Sometimes, in arguing that Christianity or the Bible condemn all gay lovemaking as immoral, people cite Leviticus 20:13: If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. What?
Oh my God, they want us dead. We shall be killed. Americans usually explain that they do not mean this, that the punishments prescribed in the Law of Moses no longer apply for some reason, but the moral judgment still applies- so they have to accept God’s Holy Will that gay lovemaking is wrong, but do not want to take us out for a stoning. African Christians do not share these scruples, and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of Uganda proposes by clause 3 to execute those who are serial offenders, that is, make love more than once.
The Pope obviously wants us all dead, as we can see from his blessing of Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of the Ugandan parliament and instigator of the Bill. If he does not, he should clarify immediately. I cannot imagine him allowing himself to be photographed similarly with an out gay man. Bizarrely, I read that the Ugandans were in Rome for the World Parliamentary Conference on Human Rights.
Among Americans, here is some evil nutcase who calls himself a “pastor”, endorsing the Bill. He is not alone.
What are we to say about this? One answer is that the Bible is a wicked and immoral book, which makes ridiculous statements. Another is that it records the old laws of a desert, nomadic people, and of a subsistence farming culture with a surprising degree of freedom and equality, which we may follow or not now as our own moral sense indicates. Just as the concept of ceremonial uncleanness has no particular moral value now, neither does the falsehood that gay lovemaking is always wrong.
Those who attempt to draw moral lessons from this may be criticised in all sorts of ways. They are picking and choosing in the Bible, probably wearing clothes of mixed fibres. But chiefly, they are taking as a moral principle something which is utterly foul, merely because it is written in the Bible. They have either abandoned their own moral sense, or corrupted it.
I find a great deal of value in the Bible, and I retain the responsibility to judge what it says as good or evil.