Cisi Eze: Can the LGBT Community Find Comfort In Religious Books?

An LGBTQ person subscribing to any of the Abrahamic religion is akin to a lamb playing with a lion. It is questionable, because these religions hate LGBTQ people with a vengeance.

What level of cognitive dissonance would make a queer person find comfort in religious texts such as these?

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Lev 20:13)

Do you indeed approach men with desire instead of women? Rather, you are a people behaving ignorantly. (Al-Naml 27:55)

“This sin, the impact of which makes one’s skin crawl, which words cannot describe, is evidence of perverted instincts, total collapse of shame and honour, and extreme filthiness of character and soul. The heaven, the Earth, and the mountains tremble from the impact of this sin. The angels shudder as they anticipate the punishment of Allah to descend upon the people who commit this indescribable sin.” (Hadith)

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. (Romans 26 -27)

We cannot ignore that morality, moulded by religious beliefs, fuels homophobia in our society. A parent furiously thumbs through the pages of religious text to reinforce that homosexuality is a sin on learning that his/her child is queer. People belt “Sodom and Gomorrah!” whenever they chant their homophobia to the highest heavens. Little do they know the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were stated in Ezekiel 16: 49. In few cases, homophobia is peddled based on irreligious reasons.

Despite several patriarchs (prophets) of these religions decrying homosexuality, it is curious that Jesus (who is reverenced in Christianity and Islam – the mainstream religions in Nigeria) never said anything about “deviant” sexualities.

In Mathew 8, we see the Roman centurion running to Jesus to tell him about his sick servant. At the time, it was rife among Romans to have lovers of the same sex. Why would the centurion be so vested in his dispensable servant’s health? It was possible they did not have sex. Nonetheless, the centurion loved that servant. There was an emotional connection to that servant. Homosexuality is a pattern of love, and you can love someone without having sex with the person. Jesus, in His characteristic manner, did not judge, did not query. Au contraire, he commended the centurion for his faith, and healed his servant. Then there is the questionable love between David and Jonathan. We cannot overlook Ruth and Naomi.

In a sad twist, it appears that Christianity in modern times has deviated from what Jesus had in mind two millennia ago. “Judge not: lest ye shall be judged” is one of the salient messages of Christianity. Nonetheless, 21st century Christians are all out to judge an individual, and condemn him/her to the hottest part of hell. If people practiced Christianity as a lifestyle, they would love people regardless of whatever circumstances; they would let go every form of prejudice; they would be open-minded and tolerant. Because they practice institutionalised Christianity – the kind of Christianity that is dependent on culture, they have refused to let go of the cultural belief that says a man must marry a woman for the sake of procreation.

Times have changed, and we must change with time. As society experiences exogenous and endogenous change, it should update all aspects of culture to be more accommodating. Only a barbaric culture destroys a group of people for circumstances they did not choose. People need to realise humans invented religion at a certain point in history in a bid to understand the supernatural, the things they could not explain. As time changes, it is expected that religion evolves to suit society.

Religion is what society teaches you about God. Conversely, spirituality is an individual’s journey to God. We want spirituality, not religion. There are several ways to God.

LGBTQ people can find solace in God, definitely not in religion or religious texts. Religion and God are separate concepts. After all, Satanism is a religion.

God, whichever god you believe in, made no mistake in creating LGBTQ people. If God caused there to be variation in race and sex; if God caused there to be variation in abilities and temperaments; is it not expected that God would have caused variation in patterns of love? This is the loving God to connect with, not a malevolent deity, who hates and threatens to destroy His creation for having natural impulses He/She put in them.

P.S. Leviticus condemns same-sex romantic relationships; it also condemns eating seafood without fins and scales, yet most of us enjoy catfish, shrimps, lobsters, etcetera (Lev 9:12). Are we going to go to hell for eating shrimps?

P.P.S. God is nature. Nature, not nurture/society, decides what is natural. If society decided what was natural, no one would be born intersex.


Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. 

A media and justice fellow of the Bisi Alimi Foundation, she feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her articles as a guest contributor on Bella Naija, her blog – Shades of Cisi, a podcast she co-presents – We Said It, and an online radio show – Stirring the Waters. Aside these, she has works on Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Outcast Magazine, The Rustin Times, Mounting the Moon, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2. 

Cisi’s art aims to challenge existing societal norms. 

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this Op-Ed by the Writer are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Rustin Times.

1 thought on “Cisi Eze: Can the LGBT Community Find Comfort In Religious Books?

  1. I have always felt, beneath the surface, a love for a being that loves me subjectively, and I am glad this authenticates that theory, we don’t have to be destructively religious, our personal belief is what counts.

    Thanks Cisi😘😘😘😘😘

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