Thursday, December 1, 2011

FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS - Chapter Thirteen (Part 2) - REVISED

Continued from previous post...


But before I deal with this first one, I need to give it some context.

Earlier in the book when I referred to the "Adam and Steve" comment, I mentioned another often-said phrase that I find equally offensive:


"Love the sinner, hate the sin."

Truth be told, I actually think that this is the most offensive one...in fact, it's the deadliest...because it sounds so nice and fair and progressive and "Christian"...but at the heart of it is a cynical, condescending and smugly self-righteous sentiment that literally sends shivers up my spine.

It's the poisoned apple of homophobic slurs

More than anything else, it's a lie.

I've seen from my own experience that, typically, the "Christians" who say "Love the sinner, hate the sin" in an attempt to sound benevolent, yet uncompromisingly moral, not only hate the "sin" as they judge it, they actually loathe the "sinner"...and making this smarmy, phony statement is an unctuous way for them to camouflage their true feelings about it.

Their attempt at reconciling the Christ-delivered mandate to love everyone unconditionally with their actual contempt for homosexuals exhibits the very kind of hypocrisy that Jesus continually attacked with a vengeance.

The absurdity of "Love the sinner, hate the sin" reminds me of the scores and scores of letters I've received from those fluent in Christian-ese who begin their pompous missives with the statement "It's not my place to judge you", and then set out to write 3 to 5 pages of nothing but judgment on me!

It's as if saying "It's not my place to judge you" is the disclaimer that gives them carte-blanche to tear into you and say anything they want to say...like when someone begins a conversation by saying, "Now, I'm just saying this in love..."...

You know full well, if you've ever been on the receiving end of that opening line, that the words you hear spoken after that are generally anything but loving!

Here's a thought...if it's not your place to judge, then don't even write the letter!

And if you're saying something in love, you don't even have to qualify that it's said in love...love bears fruit of itself! Margaret Thatcher said, "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't"...in the same way, if you have to tell someone that love is your motivation for doing or saying something, it's the clearest indication that nothing could be further from the truth.

Some of those same people have written in those same letters, "Your personal life is between you and God", to which I also say...EXACTLY! Then why not just let God and me deal with it?

Anyway, this brings me to the question I get asked all the time:





Question #7: Is homosexuality a sin?

Answer #7: No way to answer that because it's not a valid question. Sexual orientation is not what you do, it's who you are!

 



The guy who always says "Love the sinner, hate the sin" is the worst kind of homophobic bigot, in my opinion, because he hides his prejudice inside polite statements like that in an attempt to deflect his real motives and true feelings.

He reduces homosexual orientation to merely a sex act, usually between men...one that he doesn't understand or finds repulsive...but let me re-affirm that there is no specific definition of gay sex, even though a lot of straight people think that there is. Just as there is no specific sex act that makes someone heterosexual, there is no sex act that determines whether or not a person is gay. Not all gay people express themselves sexually in the same way (just like with straight people), and it goes without saying that gay men do not and could not have the same sexual expression as gay women.

Being gay is NOT about how someone has sex, but about WHO that person is attracted to (more about that in the next chapter).

In fact, as I've already said, if a person is gay and never has sex, they're still gay!

If a gay man spends years going through"treatments" to cure himself, and he learns to control his behavior...if he subjects himself to cultural expectations and is pressured into marrying a woman...he's still gay! The same is true for lesbians.

They are the way that they are...the way that God created them...it's how they're wired.

When homophobes, especially the religious ones, make it all about sex or a particular sex act with which they are pre-occupied, their tactics are transparent.

Many of the letters I've received from those who have quoted the most Bible verses to me are actually quite obscene...in fact, in most cases, the more Bible references they include in their letter, the more graphic and distasteful their language usually becomes about what they imagine intimacy between gay people to be.

The tactic of creating "the other," through demeaning people by associating them with abhorrent behavior is what the men who support the "Kill the Gays" bill in Uganda use.


I won't even mention them by name, but these guys are reprehensible because they lump all gay people into one bizarre sexual category, and convince the public that all gay people are extreme and dangerous perverts.

It was the strategy so effectively used to turn a frustrated people against a disenfranchised minority in Germany many years ago.

When you make homosexuality only about the "sin", as you call it, you purposely marginalize gays.

At this point you may be asking , 'Where's the GOOD NEWS in all this, especially in a book that's supposed to be about GOOD NEWS?'


Well, sometimes you have to expose the bad news for what it is so that you can exalt the GOOD NEWS, so again, please bear with me through this.

But a little education is in order here.

First of all, not all gay men engage in the same sexual practices.

I'm trying not to be indelicate here, but I know and have counseled with a very large number of homosexual men who do not enjoy what many straight people assume is the only definition of homosexuality.

As I said, not all homosexuals are men, so what a straight person may think of as the definition of homosexuality probably doesn't even apply to women.

And I don't want to shock anyone, but I've been counseling with people long enough to know that many straight people do everything that gay people can do sexually, which brings me to the next question:






Question #8: Does gay sex cause HIV/AIDS?

Answer #8: Absolutely not! No sex act "causes" HIV/AIDS...the virus can be transmitted through a number of sexual practices, just like it can be transmitted through blood transfusions and the sharing of hypodermic needles, neither of which has anything whatsoever to do with sex.



Question #9: Then why is HIV/AIDS such an epidemic in the gay community?

Answer #9: Because, typically, gay men, especially young, single gay men are statistically more sexually active with a larger variety of partners than are other groups.



I'm neither defending nor explaining that last answer.

It is what it is.

But that does not mean that any specific sex act causes HIV/AIDS.



And finally...



Question # 10: Is HIV/AIDS the judgment of God
on homosexuals?

Answer #10: It is not.

I feel ridiculous even including that last question, because any intelligent person knows that couldn't possibly be true, if for no other reason than there were no cases of HIV/AIDS before 1981, and homosexuality has been a reality in the world since at least the beginning of recorded history.

I mean, if it was God's judgment on the gays, it sure took him a long time to figure out what to do to punish them.

OK, enough of this for now.

Thanks for reading with an open mind.

1 comment:

Avatar said...

Not avoiding the hard things...that's one of the things you do so well, Bishop...removing the chaff, breaking through the shell...even (or in this case especially) when it reveals the truth that there is something rotten inside, like hardened hearts.

It's comforting. Like a great Dad who is strongly protective and loving.