Christianity and Homosexuality

gay marraige ruling

(“They” said never talk about religion and politics. Am I killing two birds with one stone here?)

Thank you for your open mind and your consideration as you read this. There may be jokes but I never take this issue lightly. I also never take true love lightly. Congrats to all new married couples! This was a long time coming.

Ae Padilla

I am a Christian and I believe in gay marriage. And that statement in itself, seems to be the most revolutionary, thought provoking, back lashing inducing statement one can say these past few weeks, at this time, in our country.

Unless you have been living under a rock this past month, and thought that all that rainbow affiliation you have been seeing was a marketing campaign for the new My Little Pony film, you know that the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional on June 26th 2015 to not allow same sex couples to legally get married. As a result these new same sex marriages would have the same legal benefits that married couples composing of a man and a woman have had access to for give or take a couple hundred years.

It was, whatever your political or social affiliations is, a momentous occasion in United States history. It was a decision rooted in thought, power, and perseverance. And America, as well as the internet, took notice. Many rushed to social media sites to proclaim their joyous opinion on the situation, to offer their congratulations to couples they have known for years who were never able to legally get married, and to find out when and where pride parades were located (let us all remember that celebration equals alcohol here!)

However there were many people who also berated the decision, there were many who criticized SCOTUS, and there were – because it would not be the internet without it—trolls. All of these are not new to those of us who have a computer and are aware of the world that we live in. People have different conflicting views about different issues, it’s that simple.

But then it is not that simple is it? It never really is. And it is not as simple when we add religion into the mix, particularly Christianity.

Because it seems that groups of those who have the most opinions, unwavering disposition, are those that self-identify as “traditional” Christians as well as most Christian churches as a whole.

And although there are those who would not mind tearing into Christians who oppose gay marriage, those people who do usually do not believe in Christianity in general. Often these people are people who think that in not believing in a religion they are somehow smarter than people who do believe in one.

Still, there have been frequent posts of those who are standing up for the accepting side of their faith, and in this particular aspect I think they represent a stronger voice.

As they are saying: I am a Christian speaking not just for myself but hopefully for others.

And that is what I am saying and this is who I am talking to: fellow believers. (If you’re not one stick along for the ride here, I promise you there will be a wafer and grape juice at the end of this all.) I am stating that anyone who fundamentally does not believe in marriage equality is wrong, not on a social issue or a political issue, but they are wrong as a Christian, which is the ultimate way that you can be wrong.

Let’s take a few steps back. At one point in my life I was a Catholic. I was brought up that way with everything from the education, to the customs, to the culture (damn you midnight mass!) I am not a Catholic anymore. I do however consider myself a Christian and reject more organized “stand for the Hail Mary, kneel during the act of contrition” stuff. Not to say that that is wrong or that I believe as if I am above it, rather that I found hope from the idea that a personal relationship with Christ is all that I want. Because at its worst religion is a hodge podge of ideas latched upon for convenience. Christianity and a relationship with Christ is never about that. Or rather it never should be that.

If you consider yourself a Christian, as I do, then there are a few passages that should be implemented from scripture to your everyday life. Let’s leave the cliché 3:16 out of this and instead focus on my favorite. Not anything more revolutionary, and it’s safe to say that some of you will know it even if you have never cracked open the Bible. From the book of Matthew spoken by Christ after his disciples asked him the most important commandment: “And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I love this statement. I would tattoo this statement on me I love it that much. Which is why I am really pissed that these words have been used as a way to comfort other Christians, mostly by Christian leaders and a good dose of Fox News Anchors I am sure, during this “shift in our culture away from God” – as though being gay, and getting married to someone of your same sex demands the love and acceptance of Jesus because (pun alert) “they know not what they do.”

I am not picking an argument with the stereotypical Middle American white male who uses the word “faggot” and says how this country will never be the same again. You can’t fight with stupid, you never win; you just get annoyed. I am picking a fight with those who deem themselves educated and respectful of others. I am picking a fight with Christians who do not believe in gay marriage because Jesus never would have believed in it.

He would have. Jesus Christ would have believed in gay rights and gay marriage.

Now that my bible happens to be on my lap let’s turn to some other quotes from what is arguably the most controversial book in the world (next to I guess Flowers in the Attic.)

Chapter 18 of Leviticus states “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” And of course not to be outdone by “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood and guiltiness is upon them,” also found in the book of Levitcus.

Those Christians against gay marriage live for these quotes. As I am sure they would tattoo these statements on themselves too just for the pure convenience of having a “go-to” every time a debate stirs. Here is the problem with this: these quotes are invalid if you are a Christian. Here is the second problem: these are the only quotes that specifically speak about homosexuality in any way in the holy text. And they come from the Old Testament, the part of the bible (and of history) that Jesus said not to follow anymore. Because Christianity, the laws of Christ, are your new laws.

The council of Jerusalem states this adamantly. The Bible itself does too, in particular Galatians, when Paul says that we are no longer under the law. This is presumed to be the law of the Old Testament as Christ created the New Testament by dying and ridding ourselves, Christians, from Israel identity. He is the new covenant; he is the new law.

Therefor if you’re looking to Leviticus for answers to back you up, you are looking at a book that demands you put down your pork sandwich, your wool coat, and your yummy shellfish. On another note, I guess I have been sinning since I was three years old.

There are of course countless of other bible verses that allude to a pure lifestyle, but never that pureness and sexual sin coincide with homosexuality. I use bible verses only sparingly because I recognize that the Bible at its core is a bunch of stories (some of which are simply metaphors.) But to debunk is to acknowledge the other side – if only briefly.

For those opposed to gay marriage creationism is pointed to without fault as well. The idea that God made woman out of man to be the perfect partner for him and to counter his loneliness with helpfulness and love is say the more eloquent version of “God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.” Therefor the story of the Garden of Eden is perceived as woman and man being the only two partners to complete each other. Can it not be, and rather should it not be though, that in fact God created people to be with each other, to help each other, and complete each other. And of course be committed to one another?

Celibacy is seen as a true calling picked up only by a select few, usually religious leaders who have more will power than the rest of us will ever have. But if those religious leaders are the ones pointing to gay marriage as ruining the sanctity of marriage than how are these gay couples ruining it? If commitment, both sexually and spiritually is only for one partner, and this is the only step in the direction away from celibacy that you can have – then what is the worry here if two people of the same sex abide by the same conduct that say Adam and Eve did? Extreme loyalty. Extreme love. Picking a partner that will help you grow with God.

The worry here is the unknown, masked by religious leaders and religious followers as “praying for those people who need it.” They are simply, these ignorant groups, scared of accepting people that Christ has accepted when he made them.

Because let’s look at the long standing history of the church and Christians who have rallied in support of blatant prejudice, racism, sexism, I could go on. Once upon a time in a far way time….of sixty years ago…many Christian churches and congregations did this with their “acceptance of minorities.”

It’s a beauty what quotes can do in this case, because I venture to say the way the church has acted towards black people and towards women is the way it is acting towards gay people at this moment. If you can’t accept that you are on the wrong side of history by believing that these people should not have the same basic rights that you have to visit your dying partner in the hospital, are you ready to accept the fact that you are on the wrong side of Jesus Christ?

Before this goes into the right and the left, the conservative and the liberal, remember that God does not fit a mold. God only ever professes love. God only ever denounces hate. God only ever gets upset with those who believe they can condemn others. And only ever saves and accepts people.

We can never use these facts as a means to pity and save those who are gay. Remember that we are not Christ and we do not have the power to do that nor do we have the power to judge that which we do not know is bad, as he himself – yet again – never said anything to make us believe that homosexuality is bad or intrinsically wrong.

But he did do things. Remember that Jesus challenged the status quo everywhere he went. He was chucking tables, quite literally, at the Pharisees. He was conversing with single women who could have been stoned for even following him. He was letting people see that sometimes what the majority thought of things, what “they knew to be right” was in fact not right at all.

However is this not all the same old bullshit you ask? Someone’s way, my way, to justify my thoughts? To stand on a side and believe that I am right?

Let me challenge people, Christians thinking this, to see it this way.

God created all in his image. The very basis of Christianity is believing he both created and saved you. Nothing more and nothing less. This being the core belief of our life, are we supposed to then believe that God simply created some people with internal desires to test them and to represent “the bad” in this world?

No. We are supposed to believe that he created everyone with a purpose and everyone in his image.

Others will point to free will, God’s ability to let us decide what we choose and how we sin. But if this is what Christians point to as what gay people should look at then they are denouncing that God created us in a perfect image and then we effed that up. If one cannot choose to be gay then one cannot see being gay as ever been something inherently wrong.

The “being raised in a traditional Catholic home” the “I grew up with a mom and dad and I would want other children to have that”…these statements are not something we can push aside and allow people to say. They are ignorance. They are subtle hate. They are not in line with the accepting Jesus — the definition of my savior.

If regurgitation is possible, and it is always is in these types of debates, then are we also supposed to believe that Jesus would sit down with a loving gay couple raising their son or daughter with Christ in mind and berate them for their lifestyle? And still always pick the semi dysfunctional straight couple we might see on a dramatic television show every day?

Absolutely not. And that’s because 1) homosexuality is not wrong and 2) It is not a competition. One person’s marriage is never being compared to another’s in the eyes of God. It is simply being viewed as a unit of its own.

And so we are brought back to the bible verse of loving others as you love yourself. Let me make a point with this statement. Christianity is not a religion of passiveness. Christianity, the good news, the Gospel, is meant to be shared. If you truly think that Christ would want to suppress a group of people who have done nothing wrong, who have only ever loved, then go ahead and pick up a sign and join The Westboro Baptist Church – you are no better than them.

In reality, your mission by God was to love others as you love yourself. Accept others as you accept yourself. And to speak openly about the only leader who taught faith alongside humility. If it boils down to love over hate, as does everything with life, which one do you think he would choose?

As a result of these past few weeks I have alienated churches I thought I would attend for years to come in pursuit of more accepting places of worship. If you are a Christian you should too. These past few weeks, for those who aren’t Christians but still do not support this, have also brought me to a staggering realization….the world has not blown up because of the law in effect.

Look I’ll wrap this up. I’m not over here saying Jesus Christ would be holding a rainbow flag in the middle of San Francisco, chugging a margarita at this news or anything…actually I think I am saying that. His first miracle was turning water into wine at Cana. Let’s never forget that.

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