‘God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve’ Actually, he did.

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One of the more childish and hateful things anti gay marriage things homophobes say is ‘God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve’. The phrase is so hateful that I cringe at the thought of it but the truth is people who say this are actually dead wrong, western civilization’s first creation story was actually very inclusive of gender.  People who say this ‘…not Adam and Steve.’ nonsense are referring to the Adam and Eve story of the bible. They are implying that God created man and woman to be together to the exclusion of all else. While as a humanist I discount all stories of creation I am going to suggest if one must believe a story of creation how about one the first ones of Western Civilization?  A story in the dialogue Symposium by Plato. A story that predated Christianity by 400-500 years and is just as likely to be true as the Bible story of creation. It goes as follows:

Humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. There were three genders:  Male, female and androgynous.  Each with two sets of genitalia with the androgynous having both male and female genitalia. The story goes that humans grew arrogant and powerful and so the gods punished them by splitting them in half: Two men, two women and one man and one woman. Humans from that day forward would be forever longing for their other half.

“And when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment…”  -Plato

Plato’s story is romantic and most notably gender neutral. The story says it doesn’t matter who you are with as long as you love each other.  A little research will show that before Christianity homosexuality was considered ok and even celebrated in most places across ancient Greece and Rome with some regional variations. Homosexuality in early western civilization was looked at as a matter of preference and not a moral issue as Plato’s story romantically exemplifies.

It wasn’t until about the 12th century Rome when Christian influence was very strong that homosexuality started becoming forbidden. Judaism had forbidden it long before and Islam would follow suit soon after it became popular in central Asia and northern Africa. It got so bad that religious scholars associated homosexuality with everything from basic wrongs like stealing and lying to the decline of western civilization. Thankfully, after a long hard fight, common sense prevailed and it became widely known that homosexuality is just a normal as heterosexuality.

We can thank the Bible and its interpreter’s for centuries of hate and violence towards gay men and women. All it took is one one passage that some scholars suggest was actually referring to prostitution. Christians have an extra burden of guilt as the new testament doesn’t really speak of homosexuality, Jesus himself never even mentions it. It’s clear to anyone who has done their homework that western civilization’s roots are in tolerance not hate and as such we can rightfully correct anyone who says otherwise.

 

More reading:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/homosexuality/

http://www.bidstrup.com/phobiahistory.htm

http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/pwh/gayhistbib.asp

 

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