User:HeartOfGold/Essay Homosexuality Is Not On The Same Level As Eating Shellfish

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The website, GodHatesShrimp,[1] is a response to controversial and outspoken assertions that God hates homosexuality.[2]

However, this is an intellectually dishonest instance of quote mining that takes quotes from the Bible out of context in order to make a point.

Executive summary[edit]

God Hates Shrimp Website's premise is a mischaracterization of Leviticus specifically and the Bible in general, and an example of quote mining.

GodHatesShrimp's stance[edit]

Joe Decker and Ryland Sanders defend their website, GodHatesShrimp, in part by stating:

The point we're trying to make is that by using the Old Testament (specifically the book of Leviticus) as a basis for protesting gay marriage, you run into a couple of problems. The first is that in the New Testament, Jesus established the New Covenant, which stated that the old Mosaic laws about unclean things were invalid (Jesus in his own person said nothing specifically against homosexuality, although Paul later attributed some remarks to him). The second reason is that if you still want to quote from Leviticus, despite Jesus' doing away with Mosaic law, then you better be prepared to enforce the whole thing, not just the parts you like. This includes not only the injunction against shellfish and mussels and such, but also against wearing fabrics made of blended fibers, cutting or shaving your beard, sowing mixed seed in a field, and a slew of other things nobody but Orthodox Jews take seriously anymore.[3]

Homosexuality and other sexual immorality in the Bible[edit]

Homosexuality is forbidden by law and punishable by death according to Lev 18:22[4] and Lev 20:13.[5]The Bible records that male shrine prostitution was practiced in the temple in 1Ki 14:24, 1Ki 15:12, and 2Ki 23:7.[6]

According to Genisis 19:4-5, the men of Sodom requested that Lot send out his guests so that they could have sex with them.[7] This reading is confirmed in the new testament book of Jude in verse 7.[8]

In a scene similar to what had occurred in Sodom, Men of Gibeah demanded to have sex with the guests of an old man in JDG 19:22.[9]

Israelites were prohibited from becoming shrine prostitutes in DT 23:17.[10]

Paul, in the Ro 1:26-27, explicitly condemns male and female homosexual activity. Paul also asserts God "gave them [godless and wicked men] over to" homosexuality.[11]

Examining the Bible[edit]

Not Good for a Man to be Alone[edit]

As recounted in the Bible, God created man, then seeing that it was not good for man to be alone, created a helper corresponding to man, that is, a woman.[12]

The Pentateuch (Torah)[edit]

The Pentateuch (or Torah, the first five books of the Bible) states that homosexuality is wrong. It does not condemn homosexuals, but homosexuality. Likewise, the Pentateuch does not condemn adulterous thoughts, but adultery.[13]

Examining Leviticus[edit]

Leviticus is the third book of the of the Old Testament and of the Torah. We will examine three chapters from Leviticus

  • Leviticus 11: Laws about clean and unclean animals
  • Leviticus 18: Moral Laws with some penalties
  • Leviticus 20: Moral Laws with detailed penalties

The Gospels[edit]

In the four gospels of the new testament, Jesus does not explicitly address homosexual activity or even homosexual thoughts, but he does so implicitly by individually enumerating adultery specifically and sexual immorality in general.[14]

Note that Jesus was familiar with the books of Moses and the Levitical prohibitions against sexual immorality.[15] Jesus also stated that he did not come to destroy the law of the prophets, but to fulfill them.[16]

In addition to teaching about the sexually immoral sin of adultery as an overt act, Jesus teaches that it is possible to commit adultery of the heart.[17]

Jesus does prevent an adulteress from being stoned to death, a sentence proscribed by Levitical law, but in doing so, Jesus does not reclassify adultery as non-sin. Adultery is still a sin.[18]

Consequently, it can be reasonably inferred that not only is homosexual activity a sin, but homosexual thoughts are probably a sin of the heart. It is also reasonable to infer that while Jesus does not condone sexual immorality such as adultery and homosexuality, his instructions on the overt punishment by men of those who are guilty of adultery can be applied more generally, that is, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

So, while Christians should not condone immoral sexual behavior or thoughts, they should not cast literal or figurative stones at those who are sinning in this manner.

Other New Testament books[edit]

Homosexuality is also addressed in other New Testament books written by Jesus' apostles. Paul teaches that the wicked including those who are homosexual offenders shall not inherit the kingdom of God.[19] Christians should avoid sexual immorality.[20] Christians are to put to death, in their own hearts, earthly nature.[21]


God intends for sexual relations to be between one man and one woman, though Paul recommends abstinence or marriage.[22]

In GE, God created one woman for Adam--not another man, and not multiple women. Jesus affirmed that adultery was still a sin by telling the adulterous woman to leave her life of sin, but he did not change the classification of adultery as a detestable sin.

According to modern thinking and the logic of man, it is not right to believe that heterosexual behavior is better than homosexual behavior. But the Bible does discriminate, and ascribes abominable status to the following sexual behaviors: Homosexual, incestuous, promiscuity, adultery, and incest. Man is not God, and as difficult as it is for man to understand God, said difficulties make man's logic no more correct than a four year old who doesn't understand why his father won't let him eat ice cream for dinner.

The Christian View of Leviticus[edit]

Many Christians view Leviticus and other Old Testament books that proscribe certain behaviors as necessary to show that human beings cannot become holy by following the law.[23] Also, many Christians believe that Old Testament dietary restrictions were removed, according to one interpretation of Peter's vision first written about in Acts 10:9-13.[24][25]

Summing it up[edit]

The dietary instructions of Leviticus chapter 11 were offenses that made an Israelite ceremonially unclean for a day. Israelites were instructed to detest these things, but not cut offenders off from their people.

The sexual and sacrificial restrictions of Leviticus chapters 18 and 20 were much more serious. They were offenses so detestable that God cited them as reason for driving the inhabitants out of the land the Israelites were to occupy. These commands were so important to God that the Israelites were instructed that "the native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things."[26][27] These commands are in stark contrast to the dietary restrictions of chapter 11, which did not apply to the aliens living among the Israelites. In chapter 18 and 20, Israelites or aliens who were violating these rules were to be cut off from their people, or stoned to death, depending on the offense.

According to Leviticus, those Israelites who eat unclean food are ceremonially unclean, while those Israelites who sleep with their wives during their monthly flow are to be cut off from their people. Those Israelites and aliens living among them who practice homosexuality, the sacrificing of their children to Molech, or other more serious offenses are to be stoned to death.

Consequently, it is intellectually dishonest to compare homosexual activity to eating shrimp. It would be more intellectually honest to compare homosexual activity to incest or sleeping with your wife during her monthly cycle. Israelites who did these things were to be cut off from their people or stoned to death.


The three chapters of Leviticus are provided as appendices to provide more complete context.

Footnotes (Sources, notes, and additional commentary)[edit]

  1. God Hates Shrimp Website
  3. About This Site by Joe Decker and Ryland Sanders
  4. Lev 18:22
  5. Lev 20:13
  6. 1Ki 14:24, 1Ki 15:12, 2Ki 23:7
  7. GE 19:4-5
  8. Jude 7
  9. JDG 19:22
  10. DT 23:17
  11. Ro 1:26-27
  12. GE 2:18
  13. reference needed
  14. MT 15:16-20, MK 7:20-23
  15. MT 8:3-4, MT 19:8-9, MT 22:23-32, MK 1:43-45, MK 7:10-13
  16. MT 5:17
  17. MT 5:27-28
  18. MT 8:1-7
  19. 1CO 6:9-11
  20. 1TH 4-3
  21. CO 2:1-17
  22. See Paul's recommendation in 1CO 7:8-9
  23. Need reference
  24. AC 10:9-13,AC 11:4-18
  25. I am skeptical of Peter's vision removing levitical laws, because it requires Peter's vision to have two purposes: 1. Removing Old Testament dietary restrictions and 2. Confirming that God had also granted gentiles "repentance unto life. While at first reading, it appears to remove dietary restrictions, much is made, in the Bible, of God's confirmation of granting gentiles "repentance unto life."
  26. Lev 18:26-27
  27. In modern times, these restrictions can be understood as having positive benefits with regard to sanitation, disease, and society. E.g., touching and eating dead animals can lead to sickness, and engaging in sodomy or sexual relations with a menstruating woman can lead to the transmission of blood born disease such as HIV. Sacrificing children to Molech and engaging in homosexuality leads to attenuated population growth. Practicing incest often leads to deformities. While ascribing significance to these restrictions might make sense, all that can really be said is that these were beneficial side effects, and not necessarily the reason God instructed Moses and Aaron to disseminate these restrictions to the Israelites.

Bible Verses[edit]

The following bible verses are from the NIV.


GE 2:18 "The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'"

GE 19:4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."


LEV 18:22 " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.'

Lev 18:26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled.

LEV 20:13 " 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.'


DT 23:17 No Israelite man or woman is to become a shrine prostitute.


JDG 19:22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him."

1 Kings[edit]

1Ki 14:24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.;1Ki 15:12 He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his fathers had made.

2 Kings[edit]

2Ki 23:7 He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes, which were in the temple of the LORD and where women did weaving for Asherah.


MT 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

MT 5:27 "You have heard that it was said, `Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

MT 8:3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, "See that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."

MT 15:16 "Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man `unclean.' 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man `unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him `unclean.' "

MT 19:8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

MT 22:23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 "Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"

29 Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you, 32 `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."


MK 1:43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 "See that you don't tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them." 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

MK 7:10 For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother,' and, `Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' 11 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: `Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."

MK 7:20 He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him `unclean.' 21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man `unclean.' "


JN 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11 "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."


AC 10:9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13 Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

AC 11:4 Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened: 5 "I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, `Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.'


RO 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

1 Corinthians[edit]

1CO 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1CO 7:8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.


COL 2:1 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his nonspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Timothy[edit]

1TH 4:3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;


JUDE 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

See also[edit]