By José Joacir dos Santos, Psychotherapist
The more Israel makes access to libraries with ancient books and papyri the richer the knowledge of the written history of biblical times. With this, the contrasts of the Christian Bible vanish, clearing up doubts and clarifying misconceptions, even geographical, of writers and their times – there are many errors. The difficulty with this process is that it needs people who are specialized in languages, both current and ancient, that Brazil has not yet considered. College language courses are poor and useless. Let’s use as an example a living language and most spoken in the world: English. The Brazilian universities courses form English-speaking bachelors who cannot speak or pronounce basic words in English. Time and money is being wasted, until when?
We cannot point our finger to ignorance, but we are losing time. One of the pressing issues is homosexuality. Internet social groups are debating that issue every day, especially when one or another avid evangelical pastor tries to pass homophobic readings on the National Congress, based on the principle of ignorance and blindness that guides pastoral training courses in Brazil, of all Christian sects.
Formerly there were serious courses in theology, but today only three months, and even less, is enough for an individual who has never read more than the compulsory books of high school in his entire life, to be graduated as an evangelical pastor. Apart from money raised by evangelical sects and churches, and no small amount, the only goal of the clear majority of them is material enrichment. With the power of money, drawn from the misery of the people, they go to work politically to elect more pastors for public offices, hoping to one day make Brazil a religious, evangelical, fundamentalist, blind and backward country. They are doing a good job on that way, like is a conspiracy movement.
What is most surprising is to see people graduating from higher level universities, professing the evangelical sects ending up to be silent in the face of ignorant acts of moral repression of those sects. Some use a low and aggressive language like “gays go to hell”, “gay is an abomination”. There is also a non-evangelical group, which calls itself spiritualist, and would be linked to the White Brotherhood, which states on their website that “gays will not ascend.” The White Brotherhood, which I know well, must be with their hands on their ears with this ignorant and senseless noise. Who can point the finger in God’s name? People born gay. It’s a karmic issue. No matter how hard they try, no one manufactures gay individuals.
There is no evidence that Jesus has positioned himself against gays. Quite the contrary, the teachings of the Master, uncensored, teach love to others without distinction. One of his examples was to accept as a disciple the ex-prostitute Magdalene, who became closer to him than the male disciples – not because of her physical attributes, But because of the intelligence and sensitivity she had. What transpires from Bible’s study, from uncensored and directly translated versions of Hebrew and Aramaic, is that the apostle Peter was extremely jealous. He used to keep men far from Jesus and hated the close presence of Mary Magdalene or any other woman, including the mother of Jesus. There is a specific passage from one of these bibles in which the author says that Peter prevented homosexuals from approaching Jesus. Why did he behave like that? Did Peter want Jesus beyond fraternal love and did not know how to express himself, confusing everything?
It is known that in the culture of the people of the Middle East, since the time of Jesus, that the affective relations between men have always been kind, cordial, to the point of having exchanged kisses in public, go hand in hand, sleep together as still happens in the great majority of the countries of that region, both among the Arabs and between Muslim Arabs and non-Arabs and Jews. This also exists in Eastern countries such as Nepal and Tibet. So why are Brazilian evangelical pastors so homophobic? What is forbidden among Muslims is the kiss between man and woman, in public, but not between men. There are some poor interpretation of that, but it does not represent the entire picture.
The bible is full of wars record but also speaks of homo affective relationships. The life of King David, celebrated by Catholics, Protestants and Jews, is a wonderful example of the blindness and censure of Christian and evangelical sects in out timeline. As I mentioned in one of my books, King David was gay, had a lasting homo affective relationship with the son of King Saul, Jonathan (Samuel 17-18, page 404 of the Ecumenical Bible, Ed. Edelvives, Spain, 2015, translated directly from original texts in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic), had 16 children with different women because procreation is not a physiological issue. What he did was to politically please those tribal chiefs who offered him virgin daughters as gifts for David’s fights in favor of those tribes.
Procreation was important, but it was also interpreted by Bible translators who had to satisfy the powerful of the Catholic and Lutheran Church. In biblical times, it was necessary to marry and have many children to keep the lands and to have soldiers for the wars. Who needs this nowadays, since humanity has reached exhaustive population limits? Even today Indian gays, Iranians, Arabs, Muslims, Americans are forced to marry and have at least one male child, to quiet and please the family on both sides. Regardless, they have their homo affective lives parallel, as is visible to those who live in New Delhi, Riyadh, Kathmandu, Kabul, Tehran, Cairo or any Iranian and Pakistani city. In Israel, where there is gay parade every year, gay life is full and active. Many gay Jewish men marry women to meet the demands of families, but nothing prevents them from being found in the gay bars and nightclubs of Tel Aviv. In Brazil, brave evangelical boys are already beginning to raise their voices, but the oppression of sects and church is great and families point the finger more strongly than the courts in the inquisition. It does not mean that some boys and girl can get married and be happy together.
The attempt of some evangelical pastors and part of the Catholic Church, as well as the Muslim fundamentalists and murderous groups acting in the name of Islam, is purely political. There is no link between sexuality and spirituality. Sexuality is purely physical, it belongs to the physical body, it is mortal, it is torn from the spirit and it follows its path in the proper dimensions of spirituality without the slightest remembrance of physical sexuality. In the Indian religions and sects this question was pure and simple until the arrival on that continent of the Protestant Queen Victoria, of England, who occupied India and Pakistan for many years. The strengthening of spirituality, which should be done by sects and churches, has nothing to do with the physical body. Spirituality is a thing of the divine spirit that exists in every human being, independent of religion. As Pope Francis said, “who am I to judge” a person for the sexuality?
The English had, at the time of that queen, a tradition of burning at a public campfire anyone who thought differently from the royal family in any aspect, including religious. King Henry VIII published several modified editions of the Bible to satisfy his own ego and better manage his sexual and political problems, with the help of his mistress Anne Boleyn, who would come to declare Queen of the British Empire and decapitate by betrayal – but the truth is he had his eye on another woman and wanted to change the bed. With genetic problems, he blamed the women for not having male children. The version of the bible translated by Anne Boleyn also had an enormous political imprint, with the intention of eliminating its opponents from the court. The concern was not the teaching of Jesus, as do the Brazilian evangelical sects and churches today, including in African, Asian, and other countries.
Homophobia has come to court in several countries around the world. In the United States, where most of the white and black population is evangelical, freedom for the gay population has only reached a few states. Even so, the World Health Organization, the mandatory body of the United Nations, to which Brazil is affiliated, has declared the definition of homosexuality as a disease to be inconsistent for more than 15 years. The American bodies, equivalent to the Brazilian Council of Psychology, removed from their lists the homosexuality like disease by lack of scientific foundation. In Brazil, the Federal Counsel of Psychology, although delayed in many aspects of mental health, also advises against the treatment or the so-called “gay cure”, for lack of scientific consistency.
Despite of that, the Brazilian National Congress, which lives taking care of the private and financial interests of deputies and senators, with the help of the popular vote, sleeps.
The subject is vulnerable in the hands of insecure, unhappy, avid editors and money from ultraconservative and fundamentalist evangelical groups who only think of using fear to suppress their followers and expand that ideology into non-evangelical but ignorant Brazilian society. The reading statistic among Brazilians is poor, compared to countries still in development. Many of those who join the ranks of evangelical brainwashing are uneducated, poor, emotionally vulnerable, full of fear, that fear that comes from the Old Testament, where the followers of Moses did not admit anything that was different from their own thinking – despite of the diversity among the Jewish tribes of that time. The situation was like this: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whoever does not agree with me is my mortal enemy and perishes at the stake.
Fear is the weapon of today’s evangelical churches – and there are many good and honest people lost in that big cake. Out of fear, they become millionaires and, without any embarrassment, transfer dollars to their accounts abroad, as the press often reports. What bothers most know about this is the fact that good evangelical people do not manifest themselves against that abuse committed in the name of Jesus, just as the good Germans did not raise their voices against Hitler’s killing – who had serious problems his sexuality.
What gays need to heal in psychotherapist practices the traumas of family repression, neighbors, schoolmates, teachers, pastors, priests and other religious leaders not the natural physical condition of being gay because that is not an emotional or a psychological issue – it is also hereditary. There are many gay, neurotic, repressed because of abusive of their family life. The family is the first group to repress, abuse, and demonstrate homophobic intolerance. Thousands of gay youths, if they are not murdered as they are in Brazilian states like Paraíba, must flee their home and their region to survive and have a free life. Yet they face the homophobic hatred of the churches tha should support them. Only those who are strong, who seek spirituality outside the sects, churches and family groups survive this cauldron. In Brazil of the present time only the strong survive, who fight for emotional health, who get rid of trauma and sexual abuse, who repudiate the harassment and who vote for political leaders able to leave the sex for their moments of privacy.
Homosexuality has never been and will not be a disease. There are brilliant gays throughout the history of mankind, even in present-day history, occupying positions that make a difference in the loving and healthy gaze of mankind. Those who try to come up with the so-called “gay cure” need to consult with specialized therapists who are free of this paranoia. The mental illness is the one who points the dirty finger trying to turn the table, as is the case of a frustrated former Brazilian psychologist. She had the professional registration canceled by the Federal Council of Psychology for malpractice, affiliated with evangelical fundamentalist entities, got a job in an office of evangelical politician and from there tried to manipulate Brazilian justice, which is sometimes blind.