Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m happy to be participating in the Hop Against Homophobia, and I’m even happier that you’re taking the time to check out my contribution. I’m going to address the serious part of why I’m here first, and then I’ll get to the fun stuff. 🙂
When I started thinking about what I wanted to say in this post, I kept coming back to the same beginning point: Christianity. I’m not trying to start a deep, philosophical discussion. I’m just making a public statement about my personal beliefs.
No, wait, don’t leave! That’s the biggest problem I see: as soon as I mention being Christian, a lot of people tune me out, or don’t believe me. Not that I can blame them, but the truth is that I’m Christian, I write same-sex romance, I support marriage equality, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being gay or with same-sex relationships. And there are a lot more people like me out here than you’d expect.
Yes, I realize it’s the far-right Christians* who get all the press. They’re the ones making all the noise, ignoring every issue on the political spectrum other than homosexuality and abortion. They push laws to ban same-sex marriage, deny civil rights to homosexuals, and rant and rave about how The Evil Gays should be punished and shunned.**
They’re not just homophobic. They’re flat-out wrong, and on several different levels.
Let’s start here: what if they were right, and God did condemn homosexuality? If so, then homosexuality and/or homosexual behaviors would be a sin, but a sin like any other. I’m a big believer that you can’t cherry-pick pieces of the Bible out of context. If you use a passage from Leviticus to condemn homosexuality, then you’d better not be eating pork or wearing a cotton-polyester blend. So, if homosexuality were a sin, then it would be no different from any of the other myriad sins. If homosexuals should be punished and shunned, even killed, then the people who so vocally condemn them would deserve the same.
But as I said, I’m not looking for a deep debate here. This is about me and my beliefs, and I personally do not believe homosexuality or homosexual behaviors are sinful. Sexual orientation is not a choice, it’s not a mistake, and it’s not wrong.
So why don’t you hear more about people like me? It’s hard to be heard over the yelling of the far right, for starters. The squeaky wheels get the press. And the more moderate, progressive Christians have to be very careful what we say and how we say it. We’re already lumped in with the fundamentalists as soon as we open our mouths. Yelling only makes it worse, because then even those who might have been willing to listen turn away.
We do what we can. That usually means working behind the scenes, fighting against unjust laws, fighting for social justice. It means setting a good example, both for other Christians and for non-Christians. It means behaving as much like Christ as we can, which means loving and caring for everyone, not just those who agree with us.
It also means accepting the possibility that we’re wrong, about this or any number of other subjects. None of us is perfect, and none of us has perfect insight. But I don’t believe God condemns love. We aren’t bodies with souls; we’re souls with bodies, and love is between two souls, regardless of the bodies that contain them.*I won’t qualify this label. Above all else, I don’t believe it’s my place to judge the status of another person’s faith. **And how women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, but that’s a different subject.
And now the fun stuff!
In honor of the Hop, I’m offering up the whole kit and kaboodle: one PDF copy of every story I’ve published (full list here). To win, just post a comment below, with your email address so I can contact you if you win. I’ll pick one winner at random from all comments received from now through Sunday, May 20.*** If the winner already owns any of the stories, then I’ll pick another winner for the remaining ones, until all 10 stories are gone.
Good luck, and be sure to check out the other posts over the weekend!***Based on the timestamp of the comment.
Whoops! I neglected to cite the source for a quote I paraphrased in my post: “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” ― C.S. Lewis