Monthly Archives: August 2016

Lesbians and the Bible 

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Romans 1:26-27

While some biblical interpretations of the Bible condemn gay sex between men, it nowhere condemns being a lesbian. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 mention men having sex with other men, but say nothing of women having sex with other women. In the Sodom and Gomorrah account in Genesis 19, the men of the cities wanted to gang rape other men. First Corinthians 6:9 mentions effeminate men but does not mention lesbians. While the above passages are often taken out of context to condemn male homosexuality, they in no way do so, but that is a post for a different time. This post is to address love between women. It was a request I received in an email.

Only one verse in the Bible refers to women being with women: Romans 1:26. However, this passage discusses pagan temple prostitution, not lesbians having sex. In The Message’s translation of Romans 1:26-27, it puts it this way:

Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

While Leviticus can be used to condemn homosexuality (and the Old Testament is just that old and outdated by the New Testament), the Bible does not mention lesbians. Why doesn’t Leviticus mention lesbians? Most likely because these passages are not talking about homosexuality as much as same sex lust. Same sex love is far different. One might argue that it did not seem important because women were not important during ancient times, but we know of female rulers of the ancient Hebrew, so that argument becomes invalid. Women were as important as men in Hebrew tradition.

The truth is that the Bible does not condemn homosexual love, whether it be between men or women. The concept of homosexuality as it is today was foreign to the writers of the Bible. Lesbian and gay relationships are not godless or loveless, but filled with God and Love. Homosexual sex only becomes a problem when it is godless and loveless.


Moment of Zen: Olympic Affection


Nothing/Everything 


There were a thousand different things I could talk about, but honestly, I have nothing to say. I could give an update on Isabella, who’s doing great by the way and is rarely more than three feet from me. I could talk about my depression because I was feeling a bit low last night. I could talk about how busy I have been at work which is fantastic and I love every second of it. I could talk about the dinner I had with a wonderful and lonely older lady, we talked and laughed and had a grand time. I could talk about any of these things but I’m just not in the mood to make a full post of them.

So instead, this is what I will do. If you have a question for me, ask it. I will do my best to either answer it in a comment or it will be my Monday post. Ask me anything you want, and you are quite likely to get an answer.


A Day Off


I’m taking a day off from blogging.


A Little Less Homophobia?

There’s a saying in Rio that goes something like this: “Romance is always in the air in Rio, but only until the wind changes, and then…comes more romance.” And while NBC Sports may be homophobic, NBC Nightly News is a bit less so. Last night the final story was about Olympic athletes getting engaged at the Olympic Games. It’s seems everyone wants to get married.

Will Claye did. The American triple jumper claimed a silver medal in his event on Tuesday, but topped the podium in affairs of the heart. Moments after securing his medal, he rushed to the stands and popped the question to his girlfriend, hurdler Queen Harrison. Naturally, she said yes, prompting Claye to pump his fist with delight.

Marjorie Enya did. A volunteer stadium manager at the rugby venue in Deodoro, Enya proposed to her girlfriend, Brazil women’s national team player Isadora Cerullo, on the playing field at the completion of the women’s competition, and got the answer she wanted.

Qin Kai and He Zi do. Qin, a Chinese diver who won bronze earlier in the Games, got down on bended knee with ring in hand as He stepped off the podium after winning silver in the women’s 3-meter springboard final on Sunday.

Charlotte Dujardin and Dean Goulding do too. Dujardin, who won gold for Britain in the team dressage equestrian event on Monday, was cheered on by her partner Goulding from the stands. After clinching the title, she spotted Goulding holding up a sign: “Can we get married now?”

Romance returned to Rio on Monday with the engagement of Team GB walker Tom Bosworth and partner Harry Dineley. The three-time British record holder, who set a new national mark as he finished sixth in the 20 kilometers, popped the question on Copacabana beach.

Of the four couples featured on NBC Nightly News, two were heterosexual and two were homosexual. NBC Sports doesn’t seem to want to cover gay athletes or even acknowledge them, but NBC News featured the two gay couples like it was another romantic gesture, like any other engagement, just as it should have been.


To An Athlete Dying Young

To An Athlete Dying Young
A. E. Housman, 1859 – 1936

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl’s.

Chris Mears (pictured above) suffered a ruptured spleen in January 2009 while he was training in Sydney for the Youth Olympic Festival. He was suffering from glandular fever but was not displaying the usual symptoms. His organs were squeezed by swelling, and further aggravated by the impact of his dives. This caused his spleen to rupture. After losing two litres of blood and being given a 5% chance of survival by doctors upon admission to the hospital, he was told it was likely he would never dive again. For several days he was kept alive by medical intervention and his platelet count was at 2. Upon discharge, Mears remained in Australia until fit to fly. However his family returned to their hotel room one morning to find him having a seizure on the floor. Mears suffered a 7-hour seizure in total which led to a three-day coma. Usually someone suffering something of this scale would be expected to have suffered irretrievable brain-damage and physical disabilities. He later described arguing with the doctors telling him it was Thursday, that he was certain it was still Monday. Despite being told that he would never dive again, Mears made a slow introduction back into diving, and went on to compete eighteen months later at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. He does however still to this day have a trademark 30-cm scar down the middle of his abdomen, curtailing his abdominal movement. At this year’s Olympics, Mears showed just how well he could dive with the best by winning gold in the men’s synchronized 3m springboard.


Neurologist 


I have another doctor’s appointment today. This time it is with a neurologist. It’s been many years since I’ve seen a neurologist. I’ve had tests run for my cluster headaches, but nothing ever came of them. Over the course of my life, I have been to many doctors and many specialists for my headaches, none of them have offered relief. The only relief I’ve ever gotten is with the medicine that my old doctor prescribed to help prevent the cluster cycles. While it greatly lessens the intensity of the cluster headaches, they haven’t completely gone away. There is still rarely a moment when I don’t have a headache. Luckily, they are no longer debilitating, but they are manageable. I wish I could be headache free, but I’ve come to the point that I doubt it will ever happen. At this point it seems to be more about managing the pain, which I’ve mostly learned to do, and not to concentrate on ending the pain, which I’m not sure is possible at this point. I’ve suffered with them for so long, I don’t know how I’d deal with being pain free.

I’m sure the headaches are also spurred on by my depression. I’m still waiting on a referral to a therapist. I’ve resigned to go, but I’m not thrilled about it. The last experience with therapy was not good, but maybe I can find one that will help.


For the Love of God


For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

There are those out there who would say that by being gay, we are separated from God. They say that we cannot be loved by God for what they perceive as sin. Yet, the above verses refute that. Think about this, neither death nor life can separate us from God. The New International Version says neither angels nor demons. Rulers, whoever they may be, cannot separate us from God. Our past nor our future can keep us away from God. As Diana Ross sang, “there ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough.” God is there for us. Nothing in all creation can keep us away from God’s love.

Even if we dismiss those people who say that we are separated from God’s love because of our sexuality, these are two powerful verses. I found this verse as I was looking for some biblical inspiration about depression. With depression, you can feel separated from God. In fact you can feel as if you’ve been forsaken by God. It’s a feeling that He no longer loves you. To me that was the lowest point of my depression. I’ve come to terms with some of my issues causing my depression, but realizing that God still loved me no matter what was extremely important in getting me through the worst of my depression.

So no matter who low you feel or how hard life gets, remember that nothin in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God.


Moment of Zen: American Divers


Steele Johnson


Michael Hixon and Sam Dorman


Kristian Ipsen


Homophobia and Sexism on an Olympic Level

The U.K. Daily Mail implied/claimed that the above enthusiastic and joyous hug was unmanly. NBC sports refused to recognize Tom Daley’s fiancé Dustin Lance Black during their coverage of the 10 M Synchronized Platform Diving competition. A straight reporter used Grindr to out Olympic athletes. Then NBC didn’t even cover men’s gymnastics team competition and barely covered the individual all-around, relegating it to late at night.

If you were watching NBC prim time coverage you would not have seen the above hug because they did not show the 3 M Synchronized Springboard Diving competition. It was relegated to on demand coverage only, with what I think was Australian announcers, even though the Americans miraculously won silver while Chris Mears and Jack Laugher won gold against the best of odds. Bronze medalist China was expected to win gold, but Mears and Laugher outperformed the Chinese. So let’s move on from this outdated, ridiculous and homophobic notion that a man-on-man hug, or crying happy or sad tears, is somehow emasculating, or should call into question someone’s sexuality. As Chris Mears and Jack Laugher showed in that beautiful, instantaneous moment, there’s nothing quite as masculine as really knowing yourself, being truly comfortable in your own skin and not giving a stuff about what anyone else might think.

When Australian diver Matthew Mitcham won gold in the 10-meter platform in Beijing, NBC Sports, the perennial broadcaster in the United States of the Olympic Games, failed to mention Mitcham’s partner in the stands despite highlighting the partners of other straight athletes. Even worse, the network failed to mention that Mitcham was the only publicly out gay-male athlete at the Games. Eight years later, nothing has changed at NBC. NBC failed to recognize Daley’s fiancé during the 10 M Synchronized Platform Diving finals. Not boyfriend, not long-time friend… fiancé. And an Oscar-winning fiancé at that (read: public interest). They are, arguably, one of the “it” couple of the gay community, yet NBC didn’t mention a word.

The Daily Beast is feeling the heat after publishing an article in which one of its heterosexual writers used Grindr, among other dating apps, to examine the dating and sex habits of Olympic athletes. Many were specifically concerned that Hines’s piece was outing athletes, especially those from countries like Russia and Jamaica where it’s dangerous for people to be openly LGBT.

Then there is the sexism. They don’t make as much money as their counterparts of the opposite sex. They don’t receive as much TV airtime or media coverage. They don’t attract as many fans to arenas or as many followers on social media. This sounds like a typical gender inequality story in American sports except for one thing: In gymnastics, the men are less popular than the women. The thing is, I still want to see it. I still want to see our men compete, but maybe gymnastics for men isn’t manly enough, but take one look at any of these gymnasts and tell me they don’t have the body of a man. It takes tremendous strength and skill to compete in men’s gymnastics. They are our boys and we should support them and NBC should cover more of their competitions.

Luckily, I live in a state that borders Canada, so I can watch the Olympics on CBC as an alternative to NBC. I’ll have to watch more CBC and let you know if they are any better. Canada itself seems more open about sexuality and equality. Hopefully, CBC follows how the rest of the nation is.