The Clobber Passages: A Closer Look

The term “clobber passages” refers to a handful of scriptures used by traditionalists to condemn same-sex behavior. There are also clobber passages which are used to condemn gender minorities. The clobber passages are listed and briefly described below.

Clobber passages used to condemn same-sex behavior

There are six passages of scripture used by traditionalists to condemn same-sex behavior. Many LGBTQ-affirming scholars and theologians believe that, correctly interpreted, none of these passages condemn modern, consensual, adult, same-sex relationships.

Genesis 19 – The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah

The account of an attempted gang rape has led traditionalists to argue that homosexuality is condemned in this passage because the men of the city aspired to rape the presumably male-presenting angels.

Leviticus 18:22

The direct command to (presumably) a man tells him not to lie with a male as with a woman. On a close reading of this passage and Leviticus 20:13, it is most likely that what is being prohibited is pederasty, abuse of slaves, or possibly prostitution.

Leviticus 20:13

This verse commands that a man should not lie with a male or they will both be put to death. As in Leviticus 18:22 Greco-Roman-style pederasty is being prohibited as well as possibly the abuse of slaves or the use of prostitutes.

Romans 1:26-27
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
1 Timothy 1:10
Clobber passages used to condemn gender minorities
Genesis 1 – God creates male and female

This interpretation is complicated by the second creation account (perhaps the older) which presents a God who creates a human being that is not described as one gender or the other, but produces two genders only when the one earth creature has been multiplied into two.

Deuteronomy 22:5
Deuteronomy 23:1
Matthew 19:1-12

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