Wow, I can’t believe you found this old article lying around.

Speaking of Abrahamic religions, it’s very interesting to note, as I’ve been learning lately, that Judaism only came very late to the anti-same-sex intimacy game.

None of the writers in the Old Testament seem to care one way or the other about men who had sex with men. Passages that have since been interpreted to prohibit homosexual contact almost certainly meant something else entirely.

Early Christianity didn’t seem to have much of a problem with same-sex intimacy either. Jesus clearly did not. That all started happening perhaps in the fifth century CE at the earliest with Augustine of Hippo, who started a process that turned Christianity into something very sex averse.

And on a side note, it’s probably worth mentioning that today, the vast majority of Jews (i.e. members of the Reformed and Conservative movements) are LGBTQ affirming, theologically.

As for the Muslims? While it shocks the Orthodox today, early Islam did not seem to condemn homosexuality in practice at all. Many tales from the Abbasid caliphate are extraordinarily homoerotic. Lusty, even!

I guess all I mean to say is that when we call them the Abrahamic religions, sometimes we imply that there’s something about the origins of those faiths that demand condemnation of homosexuality. The more I learn, the more I see that that’s not the case. Homophobic traditions in each of those faiths evolved at roughly the same late date, and possibly in competition with one another.

For more information about how Judaism and early Christianity were not at all homophobic, Jonathan | sex & theology is an excellent reference. He has been doing a lot of work lately to popularize scholarship oh that’s pretty well-known among professional historians and theologians, but not very known among the general public.

If you don’t follow him yet, I highly recommend it.

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Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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