Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Prince finds God and Homophobia

image The great purple one has found religion.  Just like many born again people the first order of business for him was to preach hate.  Heaven forbid he latch onto the many biblical passages that preach about love and understanding, no what his purple highness has decided, is that homosexuality is wrong. 

"He pointed to a Bible. But there’s the problem of interpretation, and you’ve got some churches, some people, basically doing things and saying it comes from here, but it doesn’t. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum you’ve got blue, you’ve got the Democrats, and they’re, like, ‘You can do whatever you want.’ Gay marriage, whatever. But neither of them is right.” When asked about his perspective on social issues—gay marriage, abortion—Prince tapped his Bible and said, “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough."

I wonder if all those born again who find their salvation in Jesus Christ realize that he never once spoke specifically of homosexuality as a sin. Nope, that was St.Paul who was also rabidly anti-woman. (Sandalstraps weigh in if I am wrong on this one please) 

Do these people really want to return to biblical law?  Honestly, most would find themselves being stoned because no modern person lives this way.   While Prince is busy convicting others he is clearly more than willing to avoid the ways in which the very laws he subscribes to would convict him as well. 

Is the same man who threw a fit because another star said that they "brought back sexy", going to spend the rest of his life not looking at another woman in a sexual light unless he is married to her?  I doubt it, and guess what folks that is adultery. You don't need to sleep with someone in order to be guilty, you only need to think about it.

I believe that he is just using his latest conversion as a cover for long held beliefs.  This is a man who has always wanted the world to revolve around him, and now religion is providing a pulpit for him to preach to the little people from.

With religion you always have a choice.  You can either use your belief system to perpetuate hatred and ignorance, or you can focus on the positive aspects that encourage love, brotherhood, and humility.  The aforementioned are the lessons that people often reject in their desire to convict others of not being Godly enough.  Prince really needs to start think about why he feels necessary to cast the first stone.  As a man who has a camel and needle to think about, the actions of others should be the least of his worries.

H/T Queers United.


29 comments:

Queers United said...

He misconstrued the verses on Sodom and Gomorah which are about rape not about consensual loving gay couples.

WATCH US EXPLODE! said...

According to Huffington Post, "his royal purpleness" now claims that he was misquoted:

Apparently, the interviewer did not even use a recorder when she spoke with His Holy Purpleness, and that when she called his people to fact check, it turned out she had several factual inaccuracies, including a little bit about Prince recovering from hip surgery, which he never even had... What His Purpleness actually did was gesture to the Bible and said he follows what it teaches, referring mainly to the parts about loving everyone and refraining from judgment...

"We're very angry he was misquoted," says our Prince insider.

Rj said...

I didn't know prince had any recent conversion. prince found the light some time ago and he was a professed jehovah's witness. that's why he doesn't perform some of his old music. he wanted everything family friendly. i have never heard him be critical of others throughout the course of time that i have been following him. he has always seemed to go his own way with things and i would doubt that he would preach hatred because he has always been about love. thumbs down on this story.

Lindsay said...

The main Hebrew Bible scholar at my school gave a sermon a few weeks ago about how some people talk about "biblical values" in terms of abortion and homosexuality when really, there are far more verses addressing social justice than addressing homosexuality and abortion, both in the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible. He said you can't really get more straightforward than Micah 6:8: "What does the Lord require of you? To seek justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your god."

I already knew most of what he was saying, it was just really refreshing to see it done from a pulpit and also done on a day with a bunch of prospective students. A few people got up and left, but it seemed to me that it's better to put out there that my school is liberal and we're not literalists - you probably shouldn't come here if that's how you interpret things. I think he did us all a favor.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there,

Whether or not Jesus Christ SPECIFICALLY mentioned homosexuality does not mean that the WORD OF GOD has not addressed it. Any Christians who tell me that they divide their acceptance of the Bible according to the DIRECT QUOTES from Jesus from the rest of the Bible have truly misunderstood that the ENTIRE BIBLE is God's word...not just the direct quotes from Jesus.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

And...just in case some people do not KNOW THIS already...Jehovah's Witnesses may CLAIM to be a Christian organization but ALL groups who claim to embrace Christian doctrine do not....

Xiphactinus audax said...

"He misconstrued the verses on Sodom and Gomorah which are about rape not about consensual loving gay couples."
Actually, iirc they were about being inhospitable to strangers. I think the Bible even says as much.

"And...just in case some people do not KNOW THIS already...Jehovah's Witnesses may CLAIM to be a Christian organization but ALL groups who claim to embrace Christian doctrine do not.... "
You wouldn't happen to know any True Scotsmen, would you?

Sandalstraps said...

Renee,

I'll work up a representative list of verses on the subject (if I can free up the time), but for now let me say that most of the "rabidly anti-woman" passages in the New Testament are not from Paul's undisputed letters, but rather from what scholars deem Duetero-Pauline material.

As for Paul himself, in I Corinthians 7, for instance, he offers something extraordinarily rare for his day: an egalitarian understanding of male-female relations. The troubling quote in the passage, "It is well for a man not to touch a woman [sexually]" (from 7:1) is not Paul's own position, but his quoting a previous letter from the community in Corinth to whom he is now writing ("Now concerning the matters about which you wrote" precedes that infamous quote). The rest of the passage provides both men and women with exactly the same rights and moral obligations. Such an ethic was unprecedented in Antiquity, and it, coupled with a thousand or so other textual reasons, calls into question the authenticity of the "rabidly anti-woman" texts.

At various points in his letters Paul commends women for their service to the church, rendering dubious any claim that Paul would have opposed women's ordination. He uses the same kinds of terms to describe female leaders as he does to describe male ones, making no obvious differentiation on the grounds of gender.

That does not mean, however, that there aren't texts in the New Testament that are distressingly misogynistic. And many of those texts were originally ascribed to Paul. They are just inconsistent with what scholars deem to be authentic Pauline material.

As for the Bible and the question of same-sex relations, I do have a couple of posts on that. See here and here.

Those posts are a little problematic, because in them the language I use is not sensitive to the LGBTQ community. I naively employ terms that turn out to be quite offensive to some, and then, in the comments, defend my own employment of those terms. How's that for privilege?!?

However, the underlying point, is that the Bible cannot be properly used as a weapon against LGBTQ persons. I go to rather agonizing length to demonstrate that, although I should note that I am a theologian, not a Bible scholar. That doesn't mean that I don't know my Bible really well, it just means that I don't speak with any formal scholarly authority on the Bible. On that I'm just a lay person.

Anonymous said...

Most passages that are interpreted in an anti-gay light are from the Old Testament. However, most Christians believe that Old Testament laws no longer apply because Jesus created the New Covenant. The Old Covenant stated that Jews who obeyed Jewish law were the Chosen People. The new Covenant states that believe in Jesus as the son of God and following HIS words are the salvation. The Old Testament does NOT apply to converted gentiles (which most Christians are).

Jesus essentially opened up the gates of Heaven to ALL peoples. Therefore, his words trump Old Testament words.

Jesus also specifically mentions at several points that laws applied to food, clothing, and drink are no longer necessary to follow, rather, you should follow the rule of the land you are in and the people you are with.

Jesus also strongly advocated for the secular to govern the secular and the faithful to obey the rules of faith. He would not have wanted a Christian or Jewish government in control.

whatsername said...

Sandalstraps, you rock. I was going to point out the discrepancies with Paul's writings as well.


Going off of what you've already stated I'm just going to throw my opinion out there, which are similar in points to the conclusions reached by Timothy Freke in The Jesus Mysteries. Paul was actually a rather awesome guy, and probably Gnostic. He was also so popular that the literalist Church men who came to power could not get rid of him, so they "discovered" some other letters of his to make him more palatable to their interpretation. The disputed letters, I think, are forgeries.

Jewelry Rockstar said...

He's probably Gay. That includes Eddie Long, and Bernice King too. None of them are fooling anybody.

Valerie said...

I've always been a little sceptical of the 'Prince is a feminist' claim.

Shae said...

What? I thought he was bi.

Also, in the same chapter where, I think it's Leviticus, speaks of "men lying with men", you can scroll up a few verses and see nifty verses on how and when to beat your slaves. Luckily no one takes that one seriously anymore.

Anonymous said...

Leviticus 20:3 "Man shall not lay down with man as he lieth with a woman."

It doesn't get any clearer than that. Since Leviticus comes after Genesis (the Sodom and Gomorrah story) one can hardly say this not about homosexuality.

-Ben

Shae said...

Exodus 20 "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up AFTER A DAY OR TWO, since the slave is his property.

The Old Testement doesn't look like a good source for morality to me.

Anonymous said...

Shae,

Are you denying that slavery did not exist in the bible days or that it would have been nice if old pharoh follwed that rule when dealing with the Jews?

_ben

Sandalstraps said...

Ben,

First off, I'm sure this was a typo, but you're quoting Leviticus 20:13, not 20:3, in the KJV (I write that not because I think the King James to be a bad translation, but because I like to disclose which translations are being used - transparency is helpful).

Now, for a less trivial concern:

I am amazed when people want to impose one part of the Holiness Code of Ancient Israel on others without themselves abiding by the whole thing. The legal requirement you list here is a part of Ancient Israel's self-understanding of their covenant with God. The legal material in it is how they cash out what it means to be God's people. That applies to the whole thing, not just whatever parts happen to strike your fancy. Violation of any part of it is violation of the entirety of it.

So, in the spirit of keeping the entirety of the Holiness Code, keeping in mind that the whole code must be kept or none of it is kept, let me ask you a question:

What is your shirt made of?

Go ahead, take it off and read the tag. Because if it is made out of more than one fiber, per Leviticus 19:19, you are in violation of the Holiness Code no less than someone in a same-sex sexual relationship. Since you're using the King James, I'll quote the relevant sentence in that one first (look at the end of the paragraph, just before verse 20):

"[N]either shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee."

For clarity, check out a couple of other translations. I recommend the NRSV, which reads:

"[N]or shall you put on a garment made of two different materials."

The JPS reads:

"[Y]ou shall not put on cloth from a mixture of two kinds of material."

Damn, that's pretty clear.

And there are literally hundreds of other such rules in the Holiness Code, most of which I'm betting you don't abide by. These legal requirements may seem to you antiquated, not making much sense. You're right. They don't. But they are a part of the same document that you're wielding as a weapon against gays. And that document hangs together. If any part of it is violated, the whole thing is violated.

So, if you're going to use it to rule out the possibility that two people of the same gender can share both a life and a bed, then I'm going to have to ask you to go through your closet and take out all the blended fabrics.

Anonymous said...

Sandalstraps,

You are correct, but then again, because I'm not a good Jew doesn't invalidate the code. What it says, is what it says, and we can not deny what is says regardless of how pious I am.

-Ben

Sandalstraps said...

Ben,

Are you a Jew?

If so, I apologize for assuming that I was discussing with a Christian.

If you are a Jew, however, you will no doubt know that the Holiness Code does not apply to Gentiles, but only to those within the covenant in which it is given. The passages in question then describe not universal moral norms, but rather how to live out a particular covenant.

The question then becomes: "On whom is the prohibition binding." Even for those who assume that the prohibition is, in fact, binding, and does in fact represent some revelation from God, it is still binding only on those within that particular covenant with God. That would exclude all non-Jews, and, depending on who you're asking, quite possibly a great many who understand themselves to be Jews.

It thus does not help us understand why conversion to evangelical expressions of Christianity seem invariably to bring out homophobia.

Sandalstraps said...

Ben,

Also, if you are a Jew (you say you're "not a good Jew," which I take to be a confession of Judaism) I've got to ask if I'm right that you're quoting the King James above. Your reference uses the same words as the King James, so I took it to be from that translation.

If that is what you're using, and if you are in fact a Jew, I've got to ask why you're using it. Wasn't it done principally from the Septuagint, the Greek-language version of the Tanakh adopted by Hellenistic Jews but rejected by Jamnia? Wouldn't you - again, if you are in fact Jewish - prefer a translation done from principally from the Masoretic text?

I ask because - please forgive me if I'm wrong - but, despite your statement that you are "not a good Jew," which is grammatically a confession of Judaism, your comments sound distinctly Christian.

I say that in reference both to your response to Shae, in you said "the Jews," and in your last comment, in which you don't exhibit any knowledge of the covenant.

BlackWomenBlowTheTrumpet said...

@ Anonymous 5:43PM

You said:
"The Old Testament does NOT apply to converted gentiles (which most Christians are)."

That is such a CROCK! I can't believe you are attempting to make a statement that is soooo far from reality. Christian churches all over the world teach from the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The important distinction to make is that if we are discussing Prince and the Jehovah's Witnesses, they do NOT STUDY from the Holy Bible. The JWs have written their own Bible and they do not use any other ones.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

BlackWomenBlowTheTrumpet said...

@ Sandalstraps

There ARE many Semetic Christians who are acknowledged in the Christian community as believers.

One CAN BE Jew and also Christian. There is an organization called "Jews For Jesus" and others like it.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Sandalstraps said...

BlackWomenBlowTheTrumpet,

Historically one can easily be both a Jew and a Christian - most early Christians were also Jews, until the end of the first century when they were expelled from the synagogue.

As for the possibility of Jewish-Christians now, that is a disputed topic. Most Jews do not acknowledge the Jewishness of "Jews for Jesus," and are in fact quite offended by them. As a Christian who is not Jewish, I withhold my own judgment on the Jewishness of Jews for Jesus. As someone who believes that Jews are already in a saving relationship with God, I do not believe that they need to convert to Christianity or any other religion, and see attempts to evangelize Jews by organizations like Jews for Jesus as almost as distasteful as Mormon baptisms of Jews killed in the holocaust.

Jewish-Christian relations are fraught with such landmines.

In any event, the question is whether or not the passage in question has any authority in the present day, for Christians or for any other group. Based on its context within a particular covenant, it could only be read as binding on those who find themselves within that particular covenant, and cannot be read - as it is far too often - as an articulation of a universal moral norm.

Incidentally, most Jews also see it as no longer valid, if it ever was. Both Reform and Conservative branches of Judaism will ordain LGBT rabbis.

Renee said...

@Sandlestraps

Mormon baptisms of Jews killed in the holocaust.

Was this official church policy? This is the first I am hearing of this.

whatsername said...

That phenomena was just being discussed on a current events board I'm at. The basic gist is that Mormons will look up their genealogies and baptize by-stand-in their deceased ancestors.

Now, "the Jews" objected to this to the point that they have an agreement not to do this to Jewish relatives.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/11/11/baptizing.dead.jews.ap/index.html

Anonymous said...

Renee,

The Mormons have been baptizing Jews post posthumously for years; I think 15 years. They said they would stop, but who really knows.

-Ben

Anonymous said...

Sandalstraps,

No need to apolagize. No offense taken. Again, right about the covenant/chsen thing. Once again though, the old testament IS a part of the Christian bible be it King James or what ever. That's where the hypocrasy starts. I can at least appreciate they guys that hand out the tiny colorful new testaments on street corners. Nonetheless, to get back on topic, I think Prince is right. Some people just want gloss over the things they don't like or attempt to rationalize the obvious. In a rare moment here, I thinke Renee might even agree, the book really is sexist, ant-gay, anti-woman and a few other things. People don't want to believe that, but its there.

-Ben

Anonymous said...

Please don't begin to compare being a race to a behavior. They are not synonymous.

Anonymous said...

People choose to belive what they want to believe, and Jesus did not try to coerce people into accepting his doctrine. You either chose to believe in his words, hia authority and his existence or you choose not to. Besides, according to Jesus, most people will not belive in his words when he returns. We definitely see that trend.

In essence, he said, "If any man hear my words and believes not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and doesn't receive my words, has one that judges him. The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day."

In Mark 7, Jesus did list behavior that he regarded as evil- fornication (which homosexuality would be included under), adulteries, murder and thefts were clumped together. Read it for yourself.

So if you choose to believe that the only statute for being a Christian is to practice loving mankind, you can believe that. But believing that doesn't make it correct or accepted by God. For some reason, we want to live like we want to live without any rules or guidelines and yet we believe God is okay with it. We can't "make" God do or accept anything.

Practicing sexual self-control is a part of being a Christian. That only makes sense.