Beastiality - 9 honest answers to a dishonest comparison.
Tin Foil Hat
thinking is dangerous
Under the saccarine rubric of “hate the sin but love the sinner,” many nongay christians insult gays and lesbians by comparing our committed, faithful, God-honoring partnerships to beastiality - sex with animals. While Glenn Beck hasn't made that comparison as far as I know, his anti-gay beliefs are representative of many folks who make strange and illogical arguments against homosexuals.
On this page, we provide nine honest answers to their goofy, mean-spirited attacks PLUS, we give you space to add your thoughtful, family-friendly answers to the sex with animals comparison.
1. "If we say that Old Testament laws against homosexuality no longer apply, can’t we use the same reasoning to say that OT laws against incest and sex with animals no longer apply?"
2. "To be consistent, gays have to believe that as long as it's not connected to Ashtoreth or Molech worship, sex with animals is okay, right?"
Because the sex with animals argument is a specious argument not based on truth, the correct answer to these questions is
No, absolutely not!
While those questions seem logical when you first hear them, they’re really just illogical, mean-spirited rhetorical sound-bites, part of the failed culture war attack on gays and lesbians.
We offer nine reasonable answers to these questions further down the page. AND, we offer you the opportunity to add your own family-friendly answer to the sex with animals question. Please note that we do not publish anti-gay rants.
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The questions falsely assume that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 refer to modern homosexuality and not ancient shrine prostitution. Historically, that is an impossible case to prove. There is no textual or contextual reason and no historical reason to believe that Moses and God intended to proscribe committed, faithful, non-cultic partnerships between two men or two women.
In the first century A.D., Philo the Jewish philosopher, understood Moses in the Holiness Code (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13), to be referring to shrine prostitution. The view advanced by Philo was the common Jewish understanding during the time of Christ’s earthly ministry.
“(40) And I imagine that the cause of this is that among many nations there are actually rewards given for intemperance and effeminacy. At all events one may see men-women [androgynes] continually strutting through the market place at midday, and leading the processions in festivals; and, impious men as they are, having received by lot the charge of the [pagan] temple, and beginning the sacred and initiating rites, and concerned even in the holy mysteries of Ceres.
[Ceres is another name for Cybele, the fertility goddess first century Romans referred to as Mater Deum or Mother of the gods. Remember, Philo lived from 20 BC to AD 50. He probably wrote this around AD 35].
(41) And some of these persons have even carried their admiration of these delicate pleasures of youth so far that they have desired wholly to change their condition for that of women, and have castrated themselves and have clothed themselves in purple robes...
[Philo here describes the castrated Galli priests who served Ceres or Cybele and other fertility goddesses worshiped by the Romans. Now carefully notice that Philo segues from talking about shrine prostitutes in the first century AD to what Moses wrote in the Law 1450 years earlier].
(42) But if there was a general indignation against those who venture to do such things [same sex shrine prostitution], as was felt by our lawgiver...” [Moses] Philo, The Special Laws, III, VII, 40-42. http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/text/philo/book29.html
Affirming the sanctity of gay marriages in no way legitimizes adultery, pederasty, incest and sex with animals. Affirming gay marriage in no way attacks or undermines heterosexual marriage.
Sex with animals is a hot button issue.
The beastiality argument relies on a false assumption and a false assertion. Those who argue that “sex with animals is analogous to homosexuality, therefore sex with animals must also be okay with God” operate on the implied assertion that if its wrong to prohibit homosexuality, then its wrong to prohibit sex with animals.
That argument can only stand if a committed, faithful, noncultic partnership between two men or two women is equivalent to sex with animals.
Gay Christians answer this argument by pointing out that “Sex with beasts transgresses the fundamental distinction God set between humans and animals.”
Because the Bible never condemns committed, faithful, noncultic partnerships between two men or two women, anti-gay Christians frequently resort to a dishonest argument which equates gay partnerships to sex with animals.
This guilt by association argument is a transparent attempt to confuse the ignorant. People who use this argument intend to demonize gays and lesbians by asserting that we approve of sex with animals and that our committed partnerships are the equivalent of sex with animals.
No homosexual I know advocates or defends sex with animals. We do advocate and defend our human right to engage in committed, faithful, monogamous partnership with an orientation compatible individual, the identical right which heterosexuals already enjoy but seek to deny to homosexuals.
Since Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are not referring to a committed, faithful, noncultic partnership between two men or two women, everyone who starts with that false assumption must inevitably arrive at a false conclusion.
Comparing committed gay and lesbian partnerships to incest and sex with animals is never a valid argument against two men or two women living in a legal marriage. The issue in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 was never committed gay and lesbian partnerships. The issue for Israel in 1450 BC was same sex shrine prostitution to worship pagan gods and goddesses.
Raising the issues of incest and sex with animals does not make a cogent argument or any other kind of argument against homosexuality. Instead, it changes the subject and aims to denigrate gays and lesbians by comparing our loving marriages to incest and sex with animals.
The beastiality argument is a non-sequitur argument (it does not logically follow) since Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, in context (18:3, 24-25, 27-30; 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 23), specifically prohibit religious same sex cult prostitution without making any negative statement about gay marriage.
Dr. Rob Gagnon,
Professor of New Testament
at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
According to Dr. Gagnon, the leading anti-gay scholar of the twenty first century:
"The proper purpose of engaging in analogical reasoning is to assess what categories best fit the issue in question through comparison-cases that share the greatest number of correspondences."
Homosexuality and beastiality share almost no correspondences or similarities. In the Bible, shrine prostitution and beastiality are analogs, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, but homosexuality and sex with animals are never analogs.
To equate modern gay marriages with beastiality is intentional misrepresentation. Homosexuality and beastiality are not the same thing because things different are not equal. Heterosexual Christian scholars who use the beastiality argument against gays and lesbians are being dishonest because they know that modern homosexuality and ancient shrine prostitution are vastly different in their impact, their implications, their intention and their effects.
Many gays and lesbians enjoy wonderful gay marriages which meet their innate human need for emotional, physical and spiritual companionship without engaging in shrine prostitution to worship the fertility goddess.
Homosexuality is an innate, legitimate, normal variation of human sexual expresson. Even virulently anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family admit that same sex attraction is NOT a choice.
For the sex with animals argument to be valid, those who use it must also argue that God intended some people to be born for whom only incest or only sex with animals are innate, normal, legitimate variations of human sexual expression. I am not aware of any heterosexual evangelical who uses the sex with animals argument against homosexuals who believes that to be the case.
Entering an orientation compatible gay marriage is about drawing a line. We can make a reasonable argument that sexual orientation (heterosexual or homosexual) is as intrinsic to human beings as hair color and right or left handedness.
If you are heterosexual, simply ask yourself two questions.
1. When did I choose to be heterosexual? The answer is, you never made that choice. Your heterosexuality is innate. Just so, innate homosexuals never made a choice to be homosexual. Their same sex attraction is as innate as your opposite sex attraction.
2. Would it be Christ-like for other Christians to equate my heterosexual marriage to having sex with animals? If you feel that would not be Christ-like behavior, then you need to stop using the sex with animals argument against your gay Christian brothers and lesbian Christian sisters.
Truth is a marvelous antidote
Anti-gay Christian psychologist Dr. James Dobson,
Do you believe same sex attraction is a choice?
"We do not believe anyone chooses his or her same-sex attractions. We concur with the American Psychological Association’s position (www.apa.org) that homosexuality is likely developmental in nature and caused by a 'complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors.'" [Underlining for emphasis is mine].
-from the Love Won Out website. Love Won Out was part of Dr. James Dobson’s Focus On The Family and became part of Exodus International which has since shut down it's entire ministry.
According to most gays and lesbians and according to Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family and Love Won Out, none of us chooses to have same sex attractions. Same sex attractions are as innate as opposite sex attractions.
No rational person would attempt to make a similar argument, that beastiality is an innate condition. And there is no rational argument that sex with animals constitutes an orientation compatible marriage partnership.
In a sex with animals situation, there is no possibility of a faithful, committed, mutually loving partnership because animals are not created in the image of God. Sexuality with animals can never meet our innate human need for emotional, physical and spiritual companionship.
5. The beastiality argument ignores
the clear teaching of scripture.
Even before God gave Moses the Law, God and Adam, “the first man,” I Corinthians 15:45, agreed that sex with animals was wrong. God emphasizes this understanding by causing Moses to record Adam’s rejection of beastiality in Genesis 2:18-20. The lesson is crystal clear. Sex with animals is never a legitimate option for any human being.
Sex with one too different is described in Jude 7 as “going after strange” [heteros, other] “flesh.” The Greek word translated “different, other, strange” flesh is heteros, from which we get our English word heterosexual.
Had God intended us to believe that the sin Jude 7 describes is homosexuality, Jude would have used the Greek word homoios, from which we get our English word homosexual.
There is no mutual, consensual, emotionally and spiritually satisfying sexual attraction between humans and beasts. Animals are incapable of informed consent to sexual relationships with humans. The Bible is unmistakably clear about the difference between the flesh of men and the flesh of beasts.
“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” -1 Corinthians 15:39
God Himself observes that Adam, a perfect, sinless man in a perfect, unfallen world, with God as his intimate companion, is not complete because he needs an orientation compatible partner of the same created order. The animals are unsuitable partners for Adam because they are not of the same species.
a. Polygamyfirst shows up in the Bible in Genesis 4:19.
b. Incestuous marriage between brothers and sisters first occurs in Genesis 4 and 5.
c. A form of beastiality (human women cohabiting with fallen angels) first occurs in Genesis 6, causing God to send Noah’s flood to wipe out the results of those illicit unions, Genesis 6:13.
The slippery slope argument ignores the historical record given in Genesis and falsely posits homosexuality as the precursor of polygamy, incest and beastiality. In actual fact, the Bible never links homosexuality to polygamy, incest or beastiality. Further, the Bible never states or implies that homosexuality causes or enables those behaviors.
In the same way that giving women the right to vote did not start us down the slippery slope toward allowing farm animals to vote, so giving gays and lesbians legal marriage rights will not start us down the slippery slope toward allowing marriage with animals, the wild-eyed assertions of the anti-gay, tin-foil hat crowd notwithstanding.
9. The beastiality argument denies the Biblical doctrine of human exceptionalism and embraces the false teaching of evolution.
Christians who use the beastiality argument against gay people are really advocating evolution (that human beings are animals) although many conservative Christians lack the intellectual sophistication to understand the implications of their argument. For the beastiality argument to be valid (it is not), the human exceptionalism asserted in scripture must be denied.
Evolution and the beastiality argument deny that human beings are a unique creation of God, separate from, higher than and unrelated to the animals. Evolution (and the beastiality argument) posit that we are nothing more than highly evolved animals. Evolutionists (and those who use the beastiality argument to assault gay people) deny our spiritual dimension, that human beings, made in God’s image as a separate creation of God, were given dominion over the animal kingdom but are not part of the animal kingdom, Genesis 1:28.
The Bible, contra evolution and contra the beastiality argument, asserts human exceptionalism, that we are separate from, different than and elevated above the animals, without being evolved from the animals. According to the Bible, as human beings we are far more than just another animal in the forest.
The “homosexuality equals beastiality” argument assaults the biblical concept of human exceptionalism and affirms evolution by comparing gay marriages to beastiality. Anti-gay Christians who use the beastiality argument against gays and lesbians insult our intelligence, display their ignorance and do grave disservice to the cause of God and Biblical truth.
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This page revised January 20, 2017
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