Yesterday a reader wrote me this: “Gay, schmay. John, you know I adore you—so please take this in the spirit it was intended but … ENOUGH about gays already! There are other things to tackle, and we need your focus there.”
And that’s why I’ve decided to start bringing attention to a problem in today’s church that has certainly caused me extended, immense, and numbing pain: Why (oh, why?) do so many of our American church pews today still lack cushions? We need cushions!
Won’t you help to literally save a Christian’s butt? Give generously today. Christ told us to turn the other cheek. But many of us can’t, because our entire rear-end has fallen asleep. Enough. Let us, hand in hand, take a stand now, so that later, after the service, we can stand at all.
Oh, speaking of having some fun at the expense of Christian butts, I did want to say one more thing on the gay/Christians issue: When, as I did in yesterday’s Was I Rude to the Author of “A Christlike Response to Homosexuality”? Hell, Yes, I write things like, “Homosexuality is no more like every other sin than a seahorse is like Seabiscuit,” it of course invites the question of whether or not I’m a literary genius. But beyond that, it suggests that perhaps I personally do, in fact, hold homosexuality to be a sin—since, clearly, I’ve left it in the category of sin.
So I wanted to take a moment to be clear about why, when engaging Christians about this manner, I often place its entire dynamic within that particular context.
If you say to a Christian, “Homosexuality isn’t a sin,” as a refutation he or she can simply point to their Bible. And, just like that, the conversation will be over. (Oh, sure, you can retort to their Bible-pointing by saying, “Do a little homework, dim bulb! Study a little, why don’t you? Do you really think God dictated the Bible in American English, you insufferable drooling troglodyte?” But what I’ve found to be true is this primarily results in a Starbucks employee requesting that you leave.)
You can’t just say to a Christian that homosexuality isn’t a sin, because they’ll just shut down on you.
So I keep the conversation within the idea that homosexuality is a sin. I let them have that.
Here’s the thing, now: Christians are no longer arguing that people aren’t born gay—the “it’s a choice” train finally ground to a stop. Now only truly recalcitrant Christians still cling to the cruel absurdity that if a homosexual will only be Christian enough, Jesus will turn them straight. Having abandoned that tack, what today’s more “compassionate” Christian claims is that homosexuality is a sin that must be resisted. Just as the alcoholic should not drink, the gambler should not gamble, and the adulterer should not keep a pack of condoms in his glove compartment, so the homosexual should not be physically intimate with a person of their own gonadal persuasion.Okay? So what that’s necessarily saying is that gays should spend their lives alone. The (typical) Christian prescription for homosexuality is a life not only unmarried, but without any of the loving physical intimacy that all other humans cherish and take for granted as absolutely foundational to a happy, healthy life.
All I ask (as I really, really did in How Is Being Gay Like Gluing Wings on a Pig?,) is that the Christian who cleaves to the idea that homosexuality is a sinful proclivity to be resisted be honest about what that actually means in the life of the gay person. If, as Christians today most commonly do, you assert that being gay is a sin that needs to be resisted, then what you are saying is that a gay man or lesbian woman should live his or her life alone. That’s what resisting being gay means. It can’t mean anything but that.
Just once—once!—I wish I could hear a Christian admit that simple, simple thing.
And I fear I’ll be waiting for that admission until the day I die. Christians refuse to acknowledge the obvious truth of their own assertion about gays. Why? Because they know that taking that next logically necessary step—claiming that they do, in fact, want the homosexuals to live with platonic love being the only kind of love he or she ever experiences—means stepping right off the cliff of God’s love. They know that it will mean putting themselves squarely in the position of blocking from another the full love of God that Christ himself so adamantly proclaimed to be the birthright of all.
They know that “Jesus loves you! I love you! Now go live without love!” is, at best, nonsense.
So, inevitably, they stop short of acknowledging the most obvious practical ramification of their own moral injunction. Instead, they hurl their Bible at you—and then run, hide, dissemble, vacillate, deny, cry, accuse, cross their arms and stamp their feet and hold their breath. They do anything but explicitly admit what they’ve already implicitly demanded.
They act, in a word, crazy. And they must. That’s your only choice when, in the final analysis, you’ve chosen your own fear over God’s full love.
Do me a favor: pass this post along to anyone and everyone. The sooner we put to rest the whole gay “issue,” the sooner we can, in fact, turn our attention to the kinds of concerns and work which are the rightful domain of all compassionate people.
And “like” my Facebook page. Thanks.