On the claim that “Eunuchs are Gay Men”

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In continuing my review of claims that some eunuchs were physically functioning homosexuals—and therefore, blessed in God’s eyes, as per the Bible, as per Jesus, etc.—I already published “Some Eunuchs Are Gay Men Or Lesbians” as per gaychristian101. I now continue along these lines by reviewing Mark Brustman’s Thesis: Eunuchs are Gay Men (with a listing of secondary sources).

In continuing my review of claims that some eunuchs were physically functioning homosexuals—and therefore, blessed in God’s eyes, as per the Bible, as per Jesus, etc.—I already published “Some Eunuchs Are Gay Men Or Lesbians” as per gaychristian101. I now continue along these lines by reviewing Mark Brustman’s Thesis: Eunuchs are Gay Men (with a listing of secondary sources). Now, I was directed to this article by someone who is arguing that point of view. However, it turns out that this was just an intro and I am expected to read an entire website. Thus, I am posting this now and may post other portions if and when I get to reading more.

In short, this is about Matthew 19:12 herein Jesus stated:

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

The claim is that when Jesus refers to eunuchs, five times, He is referring to different sorts of people such as a homosexual in one case, a castrated man in another, a man born with genetic problems such as impotency in another, etc. Thus, they are defining one single word used within one single statement in radically different ways. Also, they are proposing that we use one single word to radically redefine main themes of ethics, marriage, sex, etc. This alone should prove to you that their view is mistaken because it violates every basic rule of Hermeneutics (how to read and understand that which a text is telling us) as well as violating every rule of systematic theology: we cannot build an entire doctrine upon one verse/statement nor can we overturn very clearly outlined doctrines, such as the template for sex and marriage, upon such.
Also, the verse reads perfectly fine via the traditional understanding which is that the eunuchs are, for whatever reason, asexual. Thus, we could read it thusly:

For there are some asexuals, which were so born from their mother’s womb due to genetic problems: and there are some asexuals, which were castrated of men: and there be asexuals which have castrated themselves for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Many eunuchs were the keepers of a king’s harem and while one could, to some degree, fake being gay so as to access a harem, one could not fake being castrated or fake being born with genetic abnormalities.

Mark Brustman approaches his research into this issue, “As a proud gay man and, at that time, a Christian.” Now, I would not say that his obvious bias discredits his conclusion since that would be tantamount to an ad hominem or genetic fallacy. Note that he claims to have been a Christian (I do not know if “at that time, a Christian” implies that he no longer is or is just pointing out his being a Christian). However, from the outset you can see that he claims Christianity whilst violating a biblical ethic. No, I am not referring to homosexuality but to pride: he took pride which is a biblical vice and turned it into a virtue—making good evil and evil good. But yes, of course he adds error to error by being both prideful and gay.

Brustman claims that “Jesus said there were eunuchs who were born so from their mother’s womb. To my knowledge, a eunuch was a man who had been castrated, so how could he be born that way?” Thus, from the outset we see that one of his initial problems is not theological but simply logical. How could he be born castrated: because the text does not use the term castrated so that the basic point is that which I made above, this is about being asexual for whatever reason: due to genetics abnormality negatively effecting the genitals including impotency, due to injury, due to literal physical castration, etc. Thus, one can, in various ways, be born that way.

Oddly, Brustman claims about Matthew 19:12 that “the context was about men’s obligation to marry” yet, it is not but is about Pharisees who asked Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
Jesus reply is:

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

The point is that divorce was not part of God’s original order/template for marriage but you can see why prideful gay activists are desperate to re-write verse 12 since here, Jesus is crystal clear: the Creator made them male and female and it is these, one male and one female, that are to be united and become one flesh which is the only joined together that God sanctions.
One of the activists’ problem is that it is simply illogical and ill-theo-logical that Jesus following this up with statement that contradicts the immediate context, the greater context, the grammatical context, the cultural context, the historical context, etc.

It is also fascinating to note that Brustman writes, “I firmly believed (and still do) that I was born gay” and so with that premise, he sought to find something in the Bible that would state as much. Well, even if someone can be born gay that does not mean that gay is acceptable any more than being born a bed-wetter, or a pedophile, or violent makes that acceptable. In any case, there is a difference between impulse and action and so even if he was born gay he still had to make conscious decisions to carry about that impulse into the action of living a gay lifestyle.

Based on his biased premise, “it occurred to me that a so-called born eunuch might mean a gay man like myself.” But keep in mind that while there are “some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb” which Brustman claims means born gay, there are also “some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men” which means that they were made to be gay by others and “there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” so they were not gay but made themselves become gay and did so for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. Now you see why the activists must claim that eunuch only means gay in the first usage and not the other usages—even though they are within the same thought, the same statement, and the same context.

Brustman states, “I set out to define the category Jesus had called the ‘born eunuch,’ which was something different from a castrated man, or ‘man-made eunuch” and yet, he claims that eunuch is something different than eunuch and does so due to his bias in seeking to justify his own chosen homosexuality. The something different is not the eunuch but the circumstance.

Brustman seems to shoot his own activism in the foot my stating, or admitting actually, that “The common denominator in gay men and castrated men, which could be the basis for categorizing both groups under the term eunuch, is that neither one is suitable for marriage. This indeed was the point of the gospel verse.” Well, indeed, it is the case that gay men (and women) is suitable for marriage. And note that, of course, this would mean that gays are a special class of privileged people who God allows to have sex without being married. Thus, again, since this violates everything the Bible has to say about sex and marriage then you can instantly know it is mistaken.

Brustman reveals more of his research premise, “in order to prove beyond a doubt that born eunuchs were gay men, I had to prove that, like gay men: (1) born eunuchs could have complete genitals, (2) they had no lust for women, and (3) they had lust for men.” Of course, he means that only some “eunuchs were gay men.” He also refers to his “hypothesis that born eunuchs were, in general, anatomically whole like gay men.” He also wrote, “eunuchs and gay men shared the same characteristics.” Of course, he means that only some “eunuchs and gay men shared the same characteristics.” Also, “eunuchs are gay men, and gay men are eunuchs.” Of course well, you guessed it.
I am only pointing these out so as to demonstrate how to keep the discerning mind active and on point—not letting such generalities and potentially influencing assertions go.

He then launches into an odd, un-evidenced, and uncited claim base on “To my mind” which is that “most people are born bisexual, but a few are not…bisexual…describes the majority of people. What we call a ‘straight person’ is, in most cases, a bisexual who has been conditioned to avoid acting on his or her homosexual side.” This is simply pure, unfounded LGBTQIAP+ propaganda.

He also states, “The argument I am making in this essay is that men who were genetically unable to feel lust for women, i.e. what we call gay men today, were called eunuchs by our pre-Christian ancestors.” Here we see another of his logical fallacies since men can be genetically unable to feel lust for women even if they are not in the least bit what we call gay men today since, as aforementioned, they could be impotent, physically or chemically castrated, etc. so that they would be asexual and thus, be unable to feel lust for man and women.

He also states “Castration may prevent a straight man from impregnating a woman, but it will not change his desires” but he seems to be confusing castration and vasectomy since vasectomy is meant to prevent a straight man from impregnating a woman but castration implies the lack of ability to produce the chemical which impel the sex drive.

Brustman refers to Petronius’ (27-66 AD) “comic novel” Satyricon which is, as Brustman tells us, “about two men lusting after a teenage boy” and admits that “none of the main characters called themselves eunuchs.” He also admits that there are numerous references to “homosexually active men throughout Greek and Roman literature who are not called eunuchs.” But, of course, he claim that this evidence (or, lack thereof) “can be explained” away.

For example, he notes, “unless you wanted a job as a domestic servant for women or at the imperial court, being known as a eunuch in Rome entailed no special advantage” and that “eunuchs were ridiculed in ancient Greece and Rome like gays are today” so that “even if a man was a born eunuch…he might very well not want to carry that label.” So this is an argument form silence which implies that he believes that lack of evidence is evidence.
Later, he adds “the early Indo-European cultures attacked them with the same kind of negative stereotypes that are inflicted on gay men today” but the very next sentence refers to “the reverence and appreciation enjoyed by eunuchs in many non-Indo-European ancient cultures, for which eunuchs/homosexuals assumed priestly roles.”

Brustman writes, “The pre-Christian ancient writers were never specific in defining a eunuch as lacking a penis and/or testicles. Many of them made vague allusions to an imperfection, lack of power, femininity, or impotence, which did not exclude either genital deformity or a gay man’s kind of impotence with women.” I will point out that he should be more technical on this point as by “impotence with women” be refers to not being turned on by them but impotence is really a physical problem denoting the inability to become aroused/erect in general. One pre-Christian source is Isaiah 56:3-4 wherein a metaphorical eunuch stating “Behold, I am a dry tree”—capiche?

He also admits, “I have gathered several hundred ancient references to eunuchs” and/but that “Most of the references neither proved nor disproved my hypothesis.” And so, with thousands of years’ worth of pre-Christian history and literature at his disposal, he decides, “I only needed to find one eunuch with a full set of genitals to throw the burden of proof off of my hypothesis and onto the opposite view.” Note that he appears to be stacking the deck as a eunuch could have a “full set of genitals,” meaning that they are outwardly intact but yet, could be inwardly damaged, inwardly not fully developed, etc.

But he not only has culturally and grammatically relevant pre-Christian history and literature but he allows himself a swath so wide that anything and everything ever written about eunuchs count in his estimation. In other words, he is taking into consideration the view of people who have no grammatical, cultural or historical relevance to what the Bible states.

Brustman writes, “Eunuchs as a category were able to procreate (except ‘if someone is a eunuch in such a way that he lacks a necessary part of his body’), and they had a sexual aversion to women and an attraction to men” (underlining in original). This is not only a generic statement but is uncited. Also, logically one cannot claim that “Eunuchs as a category were able to procreate” if some within that category were not able to do so.

In short, his overall claim is that what is known from everyone writing anywhere and at any time is that, “eunuchs could procreate…eunuchs avoided sexual interaction with women or were impotent with them. This abstinence with respect to women was actually what defined the eunuch in the ancient mind, so the category covered not only gay men but any man who was unable or unwilling to have sex with women…lest the religious homophobes try to insist eunuchs are simply impotents and sexual abstainers” he will go about “demonstrating that eunuchs were known for sexually pursuing and accommodating other men.”

He writes:
Think about it. Jesus spoke specifically about gay men in Matthew 19:12. He even said people might become eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He did not anywhere say eunuchs should avoid their own kind of sexual expression. The church’s condemnation of gay sexuality thus falls into the same category as its former hatred of straight sexuality, namely the category of irrelevance.
That “Jesus spoke specifically about gay men in Matthew 19:12” is simply an assertion since even if he can prove that eunuchs could do that which I just quoted above, that would still not mean that this is that which that one single word in Matthew 19:12 is telling us—it simply does not logically or theologically work.

Yet, this is all about theology and about literally inventing a brand new theology—and one that would make the Bible contradictory—according to which “people might become eunuchs” gay “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” whatever that would mean. And we are back to Jesus firmly affirming that sex and marriage are between one man and one woman in that Brustman claims that Jesus “did not anywhere say eunuchs should avoid their own kind of sexual expression” which brings us back to Brustman admission that “neither one is suitable for marriage” so that gays are a special class of privileged people who God allows to have sex without being married.

To this, he adds another bit of LGBTQIAP+ propaganda, “The church’s condemnation of gay sexuality thus falls into the same category as its former hatred of straight sexuality, namely the category of irrelevance. In fact, you could even call it complicity in genocide, given the number of gay people who have been tortured and killed, either by the church or with its condonation.”
I am going to guess that his reference to “The church’s…hatred of straight sexuality” he must be appealing to times when not “The church” in general but the Roman Catholic church in particular was pushing monastic lifestyles. In any case, the sad fact is that gay people have been responsible for the deaths of many more gay people than gay people have been killed by non-gay people. As one mere example, consider the statements by long time gay activist Harvey Fierstein

So we produced advertising, created enlightenment programs, spent endless hours making certain that having AIDS or being H.I.V. positive was nothing to be ashamed of. We did a great job. Maybe too great a job. After all the effort exerted to convince the world that AIDS is not a gay disease, we now have a generation embracing AIDS as its gay birthright…Many of our young men see infection as a right of passage [sic], an inevitable coming of age.
I hear of them seeking the disease as entree into the cool, queer inner circle that being negative denies them…Unlike the photos in the ads we see, most of my friends who are on drug cocktails [to treat H.I.V.] are not having the time of their lives. They spend mornings in the bathroom throwing up or suffering from diarrhea. They spend afternoons at doctor’s appointments, clinics and pharmacies. And they spend endless evenings planning their estates and trying to make ends meet because they are not well enough to support themselves and their new drug habit. And those are just the friends for whom the drugs work. For many women the cocktails are nothing but a drain on finance, internal organs and stamina…
We have done a terrific job removing the stigma of having AIDS. But in doing so we’ve failed to eliminate the disease. H.I.V. is an almost completely avoidable infection. You need to be compliant in some very specific behaviors to be at risk. In fact, if every person now infected vowed that the disease ended with him, we could wipe out the ballooning number of new infections. Instead, we’ve sold our next generation into drug slavery and their destiny to medical researchers because we’d rather treat each other as sexual objects than as family…stop minimizing the infection with cute little names like “the gift” or ‘the bug
—Op-Ed for The New York Times entitled, “The Culture of Disease” (7-31-03 AD).

Homosexuality is a very, very unhealthy lifestyle in general, see Is homosexual parenting good for children?

After asserting the conclusion of his research he seems to imply that he is pushing, as it were, those authors to say what he wants to hear. In other words, he may be peppering their implications with his biased inferences. For example, he refers to how, “authors felt eunuchs could procreate…authors felt eunuchs were impotent with or sexually turned off to women” (emphasis added for emphasis) which leaves me wondering if he is just using the word “felt” generically or not because that which they felt and that which is are the facts could very well differ.

Brustman writes, “None of the Bible verses indicated that eunuchs were castrated. And a verse about castration, Deuteronomy 23:1, said nothing about eunuchs.” This is why we have to 1) consider grammatical references that at historically and culturally contextual to the Bible and 2) understand that someone could be said to be a eunuch by description even if not by lable.

He also ponders a conspiracy theory, “I discovered something very strange. The King James Version translates saris [actually, the Hebrew cariyc (Strong’s H5631)] variously as chamberlain, eunuch, officer, or as a proper name Rabsaris (literally ‘chief eunuch’). As a translator, I was appalled at the inconsistency, which to me smacked of a cover-up of some kind.”
Well, as a translator he should know that translating one single word in different words is common. However, this is not like his mishandling of eunuch in Matthew 19:12 but it is when the context demands different meanings, when the language into which it is being translated has more than one word for the same basic meaning, etc. Matthew 19:12 contains no indications that radically different things are meant by the same word. Rather, it is referring to the same sort of people in different circumstances.

Brustman notes:

Apparently, sarisim had participated in religious rites (Jeremiah 34:19), which would be impossible if they were castrated. Deuteronomy 23:1 says castrated men cannot enter the congregation of the Lord. Therefore, modern religious scholars, assuming all eunuchs were castrated, concluded that a saris must not necessarily be a eunuch. But Isaiah 56:3-5 and Matthew 19:12 clearly imply that the procreative ability of a saris is compromised somehow.

There is a lot to unpack here and it is easy for Brustman to hide assertions under the guise of providing citations.
Does Jeremiah 34:19 state that “sarisim had participated in religious rites”? It states, “The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf” so that this is clearly a come one, come all situation: they are not acting as clergy, but are only participating in religious rites.
What Deuteronomy 23:1 states is “He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD” so that Brustman has decided that “congregation” equals “religious rites.” He may not like it but the term qahal (Strong’s H6951) is, for example, translated in the KJV as congregation (86x), assembly (17x), company (17x), multitude (3x).

I touched upon Isaiah 56:3-5 above and it states, in part, “let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.”
Note that after arguing time and again that (some) eunuchs can procreate, now he argues that Isaiah and Jesus, via Matthew, are telling us that “the procreative ability of a saris is compromised somehow—yes, that has been my point all along.
Also, he claimed that “modern religious scholars…concluded that a saris must not necessarily be a eunuch” but this, again, seems to be an issue of physically castrated versus something like being impotent.

Well, that is quite enough of an essay for now and we will see if I take on that entire website…

For more details, see my relevant books.

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