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- The Role of Religion in History & Society
The law gets it right. Jehovah's Witnesses embarrassed on sex and sexuality.
Victory for Human Rights.
Red Faces in "Bigotry Towers".
The operation of the law is often something that the regular man in the street cannot understand, sometimes people can find their rights are curtailed due to the enforcement of some old, long outdated statute, that just happens to be still on the books long after the reason for it's utility was no more. Other times it is the dead hand of legal precedent that is used to oppress. But just occasionally something happens in "the halls of justice “that turns the notion that the law is here to reduce our freedoms on its head. Such a thing recently happened in the United states state of California when United States District Chief Judge Vaughn R Walker reversed Prop 8′s ban of same-sex or gay marriage in the state. The deliciously ironic part of this is that part of the legal argument FOR gay marriage comes from a 65 year old Supreme Court ruling that granted freedom of religious expression to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Judge Walker said that the majority opinion does not eliminate fundamental rights for a minority. He was citing the case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette which established the right of that religion to proselytise. There must have been a lot of red faces at Jehovah's Witnesses headquarters when they discovered that a ruling that they sponsored contributed to civil rights for people that they consider to be "An abomination before The Lord".
A lot of the more fundamentalist religions in the Christian fold consider that the practice of any form of same sex activity is a passport to "eternal dammnation" or eternal death if you are a J.W. This is mainly due to an erroneous interpretation of certain scriptures in The Bible and a total misunderstanding of what constitutes "the sin of Sodom". For more on that subject see.
This has been used to justify the degradation of homosexuals since the sixth century at least. The situation earlier is a little less clear, although there is evidence from the New Testament that Jesus himself did not disapprove of same sex relationships. I can cite the story of the roman centurion, and his beloved "servant" for one. Most unbiased modern commentators accept now that both these characters were lovers, and they were undoubtedly of the same sex. References by Our Lord to the three forms of Eunuch also reinforce that view. He cited one category that were Eunuchs from birth. This is arguably referring to those who were homosexually inclined by definition of their nature. The term "Eunuch" in Christ's day was a catch all term to describe men who did not have a sexual interest in women. It was only later that it came to be exclusively applied to those who had undergone castration. It should be noted that in none of these passages is there any hint of condemnation from The Son of God, indeed in the account of the centurion he positively lauds him saying., "I have seen no greater faith than this in Israel".
Perhaps when the powers that be in The Jehovah's Witnesses get over their embarrassment at their ruling being used to justify extending civil rights to people they revile, they might take a little time out to consider that the advocates of "Gay Rights" might actually be on the same side as Jesus, and that they, with their fellow "Homosexuality is an Abomination" denominations, might just be strolling hand in hand with Satan to "that place which is prepared for The Devil and his angels".