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Commentary: Bible-bashing and/or pro-homophilia? Judge for yourself (Part1)
Published on April 24, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Dr Lazarus Castang

To read my article in context, I would like to suggest to readers that they read Jessica Joseph’s comments first. It is the fifth comment beneath my article: “Bible phobia and Homosexuality” and the first under “The Lord is my Shepherd and He knows I am gay.” Let me first commend Jessica Joseph for her courage in responding to my articles with some intellectual substance and with an air of corrigibility. Apart from the dialogue with Dr Isaac Newton, her comments represent the first vehemently argued theological opposition to my articles.

lazarus_castang.jpg
Dr Lazarus Castang is a licensed psychotherapist and an ordained SDA Minister of Religion. He holds a PhD in Old Testament, a Masters in Psychotherapy, and has completed studies in basic medical science. He has ministered to several communities in St Lucia, Barbados and the US and has provided therapy to individuals, couples and groups. He is a graduate of University of Southern Caribbean in Trinidad and Andrews University in Michigan. He has written two theological books and several articles on social relations. (rcastang@gmail.com)
It must be noted from the outset that Jessica’s primary motivation is not to bash interpretations of the Bible, or to bash the Bible, or the Biblical writers, or to accuse me of dislike, discomfort, incomprehension of LGBT people, but to defend homosexuals and homosexuality unannounced. However, she proceeded to defend homosexuals and homosexuality by bashing the Bible, the biblical writers, all interpretations of the Bible that do not accord with hers, and accuse me of dislike, discomfort, and incomprehension of LGBT people. But her accusation is only a figment of her imagination and an effort to draw sympathy for homosexuals, when my contention is clearly with the morality of homosexuality.

Sister JJ: Dr Castang, what is all that talk about anal sex? Are you obsessed with it?

Dr Castang: Sister JJ, I mentioned anal sex three times as you did. So who is obsessed? Moreover, some gay men have anal sex on a regular basis, but you have not honestly mustered the courage to dub it “anal obsession.”

Sister JJ: Dr Castang, I can see that you have a dislike, discomfort, and incomprehension of LGBT people with your anti-gay religious opinion.

Dr Castang: Sister JJ, you are playing the “hate-homosexuals” card instead of the “hate-homosexuality” card. The Bible condemns homosexual practice, not homosexual persons. Condemning homosexuality is not the same as condemning homosexuals. The rejection of homosexuality as immoral is not rejection of homosexuals as persons and citizens with rights.

Sister JJ: Dr Castang, I don’t think you can separate the two. Homosexual/Homosexuality is their sexual identity and orientation.

Dr Castang: Homosexual identity is psychosocial phenomenon, even though one may be born with biological predispositions to homosexual orientation. Active or passive homosexuality with another man or woman is a choice and an act, even though one wants to argue that it springs from an orientation. You can dislike gay-bashing without hating the gay-basher; dislike drug-addiction without hating the drug-addict; hate pathological lying without hating pathological liars. I can oppose homosexuality without hating the homosexual. I can condemn a practice without condemn persons.

Sister JJ: Dr Castang, you are free to apply the Bible as you like to your own life and your dependents. However, when it comes to determining civil, public laws and human rights that need to protect the dignity and humanity of a diverse population, you should prepare for a far more rigorous debate with a far more educated and ethical public than the kind who will blindly buy into your anti-gay religious opinions. You are not the "authority" on all of Christianity.

Dr Castang: Sister JJ, can you be disciplined enough to pay attention to my close reasoning against the morality of homosexuality, not about civil, public laws and human rights to protect the dignity and humanity of a diverse population. Stop setting up straw men and proceed to destroy them as though you are destroying what I am saying. When I contend against any acceptance of homosexuality by the Caribbean church, you charge me with anti-gay opinions or dislike of LGBT persons, not practice. But in the same breath you think that there is a lot of homosexuality (especially anal sex) among heterosexuals, but it is absent in a large gay segment. Blaming heterosexuals for homosexual acts is not a moral justification of homosexuality for homosexuals. Furthermore, I expect readers to judge the merit and rigor of my arguments and yours and I am not in any “authority” contest.

Sister JJ: Well, for a large number of homosexuals, anal sex is not their cup of tea as you seem to think.

Dr Castang: Is this argument a subtle effort to whitewash and airbrush homosexuality for public consumption? A homosexual who practices all homosexual acts short of anal sex is no less a homosexual as the homosexual who practices all homosexual acts including anal sex, or the one who principally practices anal sex. Therefore, same-sex anal sex is not un-homosexual (reverse non sequitur), and any rigid cherry-picking of a homosexual act as not constituting homosexuality is a hairsplitting effort in futility.

My problem with your submission is that it is so much head over heels in support of homosexuals that you have now irrationally carved out a defining large “no-anal-sex” gay category. This almost amounts to a male HOMOSEXUALITY without the SEX leaving us facetiously with HOMO--UALITY.

Your “no-anal-sex” gay category, if it is to be of any miniscule value to your argument must be composed of homosexual “virgins.” Male homosexuality, of necessity, captures the full range of sexual involvement. It is on a continuum from the mental thought or physical desire/lust to fellatio and varying degrees of direct inter-male physical involvement. An incidental homosexual act is still homosexuality.

Sister JJ: By the way, the Bible is not universally authoritative and applicable to every current situation. The biblical writers and the Bible are pre-scientific and not up-to-date on new insights about the cosmos and human make-up.

Dr Castang: So, if the Bible is not a multidisciplinary compendium of past and current insights, then it is not universally authoritative and applicable in matters of faith and practice? I thought your disclaimer was: “The bible is not being bashed. How it is being used, is what is being bashed.” The Bible is universally authoritative and applicable in matters of faith and practice, and among other sins, to the question of homosexuality.

The implication and assumption that the growth of human knowledge concerning the cosmos and human nature through scientific investigation archaizes the Bible’s relevance and gives us certain human knowledge, overlooks the fact that human nature and the nature of the cosmos have fundamentally remained the same over time. Interpretation of the phenomena may change and continue to change.

Your de-contextualization of biblical authority and subtle belittling of the biblical writers as well as the Bible as pre-scientific and not up-to-date teeter on the brink of a low view of Scripture, yet you claim that the Bible is not being bashed. In my judgment, you have technically Bible-bashed to support homophilia. The next article will take this up some more.

Sister JJ: Well, you are entitled to your opinion. By the way, are you using evasion tactics in not addressing the biblical passages wrongly used to condemn homosexuality? You should be prepared for a far more rigorous debate with a far more educated and ethical public than the kind who will blindly buy into your anti-gay religious opinions. You are not the "authority" on all of Christianity.

Dr Castang: Hold your horse, sister. Be careful entering the debate with any air of triumphalism, or corrigibility, or invincibility, because humpty dumpty had a great fall. It is not your perceived aptitude, but spiritual attitude which determines your spiritual altitude. I will address the other issues in your literary callaloo in part 2 of this article, then, after it, all things being equal, return to part 2 of “The Lord is my Shepherd and He knows that I am gay.”
 
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