I realize I’m a bit late coming to the whole Proposition 8 party. And I’ve been hesitant since starting this blog to post about the issue of whether homosexuality is or isn’t a sin, simply because it is so easy to get misunderstood on this issue. Passions do run high on both sides of the issue.
But, I’d be a bit of a wuss to just go and hide under a rock and pretend I don’t have thoughts or opinions on the topic. Lord knows I’ve stuck my nose into a lot of other sexual areas (literally and figuratively).
First, let me ask this of anyone who’s felt a need to point out to homosexuals that the Bible calls homosexuality an “abomination before God” and other such stuff: When was the last time you went all-out and told your friends and neighbors to:
- Stop gossiping?
- Stop coveting other people’s stuff?
- Stop lying?
- Stop bitching about how awful your parents are?
- Tell your spouse about that affair you’re having?
OK, it might be that some of you have done all that on a regular basis and if so, great, at least your hypocrisy level is not too out of whack, if it’s out of whack at all. Because all those other things are sins. In fact, they are all sins that are part of the Ten Commandments. I find it interesting that that’s God’s top-ten list and homosexuality doesn’t make it in there. Nor does Jesus ever preach against homosexuality that I recall.
Also, while there are many places in the Bible in which man-on-man sex is specifically decried, nowhere, to the best of my knowledge, is lesbianism declared a sin. I don’t simply mean that this is one of those situations where one can infer that the woman is supposed to follow the same rule; I mean that man-on-man sex is so specifically addressed that it is virtually impossible to substitute “woman” for “man.” So, you can imagine that I am somewhat torn on how seriously to take the sin of homosexuality. (Of course, men were involved with the writing of the Bible and sometimes, human failings find their way into the Bible…maybe it’s genetic that us guys dig girl-on-girl sex.)
I acknowledge that God made us primarily and overwhelmingly for the purpose of getting together as man and woman. That is clear from the anatomy. Our natural, default state is to go hetero. Hard to argue against that.
But is homosexuality a sin? It’s a harder sell to me in some ways, but it is mentioned as a no-no in the Bible an awful lot of times. I’ve heard arguments that biblical prohibitions against homosexuality were actually against religious rituals that involved homosexual sex, and not against homosexuality specifically. Under that agument, which has some holes I must admit, it would be more an idol worship/other-gods-before-me situation that was being targeted.
I’ve also heard people make the case that there is a difference between engaging in homosexual sex (from time to time) and being in a homosexual lifestyle. That also seems slim to me, as it would still violate the rules against fornication in the former case, whereas someone could at least argue that a committed gay couple was married. So, fornication in the former case and possibly a sin of homosexuality in the latter.
Again, the issue is pretty messy.
But my basic view is this: I don’t care if you are gay or lesbian.
I just don’t. I care if you are a basically decent person. And from the standpoint of being concerned about your eternal future, I care much more whether you are born again (though I’m not going to shove Jesus on you forcibly) than I do what kind of consenting adults you sleep with. I have known many gay and lesbian people in my life. Some of them acquaintances, some of them simply co-workers or work associates, some of them friends. No close relatives that I know of, but I have more than a hundred cousins and second cousins, so clearly there are numerous gay or lesbian folks in my family somewhere. What they do in their bedrooms or anywhere else with their bodies is between God and them and their partners. Not me. I have friends and relatives who engage in sex outside marriage, too. And who have told many a lie. They are still my friends and my beloved family, and if I judge them at all, I judge them by their overall actions, not individual ones. Not, of course, that it is my place to judge anyway.
And, I don’t fear gay marriage. It is no way whatsoever impacts on my life or my marriage or my religious beliefs. It is not a threat. I do agree with folks who say that a firm line must be drawn somewhere in marriage laws as to how far we can go. Multiple spouses needlessly complicates an already complicated system around divorce, inheritance and custody, in my opinion. Incest is just plain icky (though I have to admit I don’t have any logical argument against why two siblings, as adults, couldn’t choose to be together aside from biblical prohibitions). Marrying animals is even more problematic than multiple spouses. Marrying minors there is no excuse for, nor is there any excuse for having sex with them.
But gay marriage? A union between two adults who aren’t related? I just don’t see a reason to argue against it from any reasonable standpoint of a secular government in a pluralistic and very diverse nation.
Homosexual sex. Homesexual marriage. Not my business. Not a fight I feel needs to be fought. Are they sins? Maybe. I guess. Probably. If for no other reason than I can’t see a biblical basis for same-sex marriage in the church, and therefore homosexual sex would still be premarital sex (of which I myself have been guilty before getting married, over and over again) from that religious-marriage standpoint—though not from a secular-marriage standpoint, of course, in places where same-sex marriage is legal.
But if gay sex is a sin, I cannot categorize it as anything worse than any other sin: Lying, coveting, cheating, failing to honor parents, etc. And before any numb-nut says, “Oh, so I guess murder isn’t some big sin either in your book,” let me just shut you up now. Murder, assault, theft, false witness and adultery, for example, cause direct and purposeful harm against another person. As such, I will have a more visceral reaction and want those things to stop and, in most of those cases be prosecuted (except for adultery) because they are hurtful to another. Whom does homosexuality hurt? If anyone, the person doing it. But it doesn’t hurt me or any innocent bystanders, now does it?
Below are some posts recently about the Proposition 8 issue. I include them here not only because I think they are solid posts with a lot of good and/or thought-provoking comments by readers of the blogs (aside from some anonymous dickhead trolls), but also because I have posted my own comments at some of these blog threads about my various thoughts regarding homosexual marriage and some other gay/lesbian issues, and rather than go through all of what I said there by copy-pasting here, you can go there and see some of my other views on the issues in context, along with the views of a bunch of other people, many of whom are smarter and more eloquent than I.
Forever Hold Your Peace (Deus Ex Malcontent)
While We Were Celebrating (Raving Black Lunatic)
Faux Marriage and Legal Definitions Do Matter (Caffeinated Thoughts – I actually didn’t comment on the second of those two posts; only the first one)
Proposition Hate (The Field Negro – Didn’t comment here because I didn’t see much need for me to add anything to the already lively discussion)
The View Needs Glasses (Margaret and Helen – I don’t believe I commented here; too easy to get lost since there are so many comments on her posts most days)
P.S. If the guys in the image I used here aren’t gay and are sensitive about their sexual orientation being questioned, my apologies. Screw that, I don’t apologize. That was an image I paid for, I get to determine usage, and that looks like a 50/50 chance it’s a romantic stroll on the beach to me… 😉