Tuesday, February 12, 2013

You keep using that word...I don't think it means what you think it means

Tonight my Facebook page is full of posts about an attempt to have a straight only Prom is Sullivan, IN.  One of those articles can be found here:

It recalls to mind a recent conversation I have had with a person who wanted to lay out for me their understanding of Scripture as to why homosexuality is wrong, a sin against God, and a threat to our peaceful loving society.  Well, let's be honest- this person wanted me to validate and agree with their views.  I did not, but this post is not about that conversation.  Its about an apparent lack of understanding between the gay community and the opponents of such a lifestyle.  From my limited encounters with both groups of people, I have become convinced that certain concepts around the gay life are not properly understood.

The example?  Sexuality- in my conversation with most opponents to a gay lifestyle the basis for much of their understanding revolves around the concept of human sexuality- gay couples can not produce children naturally, homosexual activity is forbidden in Scripture, the act of homosexual intercourse is wrong, immoral, dirty, etc...  This leads me to believe that the focus of these anti-gay organizations seems to be solely on the idea of gay sexual relations (its also interesting for me to note that in most cases this stance against gay sex focuses only on sodomy). 

I will admit to having a limited exposure to gay men and women and we need to understand that I can only speak in relation to those openly gay people with whom I have conversed, but in most conversations I have had with openly gay men and women the issue of sexuality rarely arises, or only arises in a limited capacity after something much more important happens- a relationship.  In EVERY conversation I have had with an openly gay person their regret/desire/hope is for a meaningful intimate relationship with another human being.  These conversations are not about sexual pleasure, they are about the desire to be loved, accepted, and supported by a person and having the chance to do the same for that person.  Gay people speak of an emptiness in their life when they are denied love and a great longing for a deep impactful relationship with other human beings.  This is not to say that one night stands take place in the homosexual community- this is also true for heterosexual activity as well.

This leads me to conclude that homosexuals are really not all that different from heterosexuals in their desire for such a meaningful loving relationship.  And this helps me understand why gay people sometimes get so confused at the vitriol directed their way- its not about sexual immorality- its about a desire for a relationship- something heterosexual people also crave.  Why is it wrong to desire this?  Dr. James McGrath deals with this in a recent blog where he points out in Genesis God's comment that it is wrong for man to be alone. 

Now, I am not so naive to believe that there is not a sexual component to a homosexual relationship, but this is also true for heterosexual relationships as well.  But how much time is spent engaging actively in sex in any relationship?  We spend so much more time just sleeping!  And if we are going to object about unnatural homosexual relationships that are less than 1% of a couples relationship, then should we not also object to all of the unnatural heterosexual sexual activities that also comprise 1% of their time (or less).  I don't accept the belief that human sexual activity should only be for procreation.  It is a gift from God given to human beings involved in a loving relationship. 

In fact I find the opposite happening in my conversations, leading me to believe that extreme opponents to gay men and women are focused in a very unhealthy percentage upon the act of sex- be it gay or straight, and that there is much more going on in these conversations that appear to be more about these individuals sexual understanding of self than their understanding of the gay community.  Maybe Freud did touch a nerve...

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