A number of weeks ago, I walked in on an acquaintance of mine and noticed an engagement ring on his finger. “Congratulations!” I exclaimed, beaming. “Who’s the lucky lady?”
My acquaintance, whom I’ll call Socrates, looked away and replied quietly, “Well, he’s actually a guy.”
Socrates and I chatted for a bit about his plans. He and his boyfriend hope to marry in Mexico before settling down together in Indiana.
“Mazel tov,” I said as we concluded our chat, and I meant it.
My unexpected talk with Socrates reminded me that I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time. The reason I’ve put it off is that… well… I’m not really sure what to say, and I’m afraid of what will happen when I say it.
Deep breath, guys. Let’s talk about homosexuality.
I’m deeply conflicted about homosexuality and the controversies surrounding it. My convictions are squarely on one side of the debate; my sympathies are squarely on the other. The prejudice and bitter hatred of some so-called Christians toward LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) persons appalls and angers me. On a personal note, I have several gay acquaintances, and I appreciate them. They’re all good fellows.
All the same, I can’t support homosexuality on moral or spiritual grounds. Scripture seems inescapably clear upon the point: the first chapters of Romans and 1 Timothy condemn acts of physical homosexuality.
(Interestingly, Scripture never mentions sexual orientation; the concept apparently wasn’t current at the time. The Bible addresses same-sex acts, not same-sex attraction.)
I’m angered by Christians who use Scripture as a license for intolerance or cruelty. At the same time, I’m troubled at the way accusations of ignorance or bigotry are sometimes hurled at people who believe, sincerely and respectfully, that homosexuality is wrong. Tolerance is a fine philosophy, but only when it goes both ways.
I suppose the thing that troubles me most is how homosexuality is becoming the issue of American Christianity, eclipsing discussions of urgent problems like poverty and religious persecution. The recent Duck Dynasty controversy dominated the media for weeks. Where is the outrage for abuse and starvation and human rights violations?
It’s a mess.
I don’t have much more to say, which is why I’m going to yield the floor to a blogger who is much better qualified than I to discuss the issue. Check in next time for his thoughts!