I’ve been told that in polite conversation you should avoid discussion of religion and politics. Well, we’ve already breached the religion thing (and besides, how polite can this conversation be since I’ve shown you maybe a hundred pictures of my privates and told you about the things that’ve ended up my butthole).
A reader calling themselves Purple left a lengthy riposte to my entry from the other day where I went off on Amy the bigoted homophobe. Purple, it seems, is using me and this blog to research a bisexual alien character in some fiction they’re writing. Yes.
Their comment starts out well…
I’m a Christian, though I’m starting to prefer follower of Christ because I don’t want to be lumped in with idiots like Amy. People like her piss me off to no end. She may claim Christianity, but she does NOT behave as we’re instructed to behave. She is an embarrassment to my faith. People like her have done so much harm to the LGBT community, and to many other people groups, and heaped more pain and hurt on a group of people who are already going through more pain and hurt than any person should have to deal with.
Yes, fantastic. Go on…
It’s easier to hate someone because they’re different than show Christ’s love to them.
Um, OK. I get that. Good on you for sticking to your teachings. The best Christians are those who take the “Christ’s love” angel rather than those who get so much attention nowadays. You were saying…?
Do I believe homosexuality is a sin? Yes, I do. But it’s between you and God. Not you and me.
Oh. It was going so well, too.
To be fair, they said a lot more and you are free to read it all yourself. In fact, please do. I’m in no hurry.
Indeed, Purple was saying many things that seemed more in keeping with the Christian ideals I admire than Amy was by a long shot (as far as I can tell not being one), but I have to stop and say something about sin. Because it makes my brain boil.
Homosexuality is supposedly a sin. Supposedly. The Ten Commandments don’t mention it, but the Bible is full of stuff we’re not supposed to do. So let’s pretend it calls homosexuality a sin, too (even though there’s ample room for debate on that). It seems to me that most of the things the Bible calls out as sins are choices. Adultery, stealing, getting tattoos, eating pork and shellfish, wearing clothes with tears in them or made of cotton-poly blends, trimming your beard, being uncircumcised, working on the sabbath, and — my personal favorite — being raped if you’re a virgin. There are lots of these things. All choices (like that being raped thing). All bad. Apparently.
Two points I’d make.
First of all, as I said in the post to which Purple was commenting and pretty much every person on Earth knows about the the Bible if they know anything at all, good Christians do things all the fucking time that are disallowed by the Bible (like eating cheeseburgers). They have made choices to ignore those rules. Ever had a part-time job on a Sunday? Making cheeseburgers? At a place that disallowed facial hair? Triple whammy. And why not? Because they’re stupid, right? I mean, what creator of the known and unknown universe worth his/her/its salt would give a flying fuck if I decided not to look like a guy from Duck Dynasty? He/Her/It has nothing better to do? So, if it’s the case that we already pick and choose the things we want to follow from the Bible (and the biggest one we’ve chucked overboard is the whole remarrying after adultery and divorce thing), why not homosexuality? Why not? I want an answer to that.
Second thing is, of course, homosexuality is not a fucking choice. If it is, and you’re a straight dude, go suck a dick. Show me what a choice it is by spreading your legs and getting to know the joys of anal sex. We do not have choices in what we find sexually appealing. Zero. We can choose to bury those feelings and let them build and fester and gnaw away at ourselves and our wellbeing, but that’s not the same thing at all. No matter how hard he tries, Marcus Bachmann will always be a giant queen. Nothing he can do about it.
Personally, I think the “homosexulality is a choice” thing is rooted in the experience of bisexuality. If you’re a bisexual, you actually do sometimes have a choice. Not the kind I am, of course. I could only be happy married to Belle (or, to be technical, some other woman, but Belle’s my favorite). But they’re not all like me. And even if they were, they might easily confuse their sexual attraction to men (if they’re men) to be akin to what a true homosexual feels toward other men. As if sex acts and who we have them with are the only axis to the sexuality spectrum. A good boy growing up in a good Christian house goes out for the football team and enthusiastically dates a cheerleader (oral and anal only so they can stay virginal) but, when he’s alone in his bed and jacking off, suddenly finds himself thinking about his coach or the team captain or how the wide receiver’s ass looks in his uniform or all those guys in the shower and all of a sudden BAM! homosexuallity is a choice. Bullshit.
What kind of god creates people to be a way that is sinful? By default? So they they can never know happiness in their lives unless they “choose” to be sinful? What kind of bullshit is that? This isn’t the same as cutting your beard or eating bacon. This is deep, soul-filling stuff. Not just fucking. Emotional fulfillment of the highest order. I want an answer to that, too. How can living as you were created be, in itself, sinful in the eyes of a just and worthy god? You may as well call left-handed redheads sinful. It’d make as much sense.
The real problem with the line “homosexuality is a sin but between you and god” is that it’s a slippery slope to other kinds of evil. Gay parent? Teacher? Doctor? Child? What’s off limits in how those people are treated by good Christians? Thankfully, we’re moving past the point where simply being gay was enough to deny someone custody or visitation rights to their children or the right to work, but it’s not like that everywhere in this country. Not yet. Not by a long shot. And if you’re the good Christian parent of a gay or trans child, there’s nearly nothing you can’t do to “fix” them. All because homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of a god. That’s where it starts. It is the root of all that evil. All that pain and misery.
We are not ignorant people. We have science that tells us things that were previously heresy. The earth is not the center of the universe. It is not 6,000 years old. Humans are not the only “people” who have lived upon it. Homosexuality is not a choice. The genitles we are both with do not define the gender we are.
We have outgrown the need for sin.
The only thing we should take from the Bible is the best part of what Purple talked about in their comment. Love. Mutual respect. You know, the Golden Rule. If we just followed that and let consenting adults doing no harm to others live as they need and want to, then the world would be a much better place.