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Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
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Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
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Our readers asked:

What did Jesus have to say about homosexuality?

Ann Naffziger Answers:

(CNS photo courtesy Catholic Communication Campaign)

If you were to read all four gospels thoroughly in search of Jesus’ teachings on homosexuality it would be a futile endeavor. Not only would you come to the end of the gospels without finding anything attributed to Jesus on the subject, you wouldn’t even find a single reference to the issue in any context.

In fact, there are only a handful of references to homosexuality in the entire Bible, but they are found in the Old Testament and Paul’s writings. (To put it in perspective, while there are only seven references to homosexuality, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of references to economic justice and the laws governing the accumulation and distribution of wealth.)

Jesus’ silence on the subject suggests that an issue which can be controversial and/or fraught with emotion these days was simply not a central issue in his lifetime 2,000 years ago in the land of Palestine. The fact that he didn’t address this issue leaves us all to ponder what he might say were he here today.

 
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The Author : Ann Naffziger
Ann Naffziger is a scripture instructor and spiritual director in the San Francisco Bay area. She has has written articles on spirituality and theology for various national magazines and edited several books on the Hebrew Scriptures.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Kay Oss

    In reply: So Intersex people are not loved because of your definition of parts. Fortunately being a human is more than just the sum of our parts. You would damn/dismiss people with birth defects. Or how about this old nut. “Marriage is only for procreation” so every woman or man who can no longer viably produce sperm/eggs/and or related hormones in order to procreate are no longer married. Sorry gramps and gran… And why are christians so literal about the old testament. The talmud and the old testament are NOT interchangeable. PS jesus didn’t believe in the old testament because he was a jew and read the talmud. ooops and the old testament didn’t exist until a ROMAN CEASAR wanted to simplify some stuff written AFTER the time of jesus and threw out this and that. Like the BOOK of RUTH tossed out for one reason it was written by a woman. Ooopsie. Or are you saying god went page 1 first sentence. He spoke to some prophets but where is the “prophet” that gave us genesis since it was “written about 5th-6th century” Not to mention the vast assortment of revisions. Mary Magdalene saw the risen jesus… oh crumb she’s one of those humans with those parts. Then it became a bunch (11) of unnamed apostles ooops then it became some added specific apostles and Mary is left. Please tell me that you know Mary the prostitute and Mary of (the town of) Magdalene and Mary the adulteress are 3 different people. Thanks pope gregory for making that oppsie dasie too. It must have something to do with our parts that make us disappear from the bible. If you are a true christian than you shouldn’t even be following the old testament. The reason jesus wasn’t considered the messiah to the JEWS is he didn’t follow their commandments. You do no that there are over 200 commandments beyond the 10. Which is why Jesus said I am the way. He even asked of his followers “you will follow MY commandments.” and goes on to summarize the main points which are 2. “Love thy lord” and “Love thy neighbor”. WOW jesus was about love forgiveness inclusion NOT exclusion. When he stopped the stoning of the adulteress. JESUS WAS REBELLING AGAINST THE RULES OF THE TALMUD (these same rules are included in the old testament). Because is something new he is the way. Don’t you think god in all his wisdom would have seen all this hate and gave you an ok on hating gay people. And why are “christians” so obsessed with sexuality and the use of those parts. Its either like a disease that needs to rubbed out (no pun intended) or a part of some distant mirage that never existed. There are plenty of other rules in the old testament “christians” don’t follow. So is religion now a buffet of practice “well stoning my children when they are disobedient” skip “if im widowed I have to marry my husbands male relatives” skip “gambling is also damned too” but lets protest gay marriage and not scratch off tickets – skip “it instructs us on how to care or not care for our slaves by how to beat our slaves – sk… oops that one was used to defend slavery. so…. skip later….And for those willing to just uncheck an entire branch of science called evolution than don’t use any modern medicine or medications that were developed using genetics. Geology so don’t use any earth based sciences like gasoline and materials to build your home. Be ever so vigilant that the mouths of men do not replace the words of god. Jesus also strongly speaks against witnessing oops missionaries. It also says Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image so stop with the crosses and the jesus fish. So NO JESUS DID NOT SAYING ANYTHING DAMNING about GAY PEOPLE (technically there isn’t a word for homosexual in aramaic in the old testament so maybe “effeminate” is the closest translation. But since we pick and choose out of the bible we can’t be that picky.

    • JuliePurple

      Kay, you GO, girl! Awesome!

    • Mike

      what is a ” So Intersex people” ????? is that a word made up to mean Homosexuals to sugar coat that word ?

      you seem to have put a lot of thought over time to try and speak your mind about this with the way you wrote it you being upset that you are a woman and no man seems pay you much mind in the things you say and you are perhaps upset that women over the years have been shunned and told to shut up we will not listen to you, (because of what happened in the Garden of Eden and Eve ) and how I gather that you are upset at a “God” that you see in your eyes as not a fair and open minded God … let not mans misunderstandings be yours too

      “The reason jesus wasn’t considered the messiah to the JEWS is he didn’t follow their commandments.”

      the reason some of the Jews of that time did not believe in Jesus was because they were of Satan for one. and they we so full of their own pride they did not want to follow God to begin with, that is them that changed God’s laws locking up the kingdom of Heaven so that they could no longer get into heaven let along Jewish converts.

      Jesus in what he did unlocked Heaven by abolishing the laws that the Jewish Priest of that time used to lock Heaven up with.

      that is why what you said that the reason Jesus wasn’t considered the messiah to SOME of the Jews because if them that you speak of did , then that means they would have to had to admit the truth then step down from there positions .. they would have lost there control and power they had over the Jewish people in them days.

      it is Pride that does that… have you not ever dealt with a control freak ? or understand the psychology and theology behind such persons?

      Jesus followed the Ten Commandments that God His Father gave man to obey, the rest where mans laws not GOd’s

      Catholics teach that if mans law we have today superseded God’s Laws then we do not have to obey them because that is man putting himself above God .. therefore, as we do not follow man but God hence that teaching

    • gooder1

      Kay,
      You need to relax. God is not out to strike people down to hell. Whenever anyone goes there, it is that person who throws him/herself there. When coming face to face with God, the soul sees how far it has drifted from God during its lifetime, it sees the vast difference between what its life had become versus the Truth that God calls each of us to live by. God agonizes over everyone who plunges into the eternal abyss. He wants to be merciful, but the soul is frozen in its eternal state once separated from the body. If it dies in the state of repentance, it will be saved, and ultimately get to heaven, if it dies in the state of reviling against God, it will be eternally lost.

  • Mike

    for everyone especially @noni @gooder1:disqus @Jonathan @Tim J Petrizzi @Soonershark @William Lewis @LiberalGilt:disqus

    souls do have a gender, Mother Mary and every other woman that went
    to heaven all the women saints are just that women, not something with
    no gender and a face of a woman. the same goes for men.

    Sodom and Gomorrah

    the men wanted to have sex with the angles they too where men, that is what
    brought about the total destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. as that is a
    man wanting to have Sex with God himself, because they are messengers of
    God, therefore they too are god. it is oneness.

    too, this is where we get the term sodomy which is anal sex, which too is a sin. because it is an unnatural sexual act.

    when God made man and woman then he called it mankind. they were not made just man and called it mankind.

    man and woman were created then called mankind then God said to be fruitful and multiply.

    and woman and woman cannot do this.

    and a man and man cannot do this.

    therefore how can one say that Homosexuals are even born that way?

    for God never created a homosexual soul because he did not created mankind
    for a homosexual existence. if God did create mankind for a homosexual
    existence then he would have told us.

    commonsense and logic is what is needed to find the truth as well. not just justifications and made up stories that use no logic, that tell you that souls have no gender.

    @Soonershark stated in his post that souls have no gender using this passage to back it up, where he or she has no idea that it means because that person did not apply what it need to gain understanding of this passage, as well as no understating of God and everything to do with Him, therefore being ignorant of God that person made that statement, and is living in the dark as a result of it.

    Galatians 3:28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor
    free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    that speaks of both specifically and symbolism within that statement.

    specifically,
    Jew nor Greek, that is belief systems. neither, means it is no more,
    but now one belief system that is Jesus’ Teachings.

    symbolically

    there is no male and female, because it is a spiritual marriage one obtains with Christ when they become one with him.

    for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    when you speak of what you do not know or understand it will always get you
    into trouble because misconceptions and lies come out of it.

  • noni

    This post is for Ann Naffziger on her answer to the question about “What did Jesus have to say about homosexuality”.
    I am most particularly concerned about the following statement from your answer “The fact that he didn’t address this issue leaves us all to ponder what
    he might say were he here today” which leave a big question on Jesus’ divinity. When you say “what he (Jesus) might say were he here today” denotes an admission that he (Jesus) is not here today. If he is not here today, where is he? If he is God (according to the christian doctrine) then he must be very much present yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

    • LiberalGilt

      Are you getting messages?
      No?
      Must not be here

  • Mike

    the mear logic that boy boy and girl girl parts just do not fit together like they are suppose to should tell you that homosexuality is not normal. God is normal — you cannot mix a normal with an abnormal and expect to get good results.

    • noni

      You said homosexuality is not normal. Is it not that according to the christian doctrine, God created us all in his likeness, therefore perfect, normal human beings. Did your God erred in his creation that homosexuals cropped up?

      • LiberalGilt

        Us in his likeness doesnt mean gay. Why do you feel the need to twist the words to fit our agenda?

      • noni

        I’m sorry, you seemed to be barking on the wrong tree.

      • Mike

        no do read my general post in here. as well as Homosexuality came after God created mankind. therefore it was not created by God but came about in a different way other then God.

      • noni

        You said “therefore it was not created by God but came about in a different way other then God” My goodness, Mike, please read Genesis chapter 1. Before God created the Heavens and the Earth, there was nothing. Homosexuals are beings, therefore they are created. Since only God is the creator, how can you say “therefore it was not created by God”. Wake up man!

      • Dwardy

        Homosexuality is an abomination to God. It’s NEVER accepted. I was once a drag-queen but God has been transforming me to the person I was originally created for. God is holy and we must be holy, for without holiness, no one can see God.
        Man having sex with another man is bluntly immoral and perverse – I can imagine the evil things I have done with other men before and I could say that they are acts of evil! Good thing Jesus took me away from that mud!

      • Mike

        my my you seem not have have a full understanding of the English language.

        but came about in a different way other then God

        sally came to my house by the main road and by a different way other then the main road johnny came to my house.

        see if you can wrap your heard around that and figure out by which way johnny came to my house.

      • noni

        Mike, before answering your query, l would like you to straighten up your sentences, kind of a little “polished one”. Fair enough?

      • Mike

        thank you for answering my question already by what you just said to me. as it shows me that you already understand what it is I am saying to you. and that it is more important to you in how I say it then what it is I am saying to you.

        just by “asking” me if you can rephrase it for me to show me how to straighten up my sentences for you so they just look more “polished” to you. before you will answer my questions to you.

        I have a better I idea as you already understand what it is I asked you. and you like to focus on the un important. re focus your whole life instead BY YOU straightening up your life for God so you will be more polished for Him so he don’t toss you into where all the dirty souls go and get turned into what they really look like to Him in the end.

      • noni

        Do you still remember the rules of “argumentation & debate” in your philosophy subject in college? Evading a question is a violation of the rules. My suggestion is to straighten up your sentence so that you will be understood but instead you get back to me, telling me to straighten up for God. Is this what you learned in school or in your church? It is sad.

      • Mike

        yes sad is the word for you, because you need to have it written just so or else you won’t answer the question as I see you did understand it, as well as my rebuttal to you for nit picking, as if you are suffering from Obsessive Compulsive personality disorder , then you again take it back to mans rules you need to play by and not God’s to play your little mind games you play in here.

        P.S. by your own rules you play by.
        Evading a question is a violation of the rules.

        you evaded my question with your ‘hey let you show me how to rephrase that sentence to make it look snappy sharp’ to impress yourself and others’ and then you can understand what you told be better. line of blah blah blah

        because that is all you were doing.

        you broke your own rules you are now telling me I have to play by. mans rules and not Gods ….

        what does that make you?

      • Mike

        OK, lets look at it like this then. in Gen. God created Adam then put him in the Garden of Eden. then out of his rib he formed a woman. were either one of them homosexual? NO.

        we know this because God told them to multiply. a woman and woman cannot create a baby between the two of them.

        a man and man and man cannot create a baby between the two of them.

        this way of life is a direct contradiction to God and what he told the man and woman to do.

        Therefore, homosexual behavior came after God created man and woman. and is a direct contradiction to God.

        “therefore it (homosexuality) was not created by God but came about (happened) in a different way other then God” (doing).

        There are only two left to pick from then, as God is eliminated it that equation. This is called the process of elimination.

        you now have man and Satan and the fallen Angles that do not do what God wants them to do left to pick from.

        these two “Creations” Love to contradict God a lot!!!!!!!

        keeping in mind man has freewill so even man (or woman) can pick to do Satan’s will if they want to, just by not doing God’s will. if they pick Satan’s will — which in itself is a contradiction to God because they are no longer doing what God created them for, due to freewill. therefore you or anyone that is not doing God’s will is a contradiction to God.

        because you are now in and by what you or that person is not doing.

        do you have an understanding of the word contradiction and how it is applied?

        definition : a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.

        if you are not doing what God intended mankind to do, then you are now opposed to God. therefore you are a contradiction to God in yourself, just by being alive.

        but God does not kill you over it. NO he lets you use your freewill to either kill yourself or get with God’s program and save yourself through Jesus, by doing what Jesus did.

        obeying all of His commandments — and his ways. they are intertwined together like your souls is to your flesh.

        that maybe hard for you to understand because you are so opposed to God right now.

      • Mike

        God never created a homosexual you have to have a masters degree in psychology to even try to understand it therefore I am not going to try and explain it to you

        but GOD set laws against it even before Jesus showed up

        Leviticus 18

        22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. 23 “‘Do
        not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A
        woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations
        with it; that is a perversion.

      • noni

        Hey Mike, you said “even before Jesus showed up”, why? Did Jesus come from somewhere? I thought you catholics believed that Jesus and God are the same, so, why say “even before Jesus showed up”? How soon you forgot when Jesus said “before Abraham was l am”.

      • Mike

        are you really looking for understanding of your creator or do just enjoy coming in here with alternative motivations?

        pick one then maybe I’ll try to educate you

      • noni

        I’m just curious Mike. You catholics don’t seem to understand what you believe. In your trinity doctrine, there is only one God, father, son, and holy ghost. It is omnescient. When you said “Jesus showed up” meaning he was not here before. Since God is omniscient and Jesus is God (in your trinity) he must be omniscient too. Reading your line of argument makes one wonder what kind of catholic are you.

      • gooder1

        The Trinity is one God, with three divine Persons existing within the Godhead. Jesus is the Word (John 1:1-3, John 1:14). When the Word became flesh, is when Jesus, the Son, took on a human nature. Jesus, however, would in a sense suppress his divinity so to endure the struggles of man. In other words, how would his sacrifice be a true sacrifice, had he not actually suffered it. How could he experience hunger, unless he suffered it. Whenever Jesus spoke by means of his divinity, he would receive it through prayer, to show us how prayer works. Jesus could certainly tap into his divinity at any time, but chose instead to show us true discipleship, based on reliance upon God. He performed miracles, but would likely pray before to show us how prayers are answered. So Jesus could have done anything, but he instead showed us how life aught to be lived, and that we are all called to live life as he did. He dealt with issues as they presented themselves. And when asked questions, he would allude to the Old Testament showing how they had many of their answers already, but chose instead to ignore them. As for homosexuality, well there was probably not a whole lot of that within the Jewish groups, as they followed the Law, which forbade it. But we see later on in the New Testament that Paul certainly had his hands full with it in the Gentile Nations, and had to directly address it.

      • Mike

        basic concepts was never your forte in high school was it ?

      • HanTzu

        Spelling was never yours, was it? Re: “mear”

  • gooder1

    Matthew 19: “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    Above Jesus is saying that a man will leave his “Mother & Father” to marry a woman himself, just as his father did. Jesus in this passage approaches it in a positive manner. St. Paul, in Romans 1, approaches the same teaching from the negative perspective. The teaching, though, is one and the same.

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