Theologically Speaking | 神學淺談
Hi there! 嗨，你好！
Special thanks to Alexis for letting me step out of the world of flash fiction to guest write for Academically Speaking! I’m here to talk about a slightly different topic related to academia… Theology! Before we start though, let me specify that since this is a matter of faith, no amount of data will change people’s minds or hearts. These talking points are best shared in discussions started under a mutual respect.
The core reason why the Prayer of the Children series and this post is so important to me is that the ones most hurt by current conservative Christain groups are children. Regardless of your views on the status of homosexuality being a sin or not, please realize that negative speech and behavior towards this issue hurt children the most.
A fact sheet provided by the Religious Institute (http://religiousinstitute.org/resources/fact-sheet-lgbt-youth/) shows that up to 14% of teenagers in American religious communities identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Those in religious communities with negative views towards homosexuality are rarely open and often live in painful silence. On the other side, those who are able to be more open with their communities are less likely to have thought about suicide.
Many studies have shown that young LGBT people have a much higher rate of suicide. Almost half experience physical harassment in school and are less likely to go to college. Several studies suggest that 20-40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT and were forced out of their homes because of their family’s religious views.
Many other resources are available on this website. [http://www.queerious.tw/home/category/Resources%E8%B3%87%E6%BA%90]
Moving on from that point, I would like to get into the question of what the Bible says about homosexuality. This is widely debated within the higher ranks of the greater Christian organizations. The Reformed Church of America synod frequently discusses these issues at each yearly meeting and has a committee dedicated to research.
Long story short, there are many scholarly articles out there that argue that the current understanding of homosexuality in the church comes from translation errors over the centuries, as well as cultural misunderstandings of society 2,000 years ago. One even states that the word “homosexuality” didn’t even appear in English translations of the Bible until 1946 (very recent when talking about the history of the Bible and the development of Christianity).
There were times that the Bible was used among the religious communities in America to support slavery, something I think everyone with a shred of education can agree is wrong. Discrimination against interracial marriage was also backed by misquoted Bible verses. These things all changed over time, and slowly so are views about LGBT issues.
Here are the two articles that cover what I said in the last two paragraphs. Sadly they only available in English at this time, and much too long for us to translate.
The bottom line is this: There is a debate, and it’s not just gay people “trying to change the Bible to let the Devil into churches and end society as we know it.” It’s the leaders of the largest religious organizations that are having this debate, and more and more evidence shows that current views are both new (historically speaking) and wrong.
Whether you believe that evidence or not, my goal in writing this is not to change people’s beliefs, but rather to show that there is more than one view within the religious community. And, most importantly, that highly negative words and behavior seriously hurt the youth.
(翻譯： Kurtis ；Editor & 編輯：Alexis)