So I’m going to make a lot of people mad. People who generally agree with me as well as people who generally don’t agree with me will be very mad. In fact, I’m only sure of one person who will not be mad with me after they get through reading this. So, be forewarned, and consider anger to be a warning that something might not be right with your worldview, because I am certain that while my worldview is by no means perfect, when it comes to this it is the only sensible view.
So major disclaimer aside, here’s what I want to discuss: Homosexuals. Not homosexuality, but the people who practice it. So, laser focus with me on the people, not the action.
First, they are people. Duh, says you. So then I ask what are the implications of being ‘people’? From the Judeo-Christian perspective, that means several things. The pertinent things to this discussion being that people are fallen and people are loved. Fallen from God and loved by Him. If you are not from the Judeo-Christian perspective, I recommend that you get that bit sorted out soon. You may still proceed with this discussion, but there are parts you may not understand completely.
A basic fact of sin is that is it an all-or-nothing state of being. You either are a sinner or you’re lying to yourself and everybody else, and that means you’re sinning. Jesus is the only human able to truly claim perfection. God is also sinless but as He is the creator of humans, he falls outside the category being discussed. There are no grades in sin, no degrees or permutations. This will fly in the face of catholics who believe that they must do things here on earth to shorten their time in purgatory, and that they must spend time in purgatory working off the penalties for sins they’d committed. Also, Muslims will be offended by this because they believe that they need to be as good as possible and follow the demands of Allah and hope Allah is in a good mood when they die so they can get their virgins or whatever a Muslim woman gets in heaven. And even among the Protestant category there are people who argue that there are degrees of sin due to there being differences of apparent punishment. This is ludicrous on its face. The particular gentleman I talked with who espoused this view claimed that because homosexuality resulted in various forms of deadly diseases not generally found in the general population, the homosexuals were damned by God to two punishments, one here on earth and another in the hereafter. To follow this logic one must ignore the plethora of mental illnesses, stress disorders, and various maladies which can be traced back to the most ‘mundane’ of sins. Who has ever refused to forgive someone and found themselves grinding their teeth at night? Stress disorders are common and becoming more common and they can be attributed to or exacerbated by any number of simple sins committed daily by each one of us. Also, if sins were not equal, the payment would not be equal. This is refusing the grace found in the propitiatory act of Christ on the Cross, or at least denying its efficacy. If STDs such as AIDS were punishment, the homosexual, even if they came to Christ and rejected their former ways, would still be under Gods punishment, and we know that there is “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” none. Sin is sin is sin is sin. We are all sinners and equally deserving of the same punishment, an eternity of torment and separation from God (I would submit that the torment is not in addition to separation but rather a result of it, but that is a totally different discussion for a totally different day). We are also all equally invited to forgiveness, and offered the same chance at a new life, a clean slate so to speak.
A friend of mine, in a recent conversation, clarified what I see among Christians in general. We are so abhorred by the very idea of homosexuality that we cannot see the sinner for the sin. So quick to judge the person with the action. So eager to condemn a soul because we cannot see their pain. I do not excuse the actions of homosexuals, but neither do I excuse the actions of a child stealing a candy-bar, they’re both sin. I believe that most of the vitriol that exists in this debate results from the knee-jerk reaction that is felt by both sides of this issue whenever they encounter the other. I cannot speak to the pro-homosexual side because they have no reason to believe I have their best interests at heart. Personally, I cannot witness to anybody until they know that I love them unconditionally, and then that very love is what will draw them to me and then to Christ. This is not to say that I will not do what I can to prevent society from accepting and normalizing homosexual ideals and behaviors, and even this is a result of my love for those who practice homosexuality. However, I will not, extenuating circumstances excepting, engage in head-to-head arguments full of misunderstanding and hate for the person on the other side.
Socially, I cannot allow a ‘redefinition’ of marriage. This is a totally separate issue from accepting homosexuals as humans with all the rights embodied therein. The homosexual lifestyle is not safe, in fact far from that it is destructive, primarily to those actively engaged in it, but also, secondarily, to those around. The average lifespan of a homosexual is significantly lower than that of a heterosexual. This is not propaganda or lies, it is verifiable and true. Just as the shortness of life has never been a result of the backwardness of medicine, homosexual lifespan is not a result of poor medical knowledge. Better medical knowledge improves life expectancy and quality, but that is not a proof of causation, merely correlation. The homosexual is many times more likely to have been sexually victimized by someone in their youth, and also many times more likely to sexually victimize someone else. I will do my best to prevent such a destructive relationship from ever being legitimized and normalized by any society of which I am a member. I do not celebrate the ruination of peoples’ lives.
Why do we agree to call homosexual people gay? Gay is a beautiful word that has been co-opted to identify those who are homosexual. We all abide by those descriptions that define us, as long as they define us accurately, and note there is a difference between accurately and completely. A homosexual might very well be classified by any number of other terms each showing us a small portion of who they are. Just as I can be classified as ‘conservative’, ‘musical,’ ‘dull,’ ‘blonde,’ ‘Christian,’ student,’ and so on, Homosexual is only one aspect of the identity they have chosen for themselves. Just as I can change any number of my descriptors, any one else can too. The word homosexual is a statement of fact, defining those who practice homosexuality, or sexual relations between those of the same gender. Gay means happy, and a person who is gay may very well be a homosexual, but they may very well not be as well.
But the homosexual is a person, first and foremost. They are humans with all the beauty built in them by God and with all the struggles and problems inbred by the fall.
Now I have made everyone mad. If not, wow, send a comment and add any thoughts I believe I missed. This topic could easily fill a large book and I feel as though it is woefully incomplete.
Just remember, words mean things and ideas have consequences. What have your words meant (what you meant to say does not matter), and what consequences result from your ideas?