UCSB teaches students to reconcile faith with homosexual behavior
- The school published a "Homosexuality and Religion" guide that says the Bible objects to the idea that homosexuals deserve equal rights.
- The guide tells students that religion doesn't have to get in the way of their sex life.
- Additionally, the university’s “Safe Zone” project says students should keep their religious beliefs to themselves when a friend or family member “comes out.”
The University of California Santa Barbara has published a “Homosexuality and Religion” guide, detailing how to reconcile one’s faith with homosexual behavior.
The guide, which is part of the Sociology Department’s “ Sex Info Online” website, is full of life advice such as “[i]t is 100% possible to be devout and sexually active.”
The guide claims there are three primary stances on homosexuality in regards to religion: rejectionism; love the sinner, hate the sin; and full acceptance.
Rejectionism, the guide claims, is held by Judeo-Christian denominations that embrace a “Biblical interpretation of sexuality” and “entirely objects to the idea that homosexuals deserve equal rights.”
It is religion’s “emphasis on pious virtue,” the guide continues, that has created a “hierarchy of purity” where polyamorous, homosexual, and extramarital sex are “labeled” as “abnormal and repulsive.”
However, the guide says, these religious views are simply the result of outdated ignorance. The guide claims that all forms of sexual orientation, gender identity, and relationships are natural, “though some religions may not see it this way.”
Religion doesn’t have to get in the way of your sex life, the guide states, reassuring students that although their religious doctrines may not condone their sexual behavior, it’s “entirely possible” for students to structure their lives around “respect and love” instead.
The guide, which claims that most religions “have subgroups of queer-identified members,” goes on to explain various religious beliefs regarding homosexuality.
Christianity is, according to the guide, responsible for many of society’s “limitations and stigmas” regarding sexuality.
The guide goes on to claim that Judaism banned homosexuality not for moral reasons but because the Jewish people were enemies of the Canaanites. “Sexual variation,” the guide explains, “was seen as a threat to group harmony.”
The guide also claims that Muslims “do not follow celibacy, or refraining from sexual activity until marriage.”
The guide concludes by stating that “[p]rogress is slowly creeping as the relationship between sexuality and religion continues to evolve.”
Carlos Flores, a senior at UCSB, told Campus Reform that, as a Catholic, he found the guide “quite disappointing.”
“[I]t is absurd to suggest that Christians ‘object to the idea that homosexuals deserve equal rights,’” Flores said.
“Christians and homosexual activists disagree on what marriage is— that is, which relationships are marital and which are not— but this doesn't imply that Christians think that homosexuals ‘don't deserve equal rights.’”
Flores went on to say that the guide “evinces a total misunderstanding of orthodox Christianity's approach to sexual ethics” and “perniciously suggests that sexual misconduct is compatible with being a Christian in good standing.”
What’s more, the university’s “Homosexuality and Religion” guide is not UCSB’s only attempt at marrying religion and homosexuality.
The university’s Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity has an FAQ section, including the question “[h]ow can I reconcile my or my loved one's sexual orientation with my faith?”
The university answers this question, in part, by reassuring students that it is up to the individual to “make choices in order to reconcile religion with homosexuality and gender variance,” by either working to change their religion or leaving it altogether.
UCSB also addresses the topic of religion in a manual for the university’s “Safe Zone” project, which informs students that they should keep their religious beliefs to themselves when a friend or family member “comes out.” This piece of advice for students is listed under a bullet point about “challenging assumptions you may have.”
The University of California Santa Barbara did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.
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