This page deals specifically with the subject of LGBT people in sacred texts. For an overview of the positions of various religions on this topic, including historical and current beliefs, refer to this page at the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance site [external site].
References to the scriptures are being used as the backbone of much of the heated discussion about gay people in a way that has not been seen since the Scopes evolution trial. It is Sacred texts homosexuality crucial to examine the actual texts, and the context in which they were written.
This page, which has taken months of research to write, provides all available scriptural quotes on this subject, with links into the full texts, also available at this site.
Also included are the complete text of several books on the subjectscanned specially to provide background information for this page. Sacred texts homosexuality
The Sacred texts homosexuality, the Qur'an, and Baha'i and Zoroastrian scriptures have a few passages which condemn homosexuality. An out of context interpretation of these passages has been used as justification for persecution of homosexuals, ranging from ridicule, exclusion, and attempts to alter behavior, to imprisonment and even execution.
Typically these quotes are employed not because the entire range of scriptural injunctions are being applied consistently, but because the power structure needs cherry-picked scriptural justification for their actions.
Colonialism subsequently Sacred texts homosexuality this prejudice on a number of non-western societies which did not previously have this sort of persecution. Other major world religions, particularly Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Shinto, don't condemn homosexuals in their sacred texts, let alone mention the subject except in passing. This doesn't mean that societies where these religions are dominant or practiced are or are not tolerant of LGBT people; simply that whatever discrimination or persecution may Sacred texts homosexuality present is not based on religious grounds.
Modern studies of the nature of gender have found that human sexual preference is innate; homosexuality occurs in hundreds of species; and gender and sexual behavior is a continuum rather than two compartmentalized poles.
Psychologists no longer consider homosexuality a personality defect or mental illness. There will always be some that prefer not to accept the findings of science.
For instance, there are a handful of Christians who believe that the Earth is flat because the Bible refers to the 'four corners of the Earth'.
Some literalist Christians reject the Copernican solar system for similar scriptural reasons. However, many religions, even the most conservative, have shown a capability to incorporate advances in knowledge-- for instance, astronomy, geology and biology--that were previously contradicted by, or simply unknown to, scripture and religious tradition.
For instance, modern Roman Catholic doctrine states that scientific theories of cosmology, including the 'Big Bang', are not incompatible with the concept of a creation by the deity-- this from the church that only recently lifted its pro forma censorship of the works of Galileo.
Values of tolerance and acceptance for others can be found at the core of all world religions. Many religious groups not found it difficult to extend tolerance to LGBT people, even if this does not lead to acceptance within their religion, or sanctioning of same-sex unions or homosexual clergy.
And most religious groups and people, across the spectrum, are opposed to violence against gays and other violations of their human and civil rights, regardless of their other beliefs on the subject. The systematic persecution of LGBT people simply did not exist until comparatively recently in world history.
Alexander the Great is well-known to have been bisexual. The Emperor Hadrian attempted to deify his male life-companion, Antinous. In Greek mythology, we have the myth of Tiresias, who changed his gender from male to female and back; Sacred texts homosexuality, among his other loves, took Ganymede; the nymph Hermaphrodite was transformed from a woman into an intersex being.
Shamanism in Siberia from Aboriginal Siberia, by M. This was also widespread through North America and Polynesia. The Symposium of Plato In Sacred texts homosexuality colloquium on the nature of companionship, Plato proposed a theory of the origin of humanity in which Zeus created three genders: The androgynes were split into two and since then each half has been searching for the other.
This is actually not an unusual creation story. It includes an account of her cross-dressing, transgender priests. Mimes of the Courtesans This unexpurgated translation of Lucian's comic dialogues about the Hetaerae includes two pieces which Sacred texts homosexuality late classical attitudes about LGBT people.
This results from cultural attitudes imposed by the British during their long occupation of India. There is no condemnation of homosexuality in the ancient Hindu texts, and no bias against LGBT people is evident up to the 19th century. In a few Hindu lawbooks, same-gender sexuality is described as producing a state of impurity, but it can be expunged by a ritual bath. The ancient Hindu attitude was that sexuality should be fully integrated into the fabric of life, and nothing to be ashamed of.
For instance, in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, IV: Homosexuality is discussed frankly and without condemnation in the ancient Hindu sexual treatises. In the Kama Sutra, in Chapter VIlesbianism in harems is described, and in Chapter IXmale and Sacred texts homosexuality homosexuality in the context of a discussion of oral sex.
There are many accounts of beings who transformed their gender supernatural means in the ancient Hindu epics and Puranas. One prominent example occurs in the Mahabharata. A transgender person, Sikhandin, plays a pivotal role in that Hindu epic. In book 5, Chapterthe origin of Sikhandin is related. Sikhandin was born as the daughter of King Drupada of the Panchalas, who had previously been childless.
Druapada begged the God Mahadeva, to give him a son. He told him that "Thou shalt have a child who will be a female and male. Desist, O king, it will not be otherwise. His wife gives birth to a baby girl, Sikhandin.