Most people claim it would not affect their religious beliefs if historians discovered that Jesus was gay, according to a phone poll on London’s Talk Radio on Sunday 14 December. Fifty-one percent said revelations of Christ’s homosexuality would not affect their religious belief; 49 percent said it would.
The phone vote was part of a debate on the James Whale Show. which asked the question: “Was Jesus Gay?”. In the hot seat was Peter Tatchell of OutRage!.
Tatchell noted that one version of St. Mark’s gospel –which is still the subject of academic dispute– alludes to Jesus having a homosexual relationship with a youth he raised from the dead.
According to the U.S. Biblical scholar, Morton Smith, of Columbia University, a fragment of manuscript he found at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem in 1958, showed that the full text of St. Mark chapter 10 (between verses 34 and 35 in the standard version of the Bible) contains a passage which includes the following text. —
“And the youth, looking upon him (Jesus), loved him and beseeched that he might remain with him. And going out of the tomb, they went into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God”.
Tatchell says there is scant information about Jesus’s sexuality: “We don’t know for sure whether Jesus was straight, gay, bisexual or celibate. There is certainly no evidence for the Church’s presumption that he was heterosexual. Nothing in the Bible points to him having desires or relationships with women. The possibility of a gay Christ cannot be ruled out.
“Since there is no proof of the heterosexuality of Jesus, the theological basis of Church homophobia is all the more shaky and indefensible.
“Jesus was born a man and therefore presumably had male sexual feelings. But there are no references in the gospels to his sexuality. Large chunks of Jesus’s life are missing from the Biblical accounts. This has fuelled speculation that the early Church sanitised the gospels, removing references to Christ’s sexuality that were not in accord with the heterosexual morality that it wanted to promote”, said Peter Tatchell.