Fri | Nov 24, 2017

Ethon Lowe | The Bible and the deviant orifice

Published:Friday | October 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Christians at the Intimate Conviction International Conference in Kingston are at loggerheads in their stance on homosexuality and the buggery law. Anglican Archbishop John Holder doesn't believe the Bible should be used to condemn homosexuality and retain the sodomy law.

"There is no biblical basis for support of the sodomy law." the president of the Jamaican Evangelical Alliance, Bishop Alvin Bailey, on the other hand, is of a different view. "They cannot speak for Christianity. They are inauthentic as it relates to biblical references."

Much of religious bigotry is mired in that pesky biblical passage, Leviticus 20:13: "If a man also lies with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death." Linked closely are the mundane - not to wear clothing of two different kinds of fabric, not to get tattoos, not to eat shrimp and more draconian parents should kill their disobedient children, and the death penalty for adultery (which would eliminate a good number of Jamaicans).

You would think Leviticus 20:13 would be dumped from 21st-century thinking like the others. Obviously, Christians are waiting for divine revelation from above. But it's sexual, stupid! And it won't just go away. Why? Sex is ubiquitous, durable and, horror of horrors, pleasurable.

Pleasure inculcates guilt and sin. Riddled with guilt and self-doubt, the sinner is dependent on God and the need for salvation. Of all the ancient gods, Yahweh seems inordinately interested in the penis, what happens to the penis - what you should and shouldn't do with it, what it should look like (circumcised as a badge of identification of the people of Israel), and even where you should put it.

Where you should put it, indeed. Take your choice of orifice - oral, vaginal, and anal. Empress Theodora, wife of Justinian the Roman emperor in the 6th century, working as a prostitute, gave all three her approval. She (the story goes) regreted that God gave her but three orifices. She wished the holes in her breasts were bigger so she could have more, you know what. (Oh, my, aren't we greedy).

 

FUNCTIONS OF BODY PARTS

 

Is anal (the deviant orifice) sex unnatural? Depends on who made you. If God designed and made you in His image (whatever that means), He obviously made the orifices designed for specific functions - the mouth solely for eating and the anus solely for excretion.

Sex here is strictly taboo. If, however, we evolved from other animals and not created by a designer, we should find homosexual behaviours common in other animals - birds, bats, apes elephants and even insects. And we do. Homosexuality is, therefore, not a choice but present in human nature and is primarily determined by genetics, prenatal biology and embryological development - like being left-handed. How then can it be a sin and a crime?

Christians are obsessed that marriage should be between one man and one woman and purely for procreation purposes. Biologically, there is nothing which limits a person's sexual partner to one individual. All animals (including humans) are biologically wired to want the most sex with as many different partners as possible.

From a physical standpoint, monogamy is not natural at all. Should procreation be a condition for marriage? Why should the aged, the infertile and those who choose not to have children be precluded from marriage?

Let the Church continue with its religious moralising claptrap if it must, based on religious dogma from Bronze Age myths. Homophobic emotions have fuelled attitudes toward gays born of ignorance, superstition, taboo and disgust. Jamaica being a secular country (or, so I have been told) needs legislation and laws, grounded on reason and rational arguments free from religion, to change the way people think.

- Ethon Lowe is a medical doctor. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and ethonlowe@gmail.com.