The Bible, the Quran, Homosexuality, and Orlando: A Response to JaclynGlenn

BY ADDISON WIER

YouTube atheist JaclynGlenn has just recently released a video of her commenting on the recent shooting of a gay club in Orlando by Omar Mateen, as well as the responses given by a couple of pastors who were actually praising such an event.1  Now, in this video it’s clear that she’s really down and upset about everything that’s happened, and it’s also clear that she’s not trying to spread any more hate.  Because of that, I’m going to give her a bit of a break.  However, there are two points that JaclynGlenn makes that I would like to comment on.2

On the Bible, Homosexuality, and Leviticus

One of the pastors that she responds to attempts to justify the Orlando shooting by referring to Leviticus 20:13;3 moreover, Jaclyn herself discusses this comment more or less saying that it is definitely something that Christians should think about.4  Here’s where I think both lines of thought are faulty.  Despite popular belief, such laws were not meant to be permanent under a Biblically informed view.  In fact, God informed his people that a new, enduring covenant would be necessary (Jer. 31; Ezek. 36).  The reason why a more ideal set of laws wasn’t put into place was because culture in the ancient Near East was badly damaged by sin, and such laws were only put into place because it was God’s way of starting where the Israelites were, and then working from there.5

There are also some other points that should be made, in which I’ll simply refer you to this video here, provided by Lutheran Satire (note: I’m only posting a link to this because I think it contains good arguments.  It is not meant to be an insult to JaclynGlenn, despite the video’s usage of satire [in fact, you should probably stop it at around 5:04]):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r2m_cffRjI

On the Bible and the Quran

The second and final thing I want to comment on is how JaclynGlenn, in response to the same pastor (who says that Islam is wicked, disgusting and false), puts up a chart that compares how many “hard words” (like burn, anger, fire, destroy, etc.) are in the Quran to how many of them are in the Bible, in which the chart counts 1,148 (Quran) to 10,007 (Bible); it also does the same thing for the words forgive, hope, mercy, and reward, and counts 1,843 (Quran) to 696 (Bible).6  The fundamental problem with this is that there are absolutely no verses from the Bible or the Quran cited.  Because of that, we can’t even examine the passages that have such words to see if they’re really problematic (or if they’re good in the cases of using the words forgive, hope, mercy, and reward).  After all, context (literary, textual and historical) is important when interpreting ancient documents such as these.  If the context reveals that the passages in the Bible with these words are not problematic, and the context reveals that such passages in the Quran are (or vice-versa), the number of times that these texts use these words becomes irrelevant.  The same goes for those allegedly good words.  If one text uses them in a context that’s good, and another text uses them in a context that’s not, then how many times they are used simply doesn’t matter.

Conclusion

To wrap this up, I don’t think JaclynGlenn is successful in making her case concerning those two points in question.  Both her and the pastor she’s criticizing are going to have to read and examine the Bible more carefully if they’re going to claim that it tells us believers to stone homosexuals today.  Moreover, JaclynGlenn herself is going to have to provide the relevant passages from the Bible/Quran for that chart of her’s so that we can examine them on a case-by-case basis.  Until both of those are done, I don’t think such points are worth getting stressed over, at least for the Bible believing Christian.

For Further Reading:

Brauch, Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F.F. Bruce, and Manfred T., Hard Sayings of the Bible (1996)

Copan, Paul, Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God (2011)

–          “Are Old Testament Laws Evil?,” in God is Great, God is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible (2009), Edited by William Lane Craig and Chad Meister, pg. 134-154

Kaiser Jr., Walter C., Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament (2015)

Lamb, David T., God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist? (2011)

 

Notes and Citations

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5D8ZkriWnQ
  2. The reason why I’m not commenting on her other points is that I don’t think I’ve done enough research on those issues to really provide much valuable insight.  By only commenting on what I am knowledgeable about, I am less likely to unintentionally misrepresent the facts (or simply mess up!).
  3. JaclynGlenn, 4:47
  4. Ibid, 6:55
  5. See Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God (2011), pg. 58-60
  6. JaclynGlenn, 6:29
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