We need to talk about who we are, but for many, the biggest fear is frequently religious families and friends who simply reply that it is “against God’s law” or “I don’t want you to go to Hell, ” or my favorite “I love the sinner, but hate the sin.” At the end of the day, these are all other words for “I’m afraid of things I don’t understand, so I’m just going to lump you in with the other unexplainable mysteries and choose to fear you as well.”
The ONLY way to get beyond this is to help educate our families and friends about who we are and who we love. A few excellent articles have come out these past few weeks, which help to explain some of the baseless fears spread by people who call themselves religious. One such post was written by our friend Kathy at Canyonwalker Connections. Kathy is a straight, married ally who is devoted to clearing the air around Christianity and homosexuality.
Her post, The Ten Lies about the GLBT Community Told by Conservative Hate Groups: a Straight Christian Perspective, highlights many of the arguments we face on a daily basis, from “being gay is a choice” to “gay people can’t be in stable relationships” to “gay people can’t be Christians.” Kathy not only reveals the lies, but presents some of the best explanations and defenses I’ve seen for many of the bigoted assumptions made about LGBT people.
And appearing on HuffingtonPost this week is John Shore’s The Real Reason Christians (and others) Get So Crazy About Gays, humorously explains some of his observations about the irrational fears of LGBT people that some straight people have. he discusses the Bible and specifically explores the issue of power.
The reason is power. It’s all about power. The problem Christians and others have with homosexuality isn’t about sex. Nobody cares that much about what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms. Sure, it says in the Bible that homosexuality is bad. And of course that matters. As a Christian, what the Bible says certainly matters to me. But the Bible also says that slavery is good, and that women shouldn’t speak in church, and that Christians should never eat shellfish, and on and on an on. We’ve long ago made our peace with the idea that sometimes we have to modify our understanding of Biblical texts—especially when (as is true with the Pauline proscriptions of homosexuality), there are sound reasons to question the way the text has been translated.
When people use their Bible (or any religious text) to say that being gay is wrong, it ends the conversation. You can’t argue with people’s beliefs…or can you? We all know the quotes from Leviticus that Dr. Laura worked so hard to educate so many with. And we’ve all heard the defenses of that same argument…(other abominations include eating shellfish and wearing polyester)…so perhaps the best way to move forward is to keep conversations away from the Bible. Our fight is not about who’s God teaches what. It is about our love and our equality.