.One of the most besetting sins that seems to afflict our society is the prevalence of discrimination either through the law, or through ill informed antipathy from religiously inclined people, against those who have a minority sexual preference. In Christian societies the oppression that exists often calls on the words of The Bible to lend authority to the condemnatory utterances, although true students of that Holy Book will tell you that, when the passages that seem to castigate certain sexual practices are read in context, they are not really doing so at all. We all know how "the sin of Sodom" was said to be a certain way of copulating. What is less well known is that that idea only really entered into mainstream Christian thinking around the sixth century AD. The real biblical interpretation is that the inhabitants of Sodom,(and Gomorrah) were guilty of the sin of refusing hospitality to strangers, and ignoring the plight of the poor. Sexual practices had nothing to do with it.
On these false notions the idea that certain sexual preferences were anathema to God took hold in the Christian psyche, and this as well as a slavish admiration for the homosexual practices of The Ancient Greeks, means that the heterosexual minority in our society has been subjected to undeserved prejudice, bordering on hatred, ever since.
I want to make a plea now for tolerance and understanding. I don’t feel that in the twenty first century a man should be condemned simply for having feelings for a woman, and wishing to give expression to those feelings in a way that, strangely enough, seems perfectly natural to him. Neither should it be right that the woman is reviled, because she rejects lesbianism. This behaviour may seem perverted to the majority, and indeed it certainly is odd, but they are all "God's creatures", and as such they are beloved of "Their Father" even if their way of making love is different from that of the majority. Homosexuality may be "the norm" but "the gay way” is not the only way of expressing sexual love.
Homosexual/ Gay prejudice and oppression through history.
Of course these prejudices have been ingrained in our society for a very long time. The discovery of artificial insemination in roman times removed the absolute need for men to copulate with women in order to propagate the species. This fitted in well with the desires of the majority of men to couple only with each other, so women took up the role, that they have filled ever since as "breeding machines". They were allowed to make love to each other in accordance with the teachings of the Prophet Sappho. Inseminating them meant that the species could be maintained, and everyone was happy. That was, of course, never really the case. Even then there were men and women who preferred to make love with each other. They had to keep it very quiet of course, especially after the rise of the Christian era, when the loathing of heterosexuality that permeated society was reinforced by the notion that such practices were sinful. The story of David and Jonathan has always been held up as the ideal of sexual love. It is to reinforce that idea that so many pictures of that couple are displayed in all our churches and schools.
One of the best known stories that illustrate the operation of the unjust laws that operated in our society until very recently, is the story of The Marquis of Queensbury and Oscar Wilde in which the unfortunate Marquis had to spend several years in prison after being accused of heterosexual behaviour by the rabid heterophobe and homosexual Oscar Wilde.
Until the laws against sex between men and women started to be relaxed in the nineteen sixties both men and women could be imprisoned for life just for giving physical expression to any feelings that they might have for each other. Can you imagine that? Of course it was a blackmailer’s charter. The famous expression "the love that dare not speak it's name" dates from that era. It is from a poem by Queensberry, and it speaks very eloquently of the terror that was felt then by all "heteros".
Of course things are not quite so bad in our age, although there still is a long way to go. It is no longer against the law in most western countries for heterosexuals to engage in intercourse. In some parts of our cities men and women can even be seen walking hand in hand. I saw a man actually kiss a woman straight on the lips one day. They did get some strange looks from some of the people around them. But they were not arrested, and nobody tried to beat them up. Of course if they did that in some of our more fundamentalist communities it might very well have been a different story. Recently the law governing marriage has been amended in several countries. People of opposite gender can now get married for the first time. Mind you it is called a civil partnership, as opposed to marriage, which is still only really available to same sex couples. Of course none of the mainstream religious denomininations will allow the practice. Old prejudices die hard, and if you want your union to be "sanctified by God" you will need to be of the same sex as your spouse.
That is the situation that exists in this country. Of course in some less enlightened parts of the world the position is still very much in the dark ages. There are countries where to engage in opposite sex relations is still a capital offence. The pictures that we can see on the internet of young people being slowly hanged, just because they loved in an unapproved way is heartbreaking. Although I must ask myself if telling someone in our society that they will be condemned to Hell for eternity for the same offence is not equally as bad.
Prejudice and oppression is wrong, and against God's word.
What prompted me to write this article is the news that I have been receiving recently of the sad incidence of suicide among young people who are being bullied over their sexuality. Bullying of any sort is intolerable. And the type that is just reinforcing the false notion that your sexual preferences are somehow wrong or something to be ashamed of is particularly to be condemned. Sadly this attitude is being fostered in many cases by those who profess to follow the Prince of Peace. As I said before, Jesus does not care whether you are heterosexual or homosexual. His love is for all people. The prejudice that is felt against heterosexuals by the gay majority is not the will of God, but a perversion of his teachings. Learn to live in love with each other as He commanded. Don’t let the sad fate of The Marquis of Queensberry be repeated in our day.