December 14, 2017

In The Gay Old Summertime Revisited

Some of you are asking about my views on homosexuality. I said just about everything I have to say about the topic of homosexuality in the IM essay “In The Gay Old Summertime.”

Though written several years ago when my kids were watching “Queer Eye,” it still expresses my own response to this issue as a Christian. Anyone is free to comment in the comment threads on your reaction and response.

Read: In The Gay Old Summertime.

Comments

  1. saynotoevangelical says:

    you said, “While this reaction can be numbed and abused into submission, I have come to believe that most of those who are truly homosexual in inclination know a kind of wretchedness and self-loathing that is particularly terrible.”

    I hope you understand that is because of people like you, right? The gays that are completely fine with their lives have no need for your counsel. Hence, do you think it’s possible that your sample size is a bit skewed? To make conclusive statements based on the gays *you* have encountered is folly.

    and to say that “most lesbians” do so by choice? What planet do you live on?

    Being gay is rarely a choice. Get over it. Oh, and by the way, sinning is not a list of bad things you do…that is a child-like view of sin. You want a real explanation of sin, go here: http://www.firstunitarianportland.org/sermons/sermons2005/SinWeNeedIt_files/SinWeNeedIt.htm

    Paul and John are not authorities. Read Matthew, mark, luke, and Thomas.

  2. sayno:

    So if I hate myself now….is it your fault?

    Thanks for the word up on John and Paul. Your insight- which was denied to the church for centuries- will prove helpful in editing my Bible down to a more manageable size.

    Unitarians cruising evangelical web sites and straightening us out by telling us to replace Paul with Thomas. A noble mission indeed.

  3. That’s an ad hominem attack, Monk. Address what sayno said: Wouldn’t you admit that your sample is skewed, because only those gay people who hated themselves, or those who felt burdened with guilt by a religious upbringing or environment, would be seeking your counsel?

    Overall, your essay is the most compassionate one I’ve encountered from an evangelical Christian. What baffles me, though, is how so many Christians will not accept or admit that not all Americans believe in God or the Bible, and therefore should not be expected to give weight to arguments based on their religious creeds. American law should protect and promote freedom, and regulating activities between consenting adults doesn’t make much sense.

    And, for the record, I don’t “cruise evangelical web sites.” I only read yours because I knew you once, many, many years ago, and have always respected your intellect and your honesty, even though as an educated adult I can no longer espouse religion of any kind.

    Thanks for listening.

  4. Jeremiah Lawson says:

    Shouldn’t we just skip Matthew, Mark, and Luke altogether and just go for Q, then? It could get published here in the next few years for all we know.

  5. I’m going to say this once and then close comments on this thread if this continues:

    I never imply that I know it all or that I am the epitome of knowledge. What looks ad hominem is simply a response to two pieces of errant logic: that sayso’s assertions aren’t subject to his critique, but mine are, and that the majority view of New testament studies should be cast aside so internet commenters can correct us.

    I have 3 policies about discussions:

    1) If the point of your comment is that I’m an idiot who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, then why can’t that just be said and save us all time?

    2) I am not the point of my posts, and discussing all the damage I am doing with my opinions is simply bloggers investing themselves with importance.

    3) If we share not a single presupposition- not even one- why are we attempting conversation? So we can say “You’re wrong!”?

    I wonder if there are any atheist/gay advocates out there willing to say that they have come to believe that religious types experience self-loathing?

    I freely admit that my statement is unverifiable and a personal opinion. Hence the fact that it’s on my web site in a sentence that says “I have come to believe.” I do not apologize for my beliefs, but I am happy to say that I am often wrong, may be wrong on that assertion and I am not in a position to know every person. Just like an atheist is not in a position to say God absolutely doesn’t exist, unless they’ve looked everywhere 🙂

  6. Sorry to violate discussion policy. When you said “Anyone is free to comment in the comment threads on your reaction and response,” I took you at your word. My misunderstanding.

    Most people, religious or not, experience self-loathing at one time or another. Ironically, it’s what causes us to lash out at one another, in ways often disproportionate to the perceived offense. Like the beggars telling each other where bread can be found that you described, we owe it to each other to try to communicate where we’ve found sustenance; even if, in the end, we come to realize that we share no points of reference.

  7. ed lebert says:

    Wow, I think those are some great thoughts on homosexuality and evangelicals. Very good, Michael.

  8. Anyone can come here and COMMENT. But I am not going to come down here and argue, or supply responses on demand.

  9. SkipChurch says:

    As it happens, I was able to have a conversation with the Bishop of S.W. Virginia shortly after the Gene Robinson business. He described (to a small group of Episcopalian Princeton students + me) what the process was at the ECUSA convocation, or General Assembly, or Heap-Big Bishop Pow-Wow, or whatever they called it. There were heated exchanges, and deep deliberations, and lots of prayer etc. In all seriousness, it was a very interesting description of the process, which was plainly difficult for all of those involved.

    To cut to the chase here, I asked the bishop whether the upshot of the vote to allow Gene Robinson to be installed (?) as bishop was that homosexual practice per se was not a moral failing. And after some thought, he agree that that was the thrust of the decision, or the thinking behind those in favor.

    And I agree with that, because I don’t think that gay sex in and of itself necessarily does harm to either adult, and may do quite a lot of good. Same as with heterosexual sex. We are after all sexual beings, and need and benefit from sexual intimacy. Sex may be a positive, or a negative, in any person’s life without regard to gay or straight.

    One very real harm I do see, is the case where a gay man marries a woman out of a desire to conform to societal norms. I don’t think this is right or fair to the straight partner, especially when (as is typically the case) they are in the dark about their spouse’s homosexuality. So if more tolerance reduces that sort of unfortunate occurance– so common in times past– that would be a good thing.

    As to something being a “sin”; or that marriage should be a reflection of Jesus; those are theological points on which I am unqualified to speak, beyond saying that I don’t take theology to be a branch of knowledge, and therefore have no basis for an opinion one way or the other.

    I must say that with young people today fear and hatred of gays is much diminished compared to my own teen years in the 60s, and surely a reduction of fear and hatred has to be accounted a good thing in spite of the fervent efforts of many to keep the stigma alive.

  10. Would you be willing to read this?
    http://www.reallivepreacher.com/node/633

    And let me know what you think?

  11. I am snowed under now, but could get to it next week perhaps.

  12. Sounds wonderful.

  13. Did you get a chance to read that article?

  14. AMM00: yes, and I’m avoiding responding 🙂

    There’s a lot there that I agree with, but there is a lot there that I can’t agree with, esp in this paragraph.

    >The code of rules and behaviors in Leviticus does not apply to Christians. The book of Acts, specifically chapter 15, makes it clear that Gentile Christians are not required to keep all of the Mosaic laws. No Christian group I know demands full compliance with this ancient code of behavior. If we did we would have to keep kosher laws. We don’t even demand compliance with the sexual laws in Leviticus. If we did, we would allow polygamy, which is lawful in Leviticus. Unless you are prepared to obey all the laws in Leviticus, you cannot blame the homosexual for not feeling bound to obey all of them. To point to these two verses and demand selective compliance is ludicrous

    It seems that this is a diversion. What stands behind Leviticus is the view of sexuality that is foundational to creation: male/female. The real silence is anything remotely resembling an acknowledgement that homo-sex is anything other than a manifestation of the fall, like promiscuous hetero-sex.

    Do you want to obey all of Leviticus is diversionary logic. This isn’t a new covenant issue. It’s an issue of creation and fall. The whole category of “orientation” is an imposition on the text anyway. Texts like Hebrews 13:4 assume that hetero-married-sex is the will of God and is therefore sacred. Making homo-sex sacred by way of orientation is not going to work.

    We’re all sexual sinners. Jesus accepts us, but not all sexual behavior is holy. “Go and sin no more” to a woman who was likely forced to have sex? It was the adultrous behavior.

    I can’t imagine where we get when “orientation” becomes a category. How do we then tell a pedophile he’s wanting unholy sex when he has a consenting 15 year old boy?

    I just don’t see the solution in trying to find a textual way around this. The worldview of the Bible is that homo-sex is unholy, like a hundred forms of hetero sex before, beyond and outside of marriage is unholy. It’s just another manifestation of the fall.

    Sorry that I can’t agree with you.