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Homophobics And The Bible

             Many people use the bible as their reason for being homophobic. These people claim that according to scripture, homosexuality is condemned. However, this is not completely true. Most selections used against homosexuality are indeed not speaking directly against homosexuality. Each scripture selection can be interpreted different ways by different individuals. Peter J. Gomes provides an effective argument against homophobia in his article from the New York Times in 1992, "Homophobic? Read Your Bible.".
             Gomes begins his article with several examples of how this belief pertaining to homophobia and the bible has been used against homosexuals. Acts of violence are mentioned along with matters of public policy. By doing this, Gomes creates a pathos, or emotional appeal to the audience. He continues to tell about the author Bette Greene who interviewed four hundred prisoners incarcerated for gay bashing. She found that "Gay-bashers generally saw nothing wrong in what they did, and, more often than not, said their religious leaders and traditions sanctioned their behavior. (Gomes 412)" .
             People generally use nine selections from the bible to argue that homosexuality is condemned. Gomes presents each of these selections and analyzes them from his point of view. He explains that each of the selections is not explicitly banning homosexuality. Instead, the selections are being interpreted differently by different groups of people. People interpret scripture according to their own individual belief's, prejudice, and histories; therefore, it is inevitable that each individual's interpretation of the same selection will be different. To further convince the audience of the different ways in which scripture can be interpreted, Gomes uses the example that the same bible has been used to inspire different groups of people on many different crusades from racism to women's rights. Another argument Gomes presents is that these selections were written a very long time ago and it is impossible to know exactly what was meant when the selections were written.

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