The Orientation of Jesus

Seeing this post on the speculation about Jesus having a wife, I was reminded of something I’ve thought briefly about before: nobody much talks about the orientation of Jesus, so 1) Does that mean everyone has just been assuming He is/was heterosexual? — and if so, 2) Why?

I find it much easier to believe He was either completely asexual or bi/pansexual.  There’s no actual support I can give either of these hypotheses, of course; it’s just what I’m the most ready to believe.

Because… c’mon.  Jesus, straight?  Why would He be straight?  What reason would there be for it?

You could argue, “Well, because most people are straight,” but if the idea is for Jesus to experience life as a human and achieve maximum relateability, then it is pansexuality that accomplishes this best: He could relate to people of all orientations except asexuality, by being able to relate to people who are attracted to men, people who are attracted to women, etc.  I generally see Jesus as an asexual figure, though, (which you might attribute to egocentricism or projection on my part, if you wish) and presuming He was ever sexually attracted to women (and women exclusively) just seems… weird.

I mean, there’s no particular evidence either way, but if you’ve got to take a guess…

And given the way some Christians kick up a fuss about sexual orientation, I don’t know why Christ’s own orientation is never mentioned.  It’s not even that they say, “See, look, the Messiah was a straight man, and we should follow His example” — they just don’t address what His orientation might’ve been at all.  And I have to wonder if they’re just projecting heteronormativity onto Him without a thought, or if, like me, they’ve always subconsciously presumed Him to be kind of asexual.

Anyway, I wanted to share this quote from Corbin’s post:

Argument 4: We need a Jesus who is more human, not less, and marriage does that.

Criticism: Asserting that Jesus took a wife might seem to make the man more human, at least initially. I understand the impetus for the sentiment since marriage is so prevalent among us bipeds and thus more of us can relate to a married character rather than one who chooses to be single and celibate. Nevertheless, the inverse and not-so-subtle implication of this is that folks who choose to be single and celibate are less human or that Jesus would be less human if he remained single his whole life. I have a problem with that, and I think the rest of us should as well.

Bless you.


10 responses to “The Orientation of Jesus

  • NessieMonster

    Huh, weird, I’ve never really thought about it. I think I just assumed he was straight but celibate. The whole idea of him having taken a wife was always seen as heretical/gnostic in the Church of England/Baptist circles I moved in, while the idea of there being descendants was an outright crackpot conspiracy theory. The rest of the Bible makes such a big deal of descendants generally that if there were some, you’d think they’d be mentioned. I’d also assumed he was celibate because of the whole travelling rabi thing he had going on. He would have spent many, many years in training, so I assumed he was too busy to do the settling down with wife and kids thing.

    I like the idea of him being bi/pansexual however and I would love to know what he’d teach about the Song of Songs.

    • acetheist

      You’d think, yeah. I just associate that whole children idea with Dan Brown and his ilk, but apparently there are some Christians who are willing to believe the wife part.

      • NessieMonster

        Uh huh. I didn’t know some were taking the wife thing seriously. I thought it came down to people extrapolating from the Gnostic Gospels but my knowledge there is very sketchy and entirely dependent on wikipedia. So.

  • Calum P Cameron

    I always assumed he was asexual. Partly, probably, due to personal bias. Partly because I tend to make that assumption of any character in any book who goes through their entire life without ever providing any evidence of sexual attraction to anyone. Partly because, well, he’s God, right? The rest of humanity was created by him and through him, according to the opening of John’s Gospel. So in a way, we’re all kind of his descendants. You can’t be sexually attracted to your own descendants, man, that’s just creepy. Even if we were to draw a distinction between “creation” and “descendant”… well, I’m familiar with the story of Pygmalion, so that STILL seems creepy to me,

  • doubleinvert

    I’ve heard various argument that to me are little more than jumping through hoops to suggest Jesus would’ve been straight and married. There isn’t any evidence in the four canonical Gospels, or anywhere else in the Bible that supports this. However, there are other Gospels that for various reasons were not included in the Biblical canon. It’s another thing I’m hoping to learn more about in seminary.

    That Certificate of Sexuality and Religion that I will be working towards will cover asexuality, if I have to add it to the program myself.


  • Brett Huebner

    agreed; the Lord speaks of neither marrying nor giving away in marriage in the kingdom of heaven; I envision a pansexuality of free and responsible love toward all people, ‘love’ enconpassing but not limited to sexual love. Regarding asexuality, if he is truly a son of the gods, perhaps he can ‘turn on ‘ sexuality ‘at will’? Yes, and ‘choose’ his identity at any one moment??

  • Karandash

    I always assumed that Jesus was asexual (even before I knew the term). But a few weeks ago my pastor preached a sermon about how Jesus had the full human experience and thus experienced all temptations that humans are subject to even sexually, so I interpret that as he was probably pan/bi. I don’t think it has to do with relatability. So since aces aren’t subject to such temptations he wouldn’t have to be ace.

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