By Wendy Wright
NEW YORK, April 12 (C-FAM) After considering several religions, Sid Thompson changed his name to Daayiee Abdullah and converted to Islam at 30. He adopted the title Imam after developing the group Muslim Gay Men to dispute that the Qur’an rejects homosexuality. Now he performs religious ceremonies including same-sex weddings and wants to start a mosque for homosexuals.
When asked how he can be Muslim and homosexual, he says Islamic prohibitions are based on myths. They were teaching tools, created to regulate society, that “supersede for humankind what the actual divine book says.”
With this approach, Sodom and Gomorrah became for him a “story about rape, not about homosexual sexual acts.”
Abdullah spoke last week on a panel at UN headquarters on “Being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender in religious communities.” As UN agencies court religious leaders, the speakers presented a way to reinterpret religions to fit their interests. The Unitarian Universalists UN Office with the government of Israel organized the event to validate religious community, but reject rules on sexual activity. A handful of UN delegates joined the roomful of activists where speakers replaced Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu teachings on sexual behaviors with homosexual-affirming revisions.
“I’m going to get in there and transform the soil,” said Episcopal priest Albert Ogle.
The message from Moses, the prophet who delivered God’s law, is everybody needs a relationship with God that is “unlimited and boundary-less,” said Mordechai Levovitz, of Jewish Queer Youth. “For me that has opened an opportunity for relationship with faith that hasn’t been constrained by questions of Leviticus or behavior.”
British colonialism is to blame for taboos on homosexuality, not Hinduism, said Dr. Manoj Pardasani, a Fordham University research scholar. He concedes there is a Hindu text that says men of higher castes or Brahmins are not allowed to have sexual contact with other men “but it does not discuss men of other castes or women.”
But eliminating is easier than re-writing. “I don’t think many of us buy into sin,” said Rev. Monica Cummings of Unitarian Universalists. She runs their youth ministry. Leaders created doctrines to “enslave, subjugate and even cause people to hate others who” do not belong to a favored group. “I cannot believe that God would punish or condemn any of His, Her or Its creation because, after all, if it’s God’s creation why would God want to condemn or destroy it.”
Cummings criticized religion as man-made, yet her fellow Unitarian Universalist re-made Biblical heroes into homosexuals. Bruce Knotts said Ruth’s relationship to her mother-in-law Naomi may have been sexual, as well as David and Jonathan.
Knotts even suggested Jesus was sexually involved with a man. “Jesus with His beloved disciple who laid on his bosom, put his head on his chest – there’s a very close relationship between these two men,” he stated.
The Bible “talks about being a eunuch for the kingdom,” noted Rev. Ogle. “Being a person who’s non-procreative but part of the kingdom of God. So I think we’re in there.” This highlighted weaknesses in efforts to legitimize homosexuality using religious texts. Eunuchs are not only unable to procreate, but unable to perform sexually or are celibate.
Wendy Wright is interim director of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). Her article first appeared in the Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-FAM, a New York and Washington DC-based research institute (http://www.c-fam.org/). This article appears with permission.”