Okay. I can’t believe I’m actually going to do this.
Okay. Yes. I’m gonna do it.
I’m gonna talk about the big G word.
Remember when it used to mean “happy”? Or was attached to the name of a flower, such as the nosegay?
My, the times have changed. It’s all been causing me to think. And honestly, it’s driving me crazy, so I need to talk about it. Just for a minute. If that’s cool with you.
I was raised to believe that homosexuals were a special kind of dirty evil. That they carried diseases. (More than heterosexuals that have crazy monkey sex [gasp!] do? Yes, of course.) To be avoided but prayed for with utmost reverence, and thank God you weren’t like “them.” You were “safe.”
I’m here to tell you that I have rarely ever felt truly safe in my life. And I’m a woman who married a man. AND we don’t steal or cheat or murder or lie or park in the spots specifically for people with babies when we have no babies.
Avoiding people who are not like me has never brought me safety. Only a sense of entitlement and confusion that I don’t deserve.
So now, I am Facebook friends with at least 6 not-straight folk. I even speak to them occasionally. And I’m okay with that. I am a strong Christian not afraid to live in the world, to take risks, to be like Jesus, look at me go! I am soooo proud of myself.
Isn’t there…more? Shouldn’t there be more?
For the United States, they recently got “more.” Equal rights have been given to every couple who wants to get married, no matter what gender.
Now, as a Christian, I should be the furthest thing from okay with that, right? Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve. (Cause Steve’s MINE, bitches!) Old Testament Law. New Testament passages. The Word of God, which I claim as my blue print for life, condemns homosexuality at least 4 times, if not more. ( Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Revelations 22:15 for example.)
That is valid and important to me; I can’t ignore it.
What I also can’t ignore is the fact that many people are taking these verses out of context. For example, this article. Buzzfeed, you know I love you, but don’t do me like this! Allow me just this once to reference a large passage of Scripture that explains what I’m trying to say.
“Well then, why was the law given? It was to show people how guilty they are. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of the child to whom God’s promise was made.…is there conflict between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could have given us new life, we could have been made right with God by obeying it. Until faith in Christ was shown to us as the way of becoming right with God, we were guarded by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until we could put our faith in the coming saviour...Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian and teacher to lead us until Christ came. So now, through faith in Christ, we are made right with God. But now that faith in Christ has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian…you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus…there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female…you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:19, 21, 23,24,25,26 & 28.)
“Well then, what shall we say about these things? Just this: the Gentiles have been made right with God by faith, even though they were not seeking him. But the Jews who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law never succeeded. Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law and being good instead of depending on faith. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. God warned them of this in the scriptures when he said, ‘I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that causes people to stumble, and a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.’ …For Christ has accomplished the whole purpose of the law. All who believe in him are made right with God.” (Romans 9:30-33, 10:4)
“One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?’ Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbour as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:35-39) **emphases are all mine**
Now….I am by no means a scholar in the Hebrew and Greek translations of ancient texts, but what I THINK I just read is that the Old Testament law was put in place to show us that it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to not eat bacon and not get tattoos and not cut our hair and not wear jeans with holes in them. Those things are not evil. They were just used as an example to say that even if they WERE evil, we couldn’t stay away from them. And if we can’t even follow laws of just mere outward actions, how can we control what goes on in our hearts? We can’t. Any attempts to be “good” or at least a half-decent human being can only be accomplished through giving ourselves over to THE MOST important commandment: Love. Of God, of others and yes, ourselves. (Not in a selfish way, mind you. Just in a “I don’t hate myself” kind of way.) All of the other commandments can be summed up into LOVE. If you love your neighbour, you’re not going to steal from them. You’re not going to sleep with his wife or her husband. You’re not going to lie to them or murder them. If you love God with all your heart, soul and mind, you will want to live your life in a way that brings him honour and respect and a good reputation. If you claim his name over your actions, you better make sure that they are done in a way that doesn’t conflict with the second commandment of loving others.
In other words, the Crusades were an #epicfail.
Westboro Baptist Church = #epicfail.
Pat Robertson, pastor and founder of The 700 Club = #epicfail.
These parents = #epicfail
And the conclusion of my life so far? Epic fail.
You see, I have this problem where I like people to be happy with me and I would like not to get struck with lightning by God. My love for my Father and my people has been entirely fear-based. Now, being almost 26…I’m tired of this shit. And being tired has led me on the journey to where I am now. The political and social events of the United States and Russia and more have really challenged me to shift my paradigm. And now, after months of struggle and research and guilt and confusion, I am finally ready to confess.
I want to love people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, religions, skin colours, orientations and lifestyles. I think the abuse that the homosexual community has had to live with is heartbreaking and I want to hug all of them and whisper, “We’re not all like this.” I think that God sees all of the hatred and weeps. He still loves us a ridiculous amount regardless, but man, if I had to choose between facing him and discovering I was wrong to love homosexuals or facing him and discovering I was wrong to hate homosexuals, I would choose the former, hands down. Whether or not homosexuality is truly a sin is NOT our call to make, and I’m so glad that those decisions are not left up to me.
As for marriage equality, I support it. Just like I would support the African slaves being emancipated from their owners in the 1800s, or all women being emancipated from abusive husbands and arranged marriages and head coverings…well…someday. From a purely political standpoint, if your constitution says that all men are created equal, then that should mean EVERYONE. At the very least, all couples in a committed relationship should be allowed the same benefits as a married heterosexual does. If someone I was in a committed relationship with was in the hospital and I wasn’t allowed to see them just because there wasn’t a legal document saying that I was married and/or family to them, I would lose my shit. Plain and simple. It’s not fair. It’s not equal. And I’m so glad steps have been taken to remedy that.
Taking this stand is tough and terrifying. But with each word that I’m writing out, each thought that I have, I have this feeling swelling up in my chest, like…excitement. Conviction. Apology. Love. Anticipation. What also thrills me? I have said most of this to the one person I never thought I could: my mom. After all, she helped contribute to my “us versus them” thoughts about gay people. But she surprised me by agreeing with mostly everything I said. Why? Because for the last two years, she has essentially lived in a wilderness with no one around her except for draft dodgers, ex-cons, hippies, lesbians and confirmed been-out-in-the-woods-too-long weirdos. Because she’s been made to look at them like they are people. Because she’s an adulterous single-mom who made a lot of mistakes and got deported, but they treat her like a person as well. It’s brutal and beautiful…brutiful.
Before I post this and let the chips fall where they may, I have two people I want to talk about – C & B. I don’t know them too well, but I have had the privilege of seeing a glimpse of what they are about.
I met C at a kid’s camp quite a few summers ago. He was a youth pastor/worship leader. All of the kids flocked to him because he was so fun and caring, and for me, whenever he played his piano and sang, the world stopped. I have rarely heard anything so beautiful in my life, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this man loved God with all his heart and was genuinely worshiping him, and using his gift to lead others into worship as well. He also shared with me personally that he felt I needed to put God first in my life, and everything else would fall into place – at a time when all of my struggles were seriously overtaking me. He had no idea that this was what I needed to hear.
I met B on a college campus in 2009. Our youth group went there for a weekend to see what it would be like to go there when we graduated. On Sunday morning, I was sitting at a breakfast table by myself, and B, a total stranger, came up to me and sat down. We started talking, and I felt totally at ease with her. We shared life stories; I was going through my immigration struggles and trying to maintain a relationship with my mom, and B’s mom had passed away from cancer recently. How did our conversation end? With B offering to pray. For ME. Another time when what I needed was given to me at the most unexpected moment.
Are they believers in Jesus? Yes.
Are they straight? Not in the least.
Does that change the way I feel towards them or mar my experience with them? See my last answer.