Who am I?Where am I?

26 November 2008

One Christian Minister's View on Gay Marriage and Prop 8

Subject: Re: Fw: Be Scared California Be VERY SCARED

I don't believe for one minute that the disasters in California are the result of God being angry at the homosexual marriages or punishing the people of California for the decision of "four activist judges." That is just plain crazy. In a similar vein neither do I agree with the words of Jerry Farwell that 9-11 was because of our nation allowing homosexuality, etc. And because I see the thread of the religious right running through both Jerry Farwell's statement and the e-mail in question I find myself reacting in opposition to the sentiment and intent and logic of such a campaign. (I believe 9-11 to be more the result of a hegemonic US foreign policy but that is another subject.) The logic of the e-mail supposedly quoting our early founding fathers does not accurately quote them. The truths that were self evident were "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." I haven't read everything that they wrote but I am pretty sure that the issue of homosexuality was not in their thoughts as a truth that was "self evident." The founding fathers were secular men and morality was not what they were trying to define in our early national documents.

I don't really know how God is going to judge homosexuality in the end. I personally don't know whether homosexuality is part of heredity and acquired at birth or if it is produced by a social programming in a dysfunctional family. I have had male homosexual church members who believed that they were somehow different at the time of their first memories. In one church, I had four homosexual men who didn't know that there were three others with the same sexual orientation within the church. I never told them. But I did have opportunity to talk with them at length and after mulling over those conversations I was able to talk with some of the best minds within my denomination at that time regarding the issues surrounding homosexuality. Just suppose for the sake of argument that a homosexual became a homosexual because of some genetic mix-up at conception. If that were the case then do you believe that God would condemn that person forever?

I have to look at homosexuality two ways. First, as a pastor my church left me no option. Practicing homosexuals could not hold church office. However I could use them to play the piano and do various other ministries on a low key basis and if they wanted to participate in church activities I welcomed them.
But secondly, as an American, homosexuals have an equal right to pursue happiness as they define it. And our constitution is founded on the Declaration of Independence which defined those rights as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Contrary to the common beliefs, America was not founded as a Christian nation and therefore the whole Christian right idea of somehow defining morality in a Christian or for that matter even in a religious way is a violation of the Constitution. Many Christians don't believe this to be true but if you read the Federalist papers and read some of the early founding documents you will find this to be true. It is the basis of our Religious Liberty work within the church. Our constitution is founded upon "rights." Congress shall make no laws concerning the establishment of religion. We have a right to bear arms, a right to free speech, a right to have a free press. And while I might disagree with my whole heart with the NRA or what someone might write in a ragtag newspaper he/she would still have the right to put into print whatever he wanted to say and our laws would be obliged to protect him. We have had a women's rights law when suffrage was allowed and women got a vote, we have voted a civil rights law, and Roe vs. Wade was an attempt to provide women with reproductive rights. That is why I don't believe that Roe Vs Wade will be overturned nor should it be. So the question might be raised about those four so called "activist judges" in California. Could they be closer to the intent of the US constitution than all of the citizens who voted for Proposition 8? I believe that it is entirely plausible for our country to have a gay rights law and it might be that Proposition 8 will bring it on faster. Our politics should stay out of the bedroom. Now, do I personally believe in abortion. No! Do I personally want to practice homosexuality. No! If there are legal things I can do to limit the number of abortions then I am bound as a Christian to do that. I believe that our society should help an unwed mother figure out a way to adopt out an unwanted baby, or perhaps provide enough assistance to that mother so she would see a way to financially support that baby and keep it. But I don't believe that I have a right to tell that mother that she must carry that baby to full term and deliver it. I do not believe that our society has a right to force a woman into a back alley abortion clinic where she has a good chance to lose her life after a botched abortion either. Once, at my hospital, we had a twelve year old patient who carried a baby to full term. I believe that it would have been far better for that baby to have been aborted than to have put that child through the delivery.

If there are ways to help a homosexual person to not practice homosexuality if he/she wants that then I think that we should try to help. We have had a couple of Christian organizations who have tried to do that with limited success. Essentially the church's stand is to say that a young person with a homosexual orientation must remain celibate all of of their life. That might work for a few but for the most part they cannot live a celibate lifestyle anymore than many heterosexuals can live a celibate lifestyle. I once had a male church member who after being trapped in a male body for 22 years went to New Orleans and had a sex change operation. Allen became Allison. A few years later she married and as far as I know she is still happily married. My stand with the church at that time is that we should just leave the judging to God on issues like that and perhaps that was the best choice for Allen. I wasn't consulted before the operation but after the operation I tried to do the thing that would have been the most redemptive for her. It wasn't easy to support Allen's father who had a series of heart attacks related to the stress following Allen's surgery and it wasn't easy to be the pastor of a condemning church but I would still do things the same way if I had the same situation today. While that had nothing to do with homosexuality the issue seems similar in that if I don't know something about a situation I would rather err on the side of being pastoral.

What I am saying is that a Christian cannot use a cookie cutter kind of ethics. In a philosophical debate perhaps you can debate against homosexuality or abortion but in real life it is much harder to debate. And from a theological standpoint I believe it is even more difficult because of the statement in scripture which says. "Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you."

Thanks for the opportunity to discuss this. It was a good exercise to rethink it a bit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May i write my Views?

For the bissexual people they did not born like that, they chose to be like that. Its so wrong they does not have any integrity or morality, They just wants sex does not matter if its with the same sex or not. To me its totally wrong. But, i have my doubts about when you born like that and since they are very little you can see they are different, they did not chose to be like that, they born like that, a long time ago i had a gay friend and he cared so much about others, he really helped alot people, he had a heart of gold, he had integrity and character and did for others more than most "normal people" cares for the others and have helped. He was a wonderful son, friend, brother and especially humam being. For a long time he suffered because at the begin he could not accept the way he was born and he really tried to fight with himself but, he did not born like the other men then if he born like that then i think its not able to me to judge him but, just God can do that. I just try to love and value the others by his integrity, character and especially for who he is and what he has inside of his heart. Of course many gays or does not have that kind of integrity and likes to live their lives in the wrong way and doing wrong things but, always has the exception and for those exception i let to God to Judge them has human being who tries to live their life with dignity and honesty. For those exception who finds their true love like every one else i do not know if its right or not they get married. I just hope they can find happiness like we all.