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A Sin of Faith? – Jacobus, by Paul Trittin

In the context of contemporary times, it can be said that over the last few decades, the place and status of homosexuals in society has largely developed and is rapidly changing. Recent developments have captured the whole world in waves, from anti-discrimination laws in the workplace to the redefinition of marriage as an institution is a previously monopoly of heterosexual couples.

While such improvements and developments in legal institutions are very much welcome, it can be argued that culturally, there is a lot more room for growth in society's collective mind. Notwithstanding these institutional changes, the stigma about the LGBTQ+ community would need a few more decades for it to eventually overcome the general attitude of tolerance to a more humane and egalitarian view of acceptance.

In different parts of the world, even with the passage of pro-LGBTQ+ legislation in various, the pace of integration of LGBTQ+ individuals into what would be "normal" relations or societal position relative to their heterosexual counterparts would still be dependent on the culture of the society they belong to. In some cases, the worst punishment for being called "sinful" or "unnatural" is death.

While legislation can be viewed as an institution, one of the most influential actors contributing to cultural dynamism is another institution – faith, one of the most enduring and slowest changing institutions we have. While some faiths allow LGBTQ+ individuals more than others, it is arguable that a large majority of the world still has a long way to bridge this gap. Part of the stigma that the non-straight community can be traced to religious underpinnings. The texts from holy scriptures, taken and made to serve and perpetuate nefarious acts of bigotry and hate. The greatest irony lies, perhaps, that in seeking to be righteous, they become those who are truly intolerant and evil; who are these people to exclude them from society? From the Kingdom of God? What would Jesus have done, being the loving and understanding Son that He is?

Paul Trittin's choice to situate Jacobus in the Roman Empire at a period coinciding with Jesus Himself is very well thought of. The era captures the period of slave-master societies, the likes of the Roman or Grecian Empire, where homosexuals would be under different circumstances and would lead different lives instead of their would-be later counterparts. Yet, the rejection and disapproval that they had back then can still be observed at present, albeit manifesting in a possibly different manner. Jacobus presents the less viewed side of homosexual relationships while mainstream media has to a point made homosexuality tangential with promiscuity. Paul Trittin's work does a great job of showing that homosexuals are humans too. They are capable of expressing great love, undergoing similar ordeals and challenges in life, and being able to take part in what is regarded as divine, which has otherwise been kept from them by faith.

It is the beauty of normalcy, of demystifying what is unknown and unexplored, of breaking the barriers that make us misunderstand one another, of the sense of having an agency to a Creator – that is what Jacobus does. A very good read not only for the LGBTQ+ community but for everyone. It can surely build connections between people of various faiths and beliefs, leading to greater understanding and acceptance despite our differences.

Discover more about author Paul Trittin and his controversial work at

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