Last time: Sophie’s pastor walked in on Sophie and Sian snogging in the middle of the dance floor in the middle of her 16th birthday party. The actual debauchery didn’t bother him so much, but the lesbians kissing did. And so he dropped off his present and bounced up out of there.
This time: Sophie and Sian are debating the merits of attending a prayer meeting. Pros: Chatting to loving creator of universe, interceding on behalf of people they love. Cons: Leader of said prayer meeting may be operating under delusion that loving creator of universe does not, in actual fact, listen to girls who kiss other girls. ‘Round and ’round they go, but before they can decide what to do, their pastor comes a-knockin’ and asks to speak to them. Weirdly, he asks if Sophie’s parents are home first. (Probably his ears are still sore from the last time he heard Sally shouting in the next town over.)
I haven’t caught this guy’s name and Sophie keeps calling him "Pastor," so that’s what I’m going to call him too. Pastor pulls out his Bible and goes with Romans 1:26. (There are six "Clobber Passages" people reach for when they want to try to use the Bible to "prove" that God doesn’t love gay people; this is the only one that specifically refers to women. Not so shocking, actually, on account of the Bible is pretty quiet about women existing altogether. Except as child-bearers.)
So, Romans 1:26 says: "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones."
And Sian jumps all over it. She goes, "Shameful?!" And Pastor tells her not to "worry about the language," which is actually the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. There is an entire scholarly pursuit called Hermeneutics that is ONLY concerned with the language of the Bible. I mean, it’s kind of important. The New Testament was written in ancient Greek and the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and do you know anyone who speaks either of those languages any more? No, you do not. So if you’re going to use a centuries’ old manuscript to condemn a person’s biology, you’d better worry about it. You’d better make damn sure "the language" is correct in that book you’re quoting.
Sophie’s going to hit on this in the next episode, that the passage Pastor leans on is written by Paul and not Jesus (Jesus didn’t write any books in the Bible; he was too busy, you know, actually loving people), and it’s a really valid point on her part. If you want me to shake down all six of the Clobber Passages for you, I’m happy to do that, but in the meantime, let me just quote Bible scholar Dr. R.S. Truluck:
Paul’s writings have been taken out of context and twisted to punish and oppress every identifiable minority in the world: Jews, children, women, blacks, slaves, politicians, divorced people, convicts, pro-choice people, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, religious reformers, the mentally ill, and the list could go on and on. Paul is often difficult and confusing to understand. A lot of Paul’s writing is very difficult to translate. Since most of his letters were written in response to news from other people, reading Paul can be like listening to one side of a telephone conversation. We know, or think we know, what Paul is saying, but we have to guess what the other side has said.