We all sin.
We all have sins that we cannot shake – we repent, repeat, repent, – – –
Homosexuality, on the other hand has celibate life as an “out.” The sin-smacking straights don’t need that out – and ride that tiny pony for all it’s worth. Here’s the deal, from my (straight) point of view:
a) Leviticus condemns homosexual sex; it also condemns a raft of other sins, one of which is weaving with blended fabrics (cotton and wool, for instance.) Guess which one gets the spotlight, while all of the (many) others aren’t on anyone’s radar, or fall under other general categories.
b) Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin wasn’t the sexuality – all those guys were likely straight. What happened when this was written, at least twenty-five centuries ago, was that the city’s moral fabric was so despicable as to ritually humiliate a visitor present within the walls at sundown. Particular sexualities drift up and down as human cultures evolve – but in that era inhospitality to a stranger inside a city’s walls was a hanging offense. Rehearsing the details isn’t the agenda here – merely that what we fix our gaze on what it meant in that era and how we interpret it today are miles apart.
c) Jesus never said much about sexual sin – definitely not about homosexual sin. If he ever mentioned it, any such remarks are absent in the Gospels.
d) That leaves Paul, who on some other topic (marriage, I think) said he preferred that all Christians should stay single thus celibate, but he knew better than to try to override lusts because some would find them ungovernable. Putting those two points together, Paul is telling us that Christians may be faced with ungovernable lusts. His condemnation of gay ungovernable lust, then, rings hollow.
(**) – conclusion: the rule of interpreting the intensity of a given issue is to find how many places Scripture addresses it. We have one remark in a window-dressing list of stoning offenses, most of which we ignore completely, a second remark which is in fact off-topic, and a third remark which is questionable at best.
My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that being homosexual isn’t the same as being born a murderer. Who’s born a murderer, anyway?
Sexual orientation chooses the person, and not the other way around.
Rather, Christians are to honor their bodies as gifts and to use their sexuality in a way that reaffirms two lovers’ commitments to each other. So if you want to cruise gay bars and do high-risk behaviors, recognize that GOD won’t smile at that. But if you and your beloved form a life bond, go to California (or anywhere in the US, since SCOTUS made gay marriage legal) and tie the knot. Or find a partner first, but head for the ring, cake, groomsmen, and so on.
SIDE NOTE: antagonists will point out that, as ancient cultures softened, gay sex came way out in the open. This, to a limited extent, is true, but coincidental. Social strictures accustom the kind of shoulder-to-the-wheel rules that make empires great, and in those situations men not making babies with women get a lot of negative press. When the ethos that made them great begins to ossify, age, soften, fade away, so does the negative press. But that isn’t causation, just simple correlation. Both occur as symptoms of cultural fatigue. I don’t believe that Western culture is fatiguing – I prefer to see it as becoming more aware.