Homosexuality and Christianity

24 08 2006

The Human Rights Campaign website has a new feature – “Out in Scripture”  Yes, it is what you think. 

I’ve always thought of gay and christian as almost contradictory.  To be gay and christian means you need to edit out the parts of scripture that you don’t like.  That begs the question, what makes the edited parts any less valid than the unedited parts?  It’s like reading World War II literature and choosing not to believe in the Holocaust.  Alright, I know that’s an unfair analogy – but what I’m trying to ask is if you feel you can ignore certain parts of a belief system, doesn’t that sort of also invalidate the parts that you do believe in? If you can’t take the bible’s word on homosexuality how can you take its word on anything else?

People grow up in church – they get comfortable in church – they rely on it as a staple of their lives and therefore they don’t question it.  Maybe their afraid of losing that part of their lives, something they’ve grown to find comforting.  For some reason people think of athiests of being immoral.  People think that if they reject the church they’ll be immoral.  Morality isn’t a christian exclusive.

I would like to hear the viewpoint of someone who is both gay and religious.  I’d like to hear how they deal with the contradictions – how they find peace with it.  Any thoughts?

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5 responses

25 08 2006
lessie

Maybe they “feel” it rather than accept it as a logical belief system.

Or maybe they accept that faith is trusting in something they can’t see or touch or completely understand.

Interesting question.

25 08 2006
Mitchell

I see what you’re saying. But I think what you’re describing is general spirituality. I’m talking about rigid religious beliefs. (christianity being the most accessable example.) Everyone at some point or another ‘feels’ the mysterious. But does one really ‘feel’ Jesus? Can you really have a non-rational belief in the ten comandments? These are things that are chosen, not felt. You know what i’m saying?

28 08 2006
lessie

You say: Belief in the 10 commandments is something that is “chosen, not felt.” Interesting point. And a valid one. I think.

However…I DO think one can “feel” Jesus emotionally. And not all Christianity is rigid regarding the 10 commandments or the “law.” For example, some people choose to not read what they don’t like. Or they say that Paul’s teachings re: women or homosexuality is an example of him being a fallen human being, while Jesus never taught those things. The actions of the Espicopal Church and discussions in the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches are good examples of how very devout Christians can disagree about what is “truth” and what is “true” in the Bible.

One of my devout Christian friends grew up in Pakistan (in a Christian family). She knows many secular Muslims. They call themselves Muslim but do not abide strictly by the Korean, e.g., drinking, etc. Perhaps that is an analogous example.

I think your reference to the Christian belief system is a good one — b/c for a devout / fundamentalist / evangelical (whatever) Christian, it’s a lock and key belief system. For Christians who are not, it’s extremely fluid. And those two groups don’t get along.

28 08 2006
lessie

I hope I’m not being tedious by posting more than once. 🙂 It’s an issue I care about.

You may find this link interesting reading:
http://chattablogs.com/quintus/archives/036822.html

Also, this link by one of the commentors. TJ is openly gay and a minister in the UCC.
http://mcgiffertpulpit.blogspot.com/

One last one:
Friday, June 09, 2006, Dialogue or Duplicity?, at http://arstheologica.blogspot.com/
I find this blogger interesting. But he also doesn’t try to make any friends, so he’s not someone I would say I “like” so much. But interesting reading.

28 08 2006
Mitchell

I agree. A lot of Christian’s are not protesting abortion clinics. A lot of Muslim’s aren’t blowing up airplanes. I’m surrounded by Christians who are definitely on the more liberal side of any argument.
That being said, religious fanaticism forces everyone to evaluate the structure of religious faith. In a world where a gay couple claims to be Christian – and another self proclaimed Christian rebukes them as heretics – it becomes increasingly difficult to define what is ‘Christian’. That line that separates the believer from the ultra orthodox is what I find interesting.
Where is that line, and how and why does one cross it? If you abandon certain parts of any faith, how do you ever determine truth? I don’t think these are easy questions to answer – but I do think that in the world’s current condition they are issues that need to be addressed. It has gotten to the point where fundamentalists and liberals can’t understand each other. Maybe we need the religious liberals to bridge the gap.
I’m still skeptical about feeling Jesus in an emotional sense. I think people feel what he represents – his actual person remains irrelevant. I think people ‘feel’ goodness. I think people ‘choose’ Jesus.
Your example of the different Christian denominations is good to show the differing of opinions on the subject of Christianity. One could argue that although they may squabble over the little things, there is a common thread that runs through all of them – uniting them in the faith. But, as with most things, the devil is in the details.

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