As someone who regularly engages with the online discussion regarding LGBT+ orientations and christianity, I sometimes wish I had a nickel for every time I hear a version of the following argument: “You cannot be a “gay christian”. If you are in Christ, you are a new creation and can’t identify with something sinful. After all, no one would identify as a christian murderer or a christian rapist either.” There are three comments I’d like to make about this statement:
- Comparing murder or rape or any other crime to homosexuality is a category error, since murder or rape by definition do not involve two consenting adults doing something that doesn’t affect anyone else. This isn’t a statement of belief, but simply intellectually sloppy.
- This “new creation” rhetoric is often used in a harmful manner, something that the second post on this issue will be about.
- Gay christians should be welcomed even more if you believe that same-sex relationships are sinful.
But firstly, I’d like to talk about the TV Series “American Dad” – be aware, this is full of stereotypes, which are meant to be understood in a satirical manner. In the episode “Lincoln Lover”, Stan, a conservative, all-american dad, who works at the CIA, is confronted with the existence of the Log Cabin Republicans, an LGBT group within the party. In the story line, Stan is at first oblivious regarding the true nature of his new friends, but loves their impeccable style and good old conservative values. He soon finds out that his new friends are what he hates the most – gay – and therefore quickly flip-flops and decides to choose to be gay in order to be able to speak for the Log Cabin Republicans at the Republican National Convention. He fails spectacularly at being gay, some funny stuff happens and then the episode ends with him giving an impromptu speech:
We’re wrong about gays. I was wrong… and I taught my boy wrong. It turns out that being gay is not a choice. It’s true. Believe me, I tried, and it didn’t work. The Log Cabin delegates trying to get in tonight didn’t choose to be gay, but they did choose to be Republicans. Even though, as Republicans, we used bashing them as the backbone of our last presidential election, they’re still sticking with us. By God, these people love America as much as they love brunch.
Isn’t this the true punchline?
My catchphrase on this blog is still the same: Fair enough if you believe that being in a same-sex relationship or even having an LGBT orientation is sinful, but are you completely unable to see how much you could learn from a gay sister or brother in Christ? A person who chose Christ not because it was easy, nor because everyone in their family did, but because they truly feel lost in this vast world that can still be so terribly hostile towards any minority?
Can’t you see anything admirable in someone choosing the religion that plays a big part in whatever the so-called “culture war” is, despite them being the very subject of said war?
Doesn’t it baffle you that someone can love Jesus so much, that they enter a house of worship that can come with so many negative and traumatic memories of growing up being ostracised and internalising a wagonload of homophobia?
Is it not amazing that someone can love their sisters and brothers in Christ so much that they are willing to share a pew and serve alongside people that openly campaign to keep it legal for them to lose their job on the basis of something that they did not choose and cannot change?
If some of the messiness that is a big part of this confusing world of ours finds its way into our churches, a true christian will never slam the door in its face.
Are you too blind to even see this?
We can have many discussions about if gay christians are a thing that should theoretically exists, but the truth of the matter is that there are gay people out there and where the rubber meets the road, the fact that so many of them WANT to be christians should fill you with joy, not with anger or denial, especially if you believe that all these people are terribly lost and need Jesus.
After you have managed to look beyond your anger, you might even be able to learn something if you share your house, your church and part of your life with a gay christian.