The Montgomery County, Maryland, public school district was distributing a flyer that dispelled some of the myths that the religious right has been using to promote hatred of homosexuals in the United States. Unfortunately, saying anything at all about organised religion technically placed the school board in violation of American laws which provide for separation of the church and state, so the school board was ordered to pull the pamphlet.
Since the damn thing was so informative, and since the Maryland courts will probably have no qualms about my distributing the informationed contained therin, I've decided to post the contents of the pamphlet here.
Homosexuality is a sin.
The Bible contains six passages which condemn homosexual behavior. The Bible also contains numerous passages condemning heterosexual behavior. Theologians and Biblical scholars continue to differ on many Biblical interpretations. They agree on one thing, however. Jesus said absolutely nothing at all about homosexuality. Among the many things deemed an abomination are adultery, incest, wearing clothing made from more than one kind of fiber, and earing [sic] shellfish, like shrimp and lobster.
Religion has often been misused to justify hatred and oppression. Less than a half a century ago, Baptist churches (among others) in this country defended racial segregation on the basis that it was condoned by the Bible. Early Christians were not hostile to homosexuals. Intolerance became the dominant attitude only after the Twelfth Century. Today, many people no longer tolerate generalizations about homosexuality as pathology or sin. Few would condemn heterosexuality as immoral, despite the high incidence of rape, incest, child abuse, adultery, family violence, promiscuity, and venereal disease among heterosexuals. Fortunately, many within organized religions are beginning to address the homophobia of the church. The Nation Council of Churches of Christ, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Society of Friends (Quakers), and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches support full civil rights for gay men and lesbians, as they do for everyone else.