An easy question demands an easy answer. But are we asking an easy question? The problem with the religious view of homosexuality is that it does not take into the full context of the struggle that people have to go through. Heterosexuals assume that homosexuals are deviant individuals that simply want to engage in acts that they deem to be perverse and an abomination to God. But whether or not this is the truth, it is just one truth, of a series of truths that few are ever willing to discover or fully explore.
Why do we have homosexuals in the church? Why do we have bisexuality, which seems to have exploded in particular among women? If we say that we can accept the idea of homosexuals being in a place where we can minister to them and try to bring about a sexual reformation of sorts, that is one thing, but is there an urgency for us to address what we consider to be their sin when there is a lot of sin we have trouble with ourselves? We say that homosexuality is an issue because of the biological concerns involving procreation; but does that imply that other forms of fornication and adultery are acceptable or more palatable because a child could come out of that situation? What are we really saying to the homosexual community, and what are we really saying about ourselves or to ourselves?
I am not arguing in defense of homosexuality or as an apologist for the homosexual and bisexual lifestyle; I am in agreement about what the word of God has to say. I know that God hates adultery and fornication, and if he does not want two men or women joined together in marriage that is saying that he would never accept such a union, if you are to read in between the lines. I also know that there are verses that illustrate his disgust in the acts that are performed.
However we have found ways to co-opt those same acts among ourselves in our own bedrooms; acts that would be considered deviant or humiliating, or even denigrating. They just happen to occur between two heterosexuals. So you can see the hypocrisy. This is the theory that I am putting forth; it could be that homosexuals are either faced with a different set of situations that heterosexuals are, leading to different choices or are continually faced with those situations, where heterosexuals are not. It may also be that people respond to situations in different ways; we have accepted that people respond to traumatic events in different ways and can empathize with them.
On the surface this idea sounds absurd, but upon closer examination it is plausible. For someone with a strict religious Judeo-Christian background sex is a very simple matter and there isn’t much to think about. But for someone at odds with that upbringing or someone that came up in a household that is not spiritually grounded sex could be perceived as being very fluid; a series of choices as opposed to one set choice you make early in life and simply walk away from. The choices could be stressful, menacing, preoccupying even to the point of becoming catatonic such as a schizophrenic that has to deal with voices in their head. You know what you are being driven to do, and you know what society has to think about it; you know what the consequences for those decisions are, but you also know that you could never live with yourself if you did not indulge yourself.
For some this might trivialize the situation or I might be describing how a lot of people feel about bisexuals. But all I know is that we only hear one side of the situation. All we hear about is the struggle for homosexuals to be accepted into society, from the homosexual community. Then we hear about how the media, the entertainment industry and the fashion industry is run by homosexuals, from the heterosexual community. So homosexuals do not have any empathy for heterosexuals because they feel that they own all of the religious institutions and that they hold all of the power, and heterosexuals do not have any empathy for homosexuals because they feel that they have a stronghold over pop culture and that they have all of the power. We feel justified because despite our convictions about the positions we hold, there is some satisfaction to be found in denigrating and demonizing the other side because their position is sexier than ours. It is easy to criticize someone for being a fornicator or adulterer until you are dealing with that sin yourself. When you are in those situations you begin to relate to that other individual and can better deal with it and would not be as self-righteous as you normally would be when in prayer for that individual. You wouldn’t talk about them behind their back, you wouldn’t put your foot on their neck. If none of us ever had to deal with our sexuality in this way, how effective could any of us be in addressing what they are going through?
So we continue to go back and forth and it reminds you of the same arguments that Christians and Jews have with each other. Jews have found their way into controlling the money supply and own the world anyway but Christians seem to have a stronghold over the government and has the power anyway. These are fascinating and entertaining arguments, yet empty stereotypes that only serve to denigrate everyone who is involved. It makes everyone linear and takes away the three dimensions that we live in, and make it difficult to get anything accomplished.
I have known bisexuals, and I have known homosexuals over the years. Where I am now it isn’t really that cool to be open about your sexual politics so I am not really sure what the people I come into contact are anymore. But what strikes me as interesting about everyone that I do come into contact with is how their sexuality is a small part of who they are. It may be the most obvious part for most, but it doesn’t really define who they are. Are there plenty of straight people that are creative; well I would like to think that I am a creative individual. But at the same time creative people are going to run into a lot of people whose ideas about sexuality and religion would come into conflict with their own.
What we are doing is analogous to what a parent who prefers that their child takes drugs at home or has sex in the house does with their children. We say that we are acting out of love, have turned over a new leaf and are not judging homosexuals with the veracity that we used to back in the day. But do we really have the power to affect change; would someone look up to us or think enough of us to question the way that they live their own lives? Love is the first step, but it is not an answer unto itself.
If we really want to peel back the layers, we may not like what we see. We might have regrets and wished that we had simply left the homosexual community alone. We may even see a reflection of ourselves and some of the struggles we have dealt with concerning other matters. Some might see the irony of homosexuals that have been persecuted for so many years involved in the church in the first place. But if the God in us attracts someone and causes them to walk in off of the street and through those doors, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. The church isn’t easy; people do not want to submit to the authority of a woman or a man or someone of a different race than they are. It is one thing to see people on Sunday, but you do not really want that person to be in your house and you do not want to open your home up to them. All of that is wrong, but it all makes sense because this is how we were in the world and we would not change overnight and it is a process that we all have to go through. At the same time, those are the easy struggles in comparison, and simple obstacles that we have to get over if we ever want to find any closure with large segments of the population we conveniently offended and ostracized over all of those years when American society was our society. The times have changed, our reality is one of many in America, and we may find that we change with those times. One day the church may become as multicultural and diverse as the world that exists right outside of the doors across the street. If the neighborhoods themselves have changed, if the workplace has changed, we may have to rethink the way that we do things …