What is Phobia in itâ€™s broadest sense? - Fear - Aversion - Disgust - Loathing - something seen as â€œnot quite rightâ€
What are the sources of this aversion? - The most cited ground of aversion is religion
The Texts of Terror - Lev 18 & 20: â€œAbominationâ€, something impure - 1 Cor 6: No Kingdom for those Paul lists, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, and homosexuals etc. - Romans 1: Idolaters and Rebels, those who knew the truth and suppresses it, taking on unnatural desires. - Lots of gay and non gay scholars question the prima-facie meaning of these texts. - Andrew Linzey sees the bible as being at least in part uncomfortable with homesexuality.
Early Church - Clement of Alexandria: filthy speaking about adultery and pederasty etc. - Tertullian: 220 AD frenzies of the lust, includes homosexuality - Novatian 250 AD: God forbade the Jews to eat certain things due to symbolism, God is not saying no to eating fish but to deformed things, to effeminate things, and gay men are therefore deformed. - Cyprian of Carthage 252 AD: Gays are effeminated and disgraced. - John Crysostom 391 AD: gay men are wrong and women who are gay should have more shame. - Augustine 400 AD: Shameful acts against nature are condemned in Sodom, the law of God and nature condemn it. - St.Thomas Aquinas: sex was for procreation only, therefore all non procreative sexuality, including masturbation is unnatural and forbidden. His view had the greatest weight in church tradition.
Summary of church Fathers 1. It is unnatural (outside Godâ€™s order and nature) 2. Effeminacy ( a concept of maleness) 3. Pederasty (homosexuality is linked to paedophilia)
Modern Teaching A. To chose someone of the same sex is to annul the rich symbolism and the design of the creator for creation of new life. Congregation Defense of Faith CDF7 B. Although the inclination isnâ€™t sin, it is a tendency towards an intrinsic moral evil. CDF
Result - One pattern of sexuality for all. - All non procreative sex is prohibited, as sex disorder (oral sex, anal sex, masturbation etc). - Practicing gays excluded from holy orders and membership.
But Christian Opposition has Also Encouraged: 1. Antipathy and vilification of gays. â€¢ E.g Germany 1930â€™s o Hitler refered to Christian theology in regards to his treatment of gays. o Not one Christian group protested about the gays taken to the concentration camps. â€¢ Nigeria 2006 o Homosexuality is illegal capital offence in north under islam, and in south in Christian area, this discussion about it now would carry 5 year prison sentence. 2. Homosexuals Subject to Law in all Christian and Muslim Countries 3. Denial of Human Rights â€¢ Churches exemption from European human rights legislation, maintaining the right to dismiss gays. â€¢ Archbishop Williams 2003 request to dismiss people if they are gay.
- Certain forms of sexual behaviour cannot be justified, where there is no informed consent, rape, bestiality, or underage sex, paedophilia etc. How can we condone these? - The notion of on pattern of all time for everyone, is it biblical etc. - Not all sex within marriage is holy, forced sex, used sex, rape etc. - The church of England has blessed warships, cars, homes, animals, but wonâ€™t bless gay unions.
- Linzey View: we are divided on this, some do not see it as godâ€™s best, but we salute the move to commitment and monogamy, increasing the value of marriage. But we didnâ€™t and now we have another fissure with the church and culture, instead of the church being gracious and involved by the spirit, in changing.
We are never seeing anything good, true or beautiful in cultural changes, we are always in resistance to it.
- It is a problem when the church sets itself against human loving. A very real theological problem, and people look to the church for support in their love, and for affirmation, and it is a disaster for the church to find itself in this situation.