What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality
In a time when the right-wing of American Christianity is decrying the acceptance of gay marriage, some have suggested that the Bible condemns homosexuality. While it is true that some Bible passages talk about homosexuality, it is not true that the Bible condemns homosexuality in general. To begin with, the Bible is a very large book and homosexuality is not at the center of most of its teachings.
Of the 1,189 chapters and 30,000 verses, there are only about six passages that talk specifically about homosexuality. Of those, only one is explicitly anti-homosexual and even that is not directly against homosexuality, but against a kind of sexual activity.
The most well-known of these is Leviticus 18. Verse 13 reads: "If a man lie with a male, he shall surely be put to death" - but this is not talking about homosexuality. It is talking about gang rape. It is not clear why anyone would link this passage to the modern view of homosexual orientation.
Moreover, scholars have found that this chapter was part of a larger context in which the Torah talks about a wide range of abominations, including idolatry, false worship and bestiality. These are serious matters that the Torah considers a severe sin. But to conclude that this chapter is somehow talking about homosexuality, or that Paul or Jesus considered it a significant sin, is to commit the fallacy of equivocation.
The other passage that has been cited as anti-homosexual is Romans 1. Verse 6 describes several kinds of people who will be excluded from the kingdom of God: four of them refer to sexual sin, and two of those refer to homosexuality. It is important to realize that this is not a condemnation of homosexuality as such, but of sexual behavior that goes against the person's natural inclinations and that it leads to sin.
It is a sad fact that the Bible has been used to justify slavery, inquisitions, apartheid and the oppression of women. Nevertheless, it is also important to remember that the Bible has been used to support good causes too: it is used to justify the teachings of Jesus and to help us understand the nature and character of God. acim
A Course in Miracles
When browsing the religion and spirituality section of any bookstore, it can be discouraging to see how many popular books offer simplistic thought systems with precious little in the way of authentic practices. Superficiality sells, after all. But A Course in Miracles is a major exception, despite its curious title. It has become the primary source of self-healing for millions around the world.
A Course in Miracles (ACIM) was channeled by Helen Schucman (1909-1981), a psychologist with an atheistic background and a deep understanding of psychology. She spent eight years channeling the material through a process of inner dictation, though she refused to admit it publicly until after her death in 1981. The book was published in 1975, and the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) was established to hold copyright.
Unlike most New Age teachings, ACIM is intellectually sophisticated and blends spiritual inspiration with profound knowledge of such psychological phenomena as belief and defense systems. Its language, which is poetic and written in blank verse, has led some to compare it with the world's great literature.
Like the Bible, A Course in Miracles offers a wide variety of interpretations, but it does not establish itself as either a Christian denomination nor a new religion. Its teachings are rooted in a perennial philosophy and perennial psychology, which it applies to a Christian context. It aims to teach that God is love and that there is no separation between the ego and the Holy Spirit.
Its teachings on sex are more equivocal, and they promote a view that sex is not only natural but may even contain an aspect of God's love. They also endorse - albeit obliquely - a mind/body duality, in the sense that the physical body is not necessarily real. This is an endorsement that would make sex a learning tool but one that probably will not net the long-term happiness that A Course in Miracles aims to facilitate.
As for the rest of the text, the Course posits a goal state of a refined soul as part of a community of refined souls who have let go the illusory dream of fear, guilt, and separative ego. This seems a lot closer to George Berkeley's concept of God than Jesus', and it is probably why A Course in Miracles has such a broad appeal.
This film is one of the first to really talk about homosexuality and HIV in a realistic way. It takes place shortly after the AIDS epidemic and stars Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett a lawyer at a whiteshoe law firm in Philadelphia who gets fired because of his HIV positive status. He then tries to hire a small time lawyer Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) to help him with a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against his old company. At first, Miller is reluctant because he is homophobic but he soon realizes that he has nothing to lose and starts working with Beckett.
The movie was inspired by the real-life story of Geoffrey Bowers who lost his job at a New York law firm after his employers discovered that he had AIDS. Bowers died just six years later. The director Jonathan Demme and writer Ron Nyswaner loosely based the movie on his life without compensating him or his family. The movie also drew inspiration from Clarence B. Cain who also sued his employer for discrimination because of AIDS and won.
At the time of the movie’s release in 1993, it was unusual to see a straight actor play a gay character and it is still very rare for a major studio to produce such a movie today. Interestingly enough, Daniel Day-Lewis was offered the role of Beckett but turned it down because he thought that audiences wouldn’t accept him in such a role.
Although the movie isn’t perfect, it does show how discrimination can change with the times and how it can be overcome. It also shows that even if someone is gay, they can be a great lawyer and it isn’t necessarily a negative thing to be. The fact that the film was made in the 90’s and focuses on homosexuality also shows how far we have come as a society in terms of acceptance of different lifestyles. The movie was well received and won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is still considered to be one of the most important films about HIV/AIDS in history.
The Fault in Our Stars
When a beloved book is turned into a movie, there's always a bit of hesitancy mixed with excitement. It's a fear that the director, screenwriter, and cast won't capture what you loved about the words on the page. But with The Fault in Our Stars, fans of the book and film can rest assured that it was done justice.
The film is based on the 2012 young adult novel of the same name by John Green. It follows Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year-old who is diagnosed with thyroid cancer and joins a support group for teens with cancer. There, she meets Augustus Waters, a witty and charming boy with osteosarcoma. They start to become friends and eventually fall in love with each other.
The story is based on the true life of Esther Earl, a young girl who died of a rare type of cancer at the age of 16. The film's producers and author have worked to ensure that this story is told correctly and respectfully. Anyone who has had a loved one suffer from cancer can relate to this story and the characters. This makes it a powerful and moving movie for audiences of all ages.