Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thoughts on teh Gay

A friend on Facebook posted a note about a conversation she had with her dad about homosexuality. That's her story, so I won't recap it, but it probably went how you'd expect a conversation with a DE-VOUT fundamentalist Christian to go. I left a comment on that note that I now wish to expand on and clarify. This was my comment:

Ask him if it's ok for heteros to have anal sex and watch his head spin. It's one of my favorite questions to ask my Christian friends.
Reading over that now, I think a person can assume a lot about that statement that isn't there.

First a bit of background. On Facebook, I list myself as a "Thinking Christian" which, to me, means that I believe in God, Jesus Christ and His Resurrection, but I also don't blindly trust everything religious leaders have tried to teach me. My brand of Christianity is deeply rooted in questioning my faith and beliefs. I like to talk to God, ask Him questions, and learn from the messages He has for me. It's a very personal relationship that does not fall inline with "mass organized religion" or that thinking. In other words, I like to think for myself. And while I admittedly don't always get it right, I have no doubt that God accepts my questioning Him. I also have no doubt that this kind of questioning is what God wants from our relationship - regardless of whether we get the "right" answer. I think He is more concerned with our journey to get the answer. By the way, this is my journey and I don't expect others to have the same journey.

So, getting back to the whole homosexuality and Christianity thing. A few years ago a good friend and I had an email conversation on the subject. He was curious as to my thoughts on the subject, as I was relatively new to the Christianity thing at the time.

I told him of my Catholic upbringing and how, as a teen, I never felt connected to the religion. I specifically remember reading from a Bible given to me as a Catechism student Leviticus 18:22 (yes, THAT verse). In that Bible, it said, "Do not have sex with other men. God HATES that." Note, the emphasis on HATE is from that particular version (it wasn't NIV, that's for sure). And I remember thinking, "Wait... God hates?" I have never understood how God can hate. That goes against everything anyone has ever tried to teach me about God. Further, it goes against everything I have ever learned from God about Himself.

Here's the crux of the problem for me: How can a loving God create a group of people (homosexuals) that are automatically excluded from entering the Kingdom at Heaven at birth? I do not accept that homosexuality is a choice. I have too many gay friends and have watched them come out to know that it is not a choice. Plus, looking around nature, you'll find plenty of examples of homosexuality in animals (the neighbor's male dog tried to hump Scooby the other day). Did Fido choose to be gay? I don't think so. If homosexuality is not a choice, then why would a loving God create a person He hates the moment the breath of life enters that human? It makes no sense to me that the God I love and follow would condemn a person to a life of lying about who they are. Which by the way, wouldn't the lying about who they are kind of screw their chances of seeing the Pearly Gates? I don't think a truly loving God would do that.

At the time of that email conversation, I stated that I don't know if homosexuality is a sin. I get the feeling that it's not, despite Leviticus 18:22. Either way, it's not a sin I have to worry about committing. So, I don't. And it's not my place to judge those that do have to worry about whether or not it's a sin. It's between God and that person. Just like my own failings are between God and myself.

Now when it comes to gay marriage, the way I see it, I think people of the same sex should be allowed to file their taxes jointly. The government has no business excluding people from stuff that like. If they really want to be as miserable as the rest of us... J/K.

Religiously, if two gay people find a priest, rabbi, minister, whatever, to perform the ceremony before God, then who am I to say that God doesn't acknowledge their unity? It doesn't affect my marriage.

Later in the conversation, my friend wanted to my thoughts on a more... ahem... probing question - namely my thoughts on gay sex being a sin. Which brings us back to the Facebook note and my comment. I was thinking of this reply from the email convo when I commented:
Is it a sin for a guy and a girl in a committed, monogamous relationship to have anal or oral sex? If it is, then I have to think it would be the same for a homosexual couple... But, I don't think it is. One of the gifts God gave us was sexual intimacy. Again, if homosexuality isn't a choice, then I don't think a just, fair, loving God would exclude a segment of His people from the love that sexual intimacy in a monogamous relationship provides.
My point: I don't think God cares who we have sex with, so long as it happens with a person we've built a relationship with based on love. Outside of that context, then perhaps, that's where we get into a lot of trouble.