Friday, July 13, 2012

Was the Apostle Paul Gay?

Not that there's anything wrong with it, but could it be that the apostle Paul was gay? If he was, can you imagine how much he would have struggled with it? We may know better; however, like other Jews and Christians of his time, I'm sure Paul thought there was plenty wrong with it.

Now then, it's therefore our duty to take a closer look and to employ cherry picking and the argument from ignorance in order to finally settle the long debated controversy and find Paul guilty of being fabulous.

1. Paul Never Married
I know, I know. Not every near-middle aged adult who has never married is gay, but I'm trying to start a rumor about Paul, right? And the Stigma of The Never Married is rule number one in Gay Rumors for Dummies.
"To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am." 1 Corinthians 7:8
Now sure, he could have been a widower. But c'mon, man. Hear me out. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-7, Paul advises that it's best not to have sex at all, but if you're going to, then it's OK for "each man to have his own wife and each woman her own husband." And in verses 6 and 7 he says "This I say by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am."

In other words, Paul says that he doesn't need to marry a woman because he doesn't exactly find women irresistible. You do the math.

2. Paul Struggled With an Unnamed Infirmity
In his letter to the believers in Galatia, Paul reminds them that when he first announced his "condition" to them, they didn't ridicule him:
"You know that it was because of a physical infirmity that I first announced the gospel to you; though my condition put you to the test, you did not scorn or despise me, but welcomed me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus." Galatians 4:13-14
What kind of physical condition could possibly have caused an afflicted person to be ridiculed? Sure, in the first century many thought that sin caused disease, pain, and suffering. Heck, even Jesus thought so. But to mock someone for it?

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
"What has become of the goodwill you felt? For I testify that, had it been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?" Galatians 4:15-16
Before you recall the road to Damascus story and cry "Aha! It was his eyesight!", you have to remember two things. First, the book of Acts is a turd. And second, yes, Paul was struck blind according to Acts (and only Acts), but he was also healed according to Acts.

Therefore, as the apologists say, it can only be one thing. If Paul's infirmity wasn't his eyesight, then it must have been his homosexuality. And the eyes? I suppose Paul has seen some things. Some gay things. And he thinks it's wrong and he's a sinner who would be better off with his eyes ripped out. And then, for good measure, be stoned to death.

3. He Struggled With Sin
Didn't Paul call himself the chief of sinners? Nope, 1 Timothy was a forgery. Too bad, though. It would have helped my case. I suppose I could go "fundie" and use it anyway. Nah, I may be crude, but I'm not a liar.

Paul really goes off on his sinful nature in Romans:
"For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do... 
"Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 7:14 - 8:4
So, Paul is a slave to sin because he's "weakened by the flesh." It torments him. He resists his urges, but he's wrapped up in guilt by his homosexual mind and his wandering eyes.

4. He distinguishes between homosexual lust and homosexual acts.
Note how Paul separates "degrading passions" from the shameless acts of realizing them. It's one thing to have gay thoughts, but it's even worse to act on them. Paul is rationalizing. He's gay, but he can usually avoid gay sex and just go home and beat off.
"For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error." Romans 1:18, 26-27
5. If Paul struggled with his own homosexuality, it may have been the key contributor to his theology of justification through faith.

Justification is a major theme throughout Paul's epistles, especially in Romans and Galatians. Why? Because as a gay Jew, Paul found the law too hard to follow - and a bit harsh with respect to homosexuality.

6. Paul had a strained relationship with the other apostles. 
OK, it may appear that I'm really reaching here, but I'm only suggesting it because it's gossipy. So here goes:

It's interesting that Peter didn't hang out with Paul. And we all know Peter was straight because we know he had a mother-in-law.

Was the Apostle Paul gay? The truth? The truth is...we don't know. My argument is nothing but a Gossipy Gay of the Gaps argument (pun somewhat intended). We can't say one way or the other with any certainty. To do so would be dishonest. Besides, who cares?


Hermeneutics gone wild! Make up anything, even without the Holy Ghost! I did. Paul did. So can you!
I'm not saying that Glenn Beck murdered and raped a young girl in 1990; I'm just asking the question.