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Christianity Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality

Re-thinking Christianity and “Homosexuality”

Several years ago, I wrote an essay called A Christian Perspective on “Homosexuality,” in which I tried to put forth what I viewed as a balanced view of Biblical truth and sociological realism and compassionate understanding.

I think about 90% of me still believes in that essay’s ideas.

There is that 10% that isn’t too sure, though. Maybe I’ve lived in San Francisco too long or heard too many of my pastor’s sermons (he and I disagree theologically on the topic of sexuality). I will say that one of the major reasons I’m questioning my earlier position is the reading of The Good Book by Peter Gomes. It had some interesting questions about how we read and interpret the Bible—as believers, as scholars, as literature readers.

While I had (for other topics) heard, read, and even made arguments in favor of reading the Bible with historical context and inaccurate or misleading translations in mind, I had always taken for granted the traditional interpretation of gay behavior as sin and hadn’t really explored opposing Christian interpretations (anti-Christian interpretations, of course, don’t believe the Bible to be true to begin with, so they’re irrelevant to this discussion). Gomes’ book, however, made me see sexuality as potentially just one of many misinterpreted issues when it comes to theology. And his argument style seems sound (not a desperate attempt to justify what he knows is wrong).

I’m in a very Malcolm X place right now—in the middle of questioning—not quite sure yet where exactly I stand… but still outspoken about the topics I am sure of.

7 replies on “Re-thinking Christianity and “Homosexuality””

As a response to this and the earlier post, specifically about the concept of gay identity, someone once gave me this real anecdote:

I forget the priest’s name (Father Groeschel?) but he was once giving a sermon on homosexuality and after Mass, two parishoners came up to him and told him “we thought we should tell you that we’re gay.” Upon hearing this, the priest says “oh that’s funny, I thought you were just human.”

It’s a cute little story reminding us how much more complex people are than one aspect people can make their whole life revolve around.

I’ve been reading through the archives of this blog, and I know this may be just dwelling on old things, but I wanted to say:

I love being in a place you describe here in ‘the middle of questioning’ about anything: religion, Politics, Computers, Types of Cheese, anything! I like to think back to times like this, where my vision of something is more fluid, and I can listen to all points of view without a bias. I love just being able to be open to ideas that other people bring up and think to myself ‘I’ve never thought of it that way,’ I hope I can continue this openness through my life.

Tyler

I would still be honored to call you a friend. It appears your views on sexuality and theology remain balanced. I find that people able to have such views are few and far between.

My boyfriend is Unitarian but claims being a Quaker in past lives. He and I often discuss these issues. Don’t think he understands I’m alright with him being Christian.

Was raised in the Mennonite faith until I was 18. At twenty I broke the pacifist vow to God by enlisting in military service. From then on I suppose you could say disillusionment overcame.

Returned home and went to a social at the church. My lifelong friend did not understand an abrupt exit when they set the alter out. His aunt, mine in spirit as well, tried explaining to him.

I stood outside at the door jam listening to the sermon by the Father. He spoke up to be heard. But as I’d broken the vow, so too the faith.

Several years later, I wound coming out to my friend. He never had realized despite many subtle hints, and a few obvious ones, I had presented over our brotherly lifetime together. His wife at the time swore she knew in five minutes of knowing me.

Have since lost that friend. Not because of sexuality, rather life has just gotten us both busy. We’ve drifted apart. It happens.

So, yes I would still be honored to call you a friend. :) Some of us are the Light in the world no matter what people call us. Shine bright.

I think we all just need to step back and look at the way God created man. He made man and woman. Together, between one man and one woman, there is marriage. It is impossible to reproduce apart from this arrangement. I think that makes it pretty clear of God’s intention.

Now, then, having said that, there is nothing wrong with having good friends of the same gender, or of being close to them. When I see a guy who is rip, there is nothing wrong with thinking that he looks good. When a guy is a good sport, or courageous (in battle!), there is nothing wrong with admiring or respecting him. In fact, I personally find it much easier to become good friends with guys than with girls because I shouldn’t have to worry about them “taking things the wrong way”.

I have not found any instance of homosexuality in the Bible being praised. Perhaps the closest I can find would be the strong friendship between David and Jonathan.

Anyways, I hope I didn’t come out too strongly, but I do feel strongly about these points. There is a line which homosexuality crosses, and so should be condemned, just as pre-marital sex is condemned, or at least should be, in the same manner.

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