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Once upon a time, during the First Stone Age some 200,000 to 300,000 years ago, primitive man lived by a simple code. Smack someone and you get smacked back. Steal from someone and they will steal back. It was kind of a self ad-justifying order of justice.

The point is that behavior was controlled by a learned sense of knowing what the consequences for a particular action might be. People lived and died under that code. Obviously kind deeds attracted its own as well so that most people by the time they were adults pretty well knew how to live their lives and experienced the consequences of good or bad behavior on the spot. While tribal codes were imposed, there was no deferred judgment of penalties or rewards to consider that would be imposed after death to hinder or condition behavior in the present life.

Special individuals developed within the tribes who seemed to have particular abilities to heal and to spiritually guide members of the tribe. These were called Shamans and most primitive tribes had them. Often, these shamans were men who at an early age became aware of their own sexual orientation in which they tended toward the association of women. That decision was generally supported by the tribes and particularly the family. They were special and revered. Often they were go-betweens of male and female disputes. While the masculine male was a hunter warrior, females were food gatherers. The shamans would dress like and participate in female activities. Weaving, beadwork, food gathering and cooking were activities they excelled in.

 In the ancient Americas, these individuals were what today we call “gay”. In North America after European discovery, these individuals were called “Berdaches” (French) by Europeans.  Their influence was noted among most of the Indian tribes. While they had male genitals, they loathed to have sexual contact with females, but rather became lovers for other males. Similar trends were observed in South America, Pacific Islands, Australian Aboriginals, Japan and elsewhere. The same conditions were known in Africa, Greece, Rome and even Europe.

Is indisputable that male homosexuality existed in all areas of the world prior to Christianization. Homosexuality was acknowledged and accepted as a part of normal human life. Lesbianism or female homosexuality was a con-current anomaly of tribal life as well. It flourished in ancient polygamous societies where there were large harems and insufficient sexual attention was given to individual wives. In most of these cases lesbianism was a condition of the situation as is prison homosexuality rather than the inborn gender of the individual. Yet an inborn gender trait was often considered the real gender rather than the genitals.

Other forms of homosexuality existed in which the younger male partner was used to avoid pregnancy and family responsibility which often was deferred to a later time.  In most cases these were not the result of inborn gender but rather a choice occasioned for other reasons. There clearly were abuses.

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 Nevertheless, the ancient code prevailed and there was little if any repercussion arising out of what was a customary practice openly known and lived. A person’s body was his/her own to do with as wished. This was true in societies outside of the influence of organized religion.

In the European colonization of the world such as the Western Hemisphere, India, Africa and elsewhere, the invader brought with it its own moral code fashioned out of the Bible. In doing this these colonial governments sat in judgment of ages old lifestyle practices of natives they had conquered. Because those practices were deemed to be below the dignity and morality of European Christians they were suppressed.

South American conquests were accompanied by the priests of the Catholic Church imposing Catholicism on the Natives. Where the new code ordered death or beatings for practices of homosexuality, the Colonial Courts ordered it. This attitude caused the practice of homosexuality to be driven underground in the lives of those conquered. Nowhere to this day has homosexuality been defeated and destroyed by organized religion. Yet it has suffered abuse and discrimination by religious biased governments and main stream heterosexuals and even by closeted homosexuals.

In addition to physical pain, suffering and death imposed on homosexuals by governments, the influence of organized religion has added a burden of judgment of the homosexual as a sinner facing judgment from God in an afterlife.

The simplistic concept of Black vs.White — God vs. Satan which drives religion is the deciding factor in what a member of society may think or do. In this, religion has inserted itself into the mind and body of individuals it wishes to control.  Using fear it has hijacked the freedom of gullible followers by insisting it and only it has authority to speak for God and thus justifiably condemn practices it deems dirty and ungodly.

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Unfortunately, we cannot realistically discuss the issue of homosexuality without making a judgment call on the authenticity of the Bible.  The general reverence given to the Bible is that it is the inspired word of God (Mormons say as far as it is translated correctly). Many well meaning people repeat the standard reverence without thinking.


The bible was written and compiled by men not God. The best that can be said about the Bible which is a compilation of numerous ancient books is that they were written by men. These writers at times attempted to place in the mouth of God, words which they them-selves thought God ought to utter according to their unique biases. Nowhere in the scriptures is there a word or statement directly from God.

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Retired Designer-Builder formerly practicing Attorney at Law.

Credentials include ordaining a Black man to priesthood in the LDS Church leading to a public struggle with the church yielding and ordaining Black men about 2 years (more...)

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