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Excerpt: "After much reflection and with certainly no wish to shock, I felt I was left with no option but to suggest, for the first time in half a century of my Anglican priesthood, that Jesus may well have been homosexual."

A Good Friday procession along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem's old city this year. (photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
A Good Friday procession along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem's old city this year. (photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)



Was Jesus Gay? Probably

By Paul Oestreicher, Guardian UK

22 April 12

 

I preached on Good Friday that Jesus's intimacy with John suggested he was gay as I felt deeply it had to be addressed.

reaching on Good Friday on the last words of Jesus as he was being executed makes great spiritual demands on the preacher. The Jesuits began this tradition. Many Anglican churches adopted it. Faced with this privilege in New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, my second home, I was painfully aware of the context, a church deeply divided worldwide over issues of gender and sexuality. Suffering was my theme. I felt I could not escape the suffering of gay and lesbian people at the hands of the church, over many centuries.

Was that divisive issue a subject for Good Friday? For the first time in my ministry I felt it had to be. Those last words of Jesus would not let me escape. "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman behold your son!' Then he said to the disciple. 'Behold your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home."

That disciple was John whom Jesus, the gospels affirm, loved in a special way. All the other disciples had fled in fear. Three women but only one man had the courage to go with Jesus to his execution. That man clearly had a unique place in the affection of Jesus. In all classic depictions of the Last Supper, a favourite subject of Christian art, John is next to Jesus, very often his head resting on Jesus's breast. Dying, Jesus asks John to look after his mother and asks his mother to accept John as her son. John takes Mary home. John becomes unmistakably part of Jesus's family.

Jesus was a Hebrew rabbi. Unusually, he was unmarried. The idea that he had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene is the stuff of fiction, based on no biblical evidence. The evidence, on the other hand, that he may have been what we today call gay is very strong. But even gay rights campaigners in the church have been reluctant to suggest it. A significant exception was Hugh Montefiore, bishop of Birmingham and a convert from a prominent Jewish family. He dared to suggest that possibility and was met with disdain, as though he were simply out to shock.

After much reflection and with certainly no wish to shock, I felt I was left with no option but to suggest, for the first time in half a century of my Anglican priesthood, that Jesus may well have been homosexual. Had he been devoid of sexuality, he would not have been truly human. To believe that would be heretical.

Heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual: Jesus could have been any of these. There can be no certainty which. The homosexual option simply seems the most likely. The intimate relationship with the beloved disciple points in that direction. It would be so interpreted in any person today. Although there is no rabbinic tradition of celibacy, Jesus could well have chosen to refrain from sexual activity, whether he was gay or not. Many Christians will wish to assume it, but I see no theological need to. The physical expression of faithful love is godly. To suggest otherwise is to buy into a kind of puritanism that has long tainted the churches.

All that, I felt deeply, had to be addressed on Good Friday. I saw it as an act of penitence for the suffering and persecution of homosexual people that still persists in many parts of the church. Few readers of this column are likely to be outraged any more than the liberal congregation to whom I was preaching, yet I am only too aware how hurtful these reflections will be to most theologically conservative or simply traditional Christians. The essential question for me is: what does love demand? For my critics it is more often: what does scripture say? In this case, both point in the same direction.

Whether Jesus was gay or straight in no way affects who he was and what he means for the world today. Spiritually it is immaterial. What matters in this context is that there are many gay and lesbian followers of Jesus - ordained and lay - who, despite the church, remarkably and humbly remain its faithful members. Would the Christian churches in their many guises more openly accept, embrace and love them, there would be many more disciples.

 

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+95 # ancrum 2012-04-22 09:19
I thought Jesus ran off with Mary Magdalen to Provence to
found the Merovingian Dynasty. Failing that, I thought Jesus was the mythical stand-in for Osiris. Guys, make up your mind!
Stop projecting. As Christian Soldiers are still going onward with guns and guided missiles, what happened to Jesus as the universal energy of compassion and unconditional love for all mankind and in that aspect becomes perforce the revelation of God?
 
 
+38 # John Locke 2012-04-22 11:38
Their is no proof that "Jesus" actually existed...they accept him on faith like history has done for ALL Pagan gods who each have the same background! Born of aa Virgin, Died and resurected, 12 deciples etc...
 
 
+49 # NanFan 2012-04-22 15:36
Who cares, other than that the Christian churches continue to marginalize gays and lesbians? Jesus may not have truly existed, been gay or straight or asexual, but one thing's for sure: there is NO god but the one we humans have created through our perception.

"God" is the human's greatest work of art, pure and simple, a wishful myth.

N.
 
 
+49 # John Locke 2012-04-22 17:56
We all have a different perception of what God is, For me God is an energy source with a vast intellect...I have lived long enough and seen enough to understand there is some creative source... I just don't buy into the Myth of the Catholic Church, religion is a tool of control
 
 
+9 # mar 2012-04-23 19:36
I believe in Jesus; I still believe God was a space person...who cares, there is a much stronger power out there than we can create. All we create lately is what Satan stands for..it makes me sick...and who cares if Jesus was gay. It was his caring and love that made him historical
 
 
+3 # John Locke 2012-04-25 13:35
mar; assuming he was a real person...I would agree with your comment...What a person inside is important not their orintation
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 19:17
So you are saying there is only one Church...wow that concept has been long gone.

Definitely and energy source, we will see what type of intellect. Energy needs none.
I prefer calling them Creators, being raised a Catholic I was more appalled by Graham and the 60's Jesus Freaks now Evangelical satanists. Never lost my Faith, just the Religion crap.

But if I were to chose a Western Religion it would be Catholocism as we were less hypocritical... just allowed the laws to get stupidly used against growing forward. But the snivelers that came after, didnot create anything, make any good difference, just took care of their selves and their needs. Most Money.

I saw the Catholic Church thru the Missionaries eyes, and the nuns. They were unaffected by money but needed it raised in order to do their work getting meds/supplies. Nuns needed a home, food.
Nuns didnot get million dollar salaries or million dollar homes as they after Churches did. Catholic holy lived pretty simple. Priests gave alot of their money to families whose husband's gambled or were unemployed. They used to treat us kids to some candy, never took us anywhere. The 1% creeps were in all faiths. Never begrudged our locals.

It was the pomp elsewhere in all Faiths that was too business like for me.
 
 
+79 # jack406 2012-04-22 09:21
Wonder if that is why priests aren't allowed to marry?
But it doesn't explain why the Catholic Church treats women as second class citizens. They can't be Priest. They can't hold higher offices.
Why would any woman be a nun in the Catholic church when they can become priests in more modern churches>
 
 
+152 # Maverick 2012-04-22 10:32
Quoting jack406:
Wonder if that is why priests aren't allowed to marry?>

==========
As I understand it, early priests -- even the Pope -- WERE allowed to marry. In later years, it was "revealed" to be more in the best interests of the church for them to NOT marry, so that when their life is through, all their assets revert back to the church.
==========
sail4free
==========
 
 
+81 # Interested Observer 2012-04-22 10:57
Quite right. It is my understanding that clerical celibacy was all about money. Anything else said about it is rationalization and wishful thinking. I gag every time I hear or read some Catholic zealot assert that clerical celibacy is so obviously an inherent and essential part of the priesthood without which the church itself would be destroyed. Apparently the invented subsidy to the fishing industry became passe, it would be far more important progress to come clean about this invention as well.

Thank God I'm an atheist!
 
 
+47 # rrdenn 2012-04-22 13:45
Celibacy has it roots in not letting priests marry so that land didn't pass out of the church. Orthodox priests can marry, other priests from other sects can marry. The Church is missing a lot of good men for this rule.
 
 
+8 # Pickwicky 2012-04-23 11:06
rrdenn--"good men"? Do you really believe that a person who thought clearly would want to become a member of an institution predicated on myth, superstition, and control? Are you thinking of ministering to the poor, the grieved, the despairing? People other than priests can do that--and do it without reliance on outlandish beliefs. By keeping the rule of no married priests the Church is only missing inheritance issues.
 
 
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 19:44
If any of you actually read the old Testament, the Leaders would go off on their own for months, it was a test of their faith and they were not Catholic.

It was a test of the man to be faithful to his Creator. For others to prove to their espoused that they could be trusted.

Boy you people are certainly GOP, read what is convenient and throw away the book. DUH I know everything about absolutely nothing.

Perhaps you can explain the Budhist Monks, Hindu, even the American Indian test of Faith and Celibacy.
 
 
+8 # Underledge 2012-04-23 07:13
One might wonder how well the congregation would react to supporting the numerous offspring if priests did marry.
 
 
+2 # Texas Aggie 2012-04-23 14:40
The story goes that in Brazil an American was visiting an orphanage and remarked on how diligent the local priest was in seeing to it that the kids had everything they needed. The response was, "Well, he SHOULD be diligent. They're his kids."

And the word for the offspring of a priest in Brazil is "bispinho" or "little bishop."

In Mexico the mothers are usually "cousins" of the priest who are living in the paroquia in order to take care of him. The kids are said to be someone else's.
 
 
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 19:58
See sin't that nice to talk so falsely about all the Priests just to prove how very little you know.
We had the same stories from other Countries and yes it happened. We Sin can you imagine, we are human beings and sin.

But you want to know something, for probably being a good gossip, you have never been to any community to see just how close the community is. If you would understand Total Love, Unconditional Love you might understand that these men and women do things that you would never do....I doubt you cleaned up after a leper today. Stay with Politics, you know very little about Nuns and Priests, Monks or Brothers... Better to pass some derogatory story of a small percentage than keeping your tongue still. Worry more about the corrupt creeps selling religion from a pulpit so they can cowtow with Polticians. Million dollar homes, Million dollars in Salary for what...Jesus never accepted money.

There were Holy Men back then, some were known by many names...Holy Books of all Faiths prove that. All they were, were human beings who tried to show kindness towards others.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 19:51
Many of us had wished they could have married, priests and nuns. We think it would have let them have an even greater love. But if you knew any of them, like Monks in Tibet, you would see they were consummated with love thru their beliefs.
They were all Holy People something we cannot grasp.
 
 
+8 # dkonstruction 2012-04-24 12:45
Just like abortion which i always understood only really becomes a big deal after the plagues when the european ruling elites need to repopulate the labor force to depress wages which had been steadily rising due to the labor shortage the plagues created
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-04-24 14:34
was the negative vote because i mentioned abortion or because you think i got my history wrong or aren't you the type that thumbs down and tells?
 
 
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 19:59
Abortions only happened after the Plagues.. Amazing where you all get the false intelligence. Abortions were happening for long before that, read the bible. DUH
 
 
+6 # dkonstruction 2012-04-26 11:55
Thank you for your civil and well thought out comment and or reading my original comment so attentively...i never said that abortions only happened after the plague (which of course would be a rediculous statement)...i said they only became a big deal, meaning a sin, absolutely forbidden by the church after the plagues...this is also one of the main reasons why the church also started going after "witches" who were mostly women and who were the midwives/doctor s of their day and who knew how to induce abortions
 
 
-5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 19:40
Nope, not allowed. It was a test of their Faith. As I said many Families gave their sons and daughters to the Church.

Yes many had sex, many were not good men and women but that was not the Catholic Church alone...it was ManKind's sin
 
 
+23 # Capn Canard 2012-04-22 12:21
Um... I've read somewhere that women were allowed to be priests up until around the 11th or 12th C., I believe. But keep in mind I don't believe in any of this Christ stuff. I am of the opinion that there is no controlling overlord, it is all just a collective unconsciousness , not exclusively unconsciousness , I believe it may include all our conscious acts both over-mind and all that is subconscious. All of our actions are very important in influencing our everyday behaviors, emotions and future behaviors and expectations. But explaining it all in a simple post is not really possible. So I'll shut up.
 
 
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 20:04
Jesus like the others were not controlling nor ever wanted to be. Many went into hiding as did Jesus all thru History still do, Crowds are overwhelming.
They were good people, people needed that through out history.

Nuns of Catholic Churches could not be priest it would have been a Mortal Sin. However, if the priest died, the Nuns were there taking care of sick, the kids, families until the next priest, brother showed up. But never did they assume, those that did in any Faith were put to the Cloister to remind them of where there 'Station' was. Many Faiths had their encampments. They did things there to help mankind. Sewed, got bandages ready, made medicine. Lots of books on Faith, Faith/History walked hand in hand. times Church and State were in each others pockets...no unlike today.
 
 
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-22 22:04
nuns are down in number


but the real ones only need to be there for Jesus and awareness.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 19:28
Priests had a choice to follow their Faith in Celebacy as a true test. Many of the Priests were older had lost their wives, loved their Creator.
Others found a love of God, Jesus that was theirs alone. many were shy men, felt they could do more for man kind as a teacher. Priests did more than run churches. They actually built furniture, they made things, they wrote...hours and hours in damp, dark places with no heat. Not exactly a Job description for those who wanted glory.
Some of them were known for their art work, others farming etc. their is a History of why any man joined a faith and kept their lives in guarding, loving their Creator. East and Western Cultures all had men that were celibate, lived in Monasteries to get away from sin, from disease, from Government.
Nuns were also followers of Jesus but believed if they gave their life to teaching, praying, writing it was what they were called to do.
Nuns never taught us and I am in my sixties with relatives of Religious nature, nothing about being slaves to men or that we were second class citizens.
People like you are like the GOP Sheep, to small minded to learn about a Culture that was needed.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 19:38
Nuns took in children abandoned by young mothers because of rape, incest, and the rich could not afford. Nuns looked after the ones dying, cleaned disease filled hospitals/homes.
Never did they get paid, nor asked. They appreciated their home, their life. Some were the greatest cooks. But their faith was unfathomable by most who degraded them.
Never did they tell us to take second place. Taught us to win, take pride in winning. Never did they tell us to have babies. Many loving us as their own children, filling in that hole with us thru all those years. We loved them too. We could feel that love they had inside. They would con the priests to get us candy, help the poorer kids, keep crayons in the boxes. We never disrespected them.

They prayed from sun up to sleep time...they prayed for everyone, we were all Children of God. I guess they didnot have the greed to want what they already had. Priests knew our families, the nuns knew and loved us. Unconditional love.
Many women/men were given to the Church by their Family, it was no different than the marriages of man and wife. It was an honor for a family to give up their child to God.

I just read an article, few are becoming Nuns today, all Churches except those offering Million dollar homes and salaries, seem to have a diminished following. Guess we do not Love Unconditionally anymore. Modern Church...the Greed Machine
 
 
+66 # baldyc76 2012-04-22 09:24
Very interesting and eye-opening. It makes logical and theological sense. If true, it would shake the "male/heterosex ual" Roman Church. The Church that preaches against homosexuality and all non marriage sexuality.
 
 
+66 # Erdajean 2012-04-22 10:56
Just one MORE thing we have been badgered to learn from the "One TRUE Church," since the fourth century, AD, that has an agenda other than teaching the message of Christ.
Regarding "the Disciple that Jesus loved," anyone who has ever taught anything knows that some students "get it" and some do not. Always thought that John was likely that one, among twelve, whom Jesus believed GOT his message most clearly. That neither implies nor rules out the intimacy of sex. It DOES imply the bonding of spirits.
I have my doubts about the physical intimacy thing -- but it's none of my business, one way or the other. For those into damning "sins of passion," (especially among other people), I am pretty sure that "sins of the flesh" die with the flesh -- it is sins of the spirit that will hound us to eternity. Condemning each other is one of those.
 
 
+72 # Tazio 2012-04-22 14:26
Q. What's the difference between your sexual preference and your religious preference?

A. Your sexual preference was given to you by God before you were born. Your religious preference was given to you by your parents when you were too young to know better.

So...homosexuality is a gift from God, while Christianity is just another lifestyle choice.
 
 
+14 # tm7devils 2012-04-23 03:37
Quoting Tazio:
2012-04-22 12:26
So...homosexuality is a gift from God, while Christianity is just another lifestyle choice.


Actually, homosexuality is the result of an aberrant gene and is a gift of evolution and Christianity is not a choice - it is forced onto hapless newborns...whic h are born atheistic. If it actually were a "choice", then - after learning the history of religion - most children would opt for atheism. (Occam's Razor)

Personally, I believe that teaching children about a god and the bible is child abuse. Most people think that "free will" is our greatest state of being - if that is so, why do parents take it away from their children by teaching them to be religious with the aid of a myth filled bible?

But, then again, I don't believe in free will either. We are taught so many things and so many behaviors incorrectly, as we are growing up, that we are "hard wired" before we can learn to think critically about ourselves and our World. Rare is the parent that raises their children with their child's best interest in mind...and not their own.
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 20:14
Children ask questions, people just continued the stories, and they are nice stories...bette r than giving kids nightmares.

When we grow up, we can make choice of how we feel, what we believe. That is just fine. Sad thing is those that beat things in, fear things in....so we must make change...not become the same as
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 20:12
Not necessarily true not all are born with Faith. Not all are born Gay who are Gay.

We all as children see no sexual differences, then adults get us confused with all the rules....teachi ng us their phobias, their hates.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-04-26 12:02
you mean like hating homosexuals or teaching that they are deviants, sick and or perverted...and if children see no sexual differences then why do young children of opposite sexes like to explore each other's differences.... though i suspect that you are of the ilk that do not think it proper for little boys and girls to take baths together or explore each other's bodies in any explore each other's differences even though it is perfectly natural and their is nothing sexual about it
 
 
-86 # Milarepa 2012-04-22 09:25
Well, Mr. Oestreicher, I'm not sure this is new thinking. However, using Jesus' alleged homosexuality as an act of penitence for the suffering and persecution that still persists in many parts of the church is certainly a novel twist. I suggest you take a little time to think about this. Maybe you can come up with something even more outrageous!
 
 
+13 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-04-22 09:34
Jesus, and I wonder but not totally believe also Christ, avoided arguments. I think the Mennonites actually follow him or is it him. However Rev. Richard Warner actually caught Jesus's or Christ's spirit.

If Jesus came again, the conversation, might be as follows:

Jesus, I would like you to meet my wife Paul and our adopted son Jimmy, to which Jesus might answer: Jimmy I am glad to meet your warm relatives your father and your Uncle Paul.

Don't expect Jesus or Christ to choose sides in our arguments of today.
 
 
+13 # Texan 4 Peace 2012-04-22 22:27
Christ avoided arguments? Seriously??
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 20:16
I remember him telling many off about their selling god, gambling...in fact his reminding the other True Faith is why he ended up Dead
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-04-26 12:10
It was not gambling but "money changing" i.e.,being a banker....same reason he said it was harder for a rich man to get into heavan than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle...face it; jesus was a commie not a right wing fundamentalist bigot like so many that profess to follow and act in his name and he died because he was a revolutionary who was a threat to Rome (the emmpire) and to the Judean ruling class...crucifi xtion was a political punishment for political crimes not religious heresy
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 20:15
He gave us freedom of choice...try to do the same
 
 
+147 # MJnevetS 2012-04-22 09:37
Certainly not to mock Rev. Oestreicher, but assuming his hypothesis is correct, it would be the ultimate in irony if all these ultra-conservat ive, gay bashing born-agains were heretically blaspheming their gay savior. Amen to that brother!
 
 
+44 # goodsensecynic 2012-04-22 12:16
If Jesus was half the man he was cracked up to be, and if there is any kind of afterlife (which I doubt), it's nice to imagine him sitting up on Mt. Olympus (or wherever) having a rump-thwacking good time laughing aloud at all the "Christians" who invoke his memory to kill Muslims, aboriginals, old-fashioned Japanese, Germans and Italians and several hundred thousand Vietnamese (among countless others). He'd get a real kick out of predictions that people with unusual sexual preferences will roast in eternal fire. And he'd wonder what the heck happened when is modern-day disciples get upset about lazy welfare bums, unpatriotic Americans and people who don't enjoy Wal-Mart.

Then, after his tears of laughter subsided, he might cry further tears at the realization that many (most?) of those who claim to believe in him never quite got what he way trying to say.
 
 
+1 # mdhome 2012-04-22 14:21
Maybe if the fool had spoken in plain English, his "teachings" would be better understood today. One thing- WHY is it absolutely nothing has ever been uncovered that he wrote? Maybe because he did not exist.
 
 
+6 # Texas Aggie 2012-04-23 14:44
I dreamed I stood upon a hill, and, lo!
The godly multitudes walked to and fro
Beneath, in Sabbath garments fitly clad,
With pious mien, appropriately sad,
While all the church bells made a solemn din —
A fire-alarm to those who lived in sin.
Then saw I gazing thoughtfully below,
With tranquil face, upon that holy show
A tall, spare figure in a robe of white,
Whose eyes diffused a melancholy light.
"God keep you, strange," I exclaimed. "You are
No doubt (your habit shows it) from afar;
And yet I entertain the hope that you,
Like these good people, are a Christian too."
He raised his eyes and with a look so stern
It made me with a thousand blushes burn
Replied — his manner with disdain was spiced:
"What! I a Christian? No, indeed! I'm Christ."
—G.J
 
 
+2 # Wolfchen 2012-04-24 10:22
Magnificent and poignant verse! Thanks for sharing.
 
 
0 # lilyfur985 2012-04-23 17:48
Something very similar to this scenario has already been written by Mark Twain, a short story called "The Mysterious Stranger". I read it at least 40 years ago, but I still remember it. Look it up. You will enjoy it I think.
 
 
+3 # kbarrand 2012-04-22 15:47
Perhaps this explains the number of self-loathing gay Christians in the church.
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 20:20
Jesus love all. He would never have treated a gay and differently than a hetero. But I believe he many have gone after some of those who abused, those who took children for slaves and sex, and he definitely told off some of the pimps in the Temple and the Street.
I believe Jesus was a Caring Human who challenged those who did wrong towards others.
Will be amazing if we find out some of the houses he visited were actually doing abortions so mothers could live

I do believe we will be amazed at our own ignorance yet!
 
 
-31 # barbaratodish 2012-04-22 09:38
What if Jesus had been beheaded after he was crucified? How much harder would it have been to "brand" Jesus holding his bloody head?
 
 
+1 # BradFromSalem 2012-04-23 06:51
Barbara,
You have a very sic cents of humour. I be glad u don't minde getting negations.
 
 
+118 # artful 2012-04-22 09:38
Nice article. Simple, thoughtful. Not outrageous at all. Seems plausible.
 
 
+8 # RMDC 2012-04-22 15:38
This is a silly article. The whole concept of "gay" is a late 20th century invention. Jesus lived during the phase of Hellenic Greece when sexual relations between men and boys was revered as both the highest political and highest aesthetic expression. Read a little Plato, maybe the Symposium, and you'll see. Greek culture and religion pervaded Palestine and dominated Egypt where Jesus probably lived for most of his life. He would have understood sexual relations between men, esp. between middle age men and teenage boys perfectly well. And he would have admired it. But since he was not of the social class to practice homosexuality for social status reasons, he probably would have ignored it.
 
 
+78 # Skeeziks 2012-04-22 09:41
Whether Jesus was the Son of God, I really do not know, but he certainly has brought forth to mankind the reasons for all of us living our lives fully and with love for our human counterparts on this Earth. Too bad we don't practice them fully or help fully to pass them on to our descendents.
 
 
+6 # pernsey 2012-04-22 09:41
This is really stretching it to me, and doesnt line up with the Holy scripture if you dig deeper then what the author has posted.

Im not going to start a big debate about it, I have relatives that are homosexual and I love them dearly as people and family. This just is telling one persons point of view...I could get into other scriptures that would counter this completely, but I dont have the time to post them, and I doubt they would change anyones mind anyway.

Im just saying I dont think so.
 
 
+11 # cadan 2012-04-22 11:59
Well, if you (the editorial you, not Pernsey!! :) ) think that sexual acts with a member of the same sex are sinful, then Jesus at times must have had gay inclinations because he was "tempted in all manner as are we".

It is only if you think that such acts are not sinful that you can conclude that Jesus never had any inclination to do such things.

That's one argument anyway, maybe not bullet proof, but the fact that some will find Paul's words outrageous i think shows that we still have some prejudice.
 
 
+31 # Anglican 2012-04-22 09:49
Many thanks for this thoughtful article.

As I understand it, there are people today who claim to be asexual, whether actually such or not.
 
 
-10 # Politicalprincess 2012-04-22 09:54
After many years of research and reflection on the matter I have come to the conclusion that Jesus, the brilliant pacifist, had asperger's syndrome. Fortunately he has the support of his family and disciples to help him as he developed his groundbreaking theory and presented it to the world. He also felt his theory was so important he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice like other great leaders and thinkers.
 
 
+6 # hbheinze 2012-04-22 17:10
Intriguing idea, asperger's syndrome. If this is not a tongue-in-cheek comment, would you explain the thinking behind this comment? Thanks.
 
 
-2 # Pickwicky 2012-04-23 10:37
What the hell 'groundbreaking theory' was that?
 
 
-20 # 2wmcg2 2012-04-22 10:08
This is a thoughtful and courageous article with some Biblical support. Having said that, I doubt if Jesus would have associated himself with the moralistic gay rights movement of today.
 
 
+15 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:12
Quoting 2wmcg2:
This is a thoughtful and courageous article with some Biblical support. Having said that, I doubt if Jesus would have associated himself with the moralistic gay rights movement of today.

The author does not take into consideration the theory that, rather than being from Nazereth, Jesus was a "Nazirite" a voluntary commitment to celibacy, detailed in Torah. This would also explain why he is depicted with long hair.
 
 
+2 # Max Demian 2012-04-23 02:03
"OldLeftie", I agree with you on some things, and not on others. Jesus was BOTH "of Nazareth" and a Nazirite (not to at all be confused with "Nazarene" which was simply a person from Nazareth). In other words, Jesus was both from Nazareth and a Nazirite (the latter of which, as far as I know, did not mostly come from one place or area); so Jesus was both a Nazarene AND a Nazirite. Or, said another way, He was a Nazirite from Nazareth.
 
 
-165 # yisraelyahuda 2012-04-22 10:10
You should try reading the scripture and stop spreading your satanic gospel. Levitucus 18:22, but i agree that the false "jesus" that is plasterd on the walls of religious, christian churches of ceasre borgia is a homosexual, but the true messiah that is written in the scripture of the old and new testament is a man that you would not even recognize if you saw him right before your wicked face, because of the false destorted images that was painted of him during the euro renaissance period.what you have written here of the "true" messiah is an abomination to satisfy your wicked backwards nature.The natural use of sexuality is to procreate, not to satify some twisted, lustful desire of two men or two women.One could easily prove that this act is not of God by simply asking the scienfific hypythosis, what would happen if all of manking suddenly turned gay? could someone answere that question, because the God i know said be fruitful and multiply.
 
 
+86 # sokolowmus 2012-04-22 10:44
In reality, in all societies, a certain proportion of people are gay, somewhere around 15%, maybe less. Get over it! It's a fact of life, like it or not. Long as they aren't hurting you...or hurting others...what's the problem? (If you think "they're an abomination" that's just your opinion.)
 
 
-51 # Daniel1 2012-04-22 11:44
Um, it is a whole lot less. and your "theory" has been discredited by no less the the AMA and the UN Human Rights Commission. Add all the claimed homosexuals and the ones that are in "hiding" and you would come up to less then 1/2 of 1% of the worlds population. And this again from the UN Human Rights Commission in 1-2012. The only reason it seems more is that you are now seeing them in all parts of the media and entertainment. Heck even the European Council on Human Rights clearly stated in 11-2011 that less then 1% of the complete European population claimed to be homosexual. So using your own words "If you think the homosexual population is around 15%, thats just your opinion and not based in scientific fact"
 
 
+29 # cadan 2012-04-22 13:50
Daniel --- i would question the UNHRC estimate: how many people in a conservative religious country (where gay acts may be punishable by death) would answer that they were gay?

Joan Roughgarden (retired professor of biology at Stanford) wrote a very interesting book called Evolution's Rainbow. Her estimate was that the transgender population alone was around 1/3 of 1%, and that the gay and lesbian population was several times that (with different ratios for men and women). Her book is full of citations to the scientific literature, and i think pretty credible. (It's written for the lay person, and deals with a huge range of topics, from animal populations to religious issues in different cultures.)

So the estimate that Sokolowmus provides might be too high (or maybe not) but it is much closer to the standard value of 5 to 10% than 0.5%.
 
 
+32 # michelle 2012-04-22 13:57
Try reading the Sambia:Ritual and Gender in New Guinea. Do a bit of cross cultural research and you will find gay people everywhere. Some cultures even have more than the traditional two genders. Really, do the numbers matter or should we focus on the discrimination and inequality gay people face everyday.
 
 
-2 # jerryball 2012-04-22 14:48
Oh Daniel, you're such a canard.
 
 
+12 # jerryball 2012-04-22 15:06
Even by your "scientific fact" .05 percent of the world's population of 7,000,000,000 comes to 35,000,000. A noticeable number I'd say, other than the few in media and entertainment. A large amount of humans fit for persecution. Even makes the Holocause pale in comparison.
 
 
-22 # Daniel1 2012-04-22 19:08
All three of you (cadan-michelle -jerryball) cannot dispute the facts here. There are not as many "homosexuals" as you would think or can claim. According to the UN and the world food bank, the count of human beings on this planet equal 6,840,507,003 using the UN figures homosexuals in the world number 1710126 equals just a hair over 2% of the total population of the world. Now divide this amount by the 220 countries in the world and you have less then 1% of each country's population claiming to be homosexual. and if I use your mythical figure of 35,000,000 (and you dont say WHERE you got that figure from as I clearly say where mine came from) and divide this by the 220 countries, I get the amazingly small number of 151,090. Divide that by 311,600,000 people and you come to again the amazingly small number of .098% of the United States population. I dont know where any of you are getting this myth from as the US cencus clearly shows that the number of people who claimed to be homosexual was less then 0.25% of the population.

And isnt it amazing how you can sit here and say that people in the past were "gay" or not? In a court of law this would be tossed out as hearsay as you cannot prove it. So please state only what you can prove and your sources or tell us it is your belief.
 
 
+3 # Pickwicky 2012-04-23 10:50
Somewhat off of Daniel's subject, but on topic for an earlier post in this column: using the UN's number for the human population of the Earth, that is, 6,840,507,003-- I can assert with perfect certainty that there in not one God, but 6,840,507,003!
 
 
+1 # kyzipster 2012-04-24 06:27
Are you trying to say that people in the past weren't gay? Really? LOL!
 
 
-4 # judgeroybean 2012-04-23 08:40
Daniel1's figures are a bit low, but are basically accurate. For the US population, see the detailed survey down by Laumann et al, the main findings of which have been published in accessible form as "Sex in America". Laumann's figures for gays are about 2 - 3% of the population, and for lesbians at about half of that. As for the transgender population (the strict definition being a person who feels trapped in the body of the opposite sex), DSM IV gives figures of 1/300,000 for males and lower still for females. Bottom line is that the gay rights community wants to pump these numbers up for political reasons, so they have a vested interest in overstating them (just as they have an interest in presenting historical figures like Lincoln and Jesus as gay no matter how weak the evidence, though maybe some day Larry Kramer will finally publish his book "proving" Lincoln was gay. Don't hold your breath waiting...). Social science research has almost uniformly revised far downward the Kinsey figures for homosexuality in the last couple decades based on more careful survey research. it is a tiny, albeit highly vocal, minority of the general population.
 
 
0 # Daniel1 2012-04-24 08:58
Nope, I am just saying that you cannot state with any accuracy which ones were and which ones were not, all you can do is claim "YOU think" they were gay. And again in a court of law this would be tossed out as hearsay. SO unless you have documented proof, and not just a belief; then I am saying that to say that one or the other person is or was gay is unprovable no matter how you try and spin it. So why bother to spin it in the first place?
 
 
+1 # Daniel1 2012-04-24 09:00
And my figures are based on scientific data, so if anyone has a problem with my sources (US Census-UN Human Rights Commission) then please try and tell them that they are wrong. But I will bet that you dont get very far as they will want to know just how you came up with your figures and what scientific method you used to get them.
 
 
+1 # kyzipster 2012-04-24 06:26
The world according to Michele Bachmann, enjoy your little bubble.
 
 
+19 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:20
Quoting sokolowmus:
(If you think "they're an abomination" that's just your opinion.)

It's worse than just an opinion. It is a total misunderstandin g of the Hebrew word "Toeva" that is translated as "abomination". "Abomination" in English carries with it an aspect of disgust that is far greater than that attached to "Toeva". The latter is used very sparingly in Torah, most notably when describing the eating of non-kosher foods. Therefore, one can say that to the Jews, either eating pork is the equivalent of gay sex, or vice versa. Either way, it certainly does not carry with it the aspect of "abomination" that modern Christians seem to attach to the word.
 
 
+29 # jerryball 2012-04-22 15:28
Right on. The Bible only mentions same sex contacts in scant passing, but there are long passages which support human slavery. How did we come to equate same sex contacts with the evilness of slavery, when the Bible supports slavery and extols how to treat your slaves?, a complete reversal of Biblical "roles?" The Bible also states that "adulterers" shall be put to death. Since we no longer stone adulterers to death, why do we still think same sex contact is worthy of death in many countries? The Hebrew Word "Toevah" was originally translated into Greek, then into English. The Greek word was bdelygma translated as "a ritual offense". Somehow when King James had it translated from the Greek, it became "abomination." The Hebrew word "toevah" (translated "abomination" and "detestable act") is a cultic, not a moral, term. The English "abomination" means abhorrent, loathsome, unspeakably bad. Toevah means ritually unclean. Eating pork is toevah; having sex with a menstruating woman is toevah. You cannot come to worship after doing these things until you have been purified. The secret is in the translator's agenda.
 
 
+20 # kbarrand 2012-04-22 16:04
On a strictly practical level, homosexuality functions as a curb on population growth. Total speculation, but perhaps nature increases the percentage of homosexuals in relation to the total population as it grows.
 
 
-25 # LessSaid 2012-04-22 17:18
Quoting sokolowmus:
In reality, in all societies, a certain proportion of people are gay, somewhere around 15%, maybe less. Get over it! It's a fact of life, like it or not. Long as they aren't hurting you...or hurting others...what's the problem? (If you think "they're an abomination" that's just your opinion.)

So, is this about whether people are gay or whether Jesus was gay. Yes, there have always been people who are gay, even accordingly to the Bible. And yes, accordingly to the Bible they are an abomination. However, everyone can believe what they want, but don't try to add another meaning to what is in the Bible to make gay people more acceptable.
 
 
+22 # Alexis Fecteau 2012-04-22 11:09
hmmm...classic reductio ad absurdum...grow up
 
 
-7 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:09

The natural use of sexuality is to procreate, not to satify some twisted, lustful desire of two men or two women.

or, for that matter, of a man and a woman. The Torah and the Christian texts are replete with cautions against promiscuity.
One could easily prove that this act is not of God by simply asking the scienfific hypythosis, what would happen if all of manking suddenly turned gay? could someone answere that question, because the God i know said be fruitful and multiply.
The answer, of course is, that after a couple generations we would have a manageable population on this planet, and people could go back to procreation; or, in the alternative, we would see gay couples using in vitro methods to produce offspring at some reasonable rate.
The point is that homosexuality was rampant in the world of Jesus, just as it had been in the world of Moses; a fair reading of the Torah shows that Moses' god said something like "I'm throwing a bunch of people out of Israel because I don't approve of their behaviour, and one of the things I don't like is their blatant homosexuality. I'm not going to let you live there if you're just going to behave like them".
Now, don't get me wrong, I have no opinion on the moral aspects of homosexuality. To me it's a cultural thing, and it's just not "Jewish".
 
 
+3 # kyzipster 2012-04-24 06:29
I love this argument, the logic would dictate that every time a hetero couple makes love without the purpose of reproduction, they're offending god. How ridiculous.
 
 
+2 # Anarchist 23 2012-04-25 17:49
And if a person is sterile I guess they are supposed to be chaste for their entire lives since they cannot procreate. Yeah, right,that will work!
 
 
+3 # jerryball 2012-04-22 14:54
Spoken like a true Pharisee.
 
 
+4 # dmcquaide 2012-04-23 07:08
Many animals in the wild exhibit homosexual behavior (dolphins for example). Apparently nature's wy to to curb over population of the species. What, dolphins never read Mosaic law? shame on them!!
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-04-24 14:42
But i like my wicked bastard nature including one man's "twisted, lustful desire" for two women...but that's another story...as for what would happen if "all of manking (sic) suddenly turned gay".....the world as a whole would have a much better fashion sense although there would no longer be any need for programs such as "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy" but that would add to the nation's unemployment rate so perhaps you are right and it isn't such a great idea
 
 
-87 # robjh1 2012-04-22 10:14
Articles and assertions like this sets the gay movement back centuries.
 
 
+2 # kyzipster 2012-04-24 06:34
That's funny, in my short lifetime we've gone from being classified as sex offenders to legalizing marriage in quite a few US states and in other countries, despite 'assertions like this'.

Religious people who are easily offended by a harmless debate cannot hold back the tide any longer.
 
 
+38 # gregpace 2012-04-22 10:21
Here is some food for thought. For most who believe that we reincarnate, an important aspect of why is that we seek balance through many lifetimes. When someone seems to be averse to women or womens' rights and other issues, they very well may incarnate as a woman again, to help balance this averseness and to learn to serve more deeply. Or, they may have been a woman who was deeply persecuted or suffered greatly and need to balance out these issues. This reasoning follows through to the sexuality issues especially. When I see someone who is homophobic, I think that possibly they will spend a lifetime as a homosexual, to become empathetically respondent to the class of people who chose to incarnate as a reflection of non-heterosexua lity. It doesn't matter what our sexuality or sex is; what matters is that we love ourselves and each other. That was the message of The Christ. Who cares if Jesus had sex or not. Maybe he refrained from having those kinds of relationships. If I had an agenda in my lifetime this time around such as someone like Jesus (or Guatama,or Mohammad) had, I probably would be a bit detached from complicating things with personal baggage, to do what I came here to do.
 
 
+11 # KurtLaw 2012-04-22 10:22
Well he forgot the Essenes were often celibate. Much of what we know about 1st century Judea comes from a Jewish traitor named Josephus, who recounts a Jewish sect called the Essenes (who wore white robes). The Essenes wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, anticipating the gospel story. The upper classes of that day were often gay under the influence of hellenism, even in Judea. Jesus Christ was neither gay nor straight. Mystics don't need physical sex, having other ways to achieve ecstasy.
 
 
+24 # George D 2012-04-22 12:13
Your comment may be dismissed by some but I would say that it's at least consistent with the notion that "supreme beings" or, "mystics" do not need what the "common" human needs. It makes a very valid point in that, as with so many things quoted from the bible and other religious writings, this notion is put forth with slim evidence to support it. It offered the same kind of anecdotal evidence that most religious "teachings" offer and, in keeping with the history of man morphing and changing (they like to use the word interpreting) the "word of god" to fit a particular agenda, it seems to stay within that spirit.

Was Jesus gay? Are gays an abomination? Are Christians good and Muslims evil? What do YOU want to believe? I know that no matter who you want to hate, there is a quote in a religious writing somewhere to support your cause.
 
 
+18 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:25
Quoting George D:
I know that no matter who you want to hate, there is a quote in a religious writing somewhere to support your cause.


Yes, but in every religious writing there is also another quote: "What is hateful unto you, do not unto others".
 
 
+3 # George D 2012-04-22 22:36
Of course there is; That is exactly my point. But maybe I should state it in a different way.

There is so much dillution of thought in the bible and other religious documents, that it's possible to make ANY claim based on "the word of gawd" rendering all of it irrelevant.

For every righteous claim made there is an equally evil one that can be justified in the name of a god somewhere; Including the bible and Christian teachings.

It seems to me that everything became a "war" literally and figuratively when "religious" leaders gained control of the U.S. government. America is the most divided I have ever seen it and that seems to be thanks to the "good Christian" efforts of GWB, Cheney and Rove.

The positive teachings of religion are good ones but just because there is "good" being taught, that does not buy cover for the evil that sits right beside it.
 
 
+1 # James38 2012-04-22 12:17
"Mystics don't need physical sex, having other ways to achieve ecstasy."

And you know this exactly how? You are perhaps deeply acquainted with several Mystics? You know a lot about their "needs"? Perhaps you are one, since this is certainly a "mystical" statement, in a sort of pejorative way.

One needs to be a little cautious about how one confuses opinions with knowledge and facts. Otherwise one tends to sound like a fatuous fool.
 
 
+15 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:26
Quoting James38:
"Mystics don't need physical sex, having other ways to achieve ecstasy."

And you know this exactly how? You are perhaps deeply acquainted with several Mystics? You know a lot about their "needs"? Perhaps you are one, since this is certainly a "mystical" statement, in a sort of pejorative way.

One needs to be a little cautious about how one confuses opinions with knowledge and facts. Otherwise one tends to sound like a fatuous fool.


As does one who criticizes others in a condescending manner.
 
 
+8 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:23
Quoting KurtLaw:
Well he forgot the Essenes were often celibate.

Add to this the fact that the Torah describes a form of penance which includes celibacy and not cutting one's hair. It is called "Nazir". So maybe the early translators got it wrong, and it was not "Jesus of Nazareth" but "Jesus the Nazirite". Hm?
 
 
+2 # Max Demian 2012-04-23 02:03
"OldLeftie", I agree with you on some things, and not on others. Jesus was BOTH "of Nazareth" and a Nazirite (not to at all be confused with "Nazarene" which was simply a person from Nazareth). In other words, Jesus was both from Nazareth and a Nazirite (the latter of which, as far as I know, did not mostly come from one place or area); so Jesus was both a Nazarene AND a Nazirite. Or, said another way, He was a Nazirite from Nazareth.
 
 
+1 # kyzipster 2012-04-25 15:06
After all of these years I finally found an answer, my gayness was caused by Hellenism!

Cheers to Apollo!
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-04-26 12:18
Since Josephus is the only source and as you say a Jewish traitor (i.e., he sides wtih the empire, Rome)then he is highly suspect as a source as e.g., is his version of what happened at Masada I(when there is no history of ritual suicide in Judaism and is in fact considered a sin). So citing Josephus as a source for anything is highly suspect in my book
 
 
-49 # Writ 2012-04-22 10:27
How outrageous. Jesus shows brotherly love to his youngest disciple and suddenly this writer, who is probably gay himself, wants to make Jesus gay with no evidence of this whatsoever. Yet, he can say that there is no evidence of Mary Magdaline and Jesus while suggesting there was something between John and Jesus, because Divinci chose to show Jesus's love of John by painting John's head on Jesus shoulder as proof. How so? Its merely the artist's interpretation. Mary is also in the painting so where does it show homosexuality? In terms of Mary his mother, and John, it shows a concerned son assuring his mother was not left alone. This is a ridiculous assertion. What next, God the father, gay too. Then the angels and all the saints and the entire world after that...please.
 
 
+27 # Alexis Fecteau 2012-04-22 11:11
hit a little close to home eh Writ?
 
 
-23 # George D 2012-04-22 11:55
I have to admit that I cringed when I read this article; Not because it isn't well written and makes very valid points; Probably more valid than most religious "teachings" do; But because I KNEW it would be met with this type of response.
Gay people need to understand that Progressives/Li berals are all for their rights and will back their efforts at the polls, but when they try to "come out" in these very public ways and put forth ideas like this, they set themselves back and the rest of the Progressive agenda, dramatically.
Conservatives will NEVER accept ANYTHING that gays put forth like this. To the contrary, all that happens is they get more churned up, declare another "war" on everyone, and turn out in droves to protect their fantasy life.
LIVE AND LET LIVE people. Gays are a TINY percentage of the population and need to STOP trying to convince EVERYONE that they should be looked upon as "normal" in a "public" sense.

I am neither gay nor religious and, as another "tiny minority" I can assure you that I know better than to try to convince anyone to "accept" my (non)beliefs rather than to just accept me as a person.
There's a lot of wisdom in the idea of not discussing politics and religion with "friends" and, if you want people to be kinder and gentler toward you at the polls, I think a less "in your face" approach works best.
 
 
+25 # kyzipster 2012-04-22 14:30
This article is the opinion of one person and has no relationship to the 'gay movement'. There is no evidence that Jesus was gay, this will have no traction and probably won't be seen much beyond the small readership at RSN. Do you think all we gays have some leader that we answer to so that we stay on the same page?

The American Psychological Association determined that homosexuals are "normal" decades ago. We don't have to convince anyone, every legitimate medical and psychological association in the Western world is on our side. It's confusing why we have to continue to remind bigots of this fact.

It wasn't until 2003 that homosexuality was decriminalized in all 50 states, that's right, we were sex criminals in Texas and many other places less than a decade ago. You believe we're setting the progressive agenda back because we don't cower to the religious right and continue to fight for an equal place in society? Really?

Acceptance of LGBT people in society has escalated in recent years, it couldn't be more obvious. Sometimes there is only right and wrong and the truth prevails. Democrats and the progressive movement are largely irrelevant. Most Democratic politicians will not speak in our favor until it is very safe to do so. Now that it is safe to do so, they will benefit from our movement since the majority of Americans are now on our side. You can thank us later.
 
 
+13 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:36
I am shocked, not at the comments, but at the fact that people are given it a "thumbs down". I don't care if someone is gay or straight. I care if someone is honest or dishonest, selfish or altruistic. I care if someone tries to force something one me. If two mature people want to have a meaningful relationship that includes genital stimulation, so be it. I don't want it in my face, whether gay or straight. Modesty is all we're talking about. Even in the Torah, the punishable proscription against gay sex is against PUBLIC display, not private practice. Private practice is proscribed but as a matter between YHWH and the individual. In order for it to be punishable by society, the act must be witnessed by two unimpeachable witnesses AFTER the offenders had been warned that they were about to commit a capital crime. If you want to support the idea that people should be free to copulate like animals in the street, that's your business. But don't confuse the proscription against public lewdness with some kind of anti gay witch hunt, no matter how much of a case may be able to be made that on some abstract or intellectual level it is "normal".
 
 
0 # kyzipster 2012-04-23 04:09
Do people copulate like animals in the street where you live? Interesting.
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-04-24 14:57
[quote name="oldleftie "] If you want to support the idea that people should be free to copulate like animals in the street, that's your business.


What about those of us who think that people should be paid to copulate in the streets like animals and shouldn't be forced to do it for free as that exploits their labor power and is a clear violation of minimum wage laws
 
 
+8 # jerryball 2012-04-22 15:34
Kinda like rampant heterosexuality is in your face constantly, huh? Take a look at how many thousands are publicly kissing and making out in everybody else's face. Opposite sex operators right? But let a single same sex publicly kiss another once, it's not kinder and gentler time is it? Villagers with torches time.
 
 
+1 # George D 2012-04-22 22:53
The same can be said about anything that is "unpopular" in society.

I am truly disgusted by the way religion is "forced down our throats" in the U.S. today but I am also very aware of how many MORE people are offended by my comments about their belief system.
The point is; "Society" is what needs to be changed, but when a minority tries to move a whole society, especially when what they stand for is generally loathed by the VERY LARGE MAJORITY of that society, it is best done in small increments at opportune times.

To Evangelicals, their notion of a "good" society is under seige, and they think there is a "war" against them (or at least they like to charge up their followers with that tone) and when gays parade in the streets and exhibit sexual conduct to the masses to show some kind of solidarity for their "cause" it does NOTHING GOOD for either side. In fact, when that stuff goes on at election time, it HURTS their cause and the Progressive cause as a whole.

We may someday become a country where politicians can say they are athiests but I guarantee you that, if a rally of athiests supporting Democrats or a Progressive Independant took to the streets at election time, the person they support would have serious trouble.

Accept that you are a minority and work to win the hearts and minds of your (our) foes with intelligent dialog and NOT with outrageous public behavior.
 
 
+1 # kyzipster 2012-04-23 04:03
It's obvious that you're offended by gay pride parades or something, stop scapegoating Evangelicals and show some honesty.
 
 
+2 # George D 2012-04-22 23:20
The rather obvious difference between what I said and what you said is in the number of people that would be offended by "rampant heterosexuality " versus "homosexuality" . And that's clearly the issue isn't it?

When I was growing up, public displays of affection by ANYONE was considered "wrong" or at least frowned upon. I suspect there's still a large segment of society that get a little aggitated or annoyed when they see this stuff but we all generally just turn our head or go another direction if it bothers us.
I think your comment is fair in the sense that gays may be just as offended/annoye d by PDOF as anyone else. In some societies (Japan comes to mind) the "public good" generally trumps personal freedoms and that is by choice, as learned in their culture.

Instead of gays parading for the right to have their behavior accepted in public, they should be lobbying for EVERYONE to have equal rights and to keep them in private.

Someone once said; "Freedom is the ability to extend your arms outright in both directions, as long as you don't encroach on the same rights of the person standing next to you".

I've always liked that quote.
 
 
+3 # kyzipster 2012-04-23 08:30
What 'behavior'? When was the last time you saw two homosexuals even holding hands in public outside of the San Francisco city limits or Chelsea in NY? Be specific. I think it's apparent that it's homosexuality that offends you and if you can't see the good humor in gay pride parades that happen only once per year, then don't go to one.
 
 
+43 # lcarrier 2012-04-22 10:32
Whether or not he was gay himself, he was compassionate towards everyone except the money-changers whom he drove from the Temple. So you could say that he was the first to distinguish between "Church and State," the former being the province of religion and the latter being the province of Caesar (to whom things of monetary value were to be rendered).
 
 
-68 # Writ 2012-04-22 10:33
What next Paul Oestreicher? Will you write an article making Jesus a woman, Arab, and a shape shifting alien because the apostle Thomas and other apostles did not recognize him when he returned to them after his crucifixion.
 
 
+28 # Alexis Fecteau 2012-04-22 11:12
Are you really that threatened by someone making an evidence based assertion?
 
 
+5 # James38 2012-04-22 14:31
Evidence? Well, on the same order that anything the author says is based on "evidence". Starting with his first sentence, "Preaching on Good Friday on the last words of Jesus as he was being executed makes great spiritual demands on the preacher" we see that great demands are made on everyone listening too. We are required to suspend disbelief in all sorts of dubious propositions such as the actual existence of Jesus, any of the related history, the existence of god, the necessity of having a preacher, the meaning or significance of "good friday" and on and on.

Aside from these little details, I suppose that talking about an "evidence based assertion" makes some kind of sense in the context. But not much.
 
 
+72 # revtravel 2012-04-22 10:35
Hello? Naked boy in the Garden of Gethsemane? Mark 14:50-52 or so. Curious, no? But what I find most silly is the speculation by all parties in this. There is soooo little factual data about Jesus. Perhaps none in fact. Gospels were written down long after he was gone and perhaps the closest thing to his words was Gospel of Thomas which only recorded words not events. The rest we create out of some strange need for legends. We aren't even honest about recent historical figures half the time even with such access to reliable written records, films and photos, recordings. What folly to think we can even begin to guess details of Jesus.
 
 
+14 # Interested Observer 2012-04-22 11:12
That sums it up nicely. The all-pervading Liberty Valance principle in action. ("No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." Goes for politics and religion too.)
 
 
+36 # James38 2012-04-22 11:46
revtravel says "But what I find most silly is the speculation by all parties in this. There is soooo little factual data about Jesus. Perhaps none in fact. Gospels were written down long after he was gone.... The rest we create out of some strange need for legends. We aren't even honest about recent historical figures half the time even with such access to reliable written records, films and photos, recordings. What folly to think we can even begin to guess details of Jesus."

Please take this to the next level, and realize that "faith" and "belief" have absolutely nothing to do with the truth or lack of truth of any concept. A belief is just an opinion elevated on a pedestal. The meaningless additions of such adjectives as "fervent" or "deeply held" or "totally believe" are just attempts to make the pedestal a little taller or more ornate to distract more attention from the fact that it is holding up - nothing.

"...soooo little factual data..." indeed. It is also hilarious to see arguments based on "scripture" and "the Bible", and "God says...", since this is calling on more deeply ingrained and unquestioned layers of belief to promote equally unsupportable ideas. Such nonsense and logical absurdity puts "house of cards" to shame.

Since belief can be in anything, we seriously need separation of church and state.

Until more people start basing their concept of reality on science and proof, progress will be scant.
 
 
-2 # Max Demian 2012-04-23 04:41
The boy was NOT naked. He was covered with a linen cloth. He was NOT naked until those who tried to arrest him pulled his covering off him and he got away! He was probably just an impoverished, malnourished child who had no clothes and who was following Jesus because he was attracted to His unconditional, non-perverted love which emanated from Him like a visible Light and therefore attracted many followers; or perhaps the boy was simply hungry and was looking for mercy and some physical food. The fact that the boy was there and that the authorities who arrested Jesus tried to arrest the boy as well, says more about the authorities' intentions than it does about Jesus' intentions, and that they wanted to arrest the boy because of his being a follower of Jesus (or that they perceived him to be such a follower), or because of their own perverted intentions, most likely the former. It does NOT say that Jesus had unholy desires, inclinations and/or actions that he carried for or carried out against the boy. Jesus may not have even had a chance to have any interaction with the boy, as the boy may have simply joined the procession of Jesus' disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane (to pray by the way, not to have sex) not long at all before Jesus was arrested (and perhaps after He prayed---only He alone because the disciples fell asleep during Jesus' prayer), since Jesus was arrested almost immediately after the end of that prayer.
 
 
+53 # bobby t. 2012-04-22 10:42
I have been waiting for a man of god to step out of his shul, mosque, or church and declare that the bible is wrong. gays are not abominations. This man does that. If rabbis came out and said this, that the bible is wrong, that women should not be stoned, etc. then I may reconsider my
anti-theist stance, that is my belief that all major religious institutions are committing the sins that they talk about. To make men and women and children suffer for the last five thousand years, is the greatest sin of all. Shame is cast on all places of "god" that preach these horrible thoughts. They are the ones that need repentence. Thank you Paul.
 
 
+10 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:42
Rabbis have been saying it in one form or another for centuries. Capital punishment for sexual deviance was never, according to Talmud, ever carried out. The requirements for conviction were too stringent to be sustained. The moral code brought down by Moses was meant to separate Israelite culture from the Egyptian culture that had dominated it for centuries, and it was meant to create a modest society where personal proclivities were kept private.
 
 
-45 # Michael_K 2012-04-22 10:46
Gee, Jesus was gay, Mohammed was a pedophile, Buddhe was grotesquely, morbidly obese... any thing else you need to add? Did we miss offending anyone?
 
 
-57 # Zagreus 2012-04-22 10:47
The author of this piece is clearly just looking for their fifteen minutes of fame.
 
 
-16 # Capn Canard 2012-04-22 12:05
Zapreus, I can only agree. FYI I tend to agree with D.M. Murdock, aka Archarya S, author is "The Christ Conspiracy", a work which purports that there is no evidence that Jesus ever existed. i.e. it is nothing but a story to give hope, such as it is. And honestly, the Gospels are very weak stories.
 
 
+34 # PatriotPaul 2012-04-22 10:54
How many of us are one of these?


PLIF*

*People Living In Fear:

A reference to conservative or fundamentalist followers of any religion that leads them to be fearful of any questioning of their religious doctrine or to be open to creative, new ideas. Because psychologically fear is such a crippling emotion, psychologically healthy people tend to try and control and recognize this in themselves. Those who don't tend to rely on more dictatorial or authoritarian leaders whether they be in the form of a political leader or their own chosen God.

Paul Harris
Author, "Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina"
 
 
+29 # Bill Clements 2012-04-22 12:28
I like the acronym and it's definition. I think we can also see that it applies to a large swath of the Republican/Tea Parties as well.
 
 
-45 # msleepyhead 2012-04-22 10:54
oh dear. there are just some things that ought not to be spoken. this article is written well, the compassion obvious. however, this is one topic that can set the entire world on its ear. there is a time for everything..... this is not the time.
 
 
+18 # soularddave 2012-04-22 12:30
My dear, the entire world isn't filled with avid adherents to Jesus and his teachings. To the many who aren't, this article will make no difference on way or another. To those who are, it might be cause to reflect and examine their own beliefs, but I suspect few will.

There have been 2000 years for any authentic notions of Jesus to have been changed and distorted; first because they weren't written, and then because they had been. What other Historic records, written in stone, have been similarly argued and denied by so many?
 
 
0 # msleepyhead 2012-04-23 10:21
dear soularddave - i totally agree with the fact that there are many that are not avid adherents to Jesus and his teachings. however, there are millions that do. discussing Jesus' sexuality is not good politics. it is divisive and not well researched. this is a knee jerk reaction that needed more contemplation. i fear the adverse reaction to gays and lesbians and to liberal ideology. the conservative base can now use this to do some more bashing.
 
 
-3 # Cassandra2012 2012-04-23 10:39
"My dear?" Blatant 'superiority to women' complex? Though I might agree with the rest of what you are saying, the way you say it is an immediate turnoff.
Further, consider the query (by Peter?) regarding Mary Magdalene (lit. Mary of the 'high place' -Magdala) "Why do you love her more than me?"
The obvious attitude of SOME gays (that they are better at being women than mere women), not unlike those 'men of the cloth" who arrogate the 'right' to themselves of telling women what to do with their own bodies is just plain arrogant (and definitely worthy of some meditation and deep self-reflection.)
And I guess saying this out loud will get negatives from those who do not like to be confronted with their ingrained bigoted attitudes toward women ...
 
 
+11 # msleepyhead 2012-04-22 14:47
Jesus being gay, straight or bi is not the point. His sexuality is none of our business, as anyone's sexuality is none of my business (unless i'm married to him). His teachings are what is important. More intruiging an article would speculate and say, "who cares".
 
 
+36 # futhark 2012-04-22 10:55
Without a biological father, Jesus would have been sex chromosome type XO. Miraculously developing from an unfertilized ovum by parthenogenesis , he would have been a monoploid, like a drone bee. In diploid people, the XO sex chromosome configuration results in a short, sterile female with distinctive physical and mental characteristics , collectively referred to as "Turner's Syndrome".

Whatever Jesus' genetic makeup or sexual preferences may have been, his legacy is in his teachings of tolerance and compassion, too frequently overlooked by those who claim to be his devoted followers.
 
 
+36 # Human 2012-04-22 11:04
WRT why priests were stopped from marrying, I'm told that it was because the church wanted to inherit their wealth instead of having it go to heirs. Look at the Vatican now! Apparently it worked very well.

WRT Jesus being gay - why not? Nobody can really know but does it matter? "He" certainly told us to love one another and that didn't exclude gays, etc.

And, in fact, I'm told that being "gay" is a fairly modern concept. Sex with either gender apparently was taken for granted through at least the middle ages. Nobody thought it was odd at all, much less abberant.
 
 
+5 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:47
homosexuality was proscribed by Moses because it was an accepted practice among the Egyptians and among the tribes which were being evicted in order that the Israelites reclaim what he considered to be its legacy. Period. It is not a moral issue, it is a cultural one. The most that any argument against it can say is that being gay is antithetical to being a Jew. You can agree or disagree with that, but it never rises to the level of a moral wrong. It is "malum prohibitum", not "malum in se".
 
 
+44 # olita 2012-04-22 11:08
I'm still holding out hope that some day the Church (and everyone else) will view sex, whether it be staright or gay, as natural as our bodily functions and other things that occur in nature like the changing of the seasons and the rising and setting of the sun. It's the attempt to control wealth and property for power that oppresses people. The list of the oppressed is long and it all goes back to the attempt to control people for power.
 
 
+11 # James38 2012-04-22 13:49
Olita, very nicely put. Thanks.
 
 
+23 # melaniebacon 2012-04-22 11:14
There is another possibility, one I offer in my historical novel MARY AND THE GODDESS OF EPHESUS: THE CONTINUED LIFE OF THE MOTHER OF JESUS, which is that John the Beloved Disciple was a child. When Jesus said: "Woman, here is your son" he wasn't telling John to take care of his mother--he was telling his mother to take care of this young boy who followed him and his disciples around. This makes even more sense when you consider that (1) Jesus had at least 5 brothers and sisters who could have taken care of his mother (Matthew 13:55-57), and (2) all of his adult male followers were hiding because they would certainly have been arrested.
 
 
+6 # cadan 2012-04-22 12:46
Melanie --- very interesting.

Perhaps you have a blog or website (or more info on your book) that you can put here?
 
 
0 # melaniebacon 2012-04-22 20:38
Thanks for asking, Cadan. www.melaniebacon.com

Short Summary:
After her son’s crucifixion, tensions in Jerusalem force Mary to take her young charge John ‘the beloved disciple’ home to his family in Ephesus, site of the premier temple and mystery school of the Greco-Roman world, the Great Temple of Artemis. Mary transcends her crippling grief, becoming an influential force in the Jewish community of Ephesus and confidante of the high priestess of Artemis, but everything is jeopardized when the apostle Paul comes to town to preach the divinity of Jesus Christ.
 
 
-6 # Max Demian 2012-04-23 03:26
Oh, please! Now this far transcends wild, unsupportable speculation! It is absolutely absurd!

Mary, a True Christian, the mother of Jesus the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of God, and God the Father in the flesh, all of which Mary believed Him to be; and Mary, a True Christian woman who completely disbelieved in anything and everything having to do with false religious beliefs and Paganism; supposedly believed in the false god, Artemis, and was a confidante of the high priestess of Artemis, when she knew without any doubt that her Son was Divine and that Artemis was a totally false, Pagan god, and therefore a symbol of Satan? There is absolutely no way that she would have been in any way(s) involved in any such evil thing(s) unless she completely renounced her own Son, totally backslid and turned her back on His teachings, and became evil; all of which she did NOT do!

Therefore, please stop promulgating such complete absurdities!
 
 
-5 # Max Demian 2012-04-23 03:08
Then why do the Scriptures say that Mary, the mother of Jesus, from then on lived in the home of John; not John from then on living in the home of Mary (or should I say, the home of Joseph, Mary's husband who was still alive and Mary lived with)? Did Mary and Joseph go live in the home of a child; and, if John were a parentless child, how did he own a home in the first place? Oh, yes, I know you can speculate some more; thus, these are meant on my part to be nothing but rhetorical questions, so please don't speculate anymore.

John was NOT a child! Not that many years later he was an old man imprisoned by the Romans on the island of Patmos, Greece. In other words, this was the same John who was "John the Revelator", who wrote the gospel of John, the epistles of John, and the book of Revelation. Besides, no child could have been one of the first twelve, and then of the eleven (after Judas betrayed Jesus to crucifixion and committed suicide), apostles, who were ALL adults. Therefore, it doesn't at all pay to promulgate such wild, unsupportable speculations.
 
 
-56 # capat 2012-04-22 11:20
What a travesty! You must not know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as your personal Lord. When Jesus asked His disciple John to care for His mother, He was simply giving the example of the Christian responsibility to care for our families! Please don't try to make God's Holy Word say what you want it to say. Jesus loved all people, but had a close bond with John for reasons not explained in the scriptures. There is nothing in the scriptures to suggest that Jesus was gay. HE WAS GOD! Maybe John was a younger disciple and showed a particular need for Jesus' mentoring. But Jesus was fully God and fully man at the time of His crucifixion. He could say and do whatever pleased Him! It obviously pleased Him to ask John to care for His mother. May God have mercy on you and bring you to truth, not your own opinion of spiritual matters that you spout in such a way as to mislead many people. Have a blessed day.
 
 
+35 # freethinking 2012-04-22 12:02
You are assuming that the New Testament is historically accurate, aren't you ?
 
 
+12 # James38 2012-04-22 13:54
freethinking - And he is assuming God exists, and "lord and savior" means anything, and the whole rest of his comment is one more assumption after another piled on the stack.

capat, this is not factual, this is nothing but repetitions of propaganda and fables that goes back centuries. You need to start to actually think for yourself.
 
 
+11 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:50
Tell that to the billions of people worldwide who are doing just fine without accepting Jesus as their saviour. How about this: "What is hateful unto you, do not unto others"? If you don't want me to tell you all the reasons why Jesus could not have been the Son of God, why he could not have even qualified as the Messiah longed for by his society, then don't try to force your faith on me.
 
 
-5 # James38 2012-04-22 21:55
Oldleftie, you say, "If you don't want me to tell you all the reasons why Jesus could not have been the Son of God, why he could not have even qualified as the Messiah longed for by his society, then don't try to force your faith on me."

May I suggest that before you embark on a lecture about Jesus being or not being the "Son of God", perhaps you would be so kind as to explain why anybody should accept your tacit assumption that god exists at all?

Also could you please explain what differentiates expecting us to uncritically accept that doozie, and someone else trying to force their faith on you? Not that I actually don't think there is (or may be) a difference, it is just that I am having a problem figuring out just what the difference is - if there is one.

Now, before you develop another case of hairy eyeballs about me being condescending again, I would like to point out that I find it incredibly condescending and unjustifiable for you to make such an assumption. Anybody who enters into a frank discussion about the whole idea of religion had better be willing and able to clarify all such primary issues before trying to base supposedly meaningful statements on ill or non-defined basic assumptions - and the idea of the existence or definition of "god" is right at the root of it all.

Without clearing that one up, the rest is just smoke and mirrors, no matter how long the show has been going on.
 
 
+3 # mdhome 2012-04-22 15:10
On the cross jesus said" father, why have you forsaken me" NOT "why have I forsaken me"!
 
 
+13 # futhark 2012-04-22 15:33
I've always wondered at the appeal of the "Lord and Savior" title given to Jesus in a society such as ours in which the people are supposed to be the sovereigns of their own destiny and the sovereigns over the destiny of the nation. Are we still such slaves to the medieval notions of power hierarchies that we cannot even liberate our spiritual concepts from this kind of subservience? I think Jesus was trying to give a new perspective on the Deity by assigning him the role of benevolent Father to replace the older concept of God as a jealous and wrathful autocrat. Jesus' followers in the Roman Empire twisted this around to make Jesus himself out to be some kind of tyrant, exercising arbitrary and sometimes whimsical power over humanity, much as the Caesars did over the citizens of the Empire.

And what's with the "Savior" role? Jesus tells us that by following his example we will attain a state of spiritual grace. Notice that Jesus had no aspirations to worldly wealth or power, did not join the army, or become a politician or the CEO of a big business. The role of Savior has been used as a tool of control over the masses. It's all about fear and subservience to a hierarchical superiors. I figure whatever the historical Jesus did about his sexuality was his business and, as he taught us in the case of the woman caught in adultery, we ought to refrain from harsh judgment.
 
 
+2 # kbarrand 2012-04-22 16:19
I appreciate your concern but I would rather think for myself.
 
 
-2 # dkonstruction 2012-04-24 13:07
To quote another Sacred Text...

ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?
WOMAN: We don't have a lord.
ARTHUR: What?
DENNIS: I told you. We're an anarcho-syndica list commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.
ARTHUR: Yes.
DENNIS: But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting--
ARTHUR: Yes, I see.
DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,--
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: But by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major--
ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN: Order, eh? Who does he think he is? Heh.
ARTHUR: I am your king!
WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings.
WOMAN: Well, how did you become king then?
ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake,... [angels sing] ...her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. [singing stops] That is why I am your king!
DENNIS: Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8bqQ-C1PSE
 
 
+8 # Misterioso 2012-04-22 11:29
"Jesus was a Hebrew Rabbi."

As I understand it, Jesus had Canaanite/Pales tinian roots. His Galilean ancestors were forcibly converted to Judaism by the Maccabbees about 150 years before his birth.
 
 
+2 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 14:52
If you want any serious consideration of what you must admit is a minority opinion, you might want to cite your sources.
 
 
+1 # eadg 2012-04-22 21:29
Quoting Misterioso:
"Jesus was a Hebrew Rabbi."

As I understand it, Jesus had Canaanite/Palestinian roots. His Galilean ancestors were forcibly converted to Judaism by the Maccabbees about 150 years before his birth.

Really? Sources, please.
 
 
+5 # caylworth@gmail.com 2012-04-22 11:31
Of course Jesus was gay. They crucified him, didn't they?
 
 
+15 # Mirkka 2012-04-22 11:32
revtravel Even my sister, father, mother don't know exactly the events in my life and nothing is sure in books but in Jesus' time registering happenings and persons was very developed because written sorces were the main way. I think love with Mary Magdalen was very possible because Jesus appreciated her intelligence over other disciples tell the Gnostic gospels and love with John was very possible, too, first I heard about that possibility from one orthodox christian priest. I have heard that from Jesus is more document than from Julius Caesar and the latter have written most of all himself cleaning and praising his own acts. I gave you -1 but that counting mahcine did'n count it so I give it here. Of course some people want Jesus to look like they want to, usually like themselves.
 
 
+19 # freethinking 2012-04-22 11:34
The fundamental problem with this article is . . .

that the author accepts the idea that the New Testament is historically accurate. Yet there is no factual basis for such a conclusion. Hence, his article is based on religious belief alone, and not fact.

It is an intriguing article (I guess), but not one based on fact.
 
 
+19 # lockerh 2012-04-22 11:35
Well done article. And brave given the kneejerk unthinking responses of so many unChristlike followers of Christ.
 
 
+13 # Uthaclena 2012-04-22 11:38
Unfortunately, this is all rather... silly. I am not at all religious, and there remains an open question as to whether there actually WAS a "Jesus," but that's even beside the point. At least since the 1960's ("The Passover Plot" is the earliest I personally recall)there have been attempts to "interpret" who Jesus was and what he was like on flimsy and projective interpretations . There was the "Was Jesus Married?" controversy. There was "Who were Jesus' biological family members?" And now we have "teh Gay." It is no wonder that the TheoCons ridicule the Left so often. These interpretations seem nothing other than Fads being used to justify the current sociocultural agenda. If Equality for our Gay brethren depends on whether Jesus was one of them, we're on shaky ground, indeed!
 
 
+9 # James38 2012-04-22 14:04
Uthaclena, it seems from the various records and mythologies that there were several stories about "holy men" and "saviors" from that general period of history. I recall one from Egypt, one from India, and there were more. Bill Maher mentions this in his excellent movie "Religulous".

It is remarkable how people can get programmed into thinking that believing one or another of the myths underlying various religions means the ideas are true. A little more education would help a lot.

But now we have "Wrongmney" suggesting further cuts in education and health budgets in order to spend more money on the military.

I hope a lot of people realize the threat to the future that Mitt the Mormon Mutt represents. We need to get out the vote unless we really want to see the US go down the tubes that Bush built.
 
 
-17 # Vardoz 2012-04-22 11:43
I would say he was psychotic. He had all the signs. There are many psychotics that have big followings.
 
 
+11 # cdcl44@yahoo.com 2012-04-22 11:43
So what if you think this? It doesn't mean it's true. Just leave Jesus's sexuality alone and take him for he has meant to humanity and the spiritual world.
 
 
-23 # Dumbledorf 2012-04-22 11:46
I SINCERELY WISH THAT ANYONE READING THESE COMMENTS WOULD PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-NBe5wv-Ak

THANKS
 
 
+12 # James38 2012-04-22 12:52
OK Dumble, I watched about half of it. It is nothing but a nasty diatribe by a crotchety fool who invokes his belief in God and Satan to criticize the churches. While the churches deserve plenty of criticism, this waste of time is just the pot calling the kettle black.

I assume this means you need to get busy and do some serious thinking about confusing opinions with facts.

You got your wish. Now please don't send us on any more futile chases after williwaws.
 
 
+6 # mainescorpio 2012-04-22 11:48
It is all very interesting speculation.... but overlooks speculations that a man called Jesus never existed at all
 
 
+18 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-22 11:50
Jesus wasn't gay -- he was just really drunk all those times.

I gotta say it gets tiresome seeing people trying to justify or condemn this or that by attaching to ancient religious stories with no more literal credence than any other myth, work of fiction, or art form.

All sorts of justification for the existence of homosexuality can be found in standard science ...

... as if ANY justification at all was needed. If people just minded their own business and stopped trying to tell other people how to live when it had nothing to do with those complaining this would be no problem at all.

But if you really want to quote scripture, then:
Matthew 7:5
New International Version (©1984)

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
 
 
+27 # jwb110 2012-04-22 11:50
It might be wise to remember that the word "Homosexual", and therefore the word "Heterosexual", are inventions of the the early 1900's. The word Gay comes in farther into the 1900's and really expresses a political stance rather than a sexual stance. Also the politicization of sex and orientation is a decidedly Western invention.
The MIddle East has its own problems with it. The strict separation of the sexes in Islamic Law has created a sort of institutional homosexual expression in many boys and men prior to their marriages. The sexual urge just is and will find a means of expression.
Quoting Leviticus begs the question given it is a book of tribal laws based on survival of the tribe. Christ says he doesn't come to overturn the law but to fullfil it. A thing fulfilled is done with. It's like hanging up the phone once you get the message.
That he loved all his disciples but loved John more can mean a lot of things. As near as I can see it mostly condones love and the depth of it relative to each person.
As for the historical sexual Jesus, if he is a human person, then by default he is sexual and how he expressed that very much reflects today. It is really none of my business how he conducted that relationship. I would stay out of his bedroom as I stay out of everyone else's.
For myself, I feel that a person of such intense spiritual development that his might have been pan-sexuality and expressed as He saw fit.
 
 
+10 # nirmalandhas 2012-04-22 11:57
"Had he been devoid of sexuality, he would not have been truly human"

So now...unless we choose to express our best sentiments towards each other through engaging in reproductive behavior...we are going to be branded as not being truly human???
 
 
+11 # awesomeA 2012-04-22 11:59
I am surprised that the author, Mr. Oestreicher, does not exhibit a more scholarly understanding of the Biblical passages on which he seems to be basing his argument. Within the gospel according to John the "beloved disciple", "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (especially John 13:23 and 21:7) 1) is viewed by many scholars of John's gospel as representing the community/churc h from which John's gospel came; and 2)perhaps more significantly, the word in the original Greek translated as "love" is one of three words in Biblical Greek which mean some type of love -- in this case, the verb is a form of agapao, which means not erotic love (the ancient Greek word for erotic, sexual love is eros) but to love in the way God loves humans, to feel or show generous concern for, to be faithful towards, to delight in, to want the best possible for.
 
 
+17 # goodsensecynic 2012-04-22 12:04
This is all great fun!

I'm almost as happy to "learn" that Jesus was a gay guy who died on the cross as I was to learn that he was drugged, feigned death, recovered in the cave and went on to marry Mary Magdalene, have three kids and retire in the south of France (after Mary split to join the Zealots ... and we all know how that worked out). At least that's theologian and Dead Sea Scrolls' scholar Barbara Thiering says.

I seem to recall he was also revealed as a bit of a druggie (as reported by John Allegro, if memory serves).

The fact is that we have no idea what happened. Only two things are certain: Jesus was not born of a virgin, and Jesus was not resurrected after death. (And, of course, the "miracles" were ... well, not miracles.) Those are simple facts that no serious follower of Jesus should be required to take seriously.

After that, all bets are off!

Of course, as a moralist and teacher, you can't do much better than the Beatitudes and living in accordance with them is the only real honour to Jesus, the man (assuming that he ever existed, but I'm about 80% sure that he did ... or, if not, someone with the same name probably hung around the Near East about 2000 years ago ... whatever his lineage and posterity.
 
 
-15 # cy31b 2012-04-22 12:07
That is the lamest possible supportive documentation for claiming that Jesus was gay. Jesus had already said to everybody that we should love one another, not sexually but as brothers or sisters, and this biblical quote is only reaffirming that message. Secondly, artistic depictions of the last supper or any other art works with Jesus are simply various artistic expressions of the painters, since no artist has even seen Jesus or John. To use these paintings as proof of Jesus's sexual orientation is foolish. The message in the Sermon on the Mount is simple enough for mankind to know what he stood for. Searching for his sexuality in words he muttered as he was dying is unfair. A man whose every thought was to improve the thinking of mankind would hardly use bhis last words to declare that he was gay or this is all about me! I think this minister or priest needs a hobby to get his mind off such silly suppositions.
 
 
+10 # James38 2012-04-22 13:00
cy31b, you say, "I think this minister or priest needs a hobby to get his mind off such silly suppositions." However your whole comment is based on the supposition that Jesus existed and made various statements to "everybody". And your proof is? Frankly, you have none, so you are just as involved in "silly suppositions" as the author. (Are you tempted to quote the Bible as "proof"?)

Better go have a deep talk with 31a, and develop your logic a little.
 
 
-3 # Cassandra2012 2012-04-23 10:48
bi-?
 
 
+10 # bobby t. 2012-04-22 12:16
touche caylworth. ironic and perhaps funny to some. however, "they" being roman pagans, whose greatest love is that of a man to a young boy.
many priests have carried on that tradition. the new religion always has elements of the old one in order to attract the people who believed in the older one. a good and established business practice.... the new testament has the old one included and the koran has both included in it, with abraham, moses, and jesus all prophets.
so the real irony is that priests who violate young boys are just practicing the old time religion.
 
 
-14 # Kasandra 2012-04-22 12:22
Calling Jesus "Gay" is trendy. Right now, Gays and homosexuals are having a field day, both in reverse and in positive ways. Some countries, provinces and states in the U.S. are going through a "Purification Process" about accepting their fellow human beings, not only of color (That was trendy back int he days of Rosa Parks on the bus), Latino Immigrants, (That's still unresolved), and so on. What could be more forwarding for the Gay movement right now than to proclaim Jesus as Gay, to help the "Gay Cause"? Who would want to dispute that? Yup, Jesus' Light continues to enlighten, no matter what. Oh, BTW, Jesus was actually Androgynous! Next time he comes around, let's ask HIS opinion!
 
 
+7 # kyzipster 2012-04-22 14:04
I don't see one preacher's sermon as having anything at all to do with the gay movement.

After years of struggle society is finally coming around to no longer treating us as subhuman, we deserve our 'field day' which is mostly a phenomenon in the the political arena and in the media. Most of us are just going on about our lives like everyone else.
 
 
+13 # annashane 2012-04-22 12:22
maybe, but who cares. I think the point is that these things say not much about anyone. If you follow Jesus's words it's a good idea to treat everyone as you would have yourself treated, and that certainly covers equal rights. it is also possible Jesus was nutty, but who cares about that one either. I don't think the claim is made that he was heterosexual either. It's strange that on the left, just like on the Christian right, there are some who just know what he was really saying.
 
 
-2 # jbkenley 2012-04-22 12:33
My minster Bill Gold pointed out some time ago in a sermon, that when the soldiers came to take Jesus away, it is mention that there was a naked boy with him in the garden. Read it and wonder why?
 
 
-4 # msleepyhead 2012-04-22 14:40
What denomination is your minister Bill Gold?
 
 
0 # Max Demian 2012-04-23 04:17
The boy was NOT naked. He was covered with a linen cloth. He was NOT naked until those who tried to arrest him pulled his covering off him and he got away! He was probably just an impoverished, malnourished child who had no clothes and who was following Jesus because he was attracted to His unconditional, non-perverted love which emanated from Him like a visible Light and therefore attracted many followers; or perhaps the boy was simply hungry and was looking for mercy and some physical food. The fact that the boy was there and that the authorities who arrested Jesus tried to arrest the boy as well, says more about the authorities' intentions than it does about Jesus' intentions, and that they wanted to arrest the boy because of his being a follower of Jesus (or that they perceived him to be such a follower), or because of their own perverted intentions, most likely the former. It does NOT say that Jesus had unholy desires, inclinations and/or actions that he carried for or carried out against the boy. Jesus may not have even had a chance to have any interaction with the boy, as the boy may have simply joined the procession of Jesus' disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane (to pray by the way, not to have sex) not long at all before Jesus was arrested (and perhaps after He prayed---only He alone because the disciples fell asleep during Jesus' prayer), since Jesus was arrested almost immediately after the end of that prayer.
 
 
+18 # Pondering and Pandering 2012-04-22 12:37
It must be remembered that according to Christian teaching as offered in the scriptures, Jesus was the Son of God, one of three manifestations of God. He is the Alpha and the Omega (beginning and end. As Jesus puts it at one point in the Gospels, he simply is considered as "I am." He tells us that he was present with God the Father and is one with him for all of eternity.

Believers claim to experence God in these three manifestations. As Father (abba), Son, Jesus come among us in the flesh (Emmanuel), and the comforter and guide sent which is the spirit of God or Holy Spirit. This is the result of an open heart. So we must know that God, the Creator Spirit could manifest his, her, or it's presence in any way chosen.

Since Jesus said the two great commands of God were to love God with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul and the second to love your neighbor as yourself. Upon leaving for the Father, he told disciples to "love one another."

The guy hung out with tax collectors, prostitutes, people with horrible illnesses, outcasts, the poor. His being gay or not gay pales into insiginficance. It seems logical and obvious that God loves his creation. That includes all the Earth on this Earth day and most certainly the LGBT folks among us through the ages. God and even Jesus most certainly shares the Gay portion of his creation (or her as gender seems less significant)
 
 
+9 # Shirley in Berkeley 2012-04-22 12:41
An echo of so many other claims for the Gay camp. Remember when it was JFK? Question: What possible difference can it make whether Jesus was Gay or Straight, especially since it's impossible for anyone to know?
 
 
+5 # kelly 2012-04-22 14:39
It should make no difference whatsoever. Except that self-serving religions, breast beating evangelicals and right wing organizations try to push agendas using the shield of what they call Jesus's core beliefs. However, as you say, it is impossible to know what those are and when these groups deem it necessary to dictate to the masses the truth to force others to follow a mandate not of their own choosing it makes a big difference.
 
 
-4 # kyzipster 2012-04-23 04:15
What we're seeing in the 'gay camp' is a challenge to the assumption that every historical figure was heterosexual. Like with women and racial minorities, we were written out of history for the most part and it's interesting to speculate on our role in that history. Sometimes the evidence is convincing, in this case it's not.
 
 
+10 # oakes721 2012-04-22 14:57
I would very much prefer seeing the total number of thumbs-up and thumbs-down, rather than robbing the 'votes' and voices of either side by simply 'averaging' whether there was any interest in the comment. In example: 500 thumbs-up and 500 thumbs-down appears to have 0 interest as if no one gave it a thought...
 
 
+1 # oldleftie 2012-04-22 15:01
too long to be reproduced here, but well worth the reading and on point. On of the more beautiful poems of the modern era:

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/for-louis-pasteur/
 
 
+4 # Pallas 2012-04-22 15:21
"Was Jesus Gay?"

Why does this matter?

Why should anyone care?

What matters is the message and the ministry - what Jesus purportedly said and taught. That had and has nothing to do with gender, sexual orientation, age, or religion and is valid and valuable whether or not you even believe in the divinity of the teacher or the religion founded in his name - or in any religion at all. I'd rather see us spending our time and energy on applying Jesus' philosophy than on debating whether his love for John was sexual or brotherly. That is of no importance whatsoever.
 
 
-11 # corals33 2012-04-22 16:29
whatever next? adam and steve?
 
 
-9 # corals33 2012-04-22 16:33
you have all got the wrong interpretation mixed up with vain imagination.
 
 
-11 # corals33 2012-04-22 16:39
ask his father and anyways his mother should know. Surely his parents should be the most reliable authority on his sexuality instead of all you believers and non-believers and your silly opinions.
let's google them for a definitive conclusion.
 
 
-10 # corals33 2012-04-22 16:40
do you think he had a "JOHN"!!
 
 
+3 # jerryball 2012-04-22 16:45
From the web http://www.libchrist.com/other/homosexual/leviticus.html something that makes sense:

Leviticus verses do not deal with homosexuality but rather the Canaanite sex rituals performed by Molech's male priests/ prostitutes who dressed up as women, wore goddess vestments, and goddess masks and whose customers were male- hence laying with a male as though a female.

Eaten any ham sandwiches? Eaten at Red Lobster recently? Did you shave this morning? How about the clothes you are wearing - are they made of any blends of fibers? Had a haircut recently? Oh and by the way, have you been to the temple to make a burnt offering ? Can you explain why it is OK to do those things but not OK for people to love the consenting adult of their choice?

But then, who's to say? The living witnesses are all dead.
 
 
0 # robjh1 2012-04-22 16:45
Jesus is love and if people don't know and won't show it that's their fault. You can't prove a point by trying to tear down one for another. Acceptance is what's required.
 
 
-3 # corals33 2012-04-22 16:57
columbus discovered america. the earth is flat.elvis is alive.
 
 
-2 # corals33 2012-04-22 17:03
don't forget god must thank King James otherwise he couldn't get a hearing. Jeffery archer might get the contract for an updated version.
 
 
-5 # corals33 2012-04-22 17:04
where in bloody hell is heaven.
 
 
-4 # corals33 2012-04-22 17:07
father, son and holy ghost, yeah right;
she must have been out shopping again.
 
 
-9 # LessSaid 2012-04-22 17:09
Pallas, really it does matter, because God was and is against same sex getting together to screw. Unless you are talking about another Bible other than the one churches have been using forever and a day.
 
 
+5 # Pallas 2012-04-22 19:54
[quote name="LessSaid" ]Pallas, really it does matter, because God was and is against same sex getting together to screw.

Please quote me the passage in the New Testament (the book with the words of JESUS in it - the guy Christians are SUPPOSED to worship, emulate and follow) in which Jesus himself irrefutably condemns and marginalizes homosexuals. I don't recall Jesus condemning anybody. His message was one of love and tolerance, but some people prefer to have us arguing about private sexual behavior instead of listening to what Jesus said and putting his teachings into action. That's not a good substitute for actually following Jesus' directives. I don't know any truly spiritual people, Christian or otherwise, who waste their time and energy trying to regulate other people's private, consensual behavior. They are too busy working in soup kitchens, building houses for the poor, and trying to protect the civil rights of the downtrodden and powerless - an example moralistic pseudo-Christia ns would do well to follow.
 
 
+1 # James38 2012-04-22 22:14
Aaarrrrrggggghh h, another one. LessSaid, would you please explain WHY we should accept your assumption that "God" exists?

Until you manage that trick, please omit any mention of the "Bible" as proof of anything at all, since it appears that you have some notion that the Invisible Sky Fairy actually "wrote" that collection of myths from various times and authors.

I have always thought that even though there are some nice and thoughtful passages in the bible, there is so much confusion and contradiction and violence and utter nonsense in it that saying "GOD" wrote it is awfully insulting to whatever you think god might be.
 
 
+4 # wrodwell 2012-04-22 17:13
The idea that Jesus might be homosexual is not new. See the film "The Gospel According to Saint Matthew" ("Il Vangelo Secondo San Matteo") by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
 
 
-10 # corals33 2012-04-22 17:17
I think this discussion is a gross violation of the gentleman's human rights and RSN should not be surprised at sanctions from the Christian, Jewish and Islamic nations not to mention the EU.
 
 
+9 # kelly 2012-04-22 17:19
Please, corals, some anger management or sarcasm management. We understand your displeasure at the topic but you have offered nothing for us to debate or even have some honest discourse about. One liners are fine follow-ups but what is your point?
 
 
+3 # oilpatchlibrul 2012-04-22 17:40
Brethren and Sistren, let us purposelessly feed more fuel to the fire against us.

How the hell do we know he even existed, much less his sexual orientation?
 
 
+5 # rhgreen 2012-04-22 17:41
Paul Oestreicher is certainly entitled to his opinion, which by the way is not new. Others have suggested this. But he is being misleading when he says "Probably" and he is being misleading when he says "The idea that he had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene is the stuff of fiction, based on no biblical evidence. The evidence, on the other hand, that he may have been what we today call gay is very strong." Nonsense. I know the literature (and it isn't all orthodox "biblical") pretty well, and there is NOT more evidence that Jesus was gay than there is that Jesus was romantically entangled - with Mary Magdalene for example. Sorry, I'm afraid there's some hopeful fantasizing here.
 
 
+5 # medusa 2012-04-22 17:46
The writer himself ends by saying it doesn't make any difference whether Jesus was gay or straight--we ought to honor and love our neighbors--if not our enemies--in our own time.
What is there to debate?
 
 
+3 # Jyl 2012-04-22 17:50
It is obvious that history remains an ongoing mystery, whether involving religion or anything else. This is not a new suggestion. A couple of years ago, there was a long article about why it is that Jesus was a family man, father of children, or that he cavorted with a prostitute, not simply for the purpose of friendship. Does it matter? The human race has nearly run out of theories, as there is nearly nothing left to speculate about. It used to be important for Jesus to have been pure in every way, so as to sell religion to mostly impure people. We all *know* that spectulation must be extremely far-fetched, in view of all the sins constantly committed under so many guises, by most of mankind. We really won't ever know what Jesus' persuasian was because there will never be proof about much, if any, of his life.
 
 
+11 # Liberalthinker 2012-04-22 17:58
GOOD LORD !!!!!Great God Almighty !!! (all expressions deriving from religious beliefs)...THIS IS THE MOST COMMENT provoking article I've seen . My question is , WHY DO YOU CARE? and WHY are so many SO hung up on sex and sexual preferences ? It is my understanding that "sex only for reproduction" is predominant mostly in the world of animals and only humans view sex as an experience ofv love and respect ...who or whom is the choice of each person and really should be nobody's business other than their own. Aparently I am incorrect since so many think sexual relationships between others are THEIR judgemental call. A deity or not, a myth or no, the teachings of Jesus were to love one another . It's pretty sad that the most piousof "believers" simply DO NOT GET THE MESSAGE. Amen.
 
 
+2 # ckosuda 2012-04-22 18:11
it's a shame you base your "article" on weak historical analysis - are you familiar with "Bloodlines of the Holy Grail" and other books which fully document his marriage and children with Mary Magdalene ???

that's a much more likely scenario -

silly article overall. weak analysis
 
 
+1 # Bill Clements 2012-04-22 18:20
Ingenious!

Other mind-bending things for Christians to consider:

The BBC did a serious treatment on the real possibility that Christ survived his own crucifixion!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8FiKC7FYxE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV_XFZIJKk0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3d34UpoUsc

And here's a Government of India documentary on the Saint referred to as Issa (Jesus) whose tomb is in Kashmir. Extremely credible scholarship went into the making of this film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9w-xJfSOyc&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL81AAEE5D1D76A09D
 
 
+5 # propsguy 2012-04-22 18:27
if the presence of one male friend at the crucifixion might be proof of a "special" homosexual relationship, why can't you make an argument that the presence of the two women (not his mother) indicates that he played fast and loose with the broads?

i mean, come on- when do we stop imposing our own jaded views on a history we can't really ever know?
 
 
+3 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-04-22 20:40
As another Anglican priest, my comment is: gay, possibly yes; probably, no. The relationship with Mary Magdalene was no less complex & weighted than that with John, & is if anything reported in more detail (notably by the Johannine account). Nor is there any indication that mentioning Jesus’s putative wife would have been considered essential to the gospel; Peter’s wife comes in for only passing comment. & we must consider the accounts of such relationships in the context of 1st C Hellenistic-Jew ish social & literary patterns, not in 21st C language. The language about John does not require to be interpreted to suggest a specifically sexual relationship. These were not the issues then that they are now, & it is now which which we have to deal. I certainly agree with the conclusion: What does Love demand?
 
 
+3 # ktrav 2012-04-22 20:51
Well, since Jesus is an imaginary figure, based on dozens of similar myths before him, what's the point of even arguing what his sexual orientation might have been?
 
 
+1 # eadg 2012-04-22 21:25
"Jesus was a Hebrew rabbi. Unusually, he was unmarried. The idea that he had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene is the stuff of fiction.." -LMAO! Who translated 'carpenter' into 'rabbi'? This tops even Monty Pythons' My hovercraft is full of eels.
 
 
0 # underdog 2012-04-22 21:51
Yeshua (the actual name for Jesus) was most likely married to Mary Magdalene and not homosexual as this article tries to prove. If you ever read the gnostic texts (proceeded the catholic texts) that the Roman Catholics tried their best to destroy, It describes Mary Magdalene as his wife and says that he loved her in a special way. I was Paul that sought to make Mary Magdalene as a "Whore" and had the texts rewritten to express that. It has been said that perhaps Paul was homosexual. It has also been said that Paul himself never married or had children. Also, if Yeshua (Jesus) and his disciple were in a sexual relationship and any of his other disciples told anyone, Yeshua would have been stoned in the street along with John. Mary Magdalene would anoint Yeshua. This is not something you hear about women doing randomly to other men in the scriptures (unless they were married). Any Rabbi at that point in history would have been married and have had children. However, Paul knew that if he let that fact live, that I would take away from the feeling of spiritual divinity he was trying connect to the deceased Yeshua. Jesus (Yeshua) from Nazareth was married and probably had at least one child with Mary.
 
 
+3 # crinvegas 2012-04-22 22:00
Whatever else you might believe about Jesus, he was a REAL person. Roman historians, living at the time, mention his crucifixion. He was not a fictional character invented at a later date.
 
 
+1 # pstamler 2012-04-22 22:04
It's very clear from the comments posted here what Jesus really is: he's a Rorschach figure, which everyone interprets based on his/her own psyche.

Myself, I think the notion of deciphering the sexuality of someone who lived 20 centuries ago, based on a few writings done long after his death, is kind of silly. However, as someone said a few comments ago, what his sexual orientation may have been neither adds to nor detracts from his core teachings.

On a different issue, those who interpret Leviticus as meaning only that homosexuality was a "ritual purity offense"...read a few pages later. It was also a death penalty offense. Trying to make Old Testament Judaism into a non-homophobic theology requires more pretzel-twistin g than I'm willing to do; trying to shoehorn old beliefs into modern attitudes is, IMHO, an exercise in futility. I'm satisfied to say, "Okay, that's what my long-ago ancestors believed. I don't." Just one guys take on it, of course.
 
 
+8 # antiutopia 2012-04-22 22:12
Dumb essay, and an undoubtedly dumb sermon. Male intimacy is not a sign of homosexuality, and the belief that it is rather betrays the rather perverse assumption that all intimacy is sexual. Not everything is sex. There is no "evidence" for Christ's homosexuality, just the textual facts (found in only one gospel account) that he was closer to John than to the other disciples, and that he had John care for his mother after his death. If he were homosexual, it's unlikely that any of his disciples would have hinted at it, as that would have led to stoning to death in his context -- the woman caught in adultery had it bad enough.

And yes, there are asexual people in the world, either by choice or discipline or by inclination. You need to get out more.

You also need to consider seriously how ridiculous it is that 2000 years of exegesis didn't reveal Christ's homosexuality until this century.

You might also want to consider that DaVinci was not a photographer, but rather a painter painting an imagined scene some 1500 years after its occurrence. A gay painter, I should add.

Is it that hard to get facts straight?
 
 
-4 # tomo 2012-04-22 23:55
I suspect that where people dismiss out of hand the suggestion that Jesus was gay is where they are sure that gays have no right to sexual intimacy. In other words, their dismissal tells us more about what they think of sexual intimacy between gays than it tells us about what they think about Jesus. Let us say--as every reader of these words ought to be able to verify by reflection on personal experience--tha t sexual orientation is much more something that happens to one than it is something one chooses. Sure, in the case where one's orientation involves almost equal attraction to both genders, one may make a choice that is decisive. In the majority of cases, though, we don't decide our orientation. Given that, the next question is: should males who are gay live without sexual intimacy? There is every reason to believe they should not. We humans are made for pairing. History records very few cases of successful celibates. Jesus may have been straight and celibate--but we have no proof of that. Jesus may have been gay and celibate--but we have no proof of that. The reason some of us cannot so much as consider as a possibility that Jesus was gay and in a committed relationship to a male is not because we know a lot about Jesus' sexual life--we don't. It's because some of us are erroneously convinced that we know that such relationships are evil.
 
 
+2 # antiutopia 2012-04-23 11:08
Tomo:

The article didn't make claims about gay sexuality. It made claims about Christ's sexuality appealing to "evidence." Dismissing those claims therefore has nothing to do with anyone's views of gay sexuality, but rather with the author's "reasoning" from "evidence" about a specific single individual: Christ. I agree with those who said that Christ loves homosexuals. Pity the perverse can't understand that love need not be sexual, even if it expressed itself in some rather benign physical ways. What's really a pity is that the only people who seem to be reasoning about the issue are the moderate atheists.

Another stupid attempt: to use traditional morality, traditional religious figures, and traditional institutions to validate what has been traditionally rejected, for the most part, for thousands of years. If at any point you are successful you have simply dispensed with tradition, so it no longer has its validating power. And if you need that external validation, look to yourself first to deal with that, not anyone else.
 
 
0 # tomo 2012-04-23 14:56
antiutopia: Jesus is pretty important to me. He is important for the reasons that impressed Thoreau, and Gandhi, and King. Not many in all of human history have so challenged our human resistance to goodness and so nurtured our deep human inclination to be good.

A number of the comments here suggest Jesus was "just made up." Believe me, those who created Jesus--were that claim true--were geniuses of the first order, smarter than Plato, smarter than Newton, smarter than Einstein. I find it more "economical," more sober and historically plausible, to think the primary source for Jesus was Jesus.

I don't think we know much about the sexuality of Jesus. It wasn't part of the agendas of the writers of the accounts we know best to talk about that. Think, though, of this: If Oestreicher had suggested that Jesus had masturbated, would not the same people who complain here have complained about that? My point is that it is not exactly Jesus that they have gotten wrong; it's sexuality.
 
 
+1 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-04-22 23:58
The way this blog clicks I don't know if my comments will relate to Jesus was just a man. A man however who made in a spur of the moment style complex remarks about the sun and rain falling on the good and the bad, Thought he could cure people who thought they were cured as well. Many years later when his comments were written down, whether or not he actually cured anyone was considered a given not what the transcriber wanted to prove. Jesus never said I cured you so you must believe, he spent a lot of time explaining how others could cure as well. At the very least a bunch of strange coincidences.
 
 
+1 # Naithom 2012-04-23 00:02
While I understand your logic, Mr. Oestreicher, and I am willing to consider the argument that he might have been gay, I think you throw away the supposition that he was married much too quickly.

Had there have been any evidence that Jesus was Jewish, the priests of the day could have had him stoned as being to'eivah for such behavior and dealt with the issue that way.

You suggest that there was no evidence of him being married yet there was, the wedding at Cana. The groom's family was responsible for the wedding feast and who's asked about supplying the wine - Jesus and his mother. If they were merely guests, they would not have been expected to provide food and drink.

All in all though, it's an interesting read.
 
 
+1 # America 2012-04-23 04:09
The author has achieved his objective: rapid emotional response to the most controversial issues of mankind: religion, homosexuality, whether or not God exists, cultural differences, gender on and on.

Isn't it easy to predict from this article there will be no consensus of opinion, no changing of minds, the evoking of more divisive feelings.

Whether or not you agree with the writer you might want this ultra lively discussion to remain on this forum. If this was a globally fired discussion it could well start World War III :-)
 
 
+1 # msleepyhead 2012-04-23 09:19
ohhhh i so agree!!! Good Friday was not that long ago. Something this radical takes a bit more reflection by both the author and the Guardian. Because we can (express our opinions, write and article, publish an article, does not mean we ought.
 
 
+2 # msleepyhead 2012-04-23 09:20
a voice of reason in the desert..in the sand storm...thank you!
 
 
-3 # corals33 2012-04-23 05:49
Dear Kelly et al
brevity like mythology cloaks the depths of the subject past anger or sarcasm to the point of extreme tolerance and an abiding love for the truthful and sincere.one liners cannot be easily dismissed when they suggest closer scrutiny of the matter at hand as opposed to long discourse of the superficial and banal.reading between the lines is a good one liner to start with.the hebrew book of beginnings is another.whoever gave mortals licence to teach the supreme.knowled ge is heaven, belief is hell.
 
 
+2 # kelly 2012-04-23 09:49
Then why not make your case in the reasonable fashion you just stated first? Everything else would be in the argument against brevity. The one liners are, to be sure, incendiary and in some case might bring on discussion. Right now they seem irrelevant and vague. Here I would say brevity would tend to be the soul of wit as would clarity.
 
 
-5 # corals33 2012-04-23 06:10
typical of today's mindset we have reached the stage of utter fascination with the base and scandalous to the detriment of the spiritual and reflective.Bibl ical authority has no universal kingdom as can be witnessed even by its scattered and fragmented adherents.How we assess a being with no earthly father should be the first point of this discussion before we can even begin to COMMENT as to his human credentials.
 
 
+2 # papabird 2012-04-23 06:39
This article moves me to send in a donation to this one of a kind discussion. Thanks to you who contribute. Lets keep this site alive and well. papabird
 
 
-2 # judgeroybean 2012-04-23 06:54
Lincoln. Cary Grant and Randolph Scott. Jamie Lee Curtis. And now: Jesus himself. Maybe Boze Hadleigh can do a new translation of the Bible with the usual liberties taken to portray Jesus in this new light. This will do wonders for the standing of the GLBT community in the Bible beating heartland.
 
 
-2 # msleepyhead 2012-04-23 09:10
oh judgeroybean! you are so right...correct ! my whole point as well. this unfortunate publication of a volatile subject will only make it worse for gays and lesbians. the "rightwings christians will hate liberals more and certainly turn on the gay and lesbians even more. badly timed opinion that i don't think was very well thought out by the author or the Guardian.
 
 
+2 # msleepyhead 2012-04-23 09:01
the 41 negative hits on my post saying that this topic could turn the world on its ear ..ummm...have you read all the posts to this article...pls. note allll the different opinions and the passion involved. do you remember the reaction to "The DaVinci Code?"? could we get on with life and the all the problems other than whom is sleeping with whom?
 
 
+2 # msleepyhead 2012-04-23 09:46
or is it who is sleeping with whom?
 
 
+3 # James38 2012-04-23 20:08
Ms. Leepy Head, someone made the suggestion that RSN change the voting format from the accumulated total to a running total of both up and down votes. I fully agree, since, as the original poster wrote, a comment that gets 500 up and 500 down votes appears as a "0", as if there were no interest in it at all.

Please RSN, make this change. It will make the forums much more interesting. I have comments on this post that received a total of negative 2, but I am certain there were several to many positive votes, and the negative 2 simply does not show anything meaningful about the reactions.
 
 
-2 # David Thorstad 2012-04-23 09:05
This is a subject that has been around for at least 100 years. I first read this thesis in Xavier Mayne's (Edward I. Stevenson"s) self-published book The Intersexes: Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life (1908), which is discussed in John Lauritsen's and my book The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935). Apparently, Oestreicher is unaware of the Secret Gospel of Mark, which makes clear that Jesus was having sex with a youth in the Garden of Gethsemane just before he was arrested. The boy left behind a garment, unexplained elsewhere in the gospels.
Personally, it seems pretty doubtful that there ever was a person named Jesus. He is probably a composite figure from various other religions of the day, including the Osiris cult in Egypt, which, like many religions, has a similar death and resurrection of the god myth.
David
 
 
0 # Tallyskeptic 2012-04-23 13:29
The author says "That disciple was John whom Jesus, the gospels affirm, loved in a special way." No, the gospels do not affirm this! Only a single gospel -- the last to be written, the gospel of John -- alleges a special relationship, not specifically a gay one, between Jesus and an unnamed disciple. In fact the "beloved disciple" is only mentioned approximately four times in this single gospel. The whole idea is most likely a fabrication.

The author says "The idea that he had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene is the stuff of fiction, based on no biblical evidence." And so is the idea of a gay relationship with Jesus also the stuff of fiction, based on no biblical evidence.
 
 
0 # UNOwen 2012-04-23 14:05
While I agree with what John Locke (above) said, I feel that the 'message' the person who may/may not have been Jesus said, has been grossly misinterpreted.

We are ALL the children of a higher power (personally, I can't say if it's a conciousness or what - it's as big a mystery as the universe itself).

As such, we should all treat each other with love, with kindness. No one is better, no one is superior.

As for sexuality, as you know there has been a horrible polarisation here in the states, in the past decade or so.

What was once a 'melting pot' of beliefs, religions, ideologies, has been taken over by extremist points, and many of those, would say you'll 'burn' just for saying such a thing.

As what has been written about this person had been (mostly) written after his crucifixion, and, then, heavily redacted to suit certain points of view, it is hard to gauge with anything close to accuracy, a true representation of him(her).

We are left with a very hazy figure.

But, again - even though what 'looks like a duck, walks like a duck...quacks like a duck,' is - in all probability a duck (or, in this case, gay), the Catholic church et al. would say he 'loved' John, but it wasn't in 'that' way.

Which is ludicrous.
 
 
0 # Innocent Victim 2012-04-23 14:22
Before we consider his sexual preferences, shouldn't we establish that he existed as a historical person?
 
 
-1 # racetoinfinity 2012-04-23 15:26
Very good post, Paul. I think there is a fairly good possibility that he was, which is earthshattering only to those still unevolved enough to hate and discriminate. And I think he existed.
 
 
+2 # ThePigman 2012-04-23 19:12
Oh come on. If not being married and having a male best friend makes Jesus gay, then George Clooney is gay! Statements about Jesus loving John in "a special way" simply don't need to be indicative of gayness. Even today such an assumption is foolish, much less two thousand years ago in a foreign land.
 
 
0 # rsnfan 2012-04-23 21:57
Many of you may find the book "Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Vatican" informative.
It is by Jason Berry.
You can get it on CD also.
 
 
-5 # ahancock2009 2012-04-23 22:52
Paul Oestreicher as a preacher misses the whole mission of Jesus' work. All RSN comments refer to him as a human and try to attach a material/human cause for his human existence as a man. His work was truly spiritual in nature and he patiently and persistently worked to instill this in his disciples. As the son of God he could only accomplish in his actions the fulfillment in spiritual results. Therefore Jesus could not have had any sexual bias.
 
 
-2 # ellen.rosser 2012-04-24 02:14
An article like this shows the degenerate nature of our times, of the Anglican Church, and of RSN. which published it. Since Jesus was an observant Jew and since the Torah states that homosexuality is "an abomination," i.e., prohibited Lev. 18:22) , Jesus obviously would not have committed a proscribed act. Moreover, he was celibate since his kingdom was not of this world and since he taught that "the flesh is of no value; the spirit is immorta." He came to reveal God's healing mercy to humankind and thereby to heal the physically sick and the spiritually sick. He showed God's great love for ignorant humankind that destroys its possibility for a peaceful, harmonious and happy world by sin, by failing to follow God's simple guidelines for life on earth: Do not kill, Do not have sex outside of marriage, Do not steal (or foreclose by fraud), Do not give false witness (against Iran or Hamas or Hisbollah), help the poor (whether they are illegal immigrants or not), and forgive. Jesus came to show God's love and help everyone who turned to him experience God's love in this life and in the afterlife. He was not concerned about the material things of this world, including property or marriage--and certainly he would not consider sex outside of marriage, homosexual or heterosexual, as anything but lust. The love he taught is spiritual and has nothing to do with lust.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-04-24 11:35
It is always amazing to me when people use modern english to tell the rest of us what Jesus (or anyone else in the bible for that matter) said without ever looking at the original language and comparing it with the modern translations. It is also telling that you describe RSN (not to mention the entire Anglican Church and "our times") as degenerate. Another translation of Lev. 18:22 from Hebrew would be:

"And with a male, thou shalt not lie down in a woman's bed; it is an abomination"

http://hoperemains.webs.com/leviticus1822.htm

Furthermore, there is also nothing in the text that says whether Jesus did or did not have sex so to (self)righteous ly claim that "he was celibate" is to read your own values (or desires)into a text where the text itself never says any such thing.
 
 
-2 # Anarchist 23 2012-04-25 17:56
Gospel of St. Mark 14: 51 & 52 '51; And there followed him a certain young man having a linen cloth cast about his naked body and the young man laid hold on him: 52 And he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked'

What's up with that?
 
 
0 # tomo 2012-04-25 12:00
Ellen: I congratulate you for mining the gospels for a great many important things Jesus DID say (if the red letters in my New Testament can be trusted). But I fault you for a certain recklessness when it comes to sex. You would have Jesus utterly unconcerned about "the things of this world" and, at the same time you would have him very strict with regard to what was sexually proper.

Truth to tell, Jesus was pretty interested in "the things of this world"--as much in your list suggests, and if you will read the red letters carefully, you'll find he pays attention to issues of gender and sexuality--and that his take on sexuality does not map at all closely what is generally said in "Christian churches" today.
 
 
+2 # ellen.rosser 2012-04-24 02:14
An Anglican bishop who read the Gospels should certainly know that. And anyone who has read Plato should know that Socrates also sought to lead the youth of his day away from the physical and towards the contemplation of higher things: fair actions, fair thoughts, fair laws, and finally to the ecstatic contemplation of the sea of beauty. How Jesus and Socrates would have deplored the degenerate materialism of our time--and sought to heal it.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-04-24 12:05
Hard not to see the irony in your using the (ancient) greeks to bolster a specious (at best) arguement that homosexuality is "degenerate materialism." Furthermore, Socrates didn't write anything down so how do you know what he "sought"? Relying on someone else to tell you what that person said is simply hearsay and thus hardly makes for a crdible arguement. Plato, on the other hand, did say about homosexuality that it "is regarded as shameful by barbarians and by those who live under despotic governments just as philosophy is regarded as shameful by them, because it is apparently not in the interest of such rulers to have great ideas engendered in their subjects, or powerful friendships or passionate love-all of which homosexuality is particularly apt to produce."

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/1979boswell.asp

So much for the greeks bearing your gifts
 
 
+1 # Mark.Constable 2012-04-24 02:53
I appreciate Paul's courage in making the assertion that Jesus probably was gay, largely because this is so outside convention thought within any of the Christian denominations that it puts himself in a position for ridicule and pariah status. Yet, his support for gays and lesbians by associating Jesus with their marginalized status as human beings seems more a leap of faith than an exercise in logic. How many of us have had special connections to the same gender without there being necessarily a sexual connection? Paul provides no evidence other than the aforementioned assumptions based on scripture which were constructed hundreds of years after the death of Jesus. The veracity of this is questionable in my view. This seems to be an attempt to right the wrongs of the many Christian churches who have been complicit in the persecution of gays and lesbians, however, the logic is incomplete. Nonetheless, his advocacy for a significant number of individuals who have suffered because of "Christian" morality is laudable. I only wish that more preachers of the faith would have the same courage as Paul in asserting the reality of human sexuality in all its variations, Jesus' orientation not withstanding.
 
 
0 # Shipton 2012-04-24 10:38
Let me say that all christians are NOT of the Southern Baptist, evangelical persuasion and as a socialist democrat who is also a practicing christian I would like to request that if you are going to discuss the role of the church in the world you learn about the various protestant demoninations and what their stands are because they are NOT all the same; for instance, we do not all have priests who have taken a vow of celibacy, we do not all hate gay men and lesbian women, nor do we all follow in lock step with the traitors of the Tepublican party. Since I can't vote for a socialist candidate in upcoming elections I will be voting for Obama. I will NEVER vote for a traitorous conservative for President.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-04-24 10:47
As biblical and historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan shows in his fascinating works (among others -- "The Historical Jesus: Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant") crucifiction was first and foremost a political punishment for political crimes. For Crossan (a former priest), Jesus was a revolutionary Jewish rabbi who was fighting both the Roman Empire and the rabbinic (i.e., ruling) class of Judaism and his message of economic equality and wanting to usher in "the kingdom of heaven on earth" was a truly revolutionary message then (and clearly still is today) and this was the reason he was so dangerous and hated by both the Romans and the ruling Jewish elite (and the reason Jesus had such harsh criticism for "the money changers" and those that worshipped money (mammon). Whether Jesus actually existed is certainly a fair question but to minimize or deny the revolutionary economic egalitarianism of his (or whoever's) teachings is to simply ignore what the text says he (supposedly) actually said.
 
 
0 # tomo 2012-04-25 11:47
dkonstruction: I'm pleased with the gist of your comment. But I don't want to yield much to those who say: "Maybe Jesus never existed at all." I think those who say this seriously have been brainwashed by the lazy and diffuse skepticism of our time. Probably David Hume is the culprit. He would have us trust only what we personally see (and then, before he is finished, he would not have us trust that either). The great convenience of such skepticism is that excuses us from all efforts to study the past. That Jesus comes to us through varying and conflicting accounts is altogether true. That some of the accounts are simply incredible is also true. None of that is enough to support the great Albert Schweitzer's claim that we can know nothing of the historical Jesus. Rather it should summon us to study.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-04-26 07:42
Tomo, thanks for the comment...i agree completely...i simply said it is a fair question as it is fair to question other biblical stories e.g., the exodus story where there has yet to be any historical/arch eological evidence to support a claim that the story is "true" i.e., actually happened as the story says it did. Personally, I am agnostic on such questions until such time as such hisotrical/arch eological evidence is discovered. For me, what is important is what Jesus said i.e., the teachings which i still take to be truly revolutionary whehter he actually existed or these are the words/teachings off others. I have jsut purcahsed Crossan's new book on the parables so i agree with you that to study the historical jesus or biblical hisotry more broadly is as worthy and important as studying other historical periods and social movements. What i don't understand is why anyone would give you a thumbs down for a perfectly civil, well reasoned and well thought out comment (also wanted you to know the thumbs down did not come from me).
 
 
0 # tomo 2012-04-26 23:23
Thanks!
 
 
-3 # James Marcus 2012-04-24 11:59
We have 'REAL' PROBLEMS in our world.
Is such (as this). Highly Controversial, Completely Speculative, Irrelevant 'Nonsense' (yes, 'possibly true')...
a contribution to our Urgent Collective Needs/solutions ?
.....or to your Credibility as a Forum?
Why publish this junk?
 
 
+2 # cypress72 2012-04-24 12:08
I reject the notion that you are "gay" or "straight" without being sexually active. Am I a murderer because I think about murder even though I've never commited one???
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 20:24
I believe that Jesus would laugh at those who wrote this. He would chastise those writing, selling books for making money for themselves about a God they know not, nor do they even obey.

He was mad at those putting up gold statuary rather than feeding families. I think Jesus had priorities, ad did Mohammed, Buddha, Dalai. They all believe we would be better people if we loved each other, accepted each other. But for centuries we continue looking the other way at how we can profit on screwing the other guy/gal.
 
 
-2 # kitster 2012-04-25 07:21
first of all, was there really a jesus? was he just invented, a metaphor for the true path, according to biblical monastics? was he a composite of many teachers of the jewish tradition?

anyway, sexual preference...wh en discussing jesus...is a moot point. like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

great beings...like the buddha or jesus or lao tzu or many of the sufi masters, vedic masters and so on...were operating on a spiritual plane very different than us mere mortals can comprehend. elsewise, why aren't we all enlightened and basking in the oneness and joy of the universe?

there is no point to this article. you cannot judge a person (if there was a person) like jesus. he lived his life on this planet with the rest of us, but he existed on an entirely different plane of reality and knowledge.

he had no sexuality because he transcended the material unreality of our understanding of this dimension. he was all and everything. he was one with the one of universal connection. he was a manifestation of the all and the true reality that is the truth that few ever experience.

was jesus gay? is your foot a door? both questions make about as much sense.
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-25 20:25
Sad that the most important thing we have today is worrying about Jesus' sexual preferences.

After all he would not have worried about ours.
 
 
-3 # tedco 2012-04-29 18:17
Jesus did not marry because he was already married to Israel. After his death he was free of that marriage and married spiritual Israel, the Church.
 
 
0 # Oats 2012-08-06 22:48
This is exactly what riles up Conservative Christians. There are extremist on both ends of the spectrum. Yet, if you're trying to be accepted, don't diss or try to change somebody's religion. That's why there is amendment in the Bill of Rights that calls for freedom of religion. There are a lot of Christians who are accepting of gays. A lot of them get annoyed when activists are in-your-face with it. Nobody likes being treated like that.They don't necessarily agree with the lifestyle choice but they're not persecuting people either. Jesus calls us all to love as He loves us. But remember, love is a two-way street.

It's the connection of Mary Magdalene to Jesus Christ is as bogus as this one. Just because someone's unmarried or super religious doesn't make them gay. That's like assuming that if someone doesn't want to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, they must not like sandwiches at all. A tad ridiculous, no? We will never know how Jesus was truly like in the flesh. So, let's respect Jesus by not associating anyone with Him.

Plus, this whole thing is taken out of the context of the time Jesus was in. One of the reasons that Conservative Christians aren't accepting of gays is because of the section in Genesis discussing Abraham's nephew's (Lot, who oddly also happened to practice incest) escape from Sodom and Gomorrah.
 

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