How is homosexuality viewed in Islam Christianity and Judaism?

Answer 1

  • Qur'an says (meaning English Translation):" Those of your women who commit lewdness, you must have four witnesses against them, from among you. If they testify, confine them to the homes until death claims them, or God makes a way for them. If two men among you commit it, punish them both. But if they repent and reform, leave them alone. God is Redeemer, Full of Mercy. Repentance is available from God for those who commit evil out of ignorance, and then repent soon after. These-God will relent towards them. God is Knowing and Wise." (4:14-16).
  • Accordingly, Qur'an teachings never call for killing homosexuals.
  • This doesn't mean that there may be some Muslim extremists; as in other religions; that create disturbances and violence actions and call for killing homosexuals.
  • In Christianity, you may be referred to Chapters 18 and 20 of Leviticus, which form part of the Holiness code, contain the following verses:
    • 18:22 "Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin." (NLT)
    • 20:13 "If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense." (NLT)"
    The two verses have historically been interpreted by Jews and Christians as clear blanket prohibitions against homosexual acts.
  • In Christianity, you may be also referred to Jude 7: "And don't forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God's judgment. (NIV)"
  • In Judaism: The Torah clearly states its views about the act of homosexuality. The act of homosexuality, i.e. two men having sexual relations, is prohibited. The act is twice called a "Toaiva (an abomination)" and it is such a severe sin, that it merited the death penalty in the ancient Jewish court system. If not for the fact that homosexuality is prevalent in Western Society today, there would be little controversy about this Torah sin. It is clearly forbidden and never condoned anywhere in the Torah. Refer to related link below.
  • The Bible allows explicitly killing gays. The act of murder is rampant in the Bible. In much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, there are laws that command that people be killed for absurd reasons such as working on the Sabbath, being gay, cursing your parents, or not being a virgin on your wedding night. In addition to these crazy and immoral laws, there are plenty of examples of God's irrationality by his direct killing of many people for reasons that defy any rational explanation such as killing children who make fun of bald people, and the killing of a man who tried to keep the ark of God from falling during transport. There are also countless examples of mass murders commanded by God, including the murder of women, infants, and children.

    Refer to links below for more information.

Answer 2

While consulting the Holy Books is useful in determining what a religion's perspective is on any given issue, it is not dispositive. Religions and people have developed substantially since those books were revealed. Conservative and mainstream views in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam hold that homosexual acts are sins, because the Bible and Qur'an/Sunna are relatively explicit on this issue. There are minority Jewish and Christian views that either ignore the issue or openly permit homosexual relationships, believing that God created humans with dignity and that dignity should be cherished.

Judaism: Orthodox Judaism sees homosexuality as a sin worthy of capital punishment due to the particular verses in Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 cited in Answer 1. Like other sins worthy of capital punishment in Judaism, punishment is almost impossible to mete out on those terms and usually results in disownment or bullying rather than execution. However, there are slow inroads being made to avoid pestering and bullying in the Orthodox Jewish comunity concerning anti-homosexual sentiment. In Liberal Judaism, homosexuality is generally not considered an issue. Some forms of Liberal Judaism, such as Reconstructionism, were specifically designed to incorporate the LGBT community. Conservative Judaism, the most conservative branch of Liberal Judaism, permits homosexuals to be ordained, but differs to each congregation as to whether they will choose to accept ordained homosexuals.

Christianity: There are an incredible variety of Christian views on homosexuality, ranging from several forms of African Protestantism which openly advocate for murdering homosexuals and/or their exorcisms to the Lutheran Church and some minor churches which actively allow homosexuals to be clergy. The Catholic position, as clarified by Pope Francis I recently is that Catholicism still holds homosexual acts to be a sin, but hopes to embrace the person in the hope that Christ can help the person abstain from the sinful acts. Many other Christians, especially in Western countries may oppose homosexuality as part of their own lives but believe in the homosexual's right to state protection and resources just as a heterosexual has such access. There are several Christian-majority countries that have up-to-life-imprisonment as punishment for homosexual acts, such as Tanzania and Uganda.

Islam: There is no real debate on Islam as to whether homosexuality is acceptable since Irshad Manji is the only Muslim who has argued that it is (and she is not a scholar in the traditional sense). The debate in Islam often revolves around whether the government or individuals should or should not punish homosexuals and if they do whether or not they should be jailed or executed. There are several Muslim-majority countries that have capital punishment as punishment for homosexual acts, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and Mauritania. Many others imprison them.

Answer 3 (few Hints):

  • The saying that "Religions and people have developed substantially since those books were revealed" is not applied on God holy books and/or God commands in His holy books or as conveyed to people through God prophets. The saying that religions have developed sustantially and according God commands could changed is not valid in God religions. This is at least from Islamic point view. All explicit God commands in Qur'an; per Islam religion; are not debatable.
  • Irshad Manji is not an Islamic reference or religious leader. One should refer to authentic religious leaders to follow their sayings (Fatawi).
  • It is very clear that the explicit commands in Qur'an don't call for killing homosexuals while in the Torah and the Bible, killing of homosexuals is explicitly commanded.
  • Refer to related questions below.