Saturday, 08 September 2012
When talking to Christians about homosexuality, I almost always hear one of three things from the person:
1) I have no problem with homosexuality, either because
a) I don't believe Jesus/The Bible condemns homosexuality
b) I don't agree with the part of The Bible that condemns homosexuality.
Aside from personal issues with internal consistency of one's theology or with cherry-picking the parts of your religion you wish to follow, these people and I tend to get along just fine on this subject.
2) The Bible condemns homosexuality, and we shouldn't accept it or the people who practice this "choice."
If you didn't guess by the fact that my name is "GodlessLiberal", you know that these people and I are like oil and water -- really, really bigoted oil and incredibly handsome water (I'm the water, just so you know).
3) Homosexuality is a sin, so I disapprove of it. But, as a Christian, I am called to hate the sin but love the sinner. So I am tolerant of their lifestyle choice.
Type three here is what I wanted to address. On the surface, it seems like they've come to reconcile with two things that most people observe as completely obvious: The Bible condemns homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:26-27) and that there are a lot of homosexual people in the world. Instead of giving up or bastardizing their faith, they've kept it intact. And they decided to eschew spending their life full of unmitigated bigotry and hate like Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of "God Hates Fags" fame.
So at face value, this seems like a decent position to take. The comparison I often hear being made is that we can love someone who happens to have stolen something, but not condone their act of thievery. The problem is, the thief makes a conscious decision to steal something. A homosexual person doesn't make a conscious choice to be attracted to people of the same sex. Sure, you could argue that they do make a conscious choice to act upon that attraction, but imagine if you were told that heterosexual couples were forbidden by your religion -- would you be able to curb all your sinful heterosexual desires? Would you allow your society and your religion to tell you that the way you feel itself is a sin?
Of course, some people believe that being gay is a choice. If you think that being gay is a choice, I challenge you to force yourself to become gay. Can you do it? Hell, why would you want to, considering how gays are treated in our society? It seems about as sound of a choice as choosing to be dark-skinned in 1950s Alabama.
Consider this scenario the next time you feel like telling somebody that you "hate the sin but love the sinner." You're telling this person that every romantic feeling they've felt in their life is a sin. Imagine if someone were telling you this very same thing about your heterosexual feelings that you have no control over.
[Editor's Note: We here at Revelife know that this issue is one that causes people to quickly jump to conclusions, get defensive and cause arguments. We're not posting this post or the questions below because we want to start an argument; we want to have respectful and meaningful conversations with people who have different points of view. That being said, if you don't think you can communicate in a loving and respectful way, we ask that you not be involved in this conversation.]
Do you think that "love the sinner, hate the sin" fails if homosexuality is not a choice? Is there a way to view homosexuality as a sin without viewing it as a choice? Are there other sins that are not choices?