Jesus as an openly gay man

Paying work places its demands on me, but I thought you’d like to see and think about (and perhaps comment upon) an article that tries to imagine what it would be like if the newly discovered gospels reveal that Jesus was an openly gay man.  I find it a bit peculiar insofar as it seems to take large parts of the Christian message and reduce it to a guide for gay living, but that’s just me.

Oh, two things:  (1) You guys have to promise me that, even if you view this as offensive or sacrilegious, you won’t grab your swords, guns, and pitchforks, and launch a murderous assault a UN compound.  (2) As always, this is an opportunity for civil intellectual analysis against an article that can be viewed either as very silly or as yet another serious attack against core Christian doctrine.  It is not an opportunity to voice hostility to gays.  As to this last, I know that you guys are neither rude, nor homophobic, but I also know that it can get frustrating when a vocal minority uses a large soapbox to challenge cherished and deeply significant beliefs.

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  • kali

    But I *want* to attack the UN.
    Can we at least use this as an excuse to defund it?

  • Charles Martel

    There is so much wrong with this article, but two things leap to mind:

    1. Wishful thinking

    2. The assumption of facts not in evidence

    I don’t know why a sodomically inclined Jesus is the Holy Grail for so many militant homosexuals. I suppose it’s like being able to marry one another—at long last society is forced to acknowledge the goodness and downright wonderfulness of sodomy. If Jesus Himself, the Son of God could be shown to have enjoyed the wonderful life- and camaraderie-enhancing practices of gayitude, why then the world would be a splendid place.

    But the problem here is that Jesus explicitly preached only one sexual ethic: One man marries one woman. There is no room in that teaching for pre- or extra-marital sex, and certainly none for same-sex practices which would have been anathema to a devout Jew like Jesus. If Jesus had indeed been rolling in the hay with the apostles, that behavior would have made him a liar. If so, then there would have been no divine approval for sodomy because it is well known that God does not lie. (Allha does, but that’s a different thread.) So, we’re looking at a self-defeating argument.

    (There’s also the tendency among militant homosexuals to sexualize every deep friendship between men, twisting and debasing so that it can be viewed not as a tender closeness but rather as an endless, never-sated, genital-driven quest for pleasure. That aspect of the homosexualist movement has been dealt with elsewhere, but it’s interesting to note it’s an undercurrent here.)

    The assumption of facts not in evidence is simple: You can assert that Paul was a homosexual, but there just isn’t any credible evidence that he was. One counter might be that he was a self-hating homosexual, given the strong things he had to say about homosexual behavior in Romans 1. Or, he was cleverly pretending to be against homosexual behavior in much the same way a mole pretends to be loyal to the government it is his ultimate aim to subvert. The problem with such reasoning is that it isn’t reasonable. If Paul were a closeted homosexual, it would have made more sense for him to say nothing. If the aim of the young religion was to convert gentiles, who were up to their ears in all sorts of foul sexual behaviors, Paul would not have made a peep about them. You don’t get people into the tent by insulting their lifestyles—that is, of course, unless you really believe what you’re saying and that it’s important people understand what they’re getting into.

    LIving in the Bay Area where militant homosexualism is a part of the landscape, I am way past feeling anything but sorry for its practitioners. To make your crotch and your urges your god (heteros do it, too) is to be powerfully lost.

  • Old Buckeye

    I see a couple of problems right off the bat. The Immaculate Conception does not refer to Jesus’ conception, but to that of Mary. She was conceived without sin so that she could be a spotless vessel for the Savior. Also, no matter what sexual orientation of Jesus or anyone else, the Biblical call is to chastity unless married. Thus we have the commandment “Thou shall not commit adultery,” adultery being any sex act (hetero- or homosexual) performed outside of marriage.

  • MacG

    17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.       20“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5
    The Law is clear about Homosexual acts (Leviticus 20:13) even if it is mentioned little and may be considered a “least” law because of oftenness.  I seriously doubt that Jesus or Paul was gay.  The Pharisees and Saducees for the most part were not friends of Jesus (even Paul who was known as Saul a Pharisee of Pharisees prior to his divine confrontation and conversion).  If you will remember the instance where they brought the adulterous woman to Him for stoning it shows they were willing to carry out the death penalty prescribed for breaking certain Levitical laws*.  Now how did they try to handle Jesus?  With tricky legal questions such as which is the greatest Law?” “What should we do with this woman caught in adultery?”  “How can you heal on the Sabbath?  After all it is work!” “Why do your disciples not fast?”  False accusations too, one of the worst things they said about him was that he was a glutton and a wine bibber “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'” Matt 11 Heavens to mergatroid!  Had He been openly gay He certainly would have been accused of it and stoned for it. Yet the record in four seperate accounts is silent on that matter.
    11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” Matt 5
    18“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” John 15
    In fairness they were also mad because of his apparent flippant use of their scripture allowing Himself to be equated with G-d “56”Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.” John 8
    So the rebuttal is in the details of what we have already.  Likewise the rebuttal to Jesus traveling to India to learn the healing arts and was know as Saint Issa. But that is for another time.
    *It has been shown that in this scenario that only the woman was brought and not the man therefore nullifying the law and their willingness to misapply it.  So it also brings light to His pronouncement “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and the oldest being first to drop their stones down to the youngest.  When they had all gone, “Woman, where are you accusers?” “They have left” “Then neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more”.

  • Old Buckeye

    I should clarify that my definition of adultery comes from church teaching, not the dictionary. In addition, historically some cultures defined it as any sexual contact outside of marriage, and I found it defined this way in North Carolina’s statute: (linked from Wikipedia).

  • Libby

    Didn’t they also recently attempt to prove that Abraham Lincoln was gay? It seems like they’re trying to gain acceptance by marching through history and declaring that great figures from the past were gay.
    I’d be insulted if I wasn’t just so sick of these people attempting to bring down Christianity. As with the “controversial” Christian-bashing art, I’ll start to listen when they take on Mohammad/Islam. There’s a whole lot more ‘camaraderie-enhancing practices of gayitude’ in that culture than with Jesus.

  • MacG

    Imagine if they said the father of Islam was gay…

  • MacG

    It seems that my earlier real thoughts on the issue are held up for moderation :/

  • MacG

    I guess that patience is the virtue that I have not yet learned…:)

  • Gringo

    It seems that my earlier real thoughts on the issue are held up for moderation :/
    A lot of commenting software, Book’s included, does not like more than one or two links.
    IMHO, it would have been sufficient just to cite the verse.

  • MacG


    I did not realize the verse numbers were links.  Thanks for the heads up and my apologies for the nuisance.

  • BobK

    As Charles Martel said, there is so much wrong with this internally, but one thing stands out as exceptional to me:  there is little to no evidence that the “codices” referred to are authentic.  One should consider the article’s source (The Guardian is hardly an apologist for orthodox Christian doctrine…) and the fact that The Guardian’s primary source several months ago tried to create excitement about lead “codices” – but those had been found in the “Egyptian desert”.  You can read about it at the Get Religion blog,

    Every year, as Easter approaches, it seems that a new burial site or codex or ossuary or gnostic gospel appears that will cause us to rethink basic assumptions about Jesus and Christianity.  None stand up to even cursory scrutiny, and this one is likely just another in a long series of pathetic attempts at notoriety.

  • jj

    Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Bruce and Elton.  Somehow Bruce and Elton didn’t make the cut.
    Plenty of “lost” (generally they were hidden) codices stand up to considerably more than cursory scrutiny – but Bruce and Elton, likely not so much.

  • ELaineT

    Yawn.  It’s Lent, time for another attack on Christianity.
    The things are pretty clearly fakes, and not very good ones.  Not only Get Religion, but PaleoJudaica and various Biblioblogs, like Tom Verenna’s have been thoroughly taking the claims about the codices to pieces.
    Even if they were very old, they’d be treated like the various non-canoncal writings from the old days – basically ignored because they aren’t sacred scripture.  I’ve read the Gospel of Thomas and some of the other ‘gospels’ that were rejected as canon.  And you know what?  It’s pretty clear why they didn’t make the cut, just from the text, ignoring anything known (now or back then) about their origins:  They’re nonsense, and not in line with the consistent teachings shown in the approved texts.
    As for the article itself, whoopdedo.  Can we say strained interpretations?  Charles Martel, above covered a lot of it.  However, I want to rant a bit, so… Specifically when the author of the article quotes the passage from Luke about hating family (etc.), and thinks it somehow turns into an invitation to joyous sodomy, there’s no sense to that.  Not if someone has a healthy emotional life, there’s not.  Or is he aware he’s saying the gay lifestyle encompasses hatred of family, friends, your own life…?  When a look at the life of Jesus portrayed in the canonical Gospels shows how he ‘hated’ his own life so much he gave it up in an extraordinarily painful way.  Because he loved God (His Father) above all.  And that is what the quote from Luke is calling for us all.  God first.

  • suek

    You have to wonder…
    What’s behind the motivation for this claim???  He certainly knows it is likely to offend… so…
    Is his intent to offend?  a nanny nanny boo-boo kind of claim?  Or is it a cry to be accepted by …God?  by whatever religion?    A need to be OK with himself?

  • Rhymes With Right

    Let’s assume, for a moment, that these books were to disclose something of that sort.  They would not be canonical Gospels, and so Christianity as a whole would not accept them as authoritative.  After all, there are plenty of non-canonical Gospels out there — including some that are pretty wild — that are rejected as not authoritative by Christians.
    In the end, some would argue that the new book ought to make us change our faith, but most of us would be unshaken in our current views, believing that if God had meant for this book to be authoritative it would have remained known– and accepted — by Christians for the past two thousand years.

  • Charles

    Ditto what ELaineT said:

    “Yawn.  It’s Lent, time for another attack on Christianity.”

    This is getting to be a little tiresome; every year during Lent the news media “discovers” something that falls into the category of “betcha didn’t know about Christianity” crap.

    It also goes to show that folks have been using the “written word” for political reasons ever since the first caveman scratched something on a cave wall and grunted “look, it must be true, it is written right there!”

  • Mike Devx

    There’s a strong tendency in American culture to view any open expression of male affection with homosexuality.

    Militant homosexuals (meaning, those with a political agenda) pore over texts and letters from the past, and for any expression of male affection, they claim the author must have been gay.  In only a few cases does the evidence bear it out, to me.

    The trend shows up in other ways.  I was struck by Peter Jackson’s  ‘The Fellowship of the Rings’ when I saw it at the cinema for the first time.  The deep affection between Frodo and Sam at the end had two guys in the row behind me muttering “That’s so gay”, and “Faggots”.  Jackson is from New Zealand, and they, like many around the world, have no problem at all expressing male affection, love of the type that is not “eros”.  We in the U.S. are culturally trained NOT to even approach that line.

    Both sides of the same coin.  Straight guys terribly uncomfortable with such expressions; militant homosexuals seeing in every male expression of non-eros love nothing but gayness.

  • jj

    Mike – there is, of course, a back-story there.  All of that affection – and even the detail of Sam running up and holding Frodo’s hand when he’s convalescing in bed in Revendell in the first move was all “suggested” – if “suggested” is the word – by the militant homosexual wing of the cast: Ian McKellen.  he was absolutely determined that all these unmarried boys in the cast were going to express, at the very least, some ambivalence.
    The first time I ever saw the extra stuff, on what was to become the super extended special DVD versions of the movies, I happened to be in a room full of Hollywood types, among whom is a very old friend from one of the 3 traditional networks who happens to be gay.  Peter Jackson was trying to edit down all the extra stuff and was taking suggestions from wherever he could solicit them, because if he didn’t do something these ‘extras’ DVDs were going to (literally) be 17 hours long.  So we were watching the initial set of cast interviews for the first set of DVDs, and there’s Ian, who, though sex had absolutely not one single thing on earth to do with the movies, managed to work into the interview that he’s gay.  (And that Sam holding Frodo’s hand was forced on everybody by him, because it was ‘right.’)
    Well, my young gay friend, whom I have known since he was six years old, shook his head and said: “Jesus Christ, he just can’t keep his goddam mouth shut, can he?  He just can’t!  Could there possibly be a more inappropriate venue?  It seems not to occur to him that there will be little kids watching these DVD ‘extras’ whose parents are just going to be delighted that they’re now forced to have a conversation with their kids at a time of goddam Ian McKellen’s choosing, rather than their own.  Peter (Jackson) must be wanting to hit him with a brick, about now.”
    So that’s why those movies are somewhat permeated with that bent.  Because – short of actually hitting him with a brick – nobody could shut McKellen’s proselytizing off.  And I am sure parents all over the world who had to have conversations they weren’t quite ready to have were grateful.

  • Charles Martel

    Regarding Sir Ian’s pathetic need to proselytize of behalf of homosexuality: I have found over the years that many of the gay men I’ve associated with cannot help themselves when it comes to sooner or later injecting their homosexuality into the discussion. I’m not talking about casual stuff like mentions of a boyfriend or the usual snapshots of domestic life. It’s more like allusions to particularly gross sexual acts, with the teller’s head slightly cocked “How am I doing?”-style to pick up reactions from his listeners.

    One kid I managed at a trade magazine was a brilliant writer with a great sense of humor. He was a delight to be around. But the day we were in an editorial meeting and he attempted to wrest the discussion over to felching, I had to take him aside and tell him that if he ever tried to highjack a discussion again with such vile references I’d have him fired on the spot. This was in San Francisco before terminal political correctness had infected the town, so it was still possible to tell self-absorbed, attention-seeking gays to go stuff it where the moon don’t shine. (On second thought, probably not the best piece of advice.)

    He was a good kid caught up in the neurotic need I’ve seen among so many gay men for some kind of limit. If he could just test the waters to see what lines decent people wouldn’t cross, maybe he could save himself from his boyfriend’s ever increasing demands for more and more debased acts. He behaved himself well thereafter.  

  • excathedra

    Since, of course, sodomy does not offend me, the story does not offend me. It bores me. It’s just a homosexual version of the heterosexual Jesus-married-Mary-Magdalen trope that made Dan Brown a very rich bad writer.
    Two historical notes. If St Paul did have homoerotic tendencies, as the writer assumes, he certainly didn’t celebrate them. The opening of Romans suggests otherwise, to put it mildly.
    And there is one moment in the Gospels where it may be possible, I repeat, may be possible, to read a less than full throatedly condemnatory attitude toward male-male sex from the Lord. The Roman centurion who protests his own unworthiness but asks Jesus to heal his servant. Mt 8.5; Lk 7.1
    The special trouble that the soldier goes through for a servant (slave?) can be read as indicating a more than merely authoritarian relationship between them. Something not unknown at all in Roman culture. Would Jesus have known of that? His response was to acknowledge the man’s faith and to heal the servant, without any further requirement.
    And the fact that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality in the Gospels does not mean that he thought gay is OK. It is more likely that among Jews, who were his target audience, it was not an issue up for discussion. I fail to recall any time, for instance, that he addressed the issue of worshipping statues. Again, among Jews, no need.
    When I grew up as a Catholic kid in the 50’s, homosexuality was not condemned either. It was simply never mentioned.

  • Jose

    Wishful thinking.  What if?  What if Harvey Milk was Ronald Reagon’s love child?  What if Osama bin Laden really is a CIA front?  What if George Washington was a space alien spying for the British?

    As for the alleged connection between David and Jonathan, consider what David went through to get Bathsheba. He lied, plotted, and finally killed to get her.  When he fled Jerusalem, he had so many women he couldn’t take them all.  Even his some of his sons wanted into his harem.  When he finally reached the point where he couldn’t perform with a woman, we are specifically told.  It doesn’t get more explicit than that.

  • MacG

    Jose while I agree with your main point I will have to disagree with  “consider what David went through to get Bathsheba. He lied, plotted, and finally killed to get her.”   He went through all of that to cover his own sin of adultery.  When he discovers she is “with child” he first tries to get Uriah her military husband  to to sleep with her by calling Uriah home to give a report of the battle and then he says something along the lines of “Uriah, thanks for the report but before you go back to the battle why don’t you go home to Bathsheba for the night?”  Uriah was a man of principle and would not induldge himself in marital pleasure since his soldiers were also deprived of such.  David responded by sending him to the front lines where he surely would be killed.  He was.  David had “compassion” and the “griving widow”moved in with him and none was the wiser except Nathan was given a vision a year later to confront him, his sin and his now broken relationship with his G-d.

  • Jose

    It’s been awhile since I looked and you are right that David killed to cover up his adultry.  In any case, he kept her and fathered several more sons with her.