Vivobello tweeted that she lost a bunch of followers after writing this post about being harassed by strangers who thought she was a lesbian. I decided to take my comment on her blog and turn it into my own post because I really had more to say about it than was appropriate for that space.
I don’t often address this topic because for me, what it all comes down to is this: it’s really not my place to judge. Oh, I'm judgmental. I like to think that I'm not, but then I hear myself say or think things, and I know that I am. What I mean is that when The Day of Judgment arrives, I will not be the one who is doing the judging, so what difference does it make what I think? That said, here’s what I believe.
I believe that homosexuality is a sin. Yep, I said it. The 5 followers I have will now be un-following me (gasp!). Prepare yourself; there's more. I also believe gluttony is a sin. And sloth. (I’m a good 50 lbs overweight.) I believe taking the name of God in vain is a sin. (Oops.) I am not perfect. I commit LOTS of sins. I try not to and wish I didn’t, but it doesn’t matter what I do, I will always be a sinner. It’s only through the blood of Jesus that my sins are washed away. If someone walked up to me and said, "Oh my God, you're fat! You're going to hell, Lardass!", I would be quite shocked. I would be shaken and reply with witty repartee of some sort. Perhaps, "Oh yeah? So are you, you Taker-of-the-Lord's-Name-in-Vain-er, you!" (stick out tongue) Unlikely to happen right? So why do people think it's ok to say that kind of thing to people who are gay or lesbian? I have no idea. Fred Phelps, I'm talking to you.
Because I believe that it's a sin, I do believe it's something that is innate. I believe we are all born with the tendency to commit every sin - each of us just have ones that we find more tempting than others. Some people are just better at hiding their vices. Or are challenged with ones that are considered to be more acceptable for the mainstream. You know, like greed.
I know there are a lot of people who have experimented with same-sex acts. It's practically expected according to some college-experience movies. It's never been an area of interest for me, personally. Does that mean I don't think it's a real temptation? No. I just have my own demons to fight. Am I just better at winning the battles because I appear to be "normal"? No. I lose. A lot. And when I win? It's rarely due to me. It's all God-given strength.
My problem with standing up for gay rights isn’t that I don’t think everyone deserves equal rights, it’s that by bringing a sin into the equation, it skews the issue. If someone were to commit adultery, then want the world to be on their side because they believe humans aren't wired to be monogamous, people would... well, actually, some people probably would support that. I'm not saying homosexuals shouldn't receive the same legal rights with respect to property ownership and hospital visitation that heterosexual couples have. The right to be married, though... For me, marriage is a more complicated matter. I do believe marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman. Marriage is a religious AND civic act. So I also think that there should be some way for gay couples to achieve the social status/legal rights that go along with marriage. I don't have all the answers. I just know that I don't feel comfortable calling it "marriage" if it's not heterosexual. Doing so feels to me like it's condoning the sinful act. Although I suppose that's what we do when we say someone who is greedy is "acquisitive".
I am not homophobic. I have friends who are gay. I L-O-V-E the show "Modern Family" which depicts a gay couple. I find it hypocritical to think it’s ok to be a bigot when one is also a sinner (and we all are). My job is not to tell homosexuals they are going to hell for being gay. My job is to be the best Christian I can be by sharing God’s love and admit that I’m not perfect, and that I, too, need forgiveness for my sins. I kind of suck at that job to be honest. But I want to be better at it.
The struggle is that part of asking for forgiveness is repentance. According to Webster, to repent is "to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life" or "to feel regret or contrition." I think that's a big reason why mainstreamers feel like they are less sinful than homosexuals. If a gay couple decides to get married, clearly there is no repentance involved. The mainstreamers can go to church and ask God to forgive them for skimming a little money from the till, and promise they won't do it again. Because no one else has to know. Then when they do it again, clearly NOT having turned from this sin, they'll ask for forgiveness again. There's no contrition. It's not really legitimate. But they convince themselves they've been forgiven because they asked. And again, no one else has to know. Kind of hard for no one else to know when you and your partner have to go public about your relationship since no one is buying that you're "just roommates". Some sins are easier to hide than others. But God knows your heart, and you can't hide anything from Him.
So the lesson for today, dear readers, isn't tolerance, it's acceptance. Accept that all of us are different. All of us are flawed. And none of us are worthy of heaven of our own accord. "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Focus on fixing your own flaws, not condemning others for theirs.