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Posts Tagged ‘homosexuality’

When I interned at Heifer International, one of the first things my supervisor taught me was to tell stories. He said that we could talk about poverty theory, infant mortality rates, and development statistics until we were blue in the face, but until we connected with a donor’s compassion, it was all useless. This wasn’t meant to be a manipulative, money-grubbing tactic; it was a truth about the heart versus the head. If we think in abstractions, our rationality can turn cold and unkind. A human being with a face and a name and a life is necessary to change the discussion. So that’s what I’m going to try to do in this post, except not about poverty or hunger. I am going to try to witness to the look in my friend’s eyes at a youth conference this weekend.

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I have some mind blowing, world rocking news for you: homosexuality is a ginormous issue in the church. Can you believe it?!

Actually, I really can’t. Neither can a lot of other young adults – Christian, Jewish, agnostic, atheist, everybody. Though I know people my age who view homosexuality as a sin, they’re rare. Even then, they usually include some sort of qualifier like, “but it’s no worse than any other sin” or “the church should still show gays the love of Christ.”  The more common view, however, is that homosexuality is natural and thus created by God, same-sex marriages are totally fine, and that the church should allow homosexuals to serve as clergy. Why do we believe in these ideas when they’re contradictory to Levitical law?

‘Cause we say that Jesus’s message of love and the sacredness of human interaction trumps an obscure verse, not too much before “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” We’ll often say that people who cling to Leviticus 20:13 are only using it to justify their own bigotry (whether such a blanket statement is fair is a discussion for another day). More than anything, though, what I’ve heard from my Christian friends is something along  the lines of “I know a gay guy and he’s a way better Christian than I am; God loves him and it’s not my place to judge. If this guy wants to marry another guy, WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?”

Pay special attention to those last four words, please, because there’s where my generation gets confused about the homosexuality debate. We think there are way more important issues to address. Our perspective is, hey, let’s feed everybody and try and save what’s left of God’s Green Earth before we tell people how they can and can’t love each other. We’re service-oriented. We’re willing to sacrifice some theologizing and liturgy, if it means we can get to God and what He wants us to do. (My stance would  be that, to a certain extent, the first two are the means to the second two, but my Duke Youth Academy reflection will have to wait.)

It’s because of all this that I expect, as my group ages up, the discussion will be changing – at least in the US; I can’t speak to the international outlook. Southerners and Northerners alike are accepting homosexuality as okay for Christians. Who but God knows if it will be for better or worse?

Note: I will recognize on my blog the first person to successfully identify what every single one of the LGBTQQIA letters stands for. No cheating on Google!

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