Miss Beverly Hills Lauren Ashley: God wants gays “put to death”

Looks like we have a new Carrie Prejean on our hands, except not only does this beauty queen oppose same-sex marriage, but promotes the abomination and death of gay people.
While headlines are popping up everywhere about how Miss Beverly Hills Lauren Ashley opposes same-sex marriage, where are the headlines about her contention that God thinks gays should be put to death? Here’s one (content may be upsetting):

“The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Ashley told FOX News. “In Leviticus it says, ‘If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.’ The Bible is pretty black and white.

Oh, and there’s more:

“I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone…If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.”

But she adds to Fox News that she has lots of gay friends and “there’s no hate between [her] and anyone.” So since she has gay friends, it’s okay to think they should die for their sins! Unreal.

Join the Conversation

  • MaggieF

    As a former fundie, I’d like to take a minute to point out the difference between “should” and “will.” I don’t know where Ms. Ashley falls on this scale (I admit, these quotes make her sound pretty “should”), but there are plenty of anti-gay Christians who believe that homosexuals will be punished for their sins (in this life or otherwise), because that is, indeed, what the Bible says in places. But if you press and ask whether this should be the case, you get a lot of discomfort. Particularly in people who do have gay friends (or Jewish friends, or just non-Christian friends, or friends that do whatever it is that particular brand of Christianity is gung-ho against), there is a lot of stress along the lines of “So-and-so is a good person, I don’t understand why God would want to punish them just because of X.” But you also can’t just come out and say God is wrong, because…what? So you’re left in this crisis state of knowing that you’re more merciful than your all-merciful God, and you come up with all kinds of justifications like “love the sinner, hate the sin,” and it sucks.
    Did I mention that I’m a former fundie?

  • DeafBrownTrash

    I hope her so-called gay friends hear about this and immediately get rid of her from their lives. No one should be friends with such a hateful piece of shit scumbag.

  • mikearthur.co.uk

    I’m not sure I agree with your commentary here.
    I’m a Christian and I fully support gay marriage. However, all she did was quote the Bible (albeit a bit stupidly and without context). The Bible does say that. I think inferring that she believes humans should be killing other humans because they are gay over this is a bit rich really.
    Again, stupid comment but I think she was just saying “the Bible says it is unnatural, that’s black and white” rather than advocating anyone get killed over it. In fact, from her second comment it specifically sounds like she is referring to the “being put to death” being done by God, not by people.

  • Sarah Elizabeth

    Ugh. I feel sorry for her friends. Seriously, I would not stand around someone telling me I should die because of who I choose to love. Either she’s lying about having gay friends or they are the most tolerant people on this earth.

  • tooimpurenangel

    With friends like her, who needs enemies?
    *shudder*
    What’s the deal with people quoting the OT as if it had ANY RELEVANCY in terms of law? Didn’t the renewal of the covenant with God render the OT null and void?
    I’m seriously asking here, I may be misremembering.

  • Toongrrl

    What her gay friends would say:
    Lauren Ashley, you are the suckiest friend ever!!! What about that time I listened to you whine and moan about your boyfriend dumping you for Miss Excellent? I let you smash up my stuff to release your rage, even on my grandpa’s vase!!! We backed you up since the begininng and I let Sherry Thomas kick my ass in the 4th grade because she thought I had been the one that ate her lunch!!!!! This is how you repay me? It’s over.

  • BackOfBusEleven

    Except a gay dude wouldn’t lie with a woman, so there’s no issue here. All that line says is that if a gay guy cheats on his boyfriend with a woman, then the cheaters are put to death.

  • BackOfBusEleven

    Wrong.
    Such a sentiment does allow for the killing of gays and lesbians or anyone who is perceived as such. Think about it. If gays are an abomination and will surely be put to death, I mean, do I even have to complete that sentence? Who’s going to kill them? The murder fairy? The only ones who can kill them are people. God’s not going to kill them. Sure, some people might wait for AIDS to kill the gays and then sling hate speech at their funerals. But there’s always going to be a bunch of people who really don’t feel like waiting that long. The Bible gives permission for the Christians like Lauren and others who wipe their asses with all that “love your neighbor” stuff to murder gays and lesbians. Plain and simple.

  • kaje

    I’d like to know this too. I’m a Rent-an-Atheist for a Calvinist Bible study, and tonights topics are homosexuality and abortion. They seem to pick and choose which OT stuff was changed by the renewal of the covenent (shellfish, menstrual huts) and which aren’t (teh gays!!!)

  • Comrade Kevin

    The cognitive dissonance here is pretty incredible. I’m not sure how to take these statements seriously.

  • MishaKitty

    Yes, it does sound like there’s a difference between what she’s saying and some people who say gay people “should” be put to death. It seems she’s saying that it’s pretty “black and white” that God “will” be the judge in the end and whatnot and gay people will be put to death for being gay.
    But I have to ask her, has she ever eaten shellfish?

  • everybodyever

    I agree with Maggie and Mike Arthur, and I find this entry a little willfully dense in its inaccurate, sensationalizing interpretation of the comments. Ashley never says anything about, much less prescribes or justifies, human reactions to what the Bible considers transgressions of divine law. She’s simply quoting the Bible and saying that she trusts its warnings and its entire text as the word of God wholly. I get the feeling that, if anything, Ashley may be one of those fundamentalists who think of AIDS as God’s fulfillment of those scriptures.

  • bzzxz

    If one of my friends started saying that I should be dead, I would probably try to get a restraining order.

  • rebekah

    1. yes it did render the laws of Leviticus null and void. The ten commandments were the only thing that followed through to the new covenant

  • Lydia

    The New Testament has plenty of anti-gay stuff in it too. It’s not Old Testament=judgment and punishment and New Testament=Love and Forgiveness like most people seem to think. Even atheists.

  • Chelsa

    I just struggle to take anyone seriously who just rambles off biblical talking points (though I can relate, as I was an “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” ranter back before the age of reason found me) but doesn’t actually understand them.
    Firstly, this particular quote is from the Old Testament… The new contract (New Testament) specifies that the old contract is null and void. Thus, the quote isn’t relevant.
    There are some anti-homosexual quotes (depending on how you read them…) in the New Testament that she could have leaned on. However, these are from the mouth of Paul, who also would rather women not speak in public or be in leadership roles, and also thought slavery was a-okay among other things. It’s all so pick-and-choose; the very reason I left the church. I couldn’t get behind the “follow only what doesn’t really affect you, but make sure to chastise everyone else” attitudes.

  • Lydia

    Thank you for this perspective. I agree that there are nuances here. Personally, I feel sorry for people like her. I am Jewish and grew up around a lot of very devout Catholics and I felt sorry for of my friends too, since I could see the difficulty some of them had in reconciling the instincts of their consciences–that I was a good person and surely not bound to suffer eternally–with the beliefs they’d been taught all their lives, which were, of course, that I’m damned. I’ve always thought it must be really awful to believe this about people you care about, in some cases, maybe even your own family. Of course most of the really decent people who thought like this that I knew would have felt that it was improper to go broadcasting these beliefs all over the TV and this girl doesn’t necessarily sound very soul-searching. But I agree that not everyone who believes what she believes is advocating that gay people be executed.

  • tooimpurenangel

    But she wasn’t quoting the NT, if she had it would seem a little less…hypocritical?

  • GREGORYABUTLER10031

    You know, if one of my fiends told me that I should be killed because a basic part of who I am violated the rules set down in a 5,000 year old book, I wouldn’t nitpick over “should” or“will” – like some commenters are.
    It’s still a truly awful, hateful and bigoted thing to say – and “it’s in the Bible” is not an excuse!!!

  • Lilith Luffles

    I get so tired of people acting like the bible should be the law in the U.S. despite the whole “separation of church and state” thing. I’m personally fine with people who thinks gay people are going to Hell, as long as they don’t condone hatred towards them. I figure people should be more like Jesus and be like “yo, you’re probably going to Hell, but I’m gonna be nice to you while you’re here in my presence.”
    If you don’t want to go to Hell due to having homosexual relationships, then don’t have any.
    Or admit that God isn’t perfect since he makes people who love other people of the same gender, and damns them to Hell after claiming to be forgiving, and also damns them after bring them into the world knowing they would be gay since he is all knowing.
    Seriously, picking and choosing the passages out of the bible that the T.V. evangelists preach is such crap.

  • Phenicks

    So you think she’s going to, have or is trying to murder people because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or interesexed?

  • genericjanedoe

    Yeah, there’s actually a LOT of controversy over the chosen translations of the passages that “directly” deal with homosexuality. One theory is that it was actually against infidelity. Other translations choose “pedophile” over “homosexual.” Not nearly the “black and white” situation she wants to make it.

  • DeafBrownTrash

    As someone who is very interested in religions– I call myself a Muslim anarchist– I’ve always wondered if the Bible really does say if it’s a sin to be gay or if gays should be killed.
    I’m proud to report that there is NOTHING in the Holy Qur’an that it’s wrong to be gay, there is NOTHING in the Qur’an that gays should be killed.
    But regardless– I don’t care what the Holy Qur’an or the Bible say. It ain’t the law and never should be. And it’ll never dictate my beliefs.
    If Allah/God thinks gays should be killed, then I refuse to worship that kind of god.

  • mikearthur.co.uk

    Normally “wrong” is not the most eloquent way to disagree.
    Actually, God does appear to kill a bunch of people throughout the Bible and then there’s the continuous referrals in the Bible to sin being death and the like. People can use those passages as an indication that homosexuality is not natural without meaning that they want it to become law.
    The Bible doesn’t give people permission to kill people for that reasoning. It gives Old Testament Levitical Jews permission to do so. Leviticus also says that men shaving is evil, tattoos are evil, eating shellfish or pork is evil, having multiple crops in a field is evil and wearing mixed-fabric clothes is evil. Modern Jews ignore a lot of this. Modern Christians aren’t governed by Levitical law.
    Arguably she should know all this. If you want to bash gay marriage there are far better passages than this that don’t make you look like a total idiot.
    Is it so hard to see that sometimes people who aren’t used to being in the public light might say stupid things without thinking them through? All I’m saying is that it’s a fairly big jump between her quoting a Bible verse and saying “I want this to be done now please”.
    In addition, without a video of the conversation you don’t know what the question leading to that could be. If the previous question was “where in the Bible does it say gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed?” then her response starts to look a bit less stupid.
    Again, I don’t agree with her viewpoint but I have some viewpoints of my own (e.g. that the Bible says Christians shouldn’t get drunk) that I would quote passages that back me up if I was asked. However, I regularly hang around with my mates and just don’t get drunk myself while they all are. I wouldn’t change the law to stop people getting drunk and I won’t tell anyone, Christian or not, what they should be doing. However, this viewpoint is pretty abhorrent to a bunch of people too so I can perhaps relate.

  • Chelsa

    Well, you see, it’s all a test… so we can prove to mister omnipotent that we really love him.
    Except people “fail” these tests all the time, and then the loving father figure damns them to a life of eternal torture and suffering.
    Given that God ™ is all-knowing and all-seeing and that he gives people “tests” that they will fail (unintended pregnancy, homosexual urges, a hard-on for the neighbour’s partner), it stands to reason that he intentionally, if not purposefully, sends people to hell.
    It sorta undermines the whole “benevolent father figure” message.
    God is a paradox and religion is the tool that tries to rationalize the paradox and fails miserably. I think that’s why people pick and choose: they can’t hold it all in their head at the same time without some kind of logic meltdown.

  • Jack

    That’s not true, but the Quran doesn’t go on and on about it in the way that the Bible does, so you still get some bonus points there.

  • Jack

    No one should be friends with such a hateful piece of shit scumbag.
    I’m not saying I disagree with you, but that’s my new favorite out-of-context quote for today.

  • IAmGopherrr

    I think her words illustrate perfectly the modern homophobe. They talk about how they dont want rights or in this case, even death for homosexuals but in the next breath they say that its not hateful because they have homosexual friends. Its incredibly stupid and many politicians use it all the time.

  • IAmGopherrr

    And no ones forcing her to abide by that homophobic religion. If it really does say that in connection to homosexuals than any conscientious person should not want to be a part of it.

  • IAmGopherrr

    I have read that Islam is against homosexuality and abortion. There have been protests recently and in the past by muslims (and obviously christians) that oppose same sex marriage. If the koran says nothing against homosexuality than why are they aainst it?
    Example:
    http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-02-14/news/17412770_1_same-sex-marriage-ceremonies-for-same-sex-couples-gay-couples

  • mikearthur.co.uk

    Well, if she believes and has had experiences that she’ll go to hell unless she follows said religion then it’s not as black and white as that.
    Most people don’t follow a religion just because they think it sounds like a “nice idea”. They follow it because they believe it to be true. Sometimes there’s parts of your religion you don’t agree with or don’t understand but if you believe thats what the creator of the universe is saying then you tend to not just go “oh, I won’t follow this then”.

  • Kim C.

    Jesus did say that what goes into a man’s mouth is not what makes him unclean, but what comes out of it is what does. He used this argument as justification for why he would eat with dirty hands while the Pharisees gawked.
    He argued for doing work on the Sabbath in the form of healing a man by using the analogy of a shepherd saving a sheep in a ditch, even though the Sabbath is reserved as a holy day of rest.
    Jesus also said that simply to look a man with anger in your heart was to murder him: to look at someone with lust in your heart was to commit adultery with them. By this standard, one can never shed a drop of blood and still be a serial adulterer and mass murderer.
    Yet Jesus ALSO said that not one letter would be changed from the Law, and that all must follow the Law, as well as be perfect, as the Heavenly Father is perfect. But even following the Law perfectly is not enough: you still need to worship Jesus. Or at least, only the lost sheep of Israel need to, because those’re the people Jesus came for. But of all the commandments given by God, the two most important were mouthed by Jesus.
    So depending upon what parts you’re thumbing through, Jesus’ words could be upholding or invalidating Levitical Law. There’s a reason I don’t accept the Bible: because it really likes to contradict itself.

  • cand86

    I hear what you’re saying, but at the same time, it’s also important to remember that when Rick Warren and all those other evangelicals had their “seminars” in Uganda about how evil and immoral homosexuality, none of them believed (or at least, they said they didn’t believe) that Ugandans would then write a bill criminalizing homosexuality with capital punishment. They’d cry out “That’s not what we meant!” . . . and yet, I have no idea what the heck they *did* mean.
    Certainly Lauren didn’t say “Gays should be killed.”, but her words are those that have been used to incite people to heinous treatment of gay people for far too long.

  • James

    The Bible doesn’t really go “on and on” about it either. Same-sex sexual activity is mentioned a grand total of seven times in the entire Bible.

  • mikearthur.co.uk

    Yeh, that’s a good point. However, I would say that not many lawmakers are going to be taking theology advice from a beauty queen and I still think the original article is overly harsh in this context. I do agree with your concern though.

  • DeafBrownTrash

    why? Because they’re IDIOTS.
    Gays, lesbians, queers, and transgender folks (including eunuchs) have long enjoyed protection under various Muslim empires in the past, but I really don’t know much about it. It’s something that I should study up on, though.
    there are barely any information in the Qur’an (we spell it QUR’AN and not Koran, so please spell it “Qur’an”)or the Hadiths (recorded sayings of the Prophet) about homosexuality.

  • DeafBrownTrash

    so, feel free to tell me why it’s out of context. no one’s stopping you.

  • Lilith Luffles

    That’s why most people that actually study the bible are either atheists or liberal Christians that see the whole book as a bunch of metaphors for how one should live their life.
    I mean, there are thousands of black-and-white rules in the bible that people find archaic. Abortion isn’t even in the bible, nor is capitalism praised as being good. Quite the opposite, actually. Yet conservative Christians still cry out how the U.S. is so super Christian and it’s the homosexuals and feminists that keep holding us back. Hell, my s.o.’s neighbor thinks that there are a total of 100 radical Christians in the whole world and was offended that the documentary Jesus Camp existed.
    People who believe in the archaic stuff have a right to do so. Hell, as an agnostic I think there is a small chance they could be right! What they shouldn’t have is the right to try to push for laws that force people to do the archaic stuff. The more people that are doing evil things, the more room you have in heaven, so leave me and whoever else you disagree with out of it.

  • IAmGopherrr

    Which is why I’m an atheist. Religion is brainwashing.

  • judassong

    I think by “out of context” he/she meant one of those one-liners/snippets of conversation you hear when walking by a group of people and have to laugh or wonder WTF?

  • Jack

    Because I’m quoting it out of context? I would think it to be fairly self-explanatory. In the context of a response to this article, it makes sense: she’s espousing hateful rhetoric and should be dismissed. Out of context, that line reads as a joke. Like that line in Goldmember, that I don’t care about enough to quote directly: “There are two things I hate: people that disparage other cultures… and the Dutch.”

  • mikearthur.co.uk

    For some people, maybe. I grew up in a family where my parents didn’t like me going to church and asked me to stop. I’m a scientist and I constantly and critically evaluate my faith.
    Regardless, the majority of people on this planet believe in some sort of religion so it’s sometimes worth understanding how they think without being overly superior. I can totally understand why you are an atheist, I used to be one too and a lot of my friends are too.

  • LSG

    I’m very interested in religions too!
    The Qur’an, as far as I understand it, is believed by Muslims to be the direct word of God as communicated to the Prophet by Gabriel, right?
    The thing about the Bible is, devout and sincere Christians subscribe to many different ideas not just about what any particular passage in the Bible means, but what the Bible is. Fundamentalists/evangelicals believe it’s literal, but that’s not a necessary belief to be Christian — the Bible is a collection of books written by a variety of authors over thousands of years and in a variety of genres (poetry, history, law, folktales, ect.) rather than communicated to/written by one man over a few decades. Many Christians (including me when I was Christian) believe that there are essential truths about God in the Bible but that they’re filtered through cultural lenses of the authors…so they feel comfortable saying “oh yeah, when Paul says women lusting after women is an abomination, he’s speaking from his Paul-ness and his context and we reject that.” Most evangelical Christians, on the other hand, believe that if it’s in the Bible it’s the word of God and applicable to modern life.
    Some of my Muslim friends were really perplexed by the non-evangelical view…interpreting scripture non-literally made no sense to them because the Qur’an is understood literally as the word of God. The Bible is very unlike the Qur’an, though, to many people who believe in it…just a very different kind of document.
    Of course, that’s kind of a moot point, since Miss Beverly Hills sounds like she’s coming from an evangelical point of view — Leviticus says it, so it must be relevant today! (I bet she eats shellfish, though, so…hypocrite as well as hateful? yep.)

  • LSG

    That’s disingenuous — no one is saying she’s running around with a handgun to enact “God’s justice”, but she IS publicly saying that gays and lesbians deserve death. Given the horror going on in Uganda, promoting the idea that death is the natural consequence of homosexuality is endorsing the killing of people who are homosexual/bisexual/trans/ect.

  • Phenicks

    NO she’s saying according to her religion they will be killed by God. Contrary to what any person who isn’t a Christian or doesn’t believe thinks, what GOD is allowed to do or will do is EXTREMELY different in the vast majority of cases than what a human being is allowed to do according to Christianity.
    The bible also says that those who do not believe in Jesus Christ will perish. If someone quotes that in response to whether or not they think people of other religions are going to Hell would you accuse them of being ok with the mass murdering of everyone who isn’t Christian?

  • baddesignhurts

    this. thank you.
    i just want to reiterate that most liberal and mainline christians *do not* believe that the bible should be taken literally in every instance. the methodists, for example, believe in the wesleyan quadrilateral of scripture, tradition, reason and experience, meaning that tradition, reason and experience constantly inform *how* we read scripture, and what we believe that it means and what, if anything, it implies for our lives today.
    i once again ask the editors of this site (as well as the commenters) for more nuance in their discussions of religion, as no group is monolithic in its character. we can condemn the hate coming out of this woman’s mouth without disparaging an entire group of people or belief system as “brainwashing”.
    also, apparently this woman isn’t a beauty queen, either, according to one article i read. apparently the city of beverly hills has denied any association with her and they don’t even have a beauty pageant.

  • LSG

    Leviticus is a book of law, instructing the Hebrew people on how to run their society. When it says “if you have a skin disease, you should go be examined by a priest,” it’s not figurative, it’s law. When it says “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads (NIV translation)” it’s proscribing law to the Hebrews. Citing a book of law (not parable, not poetry, not history) from Hebrew scriptures in support of a position is a pretty clear endorsement of that law — which involves the death penalty.
    **Note that some Christians do interpret parts of the law books as figurative, based on Paul writing that the “don’t harness a horse and ox together” is figuratively telling believers not to be “harnessed” with nonbelievers, but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish**
    In response to the second part of your question, I don’t think that’s a good analogy, again because of the literal nature of the passage Ms. Ashley quoted. It’s more akin to a person saying, “Well, I have friends who are non-believers but God did say “in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you” (Deut 20:16-17, NIV) — which I would see as a call to mass murder.

  • tomorrowshorizon

    She quoted a Bible verse which she interprets as saying in “black and white” that gay people deserve to be killed, indicating that verse explained her views. Regardless of her backpedaling about having gay friends, this proves she’s cut from the same cloth as the right-wing US pastors who pushed for anti-gay measures in Uganda. She may not be killing anyone, but she’s providing the moral sanction which allows people to believe their heinous actions (like sentencing homosexuals to death or even some good old-fashioned gay bashing) are acceptable.
    If someone quoted the verse “I shall not suffer a woman to teach” as representing their views on women, would we be getting the same apologetics about the flexibility of the Bible? However YOU as a liberal Christian might read the Bible, fundamentalists read it literally and Ashley is an exemplary case in point. I don’t really care how Christians situate their holy book within their doctrine, except insofar as it affects my civil rights. What Ashley said is offensive, and it saddens me to see people on Feministing defending her.
    P.S. Christians aren’t oppressed in the US – it’s the majority religion and nearly mandatory for public officials to be at least nominally a member. Sure, Christians might get a little crap in liberal circles, but that’s because of the offensive crap that comes out of the mouths of Christian religious leaders. Distance yourself from fundamentalists if you like – but you can’t pretend they don’t exist.

  • LSG

    But again, this particular passage is telling the Hebrews to do something. It’s a book of law, intended to govern the Hebrew people…not speculation on what kind of issues God is going to frown over on judgment day.

  • LSG

    particularly the difference between “should” and “will” in a translation.