Am I going to hell because I’m bisexual?

Am I going to hell because I’m bisexual? March 2, 2024


(The following is excerpted from the book Ask John: John Shore’s advice column from the Asheville Citizen-Times, 2016-2019.)


Question: I was baptized a fundamentalist Christian. I’m beginning to think that I might be bisexual. John, will I go to hell if I am?

Answer: Finding an answer to this question will inevitably mean answering it for yourself. Ultimately there’s just no other way. People have always contemplated, pontificated and bloviated on the afterlife. But no person, no matter what they believed or how confidently they believed it, has ever died possessing one whit of actual knowledge about what will happens to them next.

The door between this life and whatever follows it is permanently shut, sealed, and painted to blend. So the best anyone can do is thoughtfully reason about what might lie beyond this Vale of Tears, as nobody calls life anymore because who says vale? (It’s oldey timey for valley. I googled it. UPDATE: Google sucks now.)

For what it’s worth, the steps of my own personal reasoning through the question you just asked me would go like this:

1. So. I’m bi. Whoo-hoo! Except, wait. Does that mean I’m going to hell?

2. Would a loving, all-powerful, all-knowing God really will send me to hell? Lord, I hope not.

3. God either loves the fact that I was born bisexual, or he created me just so I could end up being tortured throughout eternity. But no non-psychotic God would do that. Therefore God, whom the Bible tells me made me in his own image, must love me, the same as he does everyone else.

4. Speaking of all humans being made in God’s image, it’s profoundly disrespectful to women to always be referring to God as ‘he’ and ‘him.’ Surely God comprises in equal measure all that is male and female. Until a better pronoun comes along, the one I’ll start using for God is They.

5. Conservative Christians these days regularly assert that God only has a problem with my being bisexual if I fail to resist the “temptation” of physically expressing my homosexual side — of acting, that is, in accordance with the very nature God gave me. But what does that actually mean?

6. Well, that would mean that God wants me to force myself to be celibate, to constantly deny myself the same mutually satisfying physical intimacy that straight Christians cherish as the natural, God-given complement to romantic love. But to deny LGBT people the same freedom They give straight people to physically express their love makes no sense. It’s not fair. And my God is a fair God. So it must be as fine for me to have loving sexual relations as it is for anyone else.

6. Finally, what about the Bible’s apparent condemnation of homosexuality? Well, today millions of Christians believe it is no more intellectually or morally defensible to use the Bible to condemn LGBT people than it ever was to use the Bible to justify slavery, deny women the vote, or commit genocide against Native Americans who were living on land that Christians really, really wanted.

7. Christians’ understanding of the Bible was always meant to evolve. And every time it does, things only improve for everyone. Isn’t the personal and all-merciful Jesus himself a major upgrade from the distant and cruel God of the Old Testament? Oh, for sure.

8. That God would condemn me to hell just because I love whomever I love makes zero rational, moral or Biblical sense. It flies directly in the face of everything Jesus taught.

9. I’m good with being bi. It rocks. On to the next problem.

That’d be me, anyway.

Now you go.

Ask John is available as a paperback and Kindle book.

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