- Posted March 27, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Same-sex marriage hearings: Your thoughts
Opposite Sex: Open Letter to All People
When I was in the sixth grade I thought that I was gay
'Cause I could play, my teammates were, and I didn’t keep my room straight
Never told my mom, couldn’t imagine what she would say
She’d probably stop buying me Sean John and all the new Js
But I was trippin
Decided not to let it get to that point
was just a bunch of stereotypes all in my head.
-my adaptation of “Same Love”
Last year, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis released a song and video called “Same Love” featuring Mary Lambert. Somehow, I just discovered it; but, what I’m not late on are all the arguments surrounding same-sex marriage. From where I stand, all I see are two sides presented in the media: pro and anti. A voice of tolerance and a voice of hate. A group wanting people to be happy, and the opposition wanting to deny them of that inalienable right. It’s the same positioning we see on the issue of abortion. Women should have freedom over their own bodies versus women shouldn’t. No wonder heterosexual celebrities and ordinary straight people are waving their gay pride flags and fighting for women’s rights! That’s also why the gay struggle has been linked to the black struggle, because it is positioned as though opposition to gay marriage is a denial of human rights.
If you’re gay, be gay! Or God hates gays, so get cured! Those are the only options. Yet, what I don’t think is being given a voice is the side of those who love gay people (and any other group of people), believe in human rights, but also ascribe to a Christian faith that has transformed their own thinking and being.
I grew up a tomboy, never played with Barbie dolls (except for an MC Hammer figure), played outside with boys, wore boys’ clothes, played basketball (which has been called the lesbian sport), and didn’t like doing girly things. In 6th grade, when I wondered was I gay, why didn’t I decide, yes? If it was something I could have decided, does that mean I never was? Is it because I grew up in church and heard being gay was a sin? Or did I decide that I would be who I believe God created me to be despite any of my own thoughts or dispositions? What about my best friends who were once gay, but aren’t anymore? Was that a choice?
I remember at some point even seeing my favorite female athlete confess that she was homosexual and encouraging others to embrace their real sexuality too. But what if I was just confused? What if I didn’t think my mom loved me as much as she loved my sister growing up, so I clung to my father and took on his ways? Or maybe when I was in the womb, my mother thought I would be a boy, and so did my father who decided to treat me like a son once I was born. Or maybe because none of the little boys flirted with me like they did other little girls, so I thought I wasn’t meant to like them. Or maybe because I’d never had a close female friend, I developed an unhealthy affinity for the same sex.
Who is telling people to ask themselves deeper questions? To examine deeper than just what they feel. To go to counseling, not to be cured, but to search out how they arrived at their current disposition.
I know, people will say no one encourages heterosexuals to go to therapy for having their feelings for the opposite sex. Well, in part. Many heterosexuals can be hypersexual, and they too should do some soul searching. But here’s where I want to explain why Christians might propose that homosexuals, and all people, consider what our faith says. Our faith tells us that as it currently stands, this world and all the people and things in it are a deviation from the Creator of the universe’s original intent. Whatever good there is remaining is only by the grace of God. But at the core, everything went wrong at some point early on, and we have yet to fully recover and won’t until the Creator redeems all humanity. That’s what our faith says, but we can all actually see that this world is not filled with good. Any news outlet is proof. We also believe that one of the things that got twisted in our world was the Creator’s original intention for sexuality. Sure, He knitted us together in our mother’s womb, but due to our fallen humanity, exiting that womb meant being born with a corrupted nature. That means we could be born with an inclination to be selfish, hateful, prideful, murderous, adulterous, and yes, homosexual. You could be born gay, and it not be okay.
Pairing homosexuality with hate, adultery, and incest (an example of sexual immorality) seems like hate in and of itself. But it’s not. It’s saying that we know the first person born by way of intercourse came by way of sex between a man and a woman. We know God said, “A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” That established the norm. We also believe that God created those two individuals without selfish motives, hate, pride, or murder in their hearts. God established a norm and standard for what humans should be. Neither were man-ascribed definitions like deeming black people less human. So it’s not the same, and it’s not hate. It’s saying we believe God created the world and people a certain way and everything got twisted. And that which deviates from God’s norm or standard is wrong.
What I think Christians can do better at is acknowledging how difficult it must be for someone to love and be attracted to the same sex when people will tell them that they weren’t created to do that and therefore, they will be condemned. I don’t think we understand the depths of these feelings and what comes natural. They don’t decide to feel what is natural. No one does. Aside from that, our Savior works on us from the inside out, so why are we trying to work in reverse? Our Savior abandoned His Holy seat to be amongst all that was unholy and loved us into redemption.
On the other hand, how far can our world go to defend feelings and what makes people happy? Will we defend adulterers? Will we defend rapists? Of course not. Are gay people cheaters and rapists? No. But are gay people, straight people and all people on Earth born with a nature that is far from God’s intent? Yes.
Yes, the Bible does condemn homosexuality along with a bunch of other practices outside of what He called good in the beginning. There is no escaping that. Every Christian you see today should be hanging on a cross. But this idea of hate and denying people happiness is not the full picture. Saying that I’m pro-life does not mean I don’t know women are in tough spots and have tough choices to make, but it does mean that I believe God has a plan for every child in every womb, and it’s up to Him to decide whether that plan should see the light of day. Saying that I believe in the sanctity of marriage doesn’t mean I want to oppress gay people, but it does mean that I agree with the norms established by the Creator of marriage, and I think popular culture is working to erase any trace of God’s original plans for mankind, which is dangerous for all of us. I want everyone to have a picture of true happiness which is found only in Christ.
This is why, as a Christian, I cannot be in favor of gay marriage, because I am not in favor of anything that our Creator will condemn. It’s why Christians fought against and pray for the repeal of abortion, because it is the taking of a life and we know those who have done so will have to give an account. Perhaps we are reaching in some ways for trying to legalize morality on the basis of our faith, but as seen by the epidemic number of abortions, what is legal becomes what is right. And we don’t want confusion regarding that. We don’t want more people to believe wrongly about what God deems marriage no more than we want them to believe adultery or divorce (without due cause for separation) or any sin is ok in His eyes. This isn’t an attack on human rights or gay people. Christians have wanted to keep prayer in schools and vulgarity off the airwaves to promote a more godly perspective of life. We’re trying to do what is right. At least we believe we are. We want to show the full picture of Christianity in our lives and perhaps through the use of legislation.
That full picture is my mother (the same woman who cared for my gay uncle as he died of AIDS) buying me all the boy clothes and shoes I wanted for years to make me happy and show that she loved me, while praying God and His word would guide me to discover His plans for me as a woman and stepping in to "impose" her beliefs about that when necessary.
The full picture is that a Christian believes that through the blood that Jesus shed on the cross, we can be changed. Our thoughts can be changed. Our sexuality can be changed. Our soul can be changed. And our world can be changed. We are not perfect by any means, but we have surrendered to someone who is, and we let Him decide who we really are to become. And we are grateful that, yes Macklemore, our God (who is Love) is patient and He is kind.
And I think everyone should know that option is available to them too, just as it was for me.
To be sure, this letter is less about legislation and more about love. I want people to know that while society presents two sides to this story, the Author of the greatest story of redemption has something to offer those who might not think there is another alternative. There is.