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Christianity's Persecution of Gays: Historical Bigotry

By       Message Robert Halfhill     Permalink
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Gays and Lesbians are, of course, not the only groups that
Christianity has persecuted.  Of all the world's religions, it is
only the Western religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam that
have shown an inclination to forcibly convert others to their faith. 
And of these three, Christianity has been the worst.  Even its
closest rival in intolerance, Islam, has not carried out as many
religious wars and pogroms against the Jews as Christianity.  All
things considered, the world would have been a slightly better place
if the Christian religion had never existed.

When one sees Christians today hypocritically claiming that they have
the right to discriminate against Gays and Lesbians and screaming
like they have been subjected to a pogrom when their intolerance is
called by its right name--bigotry--one might almost wish that the
real pogroms of Nero and Diocletian had been successful.

The question still remains, however, whether Christianity can be
reformed of its bigotry towards Gays and Lesbians.  It seems unlikely
that people can grow up in a society in which the Divinity has no
sexual character, in which the afterlife is reputed to be completely
sexless, and in which their God is alleged to be born asexually of a
virgin without believing that sex is bad.  And such an erotophobic
social climate will create a tendency to tolerate only those forms of
sex which lead to reproduction.

None of the above critique of Christianity is meant to deny that
there are liberal Christians who support and even work for Gay and
Lesbian rights.  There are even Christian churches and organizations
that are part of the Gay and Lesbian liberation movements, such as
the Metropolitan Community Church, Dignity, Integrity, Gay Lutherans,

But even in liberal Christianity, the anti-sexual tendencies are like
a latent virus that threatens to become active at the first
opportunity.  Gays and Lesbians should work with liberal Christians,
but we should always remember that our final salvation lies in the
dying out of this sick and morbid religion.

It was only after Christianity began to lose its influence that the
penalties for Gays and Lesbians were moderated from burning at the
stake to imprisonment.  Further diminution of Christian influence led
to the removal of the laws against Gay and Lesbian sex in some
countries.  But how many Gays and Lesbians were burned alive over the
last 2000 years before this diminution occurred, not to mention the
guilt and self-hatred inflicted on those who escaped the extreme
penalty.  It is impossible to give an exact number, but over nearly
2000 years the numbers of those burned may have been in the

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Other Gays may still consider themselves Christians, but when I think
of what Christianity has done to Gay people, I can only regret the
lack of sufficient lions in the Roman Empire.

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DOB -- September 20, 1940. Became active in civil rights and peace movements in 1962. Active in socialist and antiwar movements -- 1963-69. Active in Gay Liberation from 1969 to present.

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Christianity's Persecution of Gays: Historical Bigotry