Wednesday, April 22, 2009

edging closer to a conversation

jonathan merrit suggests that christians need to love their gay neighbors as jesus loved the tax collectors. first, the love – the tough love, for fellow christians:
"Many Christians today live in opposition to the teachings of our Lord. They use harsh language when speaking to, or more commonly, about their gay neighbors.

Sadly, this doesn't just emanate from the "God Hates Fags" crazies, but from everyday Christians in everyday churches. Evangelicals often speak of lesbians and gay men as if they have some sort of medical disease that we experts have diagnosed and can easily cure with a simple, biblical prescription.

Our job is to mirror Christ by loving people in spite of our differences and advocating for our culture's disenfranchised groups. Only then can we effectively share with them the reasons that we believe our beliefs are most compelling."
merrit's suggestion would be a good first step. but the problem with any christian v. anything argument is the assumption that "christian" defines an entire group of people. using christian as a broad, generic label is unfair when there are, quite obviously, many different types of christians. there are even christians who don't believe other christians are actually christian. (on the other hand, there are not gays who think other gays are not gay. there are gays who think some non-gays are gay, but that's another story. and more than likely it's about your husband.)

merrit does suggest, as i have, that conversation is most important. we must talk to our parents, our friends, our co-workers. our pastors, our priests, our rabbis. what is unfortunately inherent in his side of the conversation, though, is his interest in convincing me that his way is the right way. i have no desire to convince him to be a homosexual, or to not be a christian.

ultimately, he would like me to not be gay.

4 comments:

  1. Gay Christians, of course, will be asked to sit and talk to themselves...

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  2. Conversation is most important you say. But conversation is a two way street. If you want to converse about why you aren't going to hell for being gay, is he just supposed to sit there silently if he thinks the opposite? Of course not. People are entitled to thier opinions, even if they are wrong...sorta.

    It is NOT unfortunate that inherent to his side of the conversation is the interest in convincing you that his way is the right way. That's the basis of any argument.

    Two things ARE unfortunate about his position:
    1. He's prepared to act on his beliefs in a way that infringes on your rights, and;
    2. His position inherently precludes any modification or compromise (we're assuming he's not Anglican, for example).

    I look forward to our conversation...

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  3. okay, i'm tempted to just say "you're right" and go to bed.

    but bear with me.

    i think we're talking about a few different conversations.

    one conversation is about why i am or am not going to hell. that's a conversation about religion, and spiritual beliefs.

    one conversation is about my rights, and his faith, and how the two can exist in the same world without anyone getting hurt.

    i do think, however, what is inherently unfortunate is that this conversation about rights often (not always) includes his wanting me to not be gay. that's not up for discussion.

    what is up for discussion, is how his beliefs shouldn't infringe on my rights, and how my rights have nothing to do with his religion. that's what i would hope the discussion would be about.

    having firmly held beliefs of my own, i don't think his position SHOULD inherently preclude any compromise in discussions of rights. mine don't.

    the last conversation, or rather the first, is between sons and fathers, mothers and daughters, a young boy and his teacher. it begins with the words, "i'm gay" and ideally does not involve judgement or scorn, but honesty and openness. that's the conversation i think we, as gay people, need to be having.

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  4. Well put. Now go to bed, it's late and you've had a hard slog through that infernal talent show you insist on watching.

    I will also set this conversation aside so I can watch Rachel Maddow, secure in my belief that for increasingly larger percentages of each generation, this conversation is unneccessary.

    ReplyDelete

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