The other day, Jay Bakker posted a link on his Facebook page to an article from LGBTQNation called How is being gay like gluing wings on a pig? In the first paragraph, the author, John Shore, passes on an email he received that likened gay people to serial adulterers, alcoholics and other people who engage in behavior that damages others. The email’s author goes to say that gay people should “keep resisting temptation. Keep battling. Don’t give in. This is your badge as a Christian, that you fight temptation.” Shore points out in the rest of the article that there’s a big difference the “sin” of homosexuality and all the other sins. And, that is resisting the temptation to commit any other sin doesn’t render the sinner incapable of receiving love. But, in telling gay people not to “act gay”, that’s exactly what we’re doing. We are condemning them to forced celibacy and denying them the opportunities we straight people take for granted, like marrying the person we love and sharing a life with them. Shore is dead on with this, but here’s another difference between homosexuality and actual sin: who does homosexuality hurt?
Think about for a minute; all those things the writer of the email listed, adultery, alcohol abuse, excessive pride, all those have consequences that affect others. They all wound someone else in some way. That doesn’t even include the biggies, like murder, theft or rape, those are really bad. But, gay people don’t hurt anyone. No one has had loved ones taken from them because someone “gayyed” them to death, families haven’t been destroyed because someone just couldn’t stop being gay (well, they have, but it wasn’t the gay person’s fault) and while marriages have broken up over this, there were deeper issues than homosexuality. Comparing issues of sexual orientation to things like adultery and substance abuse is incredibly arrogant and short-sighted. Which is, sadly, business as usual for the church when comes to this subject.
I say it’s arrogant and short-sighted because it automatically assumes that we’re right and they’re wrong, all because of some Bible verses that have quite possibly been misunderstood and maybe even taken out of context. Mention the possibility that maybe we’ve misinterpreted those particular parts of the Bible and some people will lose their minds. Take it a step further and say that we’ve done it on purpose to keep “those people” at bay and away from our tidy little communities and you’re on the fast track to a lynching. Let’s be honest, we do this because LGBT people are different and different makes us uncomfortable. But, why? Why does the presence of openly gay people make some people so uncomfortable that they’re willing to turn them out into the cold and exclude them from our fellowship? Could it be because their perceived “sin” reminds us that we’re so far from the people God intended (and still wants) us to be? That their mere existence crumbles the façade we’ve constructed that tells us what good “Christians” we are and that’s more than we can stand? And, that instead of dealing with our own problems, we take the easy way out, telling these people to deny who they are so we don’t have to face our own brokeness? Sin is anything that separates us from God and I’ve yet to see how being gay does that. I can’t say the same for the way the Church has behaved in this situation.