In any debate, it is very easy to misrepresent one side by building up a straw man in order to debunk it. It is unfortunate that in building straw men, there can hardly be any advancement in conversations.  As such, by being either gay or Christian, it is near impossible to push forward one’s cause if, instead of sitting down to talk about the differences, those involved would instead throw zingers, annoy the other, and worse, misrepresent each other.

The thing is, in talking past each other, both will fail to talk to each other. If one does not behave rationally, he will be forced to behave emotionally… and when emotion goes beyond the rational, harmful words are exchanged and there results bridges in flames.

The past several days, my facebook wall has been flooded with two competing sentiments. One, Christians who post blogs and reminders on how to move forward in light of the new ruling from the United States Supreme Court. For instance, Christianity Today published six things every Christian must be reminded of, instructing the lay believers to treat the LGBT community with respect. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, published an article entitled Here We Stand, which while affirming their convictions in favor of the Bible, also reminded all Christians to treat the LGBT community with the golden rule. The Anglican Church of North America, instead of publishing dissent and anger, rather published a lengthy prayer towards those who disagree with them.

The other side is of course just as vocal, if not doubly so. For instance, a lengthy post from a supporter of Gay Marriage has this to say:

I’ve been seeing a few “I’m catholic, therefore marriage equality is against my faith” posts. Let me, in my limited capacity, try to add something to the conversation. Marriage equality was approved not as a religious right, but as a law of the land. It is against discrimination. It is allowing couples, regardless of gender, to enjoy spousal privileges such as tax deductions, immigration benefits, and employment assistance for spouses of the military. It also allows joint benefits such as parenting rights, domestic violence intervention, custodial rights to children in the event of a divorce, and family visitation rights when one of them is confined in the hospital. Basically, all the rights that straight couples enjoy.

With me so far? Good.

As far as being catholic or being any religion is concerned, here’s a newsflash: You’re still catholic. No one is forcing any catholic priest to perform catholic weddings for LGBTQ folks. If you look at the list above, nothing there speaks of religion. It is simply the act of providing equal rights to all citizens of this country. It ends there. No one is forcing you to attend a gay wedding, and frankly, with the way some of you are carrying on, I doubt you will be invited to any in this lifetime. So you can tick that off your phobia list.

Finally, I just have to say this: I was also raised catholic. I believe there’s a force greater than anyone of us. As I get older, I am slowly catching up and realizing that force is called love. At the end of our little existence on this planet, no one knows with certainty if there’s a god waiting for us behind those pearly gates. That’s where faith comes in, and I am not in any position to question something so personal.

I do know that if and when he/she greets me, the last thing I would want to say is, “God, look! I spent my days on earth hating and discriminating against the queers – all in your name and honor, God!”

Any self-respecting god would be horrified and would be justified in sending me back to earth as a porta potty at the dirtiest subway station. For I would deserve every piece of putrid shit that goes through me for being a shitty person in my previous life.

That’s it. Carry on, comrades. And yes, I am accepting wedding invitations.

While there are plenty of hasty generalizations and misrepresentations from the post, I’ll leave it at that but will be glad to respond if so needed or requested.  It can also be shown that while the leaders from one side has been largely trying to preserve order, those from the other side hasn’t been as friendly. Consider the US Department of Education which changed their profile picture:

It is evident that while equality is the battlecry of the LGBT community in wanting to legalize same sex marriages, the victory of ‘equality’ is celebrated in the government by taking sides. The White House, a symbol of freedom and democracy, instead of celebrating the diversity of free speech, has been found to celebrate one ideology at the expense of the other.

If the pursuit for equality is sincere, the administrator of equality must uphold the status quo by being neutral. The question thus, have to be asked,  ”How does #LoveWin if in winning, one becomes unloving? Did love really win in the first place?” Why is it that when Bible believing Christians are the offended party, people react with indifference and mockery while if it’s the non-Christians who are offended, they cry foul? Why the double standards? Why, instead of sitting down to talk about the differences with the goal to understand each other, we play the emotional blackmail card?

A lecture by Douglas Wilson in Bloomington Indiana, where he is to present his views as a Christian to a gay majority quickly descended into a melting pot of invectives hurled against him. Why do that in a university setting where the goal is to learn and interact? Why refuse a cordial attempt to dialogue?

Dissenters accuse Christians of being intolerant. “Christians,” they say, “should not impose their views on others.” They fail to recognize that in saying such words, they are actually imposing their views on Christians. They are actually imposing their view to Christians by telling them not to impose the Christian’s views on others.

The self defeating nature of this complaint becomes clear. The issue is not that people are imposing their views on others. The real issue is, in light of the various views affecting a certain topic, is to know which view is the right view to commit to.

Jesus thought that authentic Christians are those who love one another. So much so that he even taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

Consider the elementary logic on moral accountability:

If your friend is born with a proclivity to sweets and all his life consumes an unreasonable amount of sugar, would you, being a responsible friend, help him out of his self destructive behavior? If a friend is sick, wouldn’t you, as a caring friend, want to wish him well and offer a helping hand given the chance? Self reflection may not be necessary in light of the self evident answer to the questions.

The Bible is clear that those who commit sexual immorality are hellbound and that homosexual relationships are immoral in the eyes of God. To Christians who believe that the Bible is true, what is the right thing to do? Are Christians supposed to sit down and watch their friends from the LGBT camp live out self destructive lives knowing full well that if Christianity is true, their friends will perish? If Christians truly care, aren’t they supposed to voice out their disagreements? Are Christians really disagreeing only simply because the Bible disagrees? Can’t it be viewed from another angle where, Christians disagree because they love their LGBT friends, and that in trying to talk them out of it, there lies the love which is the battlecry of Christ? The Bible does not say that God is against those who are born with homosexual proclivities. Rather the Bible says it’s against the practice of homosexuality. There is a subtle difference, but the implications are big. Just because we are born selfish doesn’t mean we have to be selfish. Just because we are born with lustful tendencies doesn’t mean we have to act on them.

Someone once asked, “What benefit does Christianity give? Can Christianity provide the LGBT community the basic rights of tax relief, housing grants, and so forth? Can Christianity uphold human rights?” The answer to the rhetoric is quite simple. Christianity offers the right to become a child of God. To be a child of God is to have in your possession all that God has. It is not a superficial relationship, it is rather a genuine prize that no moth can destroy and no thief can steal. Christians see the world beyond the present life. This life will end and we will all be but dust of the past. True life, in the Christian’s mind, is the eternity that awaits. Therefore, the right bestowed to Christians is that which will not cease to take effect in the grave. It is efficacious at the point of receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, and it will last eternally.

In the larger context, the issue isn’t really temporal utilitarianism. The issue is that if there is objective morality, what is the prescription? There is no point to move forward in an emotionally loaded discussion. Morality has no meaning without God. To even begin, one has to put himself in an unbiased quest to find out if Christianity is true. If it is, then the Christian view on the homosexuality is obviously the right view. Else, forget about Christianity.

Ultimately, Christians are really not on the losing end in this entire debacle.  Consider the following gambit:

And I perform homosexual acts

And I do not perform homosexual acts

If God won’t punish those who perform homosexual acts

I lose nothing

I lose nothing

If God will punish those who perform homosexual acts


I have everything to lose


I have everything to win

 

In the final analysis, the only group who risk losing in this side of reality and next is the LGBT community.

How can one be understood if he refuses cordial discussions? Responsible adults can do better. It has already been shown time and again that zingers contribute very little towards mutual understanding.  There really isn’t any other useful way to see things. We can continue to throw mud, or use the mud to build bridges.

Love wins when both parties are intentional to understand each other better.

 

 

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