Site icon Anam Baile

Straight Up, My Thoughts on Homosexuality.

Homosexuality has never bothered me.

I was in church every Sunday and sang in the choir. I was baptized and born again, wore modest clothes and read my heavily outlined Bible that sat in it’s carefully chosen quilted case. I was happy to be this person in most every way.  But I could never muster the repugnance for homosexuals that others felt. Despite my upbringing, it has never once made me feel grossed out or disgusted. It simply never hit me that way. Because I could feel the people…..the actual people. They weren’t this dark and sick thing. They were beautiful and fragile. Not all, some were fierce, but back then, more, were easily broken. It was not their “fault”, they weren’t possessed, it wasn’t a choice. This was love and we were squashing it under our boots. I felt it then and I still feel it today.

I was raised in what had to be the largest per capita gathering of closeted homosexual men. Considering my small town of 3,000 people in the backwoods of Texas, that is saying something. Our Arts Council budget was larger than a town 20 times our size. For a young girl who reveled in musical theatre, opera, and classical music when all others liked country music and cowboy boots, it was a big deal for me. I have always been grateful for that, but I also got to see the sadness of these humans. The life they didn’t live. The wives who were cheated on and the children who were scarred. Because most were married with children. It wasn’t right, it was as wrong as it comes.

Then came Derek. Derek was 6’5 and solid muscle. He was the kind of guy who loved everyone, everyone was his friend. Those lucky friends received his love in the form of rib crushing hugs and eyes that genuinely lit up to see you. I met him as a young girl of 16, while performing in a play at the local community college. I was in need of something else for my costume which Derek had on hand and so I drove to his home to pick it up. When he answered the door, he had been crying. I asked him what was wrong and after some nudging he told me he had a friend over the night before to watch a movie and they had cuddled. I waited for the rest of the story, but none came because he was in sobs. I was not exactly a tentative teenager so I pushed him to explain. You see he was lonely and so he called a friend, a gay male friend to come over and watch a movie, the friend had put his arm around him during the movie and he hadn’t stopped him. He wished he could just like girls. His family was Christian and he understood his life would be better if he just liked girls. I have few regrets, but one of them is this moment. I so wish I could go back in time to that moment and say something of more value than what I did.

What I did do that night was delve into my Bible? I found what we all know too well, Leviticus 18:22, plain and simple there is no other way to read that passage. But I didn’t stop there, I read the whole of Leviticus in the hopes that God had provided Moses with some more insight. And what I found made me blush and very uncomfortable.

There are just parts of the Bible that are not meant to be read by an incredibly sheltered 16 year old.

I moved to New York City in my early 30’s and joined a church there. I don’t know if I’m the only who does this, but I interview pastors. I come with questions in hand. (Writing this now, I bet that’s not the norm.) I had asked the Pastor to tell me his thoughts on homosexuality. “I don’t know, I know what the Bible says and I know what my heart says, but I still don’t have an answer. I’m still praying about that one, but this church is home to all who seek Christ’s love”  He had been reassigned from Kentucky to New York City and was now forced to live among many out homosexuals. And it had changed his heart. By the time I moved out of the city, that church had several gay couples and had celebrated gay pride month, rainbows and all.

So with that…..

I would like to talk about the Bible. We all know what the Bible says, or so we think. I spend a lot of time listening to Bible scholars debate. A ridiculous amount, if I’m honest. And when they pair the biggest and baddest of Evangelicals up against and agnostic/atheist, the agnostic/atheist wins handily every time. Because they are not afraid of what the Bible says. They don’t just pick and choose what they read.

Leviticus 18:22 is very clear, the whole passage is about sexual immorality, what is interesting to me is the next passage repeats all of the same thoughts, but this time adding death as a penalty. If your child has sex before marriage, do they deserve death? Are we supposed to kill all sexual sinners on sight? So maybe you can give this the spiritual death spin and not the actual taking of life. But, Leviticus is full of a great many laws no one in their right mind would follow. It doesn’t mean there aren’t some sound rules, but there are also some plain offensive ones.

Leviticus 21:17

Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.

For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,

Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,

Or crookback, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;

No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.

He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.

Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them.

Only the physically perfect were worthy to come in the temple of God? How many of our children are physically blemish free?  I’m sorry, but your children are not worthy of the temple of God?  How does one read that and not think that is just plain silly. This is when I like to say, “That’s not my God.” I don’t know who’s doing the talking here, but MY GOD, sees the beauty of our heart and minds. We are loved unconditionally.

Leviticus 23:6

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

n the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

I lived in a community where mowing your yard on Sunday is frowned upon. The Sabbath is a holy day. I think even atheists get this, but how about the rest….how much unleavened bread will you eat this month?

Leviticus 19:9

 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.

This one seems obvious, but for those of you who’ve eaten bread, ever, well, you disobeyed the laws of God.

Leviticus 11:5

And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.

Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.

And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

Just so we are clear, bacon, football and homosexuality are all abominations to God. So are fabric softener, fruit juice, ice cream, paint, insulin, toothpaste and crayons. Just to name a few.

The most famous passage, quoted by every Christian, can’t decide opinions on homosexuality.  Unless we want to give up bacon and the Superbowl. Honestly, I haven’t watched the Superbowl… like…ever and footballs are now made from leather. So God only hated football up until the 20th century. I’m just making a point.

Head into other books of the Bible and you’ll find the same issue, homosexuality is an offense to God, but so is keeping a slave longer than 7 years and nice suits(wool and linen woven together). It goes on and on. Endless rules and laws we none of us follow or should. I’m not about to stone my neighbor for growing corn next to potatoes, nor would I take my slave’s wife, because, well, slavery is horrible and I think we pretty much all agree on adultery.

I don’t take the Bible as it comes with no interpretation and follow it. I pick and choose, just like every single Christian walking this planet. Today I brushed my teeth, painted a picture, drank a cup of fruit juice, hanging in my husband’s closet is a nice wool blend suit, and I’m planning on making bacon cheeseburgers on Sunday while I clean my house. If you’re keeping count, that’s 7 abominations.

Since I am more of the New Testament kind of Christian, we could move on to Jesus and his thoughts on the matter. Which are….none. Absolutely nothing. A dead end. Of course just because he didn’t say anything doesn’t mean he was ok with it or not, but it wasn’t on his radar. It wasn’t important enough for him to mention in the time he was here, so why do we Christians make such a big deal out of it?

I can say with 100% certainty that homosexuality is wrong…for me. That’s as far as I can go. Humans deserve love, love from God, love from Christ, and love from each other.

 

 

 

 

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