This hateful anti-gay rhetoric is shouted in #Philadelphia (1993), starring those giants in their field, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.

I saw it in the theaters when I was 10. I’ll never forget that line.
Of course, similar rhetoric, cleverly rhymed or not, remains today in anti-LGBTQ+ Christian hit pieces.

It comes down to Genesis, they often say. Adam and Eve, man and woman. That’s how it was meant to be.
They normally don’t go much farther than that. Biblical literalists rarely do.

If they wanted to take the first story of creation, from Genesis 1, there are no names in it at all.
Just that stunning line, “God said, ‘Let us create humanity in our image, in our likeness.’”

Female and male, God created them. So, LITERALLY, God looks like both. Or neither. Or a conglomeration. Or God is a hermaphrodite.
But lets get to Adam. In the original Hebrew (yes, again, the Bible wasn’t written in King James English), “adam” is uncapitalized, a word meaning “human.”
(I can’t get anywhere on my computer or phone without it stubbornly wanting to capitalize “adam” ughhhhhh but anyways.)
The poetry is thoroughly lost in the English.

In Hebrew, adam is created from adamah — earth, dirt, ground.
From the earth comes the earthling; a human is raised up from the hummus. The language itself ties us to the ground from which we come.
Then I read from our brilliant Jewish cousins — I am no Hebrew scholar, obviously — and @TheRaDR linked #onhere to a fantastic, stunning concept: “rib” is also used as “side.”

“When the Holy One created Adam, [G-d] created [Adam] as an androgynous person.”

— Rabbi Yirmyah ben Elazar
One human in that garden, and the Holy One says, “It’s not good for the human (adam) to be alone.”

So another human is created. From the side of the first human. Flesh from my flesh. What a breathtaking moment.
When it comes to the transgender community, and their clarion call for justice beginning with preferred pronouns, this whole “male-female” dichotomy is also used by Genesis literalists.
So taking the wisdom of the rabbis, I am gently removing the male and female pronouns from the second creation story. There are simply two human beings in this tale.
For Christian literalists, especially, I’ve always been amazed that they hold so strongly to “male and female God created them” when Paul argues that, in Christ Jesus, “male and female” is completely moot.
So I’m telling Genesis 2 — stitching it together with the human creation from Genesis 1 and Paul’s point in the Letter to the Galatians — while I play @theohhellos’ stunning “Like the Dawn” in the background.
@theohhellos Here are a few of my translations, for your consideration (from Genesis 2; I don’t have the verse numbers b/c I learn to tell bible stories by getting rid of those annoying [later] additions):
@theohhellos Then the Holy One said, “It’s not good that the human is alone. I will make a helper, who is perfect.”
@theohhellos So the Holy One put the human into a deep and heavy sleep, and took a rib, a side, a piece, and closed up flesh over it. With this side from the human, the Holy One fashioned…another human, and brought the two together.
@theohhellos The human said, “This one, finally, is bone from my bones; flesh from my flesh.”

The two of them were naked, the two humans, but they weren’t embarrassed.
@theohhellos “This one, finally.”

What a gorgeous interpretation of what it means to be human. To have named the rest of living beings in creation, but still feeling alone.

Then finding another human.

A sigh, a murmur. This one, finally.
The two creation stories in Genesis are often hijacked by biblical literalists to say that LGB people are against God’s will, or that transgender people are outside God’s creation.

That’s not only wrong; it’s simply not biblical.
When you tell the story without pronouns (or using “they/them” as I do sometimes), I argue that the creation narrative gets freed from its binary shackles.
Humans aren’t meant to be alone (and I often choose solitude and have run away from intimate relationships) — “this one, finally,” reminding us that community is everything.

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More from @crazypastor

Sep 28, 2018
I’d like to take a moment to quote from that liberal, left-leaning, socialist manifesto that evangelicals can’t actually stand: the Bible.
Jesus was telling them a parable about their need to pray continuously and not to be discouraged.

He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people…"
“In that city, there was a widow who kept coming to him, asking, ‘Give me justice in this case against my adversary.’
Read 5 tweets
Aug 22, 2018
The Holy Bible is made of 66+ books written by different communities with different agendas for different purposes.

It has never said just one thing. What matters is the lens you bring to it. (And we all have a lens — *especially* the people who swear they don’t.)
I get hit for focusing on some things at the exclusion of others.

No shit, Sherlock. It’s utterly impossible to not do that.
But at least I focus on narrative arcs and overall themes in the Bible.

You wanna obsess over John 3:16 and John 14:6 and John 19:11 (for the anti-Semitic Christian) — see a pattern there? — go ahead. But those are single verses plucked for a purpose.
Read 17 tweets
May 14, 2018
Friendly reminder, in this time of evangelical Christianity dominating popular conceptions around what it means to follow Jesus —

The actual “end of days” that the Bible talks about is not about violence and mayhem, but peace with justice.

I have some receipts, fwiw.
Revelation, that Biblical book over which fundamentalist Christians love to (piously) orgasm, lays it out:

“See, the home of God is among mortals…death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more” (Rev. 21:3-4).
The prophet Isaiah sketches out a vision of a “peaceable kingdom” at the end of days:

“The wolf shall live with the lamb…” (Isa. 11:6)
Read 15 tweets
Mar 30, 2018
And they brought Jesus to Golgotha, which means, “the place of the skull.”

And they shot him. 20 times.

The inscription of the charge against him read, “This…is a black man who dared to live in white America.”
With him they killed two other “terrorists,” dropping their bodies on his right, and his left.

They left him in the street for hours, taking bets on when someone would notice.
Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You snowflake! You who said, ‘I am unarmed, I pose no threat.’ Pathetic! Raise yourself up from the dead if you’re so fucking special.”
Read 8 tweets
Mar 11, 2018
16th-century German monk Martin Luther called the tendency to cowardly obfuscate the true meaning of things (instead of naming evil as evil) a "theology of glory."
The right wing in this country regularly worship at the altar of this kind of God-talk (and not just evangelicals). They cannot stand to call a thing what it is.
When the current president was elected, it most certainly wasn't white identity politics and racism that propelled him, it was "economic anxiety."
Read 10 tweets
Jan 24, 2018
I just cannot with this continued evangelical misreading of the Bible when it comes to Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19).

First off, read the story itself. The whole thing. Then tell me what the “sin of Sodom” is. Point to the verse that names it.

Turns out you gotta go to Ezekiel to see what the sin is. “…she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease…but didn’t aid the poor and needy” (16:49).
Read 17 tweets

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