The various flavours of Christianity have differing ways of treating LGBTQ people. They range from complete acceptance through to the mad supporters of Uganda’s ‘kill the gays’ law. My argument today lies with not just the crazy end of the scale, but also many of the ‘moderate’ views, views which are presented as oh-so-polite but hide a poisoned blade behind them.
This particular post was set off by the words of American Evangelical Bryan Fischer. He sits somewhere between the moderate Catholic viewpoint and the put-them-to-death extremists. His comments are not new. He insists that he loves gay people, but speaks of “the darkness and the perverseness of that lifestyle” (the ‘gay lifestyle’ is a rant for another day). He refers to gay people as deceived, and their sexual orientation as a disease. All deeply loving things to say, of course.
In reality, he loves gay people that are healed by the blood of Jesus and turn away from their evil lifestyle. Nothing short of complete denial of their sexual orientation will actually trigger love and acceptance from that crowd. Even then, it’s almost certain that your salvation from sin will become a testimony that they want you to share, over and over, because you’re a success for their closeted, close-minded doctrine.
What about the ones in the middle of the scale, who are trying a little harder to love the sinner while hating the sin? The Catholic Church is a good example of these people. They are very honest in that they try to accept and love people of every gender and sexual orientation, but they abhor the ‘homosexual act’. This is messed up in two ways (that I can think of right now).
First, the ‘homosexual act’. What the hell is that? Is it simply non-procreative sex? The Catholic Church added a ‘unitive’ function (bringing a couple closer together) to their definition of allowable sexual practices more than eighty years ago, so if the sexual practices are bringing a couple together, they should be ok . . . right? Is it sex outside of marriage? With the advent of marriage equality, that argument is shredded. Is it penetrative anal sex? There are far more sexual acts available to couples. And why the hell are the Church so bloody interested in the nature of the sexual acts of people who haven’t invited them in?
Second, passing judgement on the way people show their love for each other is only a shade different from passing judgement on the people themselves. Sexuality is an intrinsic part of a person, and condemning people for it is like condemning them for having red hair. Sure, you can shave it off or dye it, but you’re denying a core part of your being. Or perhaps more like condemning someone for being 5’2″. You didn’t choose it, and changing it is near impossible, but it’s who you are. Abhorring these intrinsic traits, or the way they are expressed, is as good as abhorring the person.
But, says the church, if they’re celibate then everything is fine! They’re not sinning, and we can fully accept them. And to that, I say Fuck You. Controlling people’s lives like that, defining who is acceptable by how well they resist their desires, is sick. I know that priests sign up for this, but it’s their choice. If you’re gay, well, sorry, you’re stuck with it. And that’s wrong.
LGBTQ people are (believe it or not) people. They deserve the same right to love and make love to the people that they desire. And churches need to brush up on human rights, or the need to butt out and keep their opinions firmly away from both the media and from anyone who might be hurt by their bigoted ideas. Join us in the 21st century, or be silent.