Monday, April 02, 2007

too gay?


I recently had a discussion with a single friend of mine. We were talking about the different social groups that were often mistreated. The gay community was at the top of our list. She made a comment that has really stuck with me.

"if your single, you can't talk about gay rights because people with think your gay...even if you're not."

It seems like she's right. Being gay is unacceptable in many circles and can result in dismissal from volunteer leadership positions. It can potentially be a big risk to speak out in favour of gay rights and be thought gay.

In religous communities there is a mixed response to the new society 'acceptability' of gays. Some churches are happy to have gays in their community as long as they remain quiet and don't discuss the issue publicly. Other churches may ask the member to leave until 'cured'. But very few will allow a gay person to take leadership positions in the church. This includes teaching Sabbath (or Sunday) schools, adult worship lessons, or being part of the praise team.

In this sort of context, it is hardly suprising that gays do not feel able to embrace many of the lifestyle teaching of the church. Some, feeling that without their church, their faith is lost, will throw their emotional and physical health to the proverbial wind. Leaving themselves open to painful heartache and or to contract a variety of sexually transmitted diseases.

You can hardly blame me for wondering if this is "what jesus would do". I feel there needs to be more understanding of the gay mindset, more sympathy, and less judgement.

5 comments:

Lindsey Lou said...

I've bought a bumper sticker that says "Straight Not Narrow" kind of for the sole purpose of sparking debate with my conservative friends once I go home for the summer. Don't you just love how Christians will point out the passages from the Bible that condemn homosexuality, but then somehow forget about the ones that say sex before marriage is wrong or that divorce should be allowed only in cases of adultry? What makes me the most upset is picking and choosing from biblical principles to justify laws. It's nothing but an excuse to propogate hate, and anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves.

Ben said...

I'm reminded of an episode of South Park where Big Gay Al is a boy scout leader. The parents want to get rid of him because he is gay and the replacement turns out to be much worse, even though he's straight.

Anonymous said...

i have a hard time with this issue as it relates to christianity. i am pretty much on the same page as kris. live and let live - jesus treated everyone with love regardless, and so forth. i personally have no problem with homosexuality or homosexuals. BUT if you take the bible literally... practicing homosexuality is a sin. scripture explicity puts homosexual practices in a category with lies & murder. so do these passages fall into the same category as those seeming to condone slavery (which was not quite the same in biblical times as it was, say, in 19th century america-but thats a whole other topic)? is the biblical condemnation of homosexual acts merely a reflection of outdated cultural mores or are liberal christians just being too liberal?

Della said...

A close friend of mine hasn't gone to church for about 10 years since she came out and was basically told by her church to not bother coming back until she got over it, stopped being a disgusting sinner and found herself a good man who'd make her change her mind.

I was gobsmacked when she told me about that - particularly because churches are meant to be places to help out, accept and welcome "disgusting sinners"!

In some respects, I wonder whether people pick up on the gay thing because they're personally frightened by it, and perhaps also because it makes them feel better to look down their noses at someone who they feel they can call a 'worse sinner" or something.

Often people like to forget that in God's eyes, things like pride, not helping those in need and turning people away in His name are just as big a sin as adultery, lying, killing, etc. Everyone's f**ked up, some in more obvious ways than others.

Getting judgey about it really probably won't help anyone and I'm sad to say, I think it does Jesus' name more harm than good.

*end rant*

kris said...

homosexuality is a tough subject in christian circles because of the 'literal' vs. the principle debate. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that homosexuality needs to be re-examined. (both homosexuality and eating sea food are considered "abominations". yet christians don't often have too much trouble with the seafood part now-a-days)

As far a sins worthy of death...so is gossip, yet the church thrives on it and ignores the biblical warnings against it.

Some scholars suggest that the homosexual behavior that is condemed in the bible is specifically related to pagan practices of homosexuality. It says nothing about a loving a caring relationship between two people of the same sex.

Lastly, humans were given the ablity to *think*. There are no cookie-cut answers for any other issue that we face. I believe this is because God intended for us to think through things ourselves and come to conclusions as honestly as we can. This includes the "gay issue"

anyway..those are just a few thoughts to get you thinking.