Same-sex marriage is moral
Theologians: Do not judge homosexuality morally in the Bible
The biblical debate about the no of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the blessing of homosexual couples continues. However, the director of the Austrian Catholic Bible Works, Elisabeth Birnbaum, and the German biblical scholar Thomas Hieke warn against moral evaluations of biblical texts with a view to the current blessing debate. As Birnbaum writes in the online feature section "feinschwarz", there is no explicit blessing from God for the connection between women and men with the goal of fertility. However, the Bible knows just as little of today's concept of "homosexuality as a same-sex partnership on equal terms" as it does a monogamous heterosexual marriage, emphasizes Hieke, in the "radio classic St. Stephen's Cathedral" special program "Achtung Bibel!"
It is true that "heterosexual relationships for procreating offspring are God's plan". However, the Bible does not say "that this is God's only plan with the phenomenon of human sexuality," said the biblical scholar at the University of Mainz. Previously, the Viennese Old Testament scholar, Prof. Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger, had emphasized in a statement to Kathpress that there was no evidence within the Bible for a blessing of same-sex relationships in analogy to marriage or even in equation with marriage.
The Bible outlaws "certain same-sex acts among men", but for very specific reasons, "says the author of the book" Bible Misunderstood. Stubborn misinterpretation of biblical texts explains ". Hieke refers to the text of Genesis 19 in the Old Testament, where men from Sodom want to humiliate Lot and his guests by means of anal intercourse - a war tactic that is still widespread today." So the sin of the men of Sodom is not Homosexuality, but the violent repression of strangers and those in need of protection. "
Old Testament prohibitions - "You are not allowed to sleep with a man as you sleep with a woman; that would be an abomination" (Lev 18:22) - refer to illegitimate sexual relationships, which mostly have to do with incest or which do not produce offspring , explains Hieke. It is also forbidden to sleep with a menstruating woman or to mate animals. "A homoerotic disposition or homosexual identity are not in view."
Despite the Vatican's no to the blessing of same-sex couples, Hieke believes that this does not mean "that God agrees with these interpretations and also refuses the blessing." Ultimately, humans cannot keep others from God's blessings; the denial of the blessing is "a subtle and therefore all the more serious degradation of the excluded".
The interview with Thomas Hieke will be broadcast in the "Attention Bible" series on Wednesday at 5:30 pm on "radio klassik Stephansdom" and can then be accessed via the "radio klassik Stephansdom" podcast (Link: https://radioklassik.at/ bible-and-homosexuality).
Birnbaum warns against moral judgments
"At the moment there are some efforts to provide a biblical foundation for the prohibition of the blessing of homosexuals", writes the director of the Austrian Catholic Bible Works, Birnbaum. Similar to Hieke, she refers to the prohibition of same-sex sexual acts, but also to prohibitions such as trimming beards, scratching the skin or any form of swearing. "A consistent implementation of all biblical prohibitions and commandments would have far-reaching consequences," says Birnbaum on "fine black".
The biblical scholar also points out that in the Old Testament God blesses individuals or entire groups of people, "but no couples, neither homosexual nor heterosexual". Instead of letting biblical verses compete against each other, it is the task of the church "to detach the message of God from its historical condition and translate it into the present day, instead of prolonging the social systems and moral concepts of that time at any cost". In doing so, she does not dispense with the argument "But the Bible says ...", warns Birnbaum. In addition, the Bible "no longer has to be historically verifiable in every detail in order to be allowed to be a Bible".
What is currently in demand is a new way of reading the Bible that testifies to the liberating and redeeming God, according to Birnbaum: "A God who would rather change his behavior than rigorously implement his commandments ... A God who blesses all people, even before he gives them tasks. " And further: "In any case, the Bible could ideally develop its strengths in such a piece. The Church would certainly have a grateful audience."
Rainbow Pastoral: Condensed and hurtful point of view
Also the head of the "Rainbow Pastoral Austria", the Linz relationship, marriage and family chaplain Franz Harant, criticized in the daily newspaper "Austria" on Wednesday the "shortening, restricting and excluding" attitude adopted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that the precious good of the Sexuality can only be lived by a woman who is married to a man and whose mutual willingness to become fruitful together ". This violates all those partnerships of female and male couples, "which therefore cannot correspond to the Roman Catholic ideal of a sacramental marriage". In such a closed system, these would be "excluded as sinful", which could no longer be understood even by many believing people.
The current task is therefore to "rethink the church's sexual morality responsibly and reformulate it today". Harant continues: "Tenderness and sexuality as a physical expression of love and lived with pleasure also have a value in themselves. This value needs to be redefined."
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