, John Carroll University
The verse, as a whole, refers to engaging in acts that equate to elevating humans or beings other than god to the glory and level that should be reserved only for god. So then how does this verse relate to that? Well, I, along with other scholars, would argue that it relates to moments in which the Romans would get so drunk on not only alcohol, but also power, that they would defy their own sexuality. Not a homosexual having same-sex relations, but a heterosexual having same-sex relations.
This interpretation makes sense in large part, alongside the context the verse is written in, the lack of a focus on gay orientations when it was written and the prevalence of same-sex abuse when it was written, because Paul is using this verse as a way to condemn large-scale cult practices.
Paul is condemning people who are acting 'against their nature', but it is in homosexuals nature to be homosexually attracted (as we have seen by scientific findings in genetics that show homosexuality is not a choice and the complete and utter failure of conversion therapy). It is heterosexuals committing homosexual acts that is against their nature.
4. Corinthians and Timothy
Both 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy allegedly refer to homosexuality because of two main words: Malakoi and Arsenokoitai. In footnote a of 1 Corinthians, biblegateway.com, they admit that the condemnation of homosexuality rests on the definition of these words. What do these two words mean?
Arsenokoitai is like a portmanteau of the words 'Arsen', meaning 'male', and 'Koites' meaning 'bed'. However, it is a word that almost exclusively is shown in lists of vices, and the context of which they appear show they refer to sexual and economic exploitation. These words combined are not used in ancient literature to describe a homosexual pair, but they are used in ancient writing/the bible and in history to show exploitative relationships or 'effeminate' men. Them being used in tandem doesn't appear throughout ancient writings as a way to refer to same-sex couples either.
Keep in mind that relationships between men in the time the bible was written included relationships between young boys and much older men or prostitution of young boys. Remember the quote from the previous sub-section
3. Constructive Arguments/Analyses
1. David and Jonathan
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). If we look at the Hebrew, we can see which kind of love is meant by the word used and how it's used in other verses.
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.