Not All Like That

Thanks to John Shore for drawing my attention to the NALT Christians Project website. NALT stands for “Not All Like That,” and it is a call for Christians who tell LGBT people “we are not all like that” to say that loudly and not just privately.

Here is an introductory video by Dan Savage about the project. Savage should be familiar to you from his work on the “It Gets Better” project.

And it was cool to get to see and hear Fred Clark, whose blog Slacktivist I love reading:

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  • Herro

    This is fascinating. These people say that there is “nothing anti-biblical” about being gay. That’s amazing. There’s a verse that says that you should be executed for having gay sex…and yet it’s nothing anti-biblical about being gay!

    It would be fascinating to see your assessment of their biblical interpretation ( which I think is just as (if not more) driven by their agenda as fundie interpretation.

    As an example John and his wife say that the guys in Romans 1 who “burn in lust” for one another are just heterosexuals. I don’t know many heterosexual guys who “burn in lust” for other guys.

    • James F. McGrath

      The problem is that you are reading these texts with the categories of “gay” and “homosexual” in view, whereas Paul never uses the obvious ancient terms that he could have used for the closest equivalent meanings, not to mention the fact that the modern concepts are unsurprisingly not identical to ancient thinking. The fact that same-sex relations were practiced by people we today would consider heterosexual or bisexual does indeed need to be taken into consideration as well.

      Here are some links to some previous blog posts on the subject.

      • Herro

        John Shore (the guy on the NALT page) uses the categories “heterosexual” and “homosexual” when he’s reading the text. So the pro-homosexual Christians seem to be OK with using these modern terms when they’re defending their position.

        Isn’t it safe to conclude that a text who talks about “men burning in lust after other men” is talking about what we (non-fundie) modern people call “homosexuals”? Or are they what we call “heterosexuals” (according to NALT they are)?

        • James F. McGrath

          How would you categorize the Greek practice of pederasty in modern terminology?

          • Herro

            How about this: A homosexual relationship between a man and a teenager.

          • James F. McGrath

            And is that what the current debates are about when it comes to same-sex marriage?

            And are you certain that the view articulated in Romans 1 is Paul’s view, when at the start of what we call “chapter 2” he turns and condemns the speaker, addressing him as “you, o man, whoever you are”?

          • Herro

            The current debate are not only about sexual relationships between a man and a teenager.

            And are you certain that Rom 1 is talking about pederastry?

            I think that the passage in question is part of a larger interpolation.

          • James F. McGrath

            The passage is so integral to the point Paul makes going forward that I don’t see how it could be an interpolation. But it may seem like one, because Paul is imitating Jewish anti-Gentile apologetic rather than speaking with his own voice.

            I think that, either way, Romans 1 is talking about same-sex relations as they were practiced and thought of in the Greco-Roman world, and that is not identical to what we are talking about today – any more than what we would call heterosexual marriage today is identical to what NT texts talk about.