Friday, February 24, 2017

Godless gays

John Derbyshire's post entitled "Turkeys Vote For Thanksgiving--Gays Demonstrating For Muslim Immigration" spurred me to take a look at what the GSS has to say about the subject. The following graph shows the percentages of people, by religious affiliation, who believe that "sexual relations between two adults of the same sex" is "always wrong" (n = 33,086):

The GSS shows Derb's title to be an apt one.

The rank ordering is predictable enough, with the possible exception of Jews being more morally tolerant of buggery than even those who do not identify with any religious tradition are. Sodom and Gomorrah?

That those who religiously affiliate as Jewish are not what is conventionally understood to be meant by the adjective "religious" goes some way in explaining this acceptance of homosexuality. The following graph shows the percentages of people, by religious affiliation, who "know God exists" (this is the majority position--60.8% of all respondents assert they know God exists) (n = 18,383):

Only one-third of Jews firmly believe in the existence of God. On this measure anyway, the answer to the question of whether Jewishness is primarily a religious or primarily an ethnic identifier appears to be the latter [edit: Stronger evidence that is indeed the case].

To take this post full circle, the final graph shows the percentages of people, by sexual orientation, who know God exists (n = 7,533):

GSS variables used: SEXORNT, YEAR(1998-2014), RELIG(1,2,3,4,9), GOD(6), HOMOSEX(1)


Lorenzo said...

The rabbinical tradition on Genesis 19 was that the cities of the plain were punished for being anti-moral (i.e., picking on the weak and vulnerable). The notion that it was about God hating butt sex actually does not make much textual sense (read the passage without that presumption and then read, say, Judges 19 or Abraham bargaining with God about how many righteous individuals would be enough to spare the cities) and was a later interpretation most famously pushed by Philo of Alexandria, using Greek natural law philosophy as part of his culture war with Greek pagans. It became firmly implanted in Patristic Christianity because they took their cues from Philo for much the same reasons.

Audacious Epigone said...


They were offered Lot's virgin daughters instead of the men that they wanted to lay with. They refused it. Young virgins, no but middle-aged men, yes? Subtleties and exegesis aside, that's hard not to interpret as illustration of homosexuality as moral deviancy. That's how I read it when I read the bible on my own. I was raised ELCA Lutheran so the subject of course never came up.

Dan said...

Lorenzo, sorry no dice.

Deuteronomy 23:17: " There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel."

So this is a reference back to the Sodom of Genesis. Somehow being a "sodomite" among men is liken to being a "whore" among women.

Your rationalizations make no sense.

But of course that passage is nothing compared to passages such as Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13.

Even though Leviticus is unequivocal, I have no doubt that the rabbis try to retcon those passages anyway. For the sake of my curiousity, how do the rabbis explain away Leviticus?