I’m often asked by more conservative Christians about how I can be affirming GLBTIQ+ folks when the Bible says that God’s intention was for human beings to be heterosexual. To back this up they will normally cite a small piece of teaching from Jesus about marriage – but they normally look at it without also looking at Jesus acknowledgement of eunuchs in the same teaching session.
The other text they often cite is one of the two creation narratives from Genesis. They’ll say that since God made the woman to be the man’s companion, all women should have male partners and all men should have female partners, or be celibate.
As I’ve been reading Genesis today I’ve been reminded that this isn’t actually what happens in the story. The way this version of the story is told, God doesn’t design the man’s companion – if the first human should even be understood as a man. God thinks the first human should have a companion, but God presumes this companion will be chosen from among the animals.
The first person doesn’t find a suitable companion from among the other creatures, and that’s where God’s idea to make another human – but a different kind of human – comes from.
I think this story suggests a really different idea of God from the idea that says God doesn’t allow same-sex relationships. This story shows a kind of God who doesn’t stick bloody-mindedly to their own plan but listens to the preference of one of their creatures. In my opinion the idea of a god who can change their mind and collaborate with others sounds more like good news that a god who is unable to change their mind.
(Just to be clear, I don’t think this story is historical. I think it’s a folktale, and that its authority depends on the authority we assign to it as individuals and within our communities.)