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:icondadona777: More from dadona777




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January 23, 2013
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    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
    (Romans 1:26-27)
Traditionalists are often referring to this passage when making the claim that gays and lesbians are "unnatural" and abandoned by God. However, as seen in my last piece, these people are notorious for ripping Bible verses out of their original context and using them to justify prejudice. Therefore, in order to completely understand this passage and the intent behind it, one must study the context surrounding it.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections:

For what cause? Who did God give up? Obviously, this verse cannot stand on its own because it is simply incomplete. The surrounding verses give insight into who and what Paul was referring to.
    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    (Romans 1:18-25 KJV)
Since the sacred prostitution mentioned in Leviticus was no longer widely practiced, many scholars believe Paul was making a reference to a the rise of idolatry thousands of years in the past. After denying God and his authority, the ancient people plunged themselves into idolatry. They began to mix the divine and the created until the two were indistinguishable from each other, and worshiped it nonetheless. Their gods were lewd and demanded sexual sacraments; therefore, their followers also became lewd and full of degrading passion and lust. For this cause, Paul says, God "gave them up" [paradidōmi] to their lusts. In essence, they became so enveloped in their practices that God allowed them to do whatever they wanted.

for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

Contrary to popular belief, this verse actually makes no reference to lesbian sex whatsoever. Instead, it states that the women altered the natural use of sexual intercourse. In Paul's day, the "natural" order in sex involved a male taking the dominant role and a female or a younger male taking the submissive role. A common practice of sacred prostitution in its day was to practice the role of the opposite sex in order to defy gender norms in service to their gods (this practice was forbidden in Deuteronomy 22:5). The Galli*, for example, were men who dressed themselves like women, slathering on makeup and wigs and even openly castrating themselves for others to see. The female equivalent would wear men's armor to achieve a similar effect (though it was not as shameful to society as the men) and would position themselves as dominant over the submissive males.

However, the phrase "against nature" [para physis in Greek] does not exactly refer to defying the natural order of things. In fact, para actually means "beside" or "beyond." The phrase para physin refers to something that is beyond nature, or beyond the natural use, rather than something completely contrary.

Paul may have been directed by the philosophical idea of his time that homosexual sex (particularly male/male sex) was an extended form of male sexuality. Males, according to several Greek philosophers, were attracted to both sexes, but sex with another male was seen as excessive and driven only by lust. This would explain his use of the more subjective term atimia, meaning "disgraceful" or "dishonorable" rather than "vile" in an ethical sense, and aschēmosynē, meaning "shameful" in a sexual sense. Paul's use of para physin could very well illustrate that these men were engaging their lust so much that they were willing to transcend their nature to commit lewd, indecent acts in public without feeling a morsel of shame or regret.

In conclusion, although Paul seemed to have formulated some of his own views on homosexuality due to the ideas of that time, that does not seem to be the focus of this passage. The point he appears to be getting across is that abandoning God and denying his power and authority will lead to great consequences and severe moral degradation. Gays and lesbians are neither condemned nor mentioned in the passage; it primarily refers to the participants in sexualized cults.
I made another thing

note: same-sex practices were not uncommon in Paul's day, particularly in the form of pederasty and the prostitution of effeminate males and eunuchs. Paul does seem to be tying the actions of the people back in the ancient times to what he saw as the moral degradation of the society he lived in. he relates to his audience using familiar terms to describe something that happened long ago

*the Galli was the modern name for sacred castrated men, who still existed in Paul's time

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:iconaryiea:
Thank you for this awesomeness <3
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:icondadona777:
go check gallery to see them
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:iconakibara13:
Yeah, it's pretty much comes back to lust and sexual misconduct in general. It amazes me how many people still equate homosexuality with promiscuity. As if two people of the same gender can't have a loving committed relationship. :roll: All great points. :D
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:icondadona777:
I think I messed up on one though. the Galli were a more modern institution and they were easily visible in Corinth but the cross-dressing self-castrating males still existed back in the ancient times

arsenokoitai is giving me so much hell though :crying:
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