Being God, being gay and the right to live...
The other day, over on A Tangled Web-a site I read daily but rarely comment in- I entered into an interesting conversation about whether or not homosexuality is a sin and so on. It was interesting debate and in comparison with some other sites, it was thoughtful and everybody retained good manners, considering the very differing view points.
But there is no bridge, or meeting of minds. I'm still trying to make make some sense of it all.
A theory about homosexuality a lot of Christians seem to have is that-apart from being a sin- homosexuality is a choice and as such, a dangerous influence on the world.
One commenter said it was 'an attack of traditional Christian family values.'
Naturally I queried the word 'attack', and wondered how this could be? I don't see how a hetrosexual man and woman in a couple can be influenced by a couple in a gay relationship. Do people really think that the straight couple is suddenly going to 'turn gay'.
Apparently it can happen, because another commenter worried about the effect 'witnessing homosexuality' would have on children he was trying to educate. he said,
"For example, if the children I'm talking about don't see people with their hair dyed purple, they're automatically conditioned to think that purple hair is weird. In the same way they can quite easily learn to think homosexuality is weird."
Mind you he also said,
"The majority of homosexuals have enough heterosexuality in them for a heterosexual marriage to work out for them, I think. They can deal with their tensions etc. in much the same way as a man in a heterosexual marriage who feels more attracted to his secretary than to his wife."
I suggested that children should be taught that there are all walks of life and that it might be best to let children find their own place in the world. I said I thought pretending homosexuality didn't exist seemed a fearful way of thinking, that somehow being gay is contagious. I said being gay in this country can be difficult, so it was hardly a whim or lifestyle choice.
As most of you know I have a lot of gay friends, and I have seen some of them struggle terribly with being gay over the years, coming out to parents, to family, telling childhood friends, in some cases being rejected or sneered at, I see them trying to find love, trying to live as all of us live. Putting up with discrimination, being called 'poofter, fudge packer, bender, queer' Oh I've heard it all. So it struck me as very odd that people would think it an easy choice.
And then there is the chap who suggested that being gay is not too dissimilar to being a paedophile, that being gay was merely a proclivity, like a fetish.
This is where I got mildly annoyed. I've seen this one raise it's ugly head before. So I said...
"I am not criticising Chrisitanity, nor shall I. But let me say one thing that I have said here before, the casual lumping of paedophiles and gay peole together, no matter how casual, annoys me to the nth degree. Whether you like it or not, homosexuality is the legal sexual act between two consenting adults. Paedophilia is the base carnal knowledge of a child and is- rightly so- illegal and to be abhored. To conflate the two very separate issues is a typical tactic of people who do not approve of homosexuality. Discuss one if you will, but do not try to muddy the waters."
And then the gentle backpeddle when I asked who are we to judge another's lifestyle. I was thinking about a couple I know, both gay men who have been together almost a decade and are in a very committed happy relationship. I wondered what right had I or anyone else to condemn them for their happiness and love.
In reply I got,
"Christians believe God does the "judging". Homosexuals will certainly be "judged" on more than just their sexuality. The point about sin as that it leads people away from God and towards spiritual death. That really is their own business (though it's a cause for sadness, and as such, will often be discouraged). But it's not a case of "hating" anyone, as is sometimes portrayed."
For someone claiming not to judge that was a very loaded sentence.
Well it's two days later I'm still scratching my head over this. I had naively assumed that people had moved away from frowning on homosexuality, but a quick scan through the web shows the opposite, a rise in Christian based organisations, and uglier tone, more discriminatory words and the much ballyhooed ' gay agenda' whatever that might be.
I don't know much about God, having never met him, but I know plenty about my friends, and a nicer bunch of individuals you would be hard pressed to meet. What they choose to do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is none of my business, any more that it is my business what my straight friends do ( except Tara, and that's only because it's hilarious and she likes telling me).
I think I shall let compassion and understanding of my fellow man as my guiding light, not the bible, which may or may not be the word of a God that may or may not exist.