Psych and Religion - NonViolence- issues with LGBTS and the Church

Psych and Religion - NonViolence- issues with LGBTS and the Church

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Psychology and Religion 475 Term Paper T April 12, 2008 Issues of LGBTs and Religion Activism for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is commonly considered to be a civil rights movement of today. This movement is comparable to the civil rights movements for African-Americans in the 1960’s. One significant difference between the civil rights movement of the 1960’s and the LGBT civil rights movement of today is the overall absence of the church as a public advocate. In fact, the church can be held responsible for creating and maintaining the negative stigma associated with LGBTs. There are some welcoming denominations such as the Metropolitan Community Churches, Unitarian Universalism, United Church of Christ, and several other small denominations however the majority remains intolerant. “Religion has always been a major factor forming our sexual perspective, attitudes, and values” (Helminiak, 1994). Sex and religion have long been inseparable, as current heated debates about sexual orientations document. There is no doubt the United States public has not made up its mind about the issue of alternative sexualities, especially within religious communities. LGBT persons of today can be compared to lepers of biblical times. For example, Southern Baptists considered them untouchable, and banished them from their society and denomination. Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ is supposed to be about 1
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tolerance, and love for thy neighbor as thy self. Discrimination towards LGBTs as seen from conservative sects of Christianity, through denying access to the sermons, placing sin, and denying membership towards are acts of emotional violence, and are non- Christian. The term, Homosexual, dates from the 19 th century when human sexuality began to be studied as a science. The negative connotation of the term arose from negative clinical association of same-sex attraction as a pathological state. Homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder until the American Psychiatric Association (APA) acknowledged that homosexuals showed no signs of dysfunction and thus removed it from the DSM in 1973. Religious debate stems from the definition of what homosexuality really is, nature versus nurture, and Biblical interpretations. Conservative denominations teach that homosexual behavior is chosen, changeable, abnormal, unnatural and condemned by god. By these characteristics they believe that homosexuality is something that a person does or chooses . On the contrast more liberal denominations accept homosexuality as an alternative, normal, natural, unchangeable, sexual orientation for a minority of humans, explaining that God accepts this. They believe homosexuality is something that a person is . It is important to realize that there are many different belief systems about homosexuality that are fall somewhere between the very conservative and liberal viewpoints. Conservatives and liberal denominations interpret the bible in very different ways.
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course PSYCH 475 taught by Professor Ozorak during the Spring '08 term at Allegheny.

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Psych and Religion - NonViolence- issues with LGBTS and the Church

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