Why is homosexuality considered a sin?

First off, I put this here because inevitably, this will turn into a debate. That’s what I want. Anyway, why do some religions consider homosexuality a sin? It is not like you are killing someone or sleeping with your neighbor’s wife. I can understand those. But if it is because it’s unnatural, what about celibacy? Just curious.

*insert religious text of the creed of choice here.

I think the general thought is that it is “natural” for a man and a woman to have sex, as this is procreation, and leads to children. And the Christian God at least wants his people to go forth and multiply. Homosexual sex can’t produce kids. So if all your followers are homosexual, you rely solely on new converts to grow. You don’t have the built-in growth factor provided by the children of the faithful.

You bring up a good point about celibacy. I’m not sure. I would guess that this falls under the portion of homosexuality isn’t normal because other creatures don’t do it. But hopefully someone who knows a little more than I will come along soon, as I have to go.


***not that i agree with this in any way, but there’s the quotation from someone or another----
“If God had meant for homosexuality to be an option, it would have been Adam and Bruce.”
-for what it’s worth

I hope I’m not the only person who has noticed that religious types that consider homosexuality a grave sin tend to take the bible for exactly what it says, and tend not to think for themselves.

A teacher once told me that new religions have to be drasticly different from the mainstream religion and mainstream values of the day. Since the Romans were pagans and had an ‘anything goes’ view of what was acceptable sexually, chritianity chose a ‘sex for reproduction only’ stance.
How can things that natural beings do be unnatural? I mean, I can see maybe unproductive, but unnatural? Cecil has told us that other creatures do engage in homosexual contact.
(sorry, too lazy to do the search) so what gives?

In another GD thread I pointed out that the Bible, esp the NT, does not especially condemn Gay SEX, and does not condemn homosexuality at all.

I know a little more :wink:

Although I am not certain as to the exact animals, I recall seeing a TV show about homosexual behaviour in animals. I believe giraffes were involved, but I’m not sure.

Since I now have to be off as well, I’ll leave the rest to someone who knows a little more than I.

Cecil’s words of wisdom on gay animals are here.

And here’re a couple of links to an editorial and article from New Scientist last year, on the subject of homosexual behaviour in animals:


“Queer Creatures”:

…is anyone else thinking of Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Animal Sanctuary right now?

The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life.

  • Bertrand Russell

Gays are not oppressed on a whim, but because of the specific need of capitalism for the nuclear family. The nuclear family, as the primary – and inexpensive – provider and carer for the workforce, fulfilled in the nineteenth century and still fulfills an important need for capitalism. Alternative sexualities represent a threat to the family model because they provide an alternative role model for people. Gays are going to be in the front line of attack whenever capitalism wants to reinforce family values.

  • Louise Tierney, “Looking to the Future”

I’m still wondering about the gay=bad, celibate=ok angle. If it’s purely an economic thing, celibacy is just as bad.

Of course, as soon as I typed that, I just remembered that the second son (who wasn’t inheriting the estate) often turned to the clergy. Where, in name at least, he was presumably celibate. But that was more of a middle ages concern, as opposed to something early Christians would have had to worry about.

For Christianity at least, it’s probably a hold-over from Judiasm. In which case CMK might want to stick his head in here.


My question is, Why didn’t you post this in the Gay Guy II thread? :smiley: (Kidding!)

Why do some religions consider homosexuality a sin? I can only speak from a Christian point of view, because that’s the only one I’m even vaguely familiar with (although I am not Christian - my religion has no problems whatsoever with homosexuality). This being the case, they consider it a sin because the Bible says it is (Leviticus, Romans, and I believe one other). (Not that I necessarily disagree with him, but for the sake of this post I won’t get into Danielinthewolvesden’s assertion that it doesn’t actually say that and will go on the premise that it actually does.) OK, so why does the Bible say it is? Buncha reasons, not the least of which was wanting the faithful to procreate, as ellis said. Also, homosexual behavior was long associated with Roman decadence, so just about anything Roman was considered the antithesis of Judaism and/or Christianity - they needed to seperate themselves from Rome in order to establish their own religion. And there are other reasons. (Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, by the way, but these are some of the reasons, historically, I’ve been lead to believe.) Of course, there are also lots of silly laws about dietary restrictions that are wholly irrelevant today, but are still adhered to by some people. In an historical referencial frame, it wasn’t necessarily a moral/immoral thing, but that’s what it has become.

As far as celibacy goes, there are also various reasons why it’s considered a virtue for priests, yet required of married couples (Paul’s thoughts on the subject notwithstanding).

From a nature point of view, the most natural thing is for a man to have sex with as many women as possible to procreate the species and diversify the gene pool. If every man did this, however, we’d have some serious population problems beyond the ones we already have.

And yes, homosexuality occurs in the animal kingdom in roughly the same percentage among all higher primates (although no doubt Rousseau will probably still argue with me that the data is inherently flawed). One particular author did some extensive research on the subject based on various anthropologists’ research over several years, and I know his book is available through Amazon.com, but I can’t recall the title off the top of my head - I’ll find it if I can.

And hightechburrito, if they really took the Bible literally, they would be in a heap of trouble, not only between the conflicts between the New Testament and Old, but also because Jesus taught love. As Ghandi once said (paraphrasing), “If you Christians were more like your Christ, the world would be a better place.”




I think for myself… at least I think I do. :smiley:

danielinthewolvesden and ellis555:


I hope that Chaim doesn’t mind me sticking my nose in here :slight_smile: .

Daniel, could you post a link to that thread? As far as I know, the Bible (OT) does “especially condemn” gay sex… it uses the word most commonly translated as “abomination.”

I am sure that Chiam will eventually correct me if I am off base, but the idea that gay sex in unproductive is pretty much the answer that the OP was looking for.

According to the Torah (Old Testament), sex exists so that people will have children. Gay sex is out for pretty much the same reason that birth control is: it’s “non-productive.” The wasting of seed is a big deal in the OT - homosexual sex, masturbation and birth control are all forbidden because of the value placed on seed.

When I asked my Junior High School teacher if lesbian sex was wrong he said “No, it’s just a waste of time.” Heh.

To return to the OP, RedDragon, you said:

So, what is so intuitive about forbidding adultery or murder?

I once heard a fantastic talk - the speaker asked us if it is a “natural” idea to forbid murder. We hit the idea around for a while before determining that violent conquest is really one of the most “natural” phenomena around - we call it survival of the fittest, or “Natural Selection.”

Relevance to this thread? Neither murder, adultery or gay sex is intuitively wrong - but the Bible forbids them all.

Esprix posted:

Couple of points:
[li]I see this misconception all the time. There is nothing in Judaism that was invented to be seperatist from Rome - There were Jews before there was Rome. I don’t want to spark an enormous, off-topic debate with this, but it was the Christians who invented things, not the Jews.[/li][li]I’m surprised at you - your earlier posts tell me that you’re smart enough not to call anyone’s faith “silly.” I don’t think the Bible’s dietary restrictions are silly or irrelevant. Neither did my father, or his, or his, or his, or his, or his… Y’know?[/li][/list=1]

sdimbert asked:

Well, mostly because they aren’t consensual. The cuckolded husband is a victim, and the person who got murdered sure ain’t happy either. Barring prior commitments, who’s hurt by consensual sex between two adults?

Generally speaking, the common elements in religious sin and secular illegality fall under the “stuff I don’t want done to me” category. That is, I want murder to be illegal (and immoral) because I don’t want to be murdered. I want theft to be proscribed because I don’t want to have my stuff stolen.

Homosexuality doesn’t fit that mold.

SDIM: I went into this on several GD threads. I did not say the bible never said gay sex was wrong, it is just not an especially condemned act. In Leviticus, it does condemn Gay sex, but that is in the middle of a hundred Jewish Laws that nobody but very Orthodox Jews follow all of anymore. In other words, it was wrong, but no worse that eating shrimp, or wearing a garment of mingled linen & wool.
In the NT, there are several verses, some of which could very well read as condeming sex with gay prostitutes, not just Gay sex. There are some, by Paul, which do condemn Gay sex, but includes it in a LOOONNNG list of other sins, such as fornication, drunkeness, talking back to your parents, masturbation, prideful, debating, boasters, etc, etc. So, sure, Paul thinks Gay sex is wrong, but he believes ALL sex is bad, even between man & wife (altho that’s OK if you absolutely MUST).

I have sat here and read Danielinthewolvesden’s and andros’ posts over and over and have to say that they are extremely logical and well-put; I can not answer either charge.

andros, you say;

You are right - by the definitions and assumptions you’re using, homosexuality is a different animal.

Danielinthewolvesden, you said:


You are also right - if we use your yardstick, then homosexual sex is no bigger a deal then the wearing of shatnez (the aforementioned mixture of linen and wool).

But, here’s the thing (both of you):
The OP asked:


red_dragon60’s question was posed in religious language - my copy of http://www.m-w.com says:

The OP’s question is a religious one, so our answer must be a religious answer - any other isn’t relevant.

So, therin lies the answer to both of your challenges - ellis555 said it in the first rely to the OP - homosexual sex is a "sin’ because God says it is.

Danielinthewolvesden, it doesn’t make any difference how many people follow a rule; it is still a rule. Lots and lots of people speed - but that doesn’t make it legal.

I don’t have homosexual sex for the same reason that I don’t wear shatnez, eat shrimp or follow any other of Esprix’s “silly laws:”

Because God says so.

I am fully aware that this answer will be unsatisfying to 90% of the posters in this thread - but remember, it answers the OP’s question in the spirit in which it was asked.

Book, chapter, and verse?

Version would also be good.

I’m pretty sure it has been posted somewhere here before, but with a combination of the un-fun new board interface, and my own lack of time I really don’t want to go hunting if I don’t have to.


Leviticus, 18:22:
[li]Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination King James Version.[/li]
[li]You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Revised Standard Edition.[/li]
[li]You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination New American Standard Edition.[/li]
[li]Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable New International Version.[/li]
[li]And with a male thou dost not lie as one lieth with a woman; abomination it [is] Young Literal Translation.[/li]
[li]Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination (The Complete Artscroll Machzor - Yom Kippur, Mesorah Publications, Brooklyn, NY, 1986).[/li]
[li]And with mankind thou shalt not lie as wit womankind; it is an abomination (The Pentateuch and Rashi’s Comentary - a linear translation into English, SS&R Publishing Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1950).[/li][/list=1]
A interesting footnote from the Artscroll source (#6) - "Of all the forbidden sexual relationships, only homosexuality is described in the Torah [Old Testament] as an abomination, because it is unnatural and a perversion of the order of creation (Rosh, Meharasha, Nedarim 51a) (italics original).

I could go on. Check out http://www.bibles.net.

Any questions?

SDim: I am amazed (and impressed), that you realy follow all of the Laws in Leviticus. So what animals do you sacrifice? Do you eat them (before the 3rd day)? Do you really forgive all debts every so many years? Do you never trim your beard or hair? Do you make sure all the fruit you eat is harvested in the 4th year or later? I am NOT giving you a hard time, I really want to know. But I agree, for one as Orthodox as you, Homosexual sex is as wrong as having sex with a woman during her period.

However, and I am NOT accusing YOU of this, the Bible-thumpers that revile homosexuals are violating Lev19:16-18. That makes them hypocrites.

But my point was two fold: 1 Christians no longer have to follow the Law: they can eat Pork, they can wear “shatnez”, etc, so they should not use Leviticus as a source of Laws- they need to follow ALL, or not accuse others of failing to follow ONE. And 2. Homosexual Sex IS against the OT Law, but it is no worse than many other, what many consider trivial, Laws/crimes.