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April 11, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

UCF hosts discussion on homosexuality and sin in Bible

Standing in front of a crowded room, a United Church of Christ minister condemned her fellow clergy colleagues for spreading hatred toward the gay and lesbian community.

After an hour of lecturing on the topic, “What the Bible really says about homosexuality,” Rev. Michelle Stecker was exhausted as she met with numerous dissenting opinions on her interpretation of Biblical scripture.

Stecker was asked to share her views by Nicky Daminia, a graduate assistant for the Center of Multicultural and Academic Initiatives for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance Programs and Services.

Stecker felt the best way to understand the Bible was to look at it through an intellectual and scholarly perspective. To understand the scriptures she would have people know the literary genre, historical and cultural context, and context of the Old and New Testament passages.

“There is no way we can just open up a Bible and say this is what it means for us in 2005,” said Stecker.

Beginning with the Genesis story of Sodom and Gomorrah, Stecker explained the authors’ culture where polygamy was excepted, women were not treated well, and the Israelites Babylonian captives depending on propagation to do well. Stecker said people often use this passage as a reference for homosexual sin. Instead, she said the text never said what “sin” was committed in Sodom, but referred to other text such as Isaiah to conclude that God was angry with the injustices of the cities rather than sexual sin.

After going through a few more passages, Stecker made another point to explain that certain words have been lost in translation from the ancient languages the Bible was originally written in to the versions read today. She said that people translating the Bible also used their views to change a meaning of a word. She also mentioned that Jesus Christ never mentioned homosexuality.

Having felt a calling from God “to preach the extravagant love of Jesus Christ,” Stecker, a lesbian, became a “grassroots activist” for equality for the LGBT community. Concluding her presentation, she said, “The hate must stop. Jesus is about love.”

While few in the room would disagree with her last statement, several audience members disagreed on her interpretation of the Biblical passages.

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