A few months ago, in the heat of the tragic teen suicides that came about from intolerance of homosexuality, I saw a man on television who was apologizing for wishing death on gays from his facebook page. This member of an Arkansas school board was contrite for the violence in his words, but maintained that his values pertaining to homosexuality would remain, as he felt homosexuality was condemned in the bible. This concept, while foreign to me, is interesting, as it used to justify so much judgement and separation in our society. When my daughter came home from school one day saying that a classmate had two mommies, my response was, “Two mommies? How lucky is she?!” What does it actually say in the bible that will cause some people to be upset by my line of thinking?

Happy pride.

Love, gp

Michael Berg on Homosexuality in the Bible

There are few things worse than people using religion and the Bible as an excuse to denounce, curse, or hurt another person. Speaking and acting in this way shows a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of religion, God, and the Bible.

Kabbalah teaches that the purpose of religion as we know it is to enable an individual’s transformation from selfishness and ego to a new nature of sharing and compassion.  That’s it.  The Bible and all its teachings are only a means to assist this transformation.

It’s not a coincidence that one of the most famous teachings of Kabbalah come from a student asking his teacher, “Teach me the essence of the Bible, while standing on one foot,” and the teacher answering, “love your neighbor as yourself. Everything else is commentary.”

If in a person’s religious practice, study of the Bible or belief in God, he acts in ways that are not in accordance with this spirit, then he is contradicting its entire purpose. That’s why it’s especially disturbing to hear any so-called religious leaders using the Bible as a tool to hurt others.

There are many verses in the Bible, that when read literally, can be misunderstood and misdirected. The kabbalistic understanding is that scripture is meant to be deciphered and interpreted, and anyone practicing spirituality based on a literal understanding of it is, according to the Zohar, “a fool.”

Every person has a unique connection to the Creator that can never be extinguished, and every person has a great soul that can manifest important things in our world. To make a person feel less than they are because of something inside themselves, be it faith, race, or sexual orientation, is the greatest sin of all.

—Michael Berg is a Kabbalah scholar and author. He is co-Director of The Kabbalah Centre. You can follow Michael on twitter. His latest book is What God Meant.