An Easter Treat: Our Religious Allies

BY Trudy Ring

April 06 2012 1:12 PM ET

JOY LADIN BOOK 390x (COURTESY) ADVOCATE.COMMichael Wood
For those of us who aren’t theologians, biblical scholarship
can make the head spin, but Michael Wood, a cryptographer and son of a Nazarene
minister, was drawn to it. He began by studying what scholars called the
“Pauline Paradox,” St. Paul’s contradictory statements on whether God judges
people by their faith or their deeds. That spurred him to delve into Paul’s
condemnations of homosexuality, which are among the “clobber passages” of the
Bible used against LGBT people. In his book Paul on Homosexuality, Wood asserts that Paul has been mistranslated and
misunderstood for two millennia. Paul, Wood writes, believed that Old Testament
prohibitions on same-sex relationships were no longer valid and that Jesus’
commandment to love one another superseded all. “I would like to see this
discovery used to bring full equality to the LGBT community,” Wood said in an
interview with The Advocate. “Evangelicals
will only change their minds when their current interpretations are shown to be
indefensible. The standard approach of showing viable alternatives to all the
clobber passages does nothing to undermine the viability of the evangelical
interpretation of each of them. We must do more than just give a viable
alternative, we must show them that their alternative isn’t even a possibility.”

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