Homosexuality & Rainforest Destruction

Question: What do homosexuality and rainforest destruction have in common?

Answer: The Pope has declared that the Catholic Church must protect mankind from both. See HOMOSEXUALITY IS AS GREAT A THREAT AS RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION, SAYS POPE published in The Malaysian Insider on 2 January, 2009.

The article states that:

The Pope – who acquired a reputation as an aggressive, doctrine-enforcing cardinal before he was appointed to the Vatican top job – also defended the Church’s right to “speak of human nature as man and woman, and ask that this order of creation be respected”.

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are a sin. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality “a deviation, an irregularity, a wound”.

This month the Vatican opposed a proposed UN declaration, backed by all 27 European Union states, calling for an end to the practice of criminalising and punishing people for their sexual orientation.

The declaration was seen as an important condemnation of countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality can be punished by death.

A Papal spokesman was later forced to clarify that the Vatican continues to condemn the use of the death penalty for any crime, including any related to homosexuality.

Instead, the Vatican said its opposition to the UN proposal was driven by concern that countries that prohibit gay marriage would somehow be targeted.

The Italian gay rights association Arcigay branded this an “excuse” to distract people from the real intent of criminalising gays.

What does the Bible say?

The Bible mentions homosexuality in only seven passages and each reference is relatively brief. Whenever homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible, it is mentioned negatively. However, neither it is singled out as being worse than other sins such as envy, murder, slander, deceit and malice (see Romans 1: 18-32). See “The Bible and Homosexuality” in Christian Counseling by Gary R. Collins (PhD), 1988).

Should we criminalise and punish homosexuals?

Let us examine the reaction of Jesus Christ (see John 8:1-11). The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery (they did not bring the man). They made her stand before the public and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such woman. Now what do you say?” Jesus said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, until only Jesus was left with the woman. Jesus asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Though I am working on it, I am not a person without sin.

Are you?

Should gay marriage be recognised by law? If the answer is yes, then we should also consider abolishing the law against marriages of prohibited relationships. A member of the opposition team in the last Human Rights Debate put forward this argument: If we allow gay marriages to be legalised because love is a matter between two persons, what happens if a parent falls in love with his/her biological child? A brother falls in love with his sister or another brother? A man falls in love with his dog?

Jesus loved the sinners although he did not approve of the sins. Likewise, we who seek to follow in his steps should do the same. Therefore, I will give my support to the UN declaration calling for an end to the practice of criminalising and punishing the people for their sexual orientation. It does not mean that I approve of homosexuality or any sexual immorality. I will treat the person with as much respect as I want others to do the same to me. It can be a struggle but I will try. If anyone asks me whether homosexuality is a sin, I am afraid I have to tell the truth.


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Posted on 5 January 2009. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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6 Responses to Homosexuality & Rainforest Destruction

  1. Joel

    Its just like how a school coach can again and again penalize the a schoolboy for not taking part in morning jogs because he is asthmatic. Its time we channel these frivolous and irrational disapprovals towards something more real.

  2. Joel

    Dear Author,

    I think that this is a superb piece. I think the landmark philosophy for whatsoever complications that arise in this subject lies here :

    "Jesus loved the sinners although he did not approve of the sins."

    Albeit with a stretch of imagination, this suggests not tolerance, but forgiveness. The Lord Jesus was a merciful God, and a pinnacle of forgiveness. He died on the cross to wash away our sins.

    When we say 'sin' , in Christianity it means a contravention of one of God's ten commandments.

    When we say 'unlawful' , we mean the contravention (or lack of ratification) of the law. The purpose for law in its philosophical and functional sense are very well known. One of its fundamental foundations of course is upon religious values, in which this entire argument would fall.

    This reflection however always has a functional rational reason. Of course i) thou shall not murder and ii) thou shall not steal, have too many obvious merits of being crystallized as law. Without such integration of values the law would be simply obsolete and chaos would reign.

    These however are laws that concern more than one individual. Perhaps this is the benchmark of Holland's legal system. Notwithstanding, for our purpose we overlook this.

    Lets make a simple point. One of the Biblical Commandments give that ' thou shall not covet '. I simply do not see any merit were this crystallized as law. In fact, 'coveting' in instead rather encouraged by the contemporary society and by contemporary philosophies.

    Now, lets put the issue of homosexuality against the same scale.

    We are not talking about forgiveness anymore. We are talking about not trying to play God. In fact, the concept of 'sin' makes up the 'order' of religion. With such values there many an 'additional' propagation that gives a religion its own identity. If we were to take from such analogy blindly to make up the 'order' of a democratic law; then we would be nearer to autocracy.

    Jesus Christ was more of a guiding hand than a judge. Like the quote by the author suggests, He was not being tolerant, He loved sinners the same. Nevertheless that never changed the fact that they have sinned.

    He loved them although they were lost and disobeyed the word of God. How can we say the same about homosexuality? How can we say it conflicts with the 'legal order' of the world. It is simply a scenario of the majority against the minority, of the law pining to uphold values and norms. Its time we drew a clear line between norms and values.

    Homosexual persons suffer if the law is against them.

    Heterosexual persons do not suffer if the law is against homosexual persons.

    Heterosexual persons do not suffer either, with the slightest bit of compromise, if the law is neutral.

    Do not let something as objective, rational and solid as the law be stuffed into a subjective straitjacket.

  3. Yvonne Young

    Dear Raycol,

    Thank you for your comments and the link to the above website.

    The authors of the website also rely on the Bible for their arguments for homosexuality. If the Bible is irrelevant today, then both our arguments in support of homosexuals are also irrelevant.

    I suggest that you take a look at Dr. Gary R. Collins's book to get a more balanced view.

  4. Raycol

    While I agree with you that the Bible prohibits homosexual activity, this prohibition does not apply to men today when the sexual activity causes no harm. Also, the prohibition does not apply to men today because it applied only to the ancient Israelite and Greek-Roman cultures.

    Detailed reasons justifying these statements are given on http://www.GaysAndSlaves.com.

  5. Yvonne Young

    Dear amoker,

    I appreciate your comments.

    My intention is to demonstrate that I have to be responsible when making a decision. I do not merely rely on the declaration made by religious authorities. With due respect to the Pope, I believe he is a man of honour.

    I will listen, study and do proper research before I made any decision. Why? Because I will have to answer to God for what I have said and done.

  6. I have the same stand except that I dun support such measure as each countries do have their own set of rules. If the intent is to force Islamic nations to no kill homosexuals, then clarify such intent.

    Btw, the bible has more mentions about homosexuality that 8 times