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Six views on homosexuality and bisexuality

Brief descriptions of the six belief systems

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One can divide the most of the North American public into six groups, in terms of their fundamental beliefs about homosexuality and/or their main emphasis.

One sentence description (repeated):
Viewpoint Description or main emphasis
"Abomination" Homosexuality is profoundly immoral at all times.
"Change is expected" Homosexuals can change their sexual orientation, with effort
"Celibacy is expected" Homosexuals must either change their orientation or be celibate.
"Marginally acceptable" Committed homosexual relationships are the least awful option.
"Affirmation" Seek equal rights. Homosexuality, is morally neutral.
"Liberation" Reinterpret the Bible. Homophobia, not being gay, is the main evil.

These divisions, of course, are stereotypes. They are typical concepts that are shared by many, but not all, adults. But some will not fit neatly into a single viewpoint; they will combine the beliefs of more than one point of view.

A brief description of each viewpoint follows.

bulletAbomination: This is the most conservative position. Homosexual behavior is to be condemned under all circumstances. Throughout the Bible, there are passages that denounces it as a crime against God, nature and society. Homosexuals are driven by lust and are incapable of entering into a loving non-exploitive relationship. This is the historical position of the Christian faith; clergy have taught this viewpoint for many centuries. It is only in recent decades that liberal and some mainline Christians have deviated from this belief system.
bulletChange is expected: This viewpoint teaches that homosexuality is a product of a sinful world, and ultimately the result of the sin of the original parents in Eden. It emphasizes that gays and lesbians can be cured of their brokenness and be converted to heterosexuality through prayer and/or reparative therapy.
bulletCelibacy is expected: This position recognizes that an adult sexual orientation is fixed in most cases. Very few homosexuals can change from "gay" to "ex-gay." For them, God expects a celibate lifestyle, without a loving partner to intimately share their life.
bulletMarginally acceptable: This viewpoint, like the previous ones, finds the ultimate cause of homosexuality in the world's fallen condition. Homosexuality is a psychosexual disability which the victim must try to overcome. If they are unable to change, and also unable to accept a celibate life, then the least horrendous option open to them is to attempt to enter into a monogamous, long-term, same-sex relationship. This is not a particularly desirable situation, but it is at least better than the moral chaos so often found in a single life.
bulletEquality: Equal status and equal rights are the goal. Homosexual behavior is seen as morally neutral, in the same way as is heterosexual behavior. Persons with a homosexual orientation are quite capable of entering into a loving, committed same-sex relationship that are the equal of opposite-sex relationships in all ways. The morality of their acts is to be judged in exactly the same way as are heterosexual relationships -- using criteria such as: the degree of commitment, the lack of coercion and manipulation, safety, permanence, and fidelity. Justice will only be achieved by equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations, including the right for same-sex couples to enter into marriage.
bulletLiberation is the most liberal position. Homosexuality is seen to be equal to heterosexuality -- perhaps even superior. The six "clobber passages" in the Bible which have traditionally been used to condemn homosexuality are to be rejected as biased interpretations of passages which were written to serve a scientifically illiterate, patriarchal, and controlling culture. The function of human sexual expression is primarily to generate joy, love and emotional growth. In rare instances, the prime function is to create new life. The morality of sexual activity, both same-sex and opposite-sex, is to be evaluated in these terms. It is homophobia, not homosexuality, which is a profound evil which is to be actively fought. Homophobia leads to hating sexual minorities who, like all humans, are made in the image of God. Homosexuals and bisexuals have the special task of liberating the church so that it can embrace the erotic as a foundational part of everyone's life, and one pathway to spirituality.
bulletMore information.

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Useful reference:

  1. L.R. Holben, "What Christians think about homosexuality: Six representative viewpoints," Bibal Press, (1999). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

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Site navigation:

Home > Conflict > Homosexuality > > Religious impact > Six views > here

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Copyright 2004 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2011-SEP-19

Author: B.A. Robinson

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