Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The first rule of religion strikes again.

I've commented before on the first rule of religion, that the Word of God, correctly interpreted, always backs up whatever the person interpreting it wanted to believe anyway, and on its corollary, that all of those thou-shalt-nots are for other people. Here are some examples in practice.

You've no doubt seen the photograph of this charming person's tattoo, which makes him a walking billboard for Biblical cherry-picking. Now this article draws the following lesson from Christ's supposed celibacy:
On one hand, being celibate, Jesus refuses to claim any sexuality or human relationship as bearing the mark of Divine approval for humanity, not even marriage. However, rather than simply ignoring sexuality, in his celibacy, Jesus creates space for various sexualities and relationships to be present in God’s good future—heterosexual and homosexual, monogamous and non-monogamous, BDSM or vanilla. It is easy to forget that celibacy and asexuality are also queer, since they, too, disrupt the categories and the power dynamics of heterosexism (why is celibacy/asexuality absent from contemporary queer discussions?). However, it also upsets those who live in the binaries of gay/lesbian vs. straight, since Jesus’ queer sexuality destabilizes even that dichotomy. As celibate, Jesus affirms that no sexuality or form of relationship is held as the ideal for human life because humanity’s greatness is found in its diversity—even of sexualities—without hierarchy or rank.
This would be a stunning non sequitur even if it did not require us to assume away substantial portions of the New Testament, including some of the words attributed to Jesus. It just goes to show that if a deity created humankind in its image, humankind has been busy returning the favor ever since.

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