Homophobia is a Socially Constructed Sin

What I mainly want to urge at the moment is that homophobia is a socially constructed sin, one that is built into us as part of our socialization. Part of what makes human beings socially ‘challenged’ is our limited imagination. We feel that we can mount and manage only a limited number of social roles. We are schooled to fill a selection of these from earliest childhood. In how many ways did the powers that be, the adults in charge of us send the message: we will be allowed a share of the common good, if and only if we are perceived to pull our oar. Societies reasonably feel that they have a desperate interest in institutionalizing ‘the means of reproduction’. In Jewish law, commandments orbit around the desideratum of maximizing reproductive potential to secure the perpetuation of Jewish tribes. Bestiality and male homosexual intercourse waste valuable seed. Rape and adultery undermine the common good by stealing fields in which other tribal males are entitled to sow.

Shaking the Foundations: LGBT Bishops and Blessings in the Fullness of Time,” a paper delivered by the Rev. Canon Marilyn McCord Adams at the Chicago Consultation, Seabury-Western Seminary, December 5, 2007.

There hasn’t been a lot of gay bashing in this year’s campaign, but I imagine once the primaries are over there will be more of it. And with all of the talk about the Christian right and which, uh, candidate they prefer, it’s nice to be reminded of other, less rigid, Christianities. Adams offers a cogent, even moving defense of tolerance. Perfect on a cold, snowy Monday morning. Thumbs up for the Daily Episcopalian blog.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and Smarthinking.com. I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol] writinginthewild.com

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