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Gay Man Sues Bible Publishers


E.J.

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Not Humor........but kind of funny

Gay Man Sues Bible Publishers

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

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(New York City) A gay Michigan man is suing two Bible publishers over the inclusion of passages that call homosexuality sinful.

Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39, filed separate lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against Tennessee-based publisher Zondervan and Michigan-based Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Fowler, who is representing himself, said that the Biblical references have made him an outcast from his family and have contributed to physical discomfort, "demoralization, chaos and bewilderment."

The lawsuits also blames the publishers for causing "me or anyone who is a homosexual to endure verbal abuse, discrimination, episodes of hate, and physical violence ... including murder."

Fowler had attempted to get the court to appoint an attorney to represent him in the suits. His motion was denied by U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr.

"The Court has some very genuine concerns about the nature and efficacy of these claims," Cook said in a written decision on the application. He did not, however, dismiss the case.

Fowler is seeing punitive damages of $60 million from Zondervan and $10 million from Thomas Nelson.

The lawsuit is being closely watched by Christian conservatives.

"As frivolous as this case may sound, it's an indicator of where the homosexual agenda is headed," said Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action.

"Ten years from now, this type of case won't be humorous at all; we'll see organizations like the ACLU dedicating resources to them because such 'language' will no longer be considered protected speech."

?365Gay.com 2008

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The Focus in the Family people are as full of sh!t as a Christmas turkey (as my dear old dad used to say).

But from my limited knowledge of law, I think the suit has no merit. Freedom of the press has to include people expressing bad and/or controversial opinions. If it doesn't advocate violence towards gays, to me, it has to be allowed.

You can't limit what publishers say, just because they're stupid, hateful, and bigoted. I bet there's 100 other Bibles that don't interpret the various testaments the same way.

And I've heard it argued several times by gay religious spokespersons that there are actually no anti-homosexual passages anywhere in the Bible; anyone who says differently are simply applying their own bizarre interpretation. Don't forget that the Bible was translated from several different languages, through hundreds of editors, to modern times. I'm not a religious guy, but it's clear to me that whatever messages are there are probably far different from anything the original authors intended.

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I would be willing to join this on a class action basis and add that those passages have caused violence, death and discrimination.

Not that I'm rich but I'd be willing to toss a few bills into the fight.

It would be uphill but remember- the first amendment is limited when it comes to hate speach.

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And I've heard it argued several times by gay religious spokespersons that there are actually no anti-homosexual passages anywhere in the Bible; anyone who says differently are simply applying their own bizarre interpretation. Don't forget that the Bible was translated from several different languages, through hundreds of editors, to modern times. I'm not a religious guy, but it's clear to me that whatever messages are there are probably far different from anything the original authors intended.

It all comes to down to interpretation, but here's the liberal view, as I understand it:

1. Leviticus contains a prohibition against anal intercourse between males. How anyone can use that condemn lesbians is beyond me.... Anyway, since we happily ignore many other prohibitions in Leviticus (Paul's letter to the Galatians makes it quite clear that The Law (eg. Leviticus) only applies to Jews, not Gentiles), include others that include the term "abomination" (eg. the passage about shellfish being abominations), it is very questionable if this particular prohibition applies to today's society.

2. Sodom and Gomorrah were clearly destroyed because of a lack of hospitality by the citizens (check out the numerous cross references throughout the Bible -- only ONE, Jude, mentioned sexuality as a reason for the destruction, and it doesn't say what sexual practise that was). Even if it was for a sexual act, the only potential sexual act mentioned is one of intended rape. I don't have a problem with rape, homosexual or heterosexual, being prohibited and condemned.

3. In two of Paul's letters, he uses a word that literally translates as "man-bed". There are no clear references in contemporary documents as to what that composite word means. The word "bed" was a euphemism at the time for copulation, so it is probably a sexual act of some sort, but what? Prior to the 19th century, it was usually translated as prohibiting masturbation. The reason things changed after the 19th century was because the word "homosexuality" came into existence -- the concept of a sexual orientation didn't exist before then! Also, we have to be cautious as to translating Paul's composite word literally. Consider the modern composite word "Lady-killer". The literal translations would be either a female killer or a killer of females. Neither is the generally accepted interpretation of the word.

4. Lastly, the only reference to female homosexuality is in Paul's letter to the Romans in chapter one. This passage says that God made certain people, male and female, burn with a lust for others of the same sex. A literal reading of that passage shows that Paul is describing the situation in Rome at the time of writing, and how God has punished certain people. One interpretation I've read indicates that it could very well be describing certain fertility rites that occurred in some pagan temples at the time. It is certainly up for debate as to whether Paul's comments are specific to 1st century Rome, or also applicable to today's society.

There you are. The Bible condemns certain sexual acts. Some of those acts are homosexual in nature, but it is by no means obvious that it condemns all homosexual acts. The weakest point in a defense of homosexuality would be the prohibition against sexual relationships outside of marriage, but homosexuality itself is not condemned.

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A basic point is translation and interpretation of texts written in ancient languages. If you check online and in print, you'll find some resources that discuss the possible translations and interpretations of relevant passages, using good linguistic and historical scholarship, including a faith-based perspective. These argue in favor of a more balanced view that accepts being gay, being faithful to one's partner (monogamous), avoiding risky sexual behavior, not hurting or taking advantage of another person, and so on.

The current translations that are out there are the work of various committees at different points in history, and represent their efforts at presenting the text as they understood it then.

The plaintiff would have to show quite a number of things to win a suit against publishers of a religious text, and it's highly unlikely the plaintiff can win that case, because those are translations of a religious text, dating to the 1970's, or earlier in the 1900's, or even from prior centuries (1611 and before).

Better to urge for more correct translations, and for people to research the topic themselves, isn't it?

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