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Queering the Bible

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Sarah Hileman

on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of Queering the Bible

Queering Christianity: Is Leviticus Still Relevant?
Love as Central to Faith
"From scripture, we know that God is love, that God so loved the world that God became incarnate so that we could share in God's eternal life, and that the greatest commandments are to love God with all of one's heart, soul, and mind, and to love one's neighbor as oneself" (Cheng 45)

"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” ( Mark 12: 28-31)
What does Leviticus say?
"Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable" (Leviticus 18:22)

"If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads" (Leviticus 20:13)
A New Covenant
"For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said:

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.
By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear." (Hebrews 8:7-13)
What does this New Covenant mean?
"the significance of Jesus Christ's life, death, and resurrection is that it is an unveiling - and rejection - of this system of scapegoating [of LGBTQ people by straight Christians] ...the resurrection represents God's emphatic rejection...to this dynamic of "insiders" vs. "outsiders." " (Cheng 95)

Because the New Covenant replaces the old, Leviticus should become obsolete; indeed, all but the prohibitions of homosexuality have been abandoned by most Christians
If Christ's death and resurrection were meant to erase the sins of the past and override the old, flawed laws, then how can Christians continue to cite Leviticus in good faith?
Cheng, Patrick S. Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer
Theology. New York: Seabury Books, 2011. Print.
"Leviticus 20." BibleGateway. N.p.. Web. 16 Nov 2013.
<http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus 20&version=NIV>.
"Hebrews 8." BibleGateway. N.p.. Web. 16 Nov 2013. <http://
"Mark 12." BibleGateway. N.p.. Web. 16 Nov 2013. <http://
What do you think?
What does this mean for queer Christians?

If the laws set forth in Leviticus were struck down by Christ's death and resurrection, why do Christians continue to use Leviticus to police queer identities?
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