Recently, I read a blog post titled “Why Homosexuality Is Not Like Other Sins”. In it, the author tells us that “Homosexuality is not the only sin mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10″ but “it is different from all the rest, at least right now.” Right off the bat, I saw a problem: namely, that Paul never mentions “homosexuality” specifically. Even the scripture the author quoted doesn’t say “homosexuality”, it says “sexual immorality”. Conflating the two is bad scholarship and should have been a hint to stop right there. But I’m a glutton for punishment, so I kept reading. It got worse.
Normally, when I read stuff like this, I don’t get mad. Am I sad that some folks can’t seem to move out of the 1st century when it comes to religion and sex? Sure, but not mad. Then, this doofus started putting words in my mouth. I don’t like it when people do that. I especially don’t like it when people make sweeping generalizations about “what Christians believe” as if Christianity is some big, monolithic whole where we’ve all gotten together and agreed on the particulars of our belief. It’s not like that. Even if everyone else agreed on something, Baptists would object; on principal, if nothing else. And, if we didn’t get our way, we’d leave and start our own group with a shared statement of faith. Of course, some people would object to something in the new group and leave to start their own…, well, I think you get the picture. But, what really chaps me about articles like this is they make me say “Not all Christians are like that”; which is a statement I find to be almost as douchey as putting words in other people’s mouths.
Here are a few of the more egregious comments in the piece with my response:
- “You’re wrong and you’re loved — that’s the unique voice of the Christian”. No, that the un-unique voice of a holier-than-thou asshole who thinks he knows God’s mind. If you actually loved them, you wouldn’t tell them their sexuality (a fundamental part of of their identity) is “wrong”. You’d just love them. Period.
- “As Christians, we believe with deepest sincerity that the embrace of homosexual practice, along with other sins, keeps people out of the kingdom of God. “ No, we don’t believe that; you do. I believe that “homosexual practice” is not a sin and it doesn’t keep people out of the kingdom of God.
- “We are against any sin that restrains people from everlasting joy in God” Okay, so what about hateful othering couched in sweet words? You know “You’re wrong and you’re loved”? One of the few commandments Jesus (you know, the guy our faith is based on?) ever gave was “…you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself.” I hate to break to you, but telling someone they’re “wrong” on a level as deep sexual orientation isn’t exactly loving.
- “That’s why homosexuality is not like other sins.” No, homosexuality is not like “other” sins because it’s not a sin. The few times the Bible even mentions homosexuality (7 instances in over 31,000 verses), it is never in the context of a relationship between two people who love each other. Instead, the passages are really about hospitality (actually, a distinct lack thereof), worshipping other gods, pederasty, etc.
The truth is, “Christians” like the author of this piece come off a lot like the Pharisee in Luke 18 (the parable of the Pharisee and the publican). Sadly, certain people have twisted the scripture on this matter to back up that vanity. I don’t like being connected to that kind of Christianity and feel compelled to point out that fact, something that makes me feel more like that Pharisee I just mentioned than I am comfortable with. And, that my friends, pisses me off.