Originally Posted by mammal_mama
But, to protect them, we do our best to childproof and keep toxic, potentially harmful stuff out of sight and out of reach. We don't set a can of comet on the kitchen table and tell our 2yo, "You can play with everything else in the kitchen, but don't eat this or you'll die."
To continue with that thought, if I meet a parent who says, "My kids don't need to know reasons why, they just need to know 'Mom and Dad said so'" -- I don't see that as very good parenting. I see that as someone who's raising children to always be "yes-men" and never think for themselves -- you know, to just look to the preachers, the doctors, the various "experts" to tell them how to live their lives.
And my experience of my Heavenly Father is that He actually allows lots of room for us to explore, ask questions, and learn things for ourselves. That's why a strictly literal interpretation of the Bible seems contrary to how God wants me to read it and think about it.
Here's an analogy I've shared at MDC before: The Church has a history of shooting down new scientific discoveries when they're first broadcast -- i.e., it was seen as heretical for Galileo to theorize that the earth was round and revolved around the sun, because there's a Psalm where the Psalmist talks about the sun rising at one end of the heavens and setting at the other end (at least, that's the argument as I remember it).
Now I think practically everyone accepts that when God inspired people to write His words down, He allowed for their limited human perspectives to shape what they wrote down. His writers weren't just robots mindlessly writing down the words as He gave them. God has chosen to work through and with us, and human perceptions are sprinkled throughout His Word.
With this in mind, I believe we can look at the scientific and phsychological information that's now available about homosexuality with open minds, rather than dismissing it as being contradictory to God's word.
As was pointed out in "The Bible Tells Me So," in the Pentateuch God was building up the nation of Israel. Many of His commands were for the purpose of setting them apart and creating a distinct culture -- the same word that's used to call male same-sex acts an "abomination" is used to call eating shrimp an "abomination."
Male-male sex seems to have been classed as ceremonial impurity -- whereas there was a stonger word used to describe the abomination of sacrificing children to Molech -- and of course child-sacrifice is a sin that transcends time and culture.
And as for the "building up" part, it seems there was a big focus on not wasting male seed, and this focus also made it wicked for men to spill their sperm out on the ground.
If you study the laws regarding the length of time couples abstained from sex after women's periods (and presumably the males were abstinent and didn't even masturbate during this time, which raises the man's sperm count when he finally does have sex) -- it has couples coming back together at the height of the woman's fertility ...
Also for most (28-day cycle) women this time would coincide with the time in their ovulatory cycle when the egg is lower down and more likely to get fertilized by a male sperm (y sperm swim faster but don't live as long, x sperm are slower but live longer), so this increased the likelihood of male children, and males were the ones who stayed in the family-group after marriage, and also the ones who fought the battles, so this made for a stronger military.
And when Paul condemned same-sex acts in the New Testament, I think he was operating from his Jewish disdain of Gentile practices, and also from the exploitation he'd seen among the Gentiles who openly practiced these acts. In New Testament times, homosexuality was linked with prostitution, and also with unequal relationships wherein slaveowners felt free to sexually use their slaves, and adults used children --
(Of course, the adult use of children wasn't at all unique to same-sex acts: girls were often married off at very young ages -- I've heard that a "virgin" was usually a girl under about 12 years of age.)
Anyhow, I don't believe Paul had opportunity to get to know same-sex couples in loving, respectful, committed relationships between equals
. I have no doubt that this, as well as his devout Jewish background, colored his view of the subject.