Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Sinful Life

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.


Vivobello said...

Nicely said. I may not agree with everything you said, but that is the beauty of humanity, we can be different and stll accept each other. I appreciate the fact you are willing to go public with your beliefs. You sound like you have a beautiful heart.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

I dont think stealing and swearing are the same as someones sexuality. They just aren't and to think so is to make very light of this subject.

I'm sad for you and I wont be reading your blog anymore.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

I'm sorry you feel that way. I was hoping to make this an open dialogue where people can agree to disagree. I'm not saying I have all the right answers. I'm just sharing what my feelings are on the subject instead of avoiding the pink elephant in the room.

Anonymous said...

Very brave of you to talk about such a hot topic. It is OK to have your opinions - that is what makes this country great. You come from a human place and agree we should all be respectful of others no matter where you stand...although I share some of your views!

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Thanks for your support!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you sharing your views on the subject. However, I strongly disagree. Why should we in any way restrict a loving couple from sharing that love together? With all the problems we're facing in the world today, I think the last thing we should be doing is telling anyone who they can and cannot love, who they can and cannot marry. How does a homosexual couple getting married hurt you? In fact, how does it affect your life at all? It doesn't. It just means that two people who love each other can express that love the same way that you or I, as heterosexuals, can...and it makes them that much happier for it. Let's not put limits on love and happiness.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment above. Gay people should have the right to have a loving relationship, get married, adopt children, and be who they were born to be without facing judgment by society. I thought we believed in equality here in America. Yes, that means equality for EVERYONE, not just equality for certain groups/people you agree with.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Anonymous (comment 7) you're right, it doesn't really affect me really. But I think most people have opinions about things that don't affect them directly, from serious subjects like Darfur to superfluous ones like Octomom.

Regarding Anonymous (comment 8), yes, I agree that they should have equal rights regarding their relationship. I just have an issue with the nomenclature. And actually, not facing judgment was the point of my post.

Thank you both for your input!

KLZ said...

I love you and I think this was a very brave post.

But I think there's more to it than that. Adultery is a sin...but adulterers are still granted the same basic RIGHTS as other humans.

So, I see where you're coming from and I agree with a lot of what you said. It's just hard for me to see so many sins have a blind eye turned to them (not that you have done this, but many people do) while this particular designation is so focused on.

I'm all about "judge not lest ye be judged". It's not my place to decide which sins are worst - and that's something I wish more people would think about.

Because like you said - none of us are perfect. I love that you recognize that but I wish more people did.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

KLZ, I agree. I think it's difficult in this day and age where sins have become so everyday (like swearing), that we don't see them as transgressions anymore. So it does seem odd to say taking the Lord's name in vain and being disrespectful to your parents are sins when that puts them in the same category as adultery and murder. Not that those are even close to being the same degree, but they are all technically in the same grouping of "sins".

Thank you so much for your support and understanding!

Anonymous said...

Homosexuality is not a sin. People are people. I'm still not sure why this is even an issue in our society today. I don't think you would have a blog post dedicated to singling out black people or Hispanic people or disabled people or women, so why have one for gay people? And don't claim that you're not singling them out. The mere fact that you have a blog post dedicated to discussing homosexuality as a sin singles them out. In your comment above, you say that you didn't intend to pass judgment. I'm sorry, but calling homosexuality a sin is passing judgment any way you look at it.

Jennifer said...

Interesting how many "anonymous" comments you have. I just started following your blog and it's because of this post that I will continue to be a reader. I don't agree with everything you had to say. What I appreciate is the way you've shared your opinion and your argument about everyone being a sinner and having their own demons to fight was so articulate. I have always enjoyed dialogue...especially about hot topics and especially with people I don't necessarily agree with. My thinking is stretched, and it's only in talking with people who don't share my opinions that I learn something new. Thanks!

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Thank you so much for your feedback! I completely agree. I knew there would be those who disagreed with me; that's part of why I posted it. I find it interesting to discuss these kinds of topics. It feels like everyone is so worried about being PC, they are afraid to have an opinion. And if you do have an opinion that you share, people assume you can't be openminded enough to talk about other perspectives.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

That last anonymous post got trapped in my spam filter for some reason, so I apologize for not replying sooner.

I would not claim that I am not singling out homosexuals. I am singling them out. I believe that homosexuality is a sin which is why I am singling them out. I would not have a post singling out people of ethnic backgrounds or disabilities or gender because I don't believe any of those attributes are sins.

I think my statement about not passing judgment was confusing. I apologize. Yes, I am judging the act of homosexuality as being a sin, but no, I do not feel it is my place to berate gays and lesbians for making the choices they make. Because I view their choices as a sin, for me to chastise them for it would be hypocritical since I, too, am a sinner. It's up to God to judge our actions, not me.

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