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Usage of the term "clobber verses" in the homosexuality debate

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  • Usage of the term "clobber verses" in the homosexuality debate

    Recently, I've been seeing a few people use the term "clobber verses" to refer to those biblical verses that are generally understood as condemning homosexual practice. Generally, I'm seeing it come from people who believe that Christianity and homosexuality are compatible. I'm curious where this term came from, if it's been around awhile, and if it's ever used to refer to verses on other subjects.

    My impression of the term is that it is used to shut down discourse; the verses simply don't mean that, and that is that. As far as I can tell, a reasonable case might be made for some of the verses being ambiguous, but I simply don't think it's possible to reasonably argue that the passage in Romans 1 can be read any other way (and really, all that is needed is one unambiguous verse). Thus, I just don't see the loophole there that so many would like to see, and thus, I don't think it's fair to shut down this discussion like that.
    Last edited by KingsGambit; 03-31-2014, 08:45 PM. Reason: Because I am super grammatically pedantic.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    I think it basically came from the term "beating him with the Bible" and related euphemisms. I remember cartoons of a guy with a big KJV Bible clobbering somebody over the head - basically meaning that he is using the Bible as a weapon.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      What makes something Bible bashing? Use of passages without any interest in exegesis, word meanings, cultural context. That doesn't mean that consideration of those things will necessarily change anyone's mind. But Bible bashing uses the Bible assuming that God means whatever meaning you learned in your Church, and you're not willing to examine it.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
        Recently, I've been seeing a few people use the term "clobber verses" to refer to those biblical verses that are generally understood as condemning homosexual practice. Generally, I'm seeing it come from people who believe that Christianity and homosexuality are compatible. I'm curious where this term came from, if it's been around awhile, and if it's ever used to refer to verses on other subjects.

        My impression of the term is that it is used to shut down discourse; the verses simply don't mean that, and that is that. As far as I can tell, a reasonable case might be made for some of the verses being ambiguous, but I simply don't think it's possible to reasonably argue that the passage in Romans 1 can be read any other way (and really, all that is needed is one unambiguous verse). Thus, I just don't see the loophole there that so many would like to see, and thus, I don't think it's fair to shut down this discussion like that.
        No, you have it backwards. The people who use the term "clobber verses" aren't the ones shutting down discourse. The people who use those verses are the ones doing that. Discussions with such people tend to go something like this:



        Person 1: After studying the issue, I'm not convinced that the Bible declares an absolute or universal condemnation of all expressions of homosexuality.

        Clobber Guy: NUH UH! YOU'RE WRONG BECAUSE LEVITICUS 18:22 MATTHEW 19:4-6 ROMANS 1:18-32

        Person 1: If you'd bothered to read what I said, you'd notice that I'm not convinced the condemnation is absolute or universal. Now, let me explain why-

        Clobber Guy: THE BIBLE CLEARLY SAYS IT'S ALWAYS WRONG

        Person 1: Excuse me, but that's the very issue under dispute. Again, my main argume-

        Clobber Guy: LEVITICUS 18:22 LEVITICUS 18:22 LEVITICUS 18:22

        Person 1: It's within a specific context that doesn't even touch upon our current context! If you look at-

        Clobber Guy: MATTHEW 19:4-6 MATTHEW 19:4-6 MATTHEW 19:4-6

        Person 1: The surrounding passages suggest that Jesus is emphasizing the unity aspect over the-

        Clobber Guy: THE BIBLE CLEARLY SAYS IT'S WRONG! IF YOU SAY OTHERWISE YOU CLEARLY DON'T LOVE THE BIBLE

        Person 1: You're not supposed to love the Bible! You're supposed to love God-

        Clobber Guy: AHA SEE YOU HATE THE BIBLE YOU'RE A HERETIC AND FALSE TEACHER



        Now, "Clobber Guy" obviously isn't representative of everyone who believes that those verses are truly absolute/universal condemnations. But there are people who do seem to place the surface-level reading of those passages as the final arbiter over everything else, ignoring scientific and literary evidence to the contrary.
        Last edited by fm93; 03-31-2014, 09:43 PM.
        Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

        I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

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        • #5
          You are supposed to love the Bible

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          • #6
            Originally posted by square_peg View Post
            No, you have it backwards. The people who use the term "clobber verses" aren't the ones shutting down discourse. The people who use those verses are the ones doing that. Discussions with such people tend to go something like this:



            Person 1: After studying the issue, I'm not convinced that the Bible declares an absolute or universal condemnation of all expressions of homosexuality.
            My impression is that the usage of the term takes for granted that every passage can be explained away with an appeal to context, etc., and the ease with which people throw out the term suggests to me that most of these people have no idea that they are really in the extreme minority among critical scholarship (as moderate evangelical John Stackhouse pointed out in a lecture I listened to).
            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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            • #7
              Originally posted by square_peg View Post
              No, you have it backwards.
              No, not necessarily.

              The people who use the term "clobber verses" aren't the ones shutting down discourse. The people who use those verses are the ones doing that.
              It can be either or. A person who wants to rationalize or justify their actions in SPITE of biblical prohibition can claim they are being "clobbered", claiming that the Bible doesn't say what the "clobberer" claims it says, and refuses correction or reproof. Proverbs has a number of things to say about such a person.
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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              • #8
                Originally posted by square_peg View Post
                No, you have it backwards. The people who use the term "clobber verses" aren't the ones shutting down discourse. The people who use those verses are the ones doing that. Discussions with such people tend to go something like this:



                Person 1: After studying the issue, I'm not convinced that the Bible declares an absolute or universal condemnation of all expressions of homosexuality.

                Clobber Guy: NUH UH! YOU'RE WRONG BECAUSE LEVITICUS 18:22 MATTHEW 19:4-6 ROMANS 1:18-32

                Person 1: If you'd bothered to read what I said, you'd notice that I'm not convinced the condemnation is absolute or universal. Now, let me explain why-

                Clobber Guy: THE BIBLE CLEARLY SAYS IT'S ALWAYS WRONG

                Person 1: Excuse me, but that's the very issue under dispute. Again, my main argume-

                Clobber Guy: LEVITICUS 18:22 LEVITICUS 18:22 LEVITICUS 18:22

                Person 1: It's within a specific context that doesn't even touch upon our current context! If you look at-

                Clobber Guy: MATTHEW 19:4-6 MATTHEW 19:4-6 MATTHEW 19:4-6

                Person 1: The surrounding passages suggest that Jesus is emphasizing the unity aspect over the-

                Clobber Guy: THE BIBLE CLEARLY SAYS IT'S WRONG! IF YOU SAY OTHERWISE YOU CLEARLY DON'T LOVE THE BIBLE

                Person 1: You're not supposed to love the Bible! You're supposed to love God-

                Clobber Guy: AHA SEE YOU HATE THE BIBLE YOU'RE A HERETIC AND FALSE TEACHER



                Now, "Clobber Guy" obviously isn't representative of everyone who believes that those verses are truly absolute/universal condemnations. But there are people who do seem to place the surface-level reading of those passages as the final arbiter over everything else, ignoring scientific and literary evidence to the contrary.
                FWIW, there are some things that the Bible does indeed say quite clearly. (I'm sure we could all agree to this.) And after all I've seen and heard, I'm more convinced than ever that the verses in question are among them.
                I DENOUNCE DONALD J. TRUMP AND ALL HIS IMMORAL ACTS.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zymologist View Post
                  FWIW, there are some things that the Bible does indeed say quite clearly. (I'm sure we could all agree to this.) And after all I've seen and heard, I'm more convinced than ever that the verses in question are among them.
                  Yeah, if there was only one mention and it were one of those where the context is somewhat less clear, I think one could maybe make the case, but I think it's highly unlikely that every single verse on the subject is really referring to something else.
                  "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's just another version of 'homophobia' and ECREE - it is used to protect the person from having to actually deal with the verses (especially if they are talking to someone with the reading comprehension of a 10 year old so that 'it really means' won't work).

                    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                    My Personal Blog

                    My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                    • #11
                      It's just a rhetorical device, generally used by people who are prone to see any authoritative use of the Bible negatively anyway. If you can apply an unattractive term like "clobber" to someone who is quoting the Bible, then their viewpoint seems less attractive, regardless of the matter at hand. It's a form of ad hominem, which as we all know is a logical fallacy and yet also extremely effective for purposes of demagoguery. Christians should avoid the use of such terms and should not blithely submit to being painted with such terms themselves.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                        It's just another version of 'homophobia' and ECREE - it is used to protect the person from having to actually deal with the verses (especially if they are talking to someone with the reading comprehension of a 10 year old so that 'it really means' won't work).
                        That's what I was about to say. And add "bigot" to the list.
                        That's what
                        - She

                        Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                        - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                        I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                        Stephen R. Donaldson

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RBerman View Post
                          It's just a rhetorical device, generally used by people who are prone to see any authoritative use of the Bible negatively anyway. If you can apply an unattractive term like "clobber" to someone who is quoting the Bible, then their viewpoint seems less attractive, regardless of the matter at hand. It's a form of ad hominem, which as we all know is a logical fallacy and yet also extremely effective for purposes of demagoguery. Christians should avoid the use of such terms and should not blithely submit to being painted with such terms themselves.
                          yeah
                          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What others have said. It's a term used to demonize the opposition and hope that the issue goes away, as opposed to actually dealing with the fact that their sin is being laid bare before them and they need to repent.

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