HOMOSEXUALITY: A COMPARISON OF WESTERN AND EASTERN VIEWPOINTS
The purpose of this paper is to shed a positive light on homosexuality. The paper will also look at how religion has shaped the views that people have regarding homosexuality. It will be seen that, for the most part, Christianity in the West has encouraged people to take a negative attitude on the subject. By contrast, the Eastern religion of Buddhism has taught people to have a more tolerant attitude toward homosexuality. It will be argued that the negative view of homosexuality which is frequently encountered in the West is actually based more on political reasons than on moral reasons. It will also be argued that once the political reasons for opposing homosexuality are removed, it becomes possible to view the subject in a more positive light.
The beliefs of the Christian religion make homosexuals feel that they will be condemned to hell for all eternity if they do not change their sexual orientation. Although both Catholics and Protestants are opposed to homosexuality, the Catholic religion is a bit stricter on the subject. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (a book that explains Catholic beliefs), homosexual activities are seen as "acts of grave depravity," and "under no circumstances can they be approved." The reason that Catholics and other Christians believe this is because of certain passages in the Bible which condemn homosexual behavior. In her book Different Drummer: Homosexuality in America, Elaine Landau points out that "there are direct and explicit condemnations of homosexuality in the Bible." Some of the passages that condemn homosexuality are found in the Old Testament of the Bible. For example, in Leviticus 20:13, it says: "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them." Another Old Testament passage concerning homosexuality is found in the... [continues]
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