‘TOEVAH’, the word from the ancient old testament that gets translated as ‘abomination’ and that has been used to condemn (sometimes to death) gay men around the world for centuries, actually refers to the PAGAN PRACTICES of the many tribal peoples that surrounded the Hebrews 3000 years ago.
This is explained very clearly on the website religiondespatches.org
Written in 2010 by Jay Michaelson this article calls abomination “a mistranslation and a misconception, doing harm to LGBT people and religious people alike… a close reading of the term toevah suggests an entirely different meaning: something permitted to one group, and forbidden to another. Though there is (probably) no etymological relationship, toevah means taboo.”
Toevah appears 103 times in the Hebrew Bible and always implies a foreign cultic practice.
“When you come into the land that YHVH your God gives you, do not learn to do the toevot of those nations. Do not find among you one who passes his son or daughter through the fire; or a magician; or a fortune teller, charmer, or witch… because all who do these things are toevah to YHVH and because of these toevot YHVH your God is driving them out before you.” Deuteronomy 18:9-12
Deuteronomy 12:31, 13:14, 17:4, 22:5, 27:15, and 32:16 identify idolatry, child sacrifice, cross-dressing, witchcraft, and other “foreign” practices as toevah. Leviticus, with its infamous declaration that a man having sex with another man is toevah, also reveals that the word refers to the practices of other tribes:
“You shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit these toevot… because the people who were in the land before you did these toevot and made the land impure (tameh)” Leviticus 18:26-27
The Book of Kings refers to toevah nine times, while the prophet Ezekiel brings it up 39 times. In these references we learn again that gay sex is regarded the same way as idolatry, child sacrifice and prostitution – all cult practices among the pagan tribes.
The King James Version in of the Bible in English has 150 appearances of the word ‘abomination’, only 103 of which are translations of ‘toevah’. ‘Sheketz’ is a word that often also becomes abomination in the KJV, it is a word that similarly implies taboo or idolatrous practices.
To understand the context of the Biblical stance about homosexuality it is important to know some history: The Jewish people were a small group determined to carve out a distinct identity from the other tribes around, all of whom worshipped Goddesses with erotic rituals led by same sex loving and genderfluid priests, and this had been the case in the region for many thousands of years.
Historian Will Roscoe wrote in 1996: “At the time of the birth of Christ, cults of men devoted to a goddess flourished throughout the broad region extending from the Mediterranean to south Asia.” (quoted from Priests of the Goddess: Gender Transgression in Ancient Religion History of Religions, Vol. 35, No. 3)
This helps us to understand why Christianity ended up adopting this fierce Old Testament attitude – like Judaism it wished to break with the erotic religions of the past. It succeeded into turning toevah into something much more evil by twisting the original meaning into one that condemned outright a sexual act, and by implication all those whose preference it was to enjoy that kind of sex. This twist was to lead to the persecution and execution of vast numbers of gay men for many centuries to come, and still blights our lives today, especially in some African countries where Christian homophobia still reigns.
Religiously justified homophobia will not be gone until gay people remember for ourselves that we are nature’s priests, that our ancestors served as shamans in tribes and priests in temples, they led ecstatic rituals that kept people attuned to nature’s seasons and spiritual mysteries, they were healers, often using sex to bring people into their bodies and into communion with the gods. They brought people into direct contact with their souls, with the Goddess and the ancestors, whereas the Father religions set out to separate heaven and earth, and put their priestly intermediaries in between the two. This was a patriarchal power grab.
In order for the people to accept these new Christian priests it was necessary for the church to insist they not marry and remain celibate. The people were not going to accept married priests, they knew they were supposed to be gay! However, celibacy was hard to enforce in single sex monasteries, as evidenced by the number of penitentials issued during the first millennium attempting to control the behaviour of the clergy and monastic communities. This is not really surprising if we know that the pagan past in Europe was a very gay-positive one.
In the 4th century BCE Aristotle recorded that the Celtic peoples “openly approved” of gay relationships, and this was still the case into the Christian era: in the 2nd century CE, Sextus Empiricus wrote that among the Germanic people sodomy was“not looked upon as shameful but as a customary thing” and Bardaisan of Edessa wrote that “In the countries of the north — in the lands of the Germans and those of their neighbors, handsome [noble] young men assume the role of wives [women] towards other men, and they celebrate marriage feasts.” In the 4th century Eusebius of Caesarea, wrote that “Among the Gauls, the young men marry each other (gamountai) with complete freedom. In doing this, they do not incur any reproach or blame, since this is done according to custom amongst them.”
Now we are well into the first century of a new millennium, but still carrying many terrible wounds of the past ones – and the terrible lies about gay people. The actual abominations are those carried out by some Christian, and, in more recent times, some Islamic states against gay people, done in the name of their holy books. These people are stuck in the Dark Ages of the Mind and have not even understood the teachings of their own prophets.
Gay sex is a pagan rite because it connects the body (earth), mind (air), heart (water) and spirit (fire) of the participants to the erotic flow of life energy pulsating in all creation, from the atom to the elephant, tunes us into the conscious lifeforce and brings energy, empowerment, ecstasy and enlightenment. Gay sex is a spiritual act because it connects the lifeforce of two people, with no possibility of creating physical life. It instead creates powerful spiritual, psychic energy that can open consciousness and embolden and empower the heart. By covering sexuality and the body with sin, Christianity, the most effective and efficient totalitarian system yet devised by men (which it was), cut humanity off from the source creator energy, left us stumbling alone in a cold, heartless universe, at the mercy of a jealous, angry god. The question is, how did people fall for this for so long?
Some didn’t! The medieval period saw several rival groupings to institutional Christianity, heretical faiths and free spirits who had no issue with sexuality, including homosexuality. Other religions around the world did not develop the homophobic taboo, in fact in the Buddhist monasteries of China and Japan gay sex was considered utterly normal, even a privilege enjoyed by the monks. When the Jesuit Christian missionaries took offence at this, they were laughed at and even thrown out of temples for their rudeness.
Why has it taken so long for the lie of the ‘abomination’ to be revealed? One issue is that lesbian and gay Christians just don’t go into the realms of sex rituals dedicated to Goddesses and Horned Gods… but pagans today still do and it is only by doing that we discover… gay sex connects us to the otherworlds, if we do it right! And by right, I mean RITE!
GAY SEX IS TOEVAH… ie CULTIC WITCHCRAFT!!!!… Witchcraft and all pagan ritual is about shifting consciousness, altering perception, seeing deeper into life’s subtleties and working with invisible, subtle energies.. That’s what gay sex does too, and i believe it is true, from my experience during 35 years out on the gay scene, that, as Andrew Ramer records in Two Flutes Playing (1997): “All of our addictions, to chemicals and to behaviours, mask our ancient shaman powers.”