Of course it had to come up eventually. Honestly, I’m surprised it took as long as it did but here we are. My friend “Laura” finally wants me to address her assumption about me and my views on gay love/marriage. If you’re not caught up, go back through the site and catch up on this conversation and then read part 6 of this conversation next. Here we go:
7. Gay marriage/love is an abomination.
I agree and disagree with that statement. My personal interaction with people whom identify as LGBT is higher than many of my Christian friends. I’ve walked with people through various stages and ideologies in their own lives. I’ve counseled Christians that admit they have same sex attractions and more. So I think this issue is far more nuanced than my email would give adequate space for. I believe gay people are human beings and deserving of utmost respect, protection and human dignity. I think there is a long list of things that, in the eyes of the Holy, would be sin. I think there are far more socially acceptable, or at least more tolerable, heterosexual acts that are sinful and should gain far more attention that gay love. I have very conservative views in regards to marriage/divorce/remarriage that even some of my “right wing” friends don’t agree with. That said, I think that if we’re talking about what is acceptable in the eyes of the Holy, then yes I think gay sex is would be a sin. But I also believe, especially when we’re talking about people who don’t even espouse to my belief system, that I can’t stand in a seat of judgement of them. That’s God’s job. My job is to treat anyone- gay, straight, transgendered, etc with the utmost respect and dignity due to them as human beings. Just because someone lives a life I disagree with doesn’t give me the right to degrade them.
To you, the reader, honestly, I wish I was sitting at the same table with her to address some of the nuances in this. Some of my answer addresses her question directly. Some of my answer addresses some assumptions that weren’t directly stated in her question but are popular ideas held about people who believe. Now, to be clear, I stand by the “if we’re talking about what is acceptable in the eyes of the Holy, then yes I think gay sex is would be a sin” line. But there is some other stuff I think we as believers need to be continually wrestling with as we discuss this issue.
For example, is there a distinction between two gay people in love with one another and two gay people having sex? Is “love” and “sex” synonymous in this discussion? Is it possible to be a Christian, to be affectionately in love with someone of the same gender yet remain celibate and still be a faithful Christian? Again, I hold that gay sex – no matter the context i.e. legal marriage, civil union, monogamy, etc is, based on the scriptures, a sin. But are their contexts in which one can be a faithful witness while holding to something more than a plutonic love for someone of the same sex if they are celibate? That’s a nuance we have to thoughtfully, prayerfully wrestle with as Christians.
That said, I also hold to everything else I said. Until the late 1800’s, humans didn’t identify themselves based on who they were attracted to or had sex with. Sexuality for much of human history is not seen an identity. However, “human” is an identity. Its an ancient idea rooted in the truth that we are human and humans are created in the “Imago Dei” – the Image of God. And since people who have same sex attractions are first and foremost HUMAN, they are deserving of all of the dignity that comes with that identity. They should be counted worthy of dignity, of safety and the care that all humans require. We should be against humans that identify as LGBTQ being mistreated NOT because we believe their actions are holy but because they are human. Period. Besides, I think if we REALLY want to have an uncomfortable discussion in the Church about marital/sexual issues then let’s pull out those passages about divorce and remarriage O_O