Jesus Weighs in on Rekers' "Heaven-Sent Rent Boy"
Frank Rich excoriates Family Research Council co-founder George Rekers for the "significant role...he played...in many of the ugliest assaults on gay people and their civil rights over the last three decades." The "culture wars" in which Rekers was a general have resulted in, among many other ills, the attacks on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.
The Constant Weader throws the Good Book at Rekers (not surprisingly, the New York Times censors have held back my comment. Update: ah, there it is, at #77!):
With the evidence mounting, it seems fair to assume that every homophobe is either gay or thinks s/he might be. These twisted people are to be pitied, but they are not to be given any credibility whatsoever. It is troubling that the mainstream media gives them any coverage at all, and that major papers like the Wall Street Journal use the "people are saying" subterfuge to air a matter that is immaterial to a nominee's suitability for the Supreme Court.
That so many of the objections to homosexuality come from the Christian right is particularly perverse. The Gospels contain a couple of stories in which Jesus is portrayed as caring not a whit about a character's homosexuality. The most famous one, I suppose, is the story of the centurion who begs Jesus to cure his slave lover, who is a young boy. Jesus remarks on the depth of the centurion's faith & cures the boy.
A Gospel verse in which Jesus specifically says homosexuality is unremarkable is Matthew 19:12 when Jesus describes "eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb." Here he is speaking primarily about gay men. Historian Kathryn Ringrose writes that the the ancients described castrati, celibates, homosexuals and transsexuals as "eunuchs." Since one "born that way in his mother's womb" is not a castrato, & not a celibate (Jesus mentions these two categories of eunuchs next), he can only be a homosexual or transexual. In short, Matthew has Jesus say homosexuality is God-given, a trait, sorta like brown hair or freckles, that precedes birth.
It isn't surprising that homophobic churchmen throughout the millennia have chosen to ignore this verse, but evangelical Christians who claim the Gospels are inerrant should feel comfortable accepting Jesus as the last word on the subject. This should allow them to get over their sad little prejudice against others & their shame in their own sexuality. (The Gospels, BTW, don't give Jesus anything to say about female sexuality. I suspect the Gospel writers didn't know much about it.)
The good news for the rest of us is that we won't have to endure the airing of this vestigial Christian right prejudice, and we can correct the wrongs that prejudice has wrought.