Yes, I’m wading into this whole debate. Well, not wading, more like already stuck in the middle and trying to be as quiet as possible. GAY-BASHING CHRISTIANS, the papers and protesters say. GOD HATES FAGS, the Christians say. And I’m there, sitting right in the overlap: I’m Christian, and I’m gay.
All this means is that 1) I happen to believe in Jesus: I follow his commandment to love God and my neighbour, upon which all other rules of the faith hinge, and 2) I also happen to be interested exclusively in women. The media doesn’t show us a lot, they like to show the two extreme views in the gay-Christian debate.
In the media: Christians aren’t fans of gays.
All the Christians in the headlines talk about is stoning the gays, how sinful being gay is, and how much God hates the gays. They mention how people like me pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe, so that we can justify our wicked ways. As usual, they neglect to mention that every Christian does that. After all, I’m not sure I know a Christian who observes the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur, a festival which must be observed according to the book of Leviticus, which is also the book of the Bible admonishing gay sex between men. Neither do I know of any good folk who stoned their child to death for (inevitably) speaking back to them–can’t have your kids disrespecting you now, as the Bible said.
In the media: Gays aren’t fans of Christians.
I have a few friends, formerly of faith, who abandoned it once they came to terms with the fact that they were gay. Because they believed the two were incompatible. And many gay rights activists dismiss the homophobic Christians by making light of their faith, by equating a belief in God to a belief in fairies. For people who preach about equal rights for all, they don’t do a very good job of expressing that belief, and they alienate a potential support base in gay Christians (we do exist!) or Christians who are straight but support equal rights.
Both opinions are stupid.
Well, in my humble opinion. Both sides are so busy shouting at each other, they don’t even try to look for a way forward. They could, should, find a level playing field by getting to understand the mindset of gay Christians. The activists could attempt to understand the convictions of our faith, the Christians could attempt to see why we believe we are God’s gay children. If either side could, for one moment, believe what we believe, maybe we could end this war. Instead we are dismissed as self-hating by gays, and as false Christians by those of faith. It’s a sad state of affairs.
Anyway, next time another such a debate kicks off (next week, probably), I just wonder if someone’ll say: hold up, let’s stop shouting and talk. If we can’t be friends, we don’t have to be enemies. There are people who have reconciliated their sexuality with their faith, and maybe we can do the same.
Or maybe not.
A follow-up article: The Thank You Post