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Re: "Lastly, let me speak for a moment to the gay people of this diocese" (Bp. Bena)

> Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 08:18:49 -0800 (PST)
> From: *****  *******
> In response to Dr. Crew. I think it is a fair reading
> of NT Scripture and Jesus' intent to say that sexual
> sins are not capital offenses, and Jesus would say
> drop the stones (real, literal, deadly) unless you are
> sinless.

*******+, oh how I wish your revisionism were the standard of the Church.
Hundreds of homosexuals would not have been put to death.

Alas, the Church did not drop support of capital punishment for
homosexuals until fairly recently.  The last execution for homosexual
behavior in England occurred in 1857, several decades after the
Napoleonic Code had removed such barbarism from most of Europe.

Christians did not improve on Leviticus, as you suggest, but
continued executions of homosexuals long after Jews dropped the

See Homosexuality and Civilization, Harvard 2003, by Louis Crompton,
for all the gruesome details.  He documents over 1,000 executions by
hanging, burning, and torture; and the records of many more were
burned with those put to death.

Crompton says the Levitical statute became the model for laws
decreeing capital punishment for homosexuality in Europe and in as
much of the world as came under Europe's sway down to the end of the
18th century. The moral authority of Leviticus is referred to even
today, he says, noting that American courts have cited it when they
upheld sodomy laws.

When I taught at Chinese University in Hong Kong, 1984-87, then still
a British colony, homosexuality carried the possibility of a death
sentence, but that other queen, head of the Church of England and
defender of our faith, routinely commuted it to several years in
prison.  Bless her heart.

Barbarism dies slowly, especially when it is enshrined in holy texts,
such as the conclusion of the otherwise lovely 137th Psalm: "Happy
shall they be who take your [Babylon's] little ones and dash them
against the rock!"

Instead of this 'Good Ole Time Religion,' one must be born again, of
a new spirit.


> Many of us who respect Dr. Crew as a
> Christian (I told him so to his face at Plano) would
> still disagree with his assessment of the sinfulness
> of homosexual behavior. (Many heterosexuals disagree
> with us that pre-marital sex or living together is
> wrong) I understand that the emotional impact of this
> discussion makes for difficulty. But in fairness, if
> the belief that 'homosexual acts are sinful' requires
> that Traditionalist must also condone capital
> punishment for such acts then is it any less logical
> to assume that the rejection of the Leviticus teaching
> on homosexuality requires acceptance of incest,
> bestiality and adultery? And do we also have to reject
> the dictates of social justice and love for the
> neightbor which are also found in these chapters? Is
> the all or nothing rubric helpful as an argument?
> Admitting that I am a sinner, and burdened with my own
> illogical thoughts and agenda, I submit that there are
> many pitfalls for all of us in deteriming the proper
> hermeneutic in our desire to be faithful and obedient
> to God's Word....
> ********** ********

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