Hop Against Homophobia: It’s Personal

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.

I’m Christian.

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

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42 responses to “Hop Against Homophobia: It’s Personal

  1. I’ll admit to tuning people out the minute they try to use their religion as a basis for discrimination. I live in a very conservative Christian area so it’s pretty normal here. I wish I knew more people that shared your view.

  2. Thanks for the comments Shae – acceptance of people as the person they are is key – and as you say, none of us is perfect

  3. You are right I tend to tune people out that start off with I’m “insert religion here” because thats normally the beginning of the bigotted comment. Yes, there are those out there who are religious and fight for equal rights. Sadly, they are drowned out.

    Thank you for standing up and supporting equality. You are a gem

  4. KimberlyFDR

    I’m a Christian, an ordained minister, and an LGBT writer. Love should always triumph over hate.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

  5. “We aren’t bodies with souls; we’re souls with bodies, and love is between two souls, regardless of the bodies that contain them.”

    Hear, hear, absolutely!

    elingregory at gmail dot com

  6. I totally agree with you. If God is against homosexuality etc, why does it exist. He is the creator of all life so there is a reason for this all.

    Dannyfiredragon at aol.com

  7. I was raised Roman Catholic and for my very religious mom, homosexuality is an illness… I don’t follow any church anymore as I think the Bible, but mostly Jesus’s words have been highly revisited to fit the Church’s need…
    Thanks for sharing! And glad to hear not all Christians are like my mom! 😉

  8. Kim Fielding

    Religion is just used as an excuse for bigotry. I’m not Christian, but I believe that if a person truly loves God, than that person should also accept the people He’s created.

  9. I never could understand how people who say they believe in God can hate so much? Isn’t God all about loving one another no matter what?

    Please enter me in your contest

    yinyang1062 at yahoo dot com

  10. I’m Christian as well…very much closer to the left than the right. Thanks so much for showing that there are more of us out there.

    morris.crissy@gmail.com

  11. Thank you Shae, very interesting post

  12. yup usually tend to tune people out…religion, politics…heck even people talking about reality tv! I did stick it out and read your entire post 🙂 thank you so much for being a part of the hop!!

    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

  13. Tolerant Christianity is the REAL Christianity. Long live the Golden Rule.

  14. Snooks love. :::cheers you on::::

  15. I agree with your post. If you’re gonna condemn homosexuality then you have to add everything to the chopping block. I had sex before marriage, kids out of wedlock, I have lied in my life, stolen shit when I was a no good kid ^_^. You have to include all the things that “god doesn’t like” bloody hypocrites.

  16. Great post. I have a MIL who is very religious. She sent letters to the government here in Canada when they introduced the gay marriage bill. It’s a subject we stay clear of at the dinner table which is a shame because gay marriage and homophobia are issues that should be talked about.
    Thanks for participating,
    *hugs*
    K-lee

  17. Great post, I really hate when people use religion when spouting their hate.
    “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 love this!!
    Thanks for the giveaway and being part of the Hop!

    ineedtoread76 [at] gmail.com

  18. I have to admit talk of religion generally has me tuning out with a quickness. I wish there were more like you willing to be a bit more squeeky and less behind the scenes. Thank you for being a part of the hop, and I look forward to getting to meet you and talk with you in ABQ 🙂

  19. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Thank you for the blog post…I do practice my religion but that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with everything it tells me…I still have my free will and discrimination is wrong!
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

  21. “They’re not just homophobic. They’re flat-out wrong, and on several different levels.” I like that quote as well as ‘souls with bodies’. Like so many other religious issues, we have to remember not to generalize and let someone who I shudder to call Christians, do. Thank you Shae! You are a great person and an aset to the GBLTQ community’s efforts.

  22. That was very well said. And I managed to read it without tuning you out after the first sentence. 🙂 You made so many good points that I wish other Christians would stop and think before spreading the same hate has the right wingers.

  23. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I too am a Christian, and sometimes it feels like “Christians” aren’t the only ones judging by labels, when I get lumped in with people whose beliefs I don’t share and don’t agree with. Thank you for being so very articulate about it.

    ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

  24. Shae, awesome post!! I too am a born-again Christian, and a lover of GLBTQ books, and their authors 🙂 I have been taught to hate & shun those who are gay, lesbian, queer, Catholic, atheist, but thank goodness I did NOT listen, and always questioned why growing up. Which lead to dissention in my family, eventual disowning at age 16 because I was different (anorexic, suicidal by that time) and love was NOT shown. It took being out on my own at that age, around my first gay man for several months, being accepted & loved for who I was/am, to realize what love and acceptance truly is, and who God truly is. HE IS LOVE, and all this homophobic, hate-welding people grieves Him. I know it does!! I am about LOVE, about acceptance, about peace, and joy, and i’m so happy to know that you write what you love, and believe in the ONE who made LOVE, true love possible! For everyone regardless of who they love, what they look like, or what/who they believe—LOVE is their God-given right 🙂

    HUGS HUGS HUGS

    Tame

    tameadams@yahoo.com

  25. Reblogged this on T&J and commented:
    READ THIS—whether or not you read m/m books. This hit home—it’s personal!

  26. I wish there were more like you. Here in the “bible belt” I mostly see the wild-eyed idiots and have distanced myself from organized religion, many of my family members included. I will not participate in an organization that preaches the crap that is spewed from their pulpits.

  27. Well said! Thank you being a part of this hop and sharing who you are and what you believe. We need more folks like you.
    🙂
    Bella
    http://www.bellaleonebooks.com
    bellaleone4 at gmail dot com

  28. I loved your post. I too am a Christian and feel the same way!! I am a huge supporter of equality for all. I hope one day that hops like this one will not be needed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    forettarose@yahoo.com

  29. I’m not big on religion, but it was a great post.

    contact at mchoule dot com

  30. I’m a catholic (non practising) and I think the pollies and the church should just but the hell out when it comes to love.

    normanielsen@bigpond.com

  31. You have a point as soon as I hear someone say they are christian I lose interest. I grew up in a christian family and have heard my mother disapprove of things that you shouldn’t consider disapproving of and I don’t trust religion. Reading your post makes me realize I should try not to tune people out just because they say they are christian. Like everything not all christians are the same.

    burchills AT gmail DOT com

  32. “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.”

    You make one excellent point!

    Groups of bigots use God’s name as an excuse for their hatred. It’s wrong, and they’re ruining the image of tolerance and “love for mankind” for the rest of the Christians. I’ll admit that when I see a Christian and GLBTQ in the same sentence I almost always put on my safety helmet. It’s weird, because I’m Christian myself! Granted, not a very devoted Christian – I’ve never read the Bible (made an honest attempt as a teen, but gave up after a few pages) and I don’t attend church except for funerals and such. But I do believe in God, and as a Lutheran I don’t have to attend Church every Sunday, I can worship him in the safety of my own home.

    Thank you for pointing out something I need to fix in myself! I need to stop seeing religious people as anti-GLBTQ rights people, because there are so many religious people who are GLBTQ supportive (like almost every church and priest in Iceland). Not that I actually believed that every religious person was anti-GLBTQ, I just tend to think “Oh, he’s anti-GLBTQ? He must be religious”. So, yeah, need to fix that way of thinking. See? Your post made a huge impact on me, thank you ^.^

  33. I cannot remember where I heard it or the exact quote but Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said something to the effect of “homosexuality is nor more a choice than heterosexuality.” “I do not believe God would say why are you black, you should be white or why are you gay you should be straight”.

    Not all Christians are shameful bigots as the radical right would lead us to believe same as all straight people are not homophobic. It is important to keep speaking out to remind people of that fact.

    This Hop is proving people of all backgrounds, countries, ethnicities and orientation can come together to fight against oppression of the worst kind.

    I am humbly proud and thankful to have been included in this event.

  34. While not Christian myself, it is so good to see one who is speaking up as you have. So many who call themselves Christian are just spreading hate like the disease it is. Eventually, the sane voices of people like you WILL be heard.

    lina7391(at)hotmail(dot)com

  35. Thanks so much for the post, I have family members that say things because of religion, which makes me angry! Thanks for the giveaway!
    OceanAkers@aol.com

  36. I will have a roomie at GRL who is a minister, but also writes reviews for a book blog and has started reading MM – she too started off by defending herself. She is a wonderful person, I feel bad that she felt she needed to defend herself, but I also understand, my defense is usually the fact that I’m in my 40’s, single and do not own real estate (I know, when will I grow up and am I one of “those” people?!? – enter sarcastic snort here!)

    How sad is that because of a few bad apples, an entire group get labelled – whether said group is Christian, Homosexual, whatever the label!

    There people who choose to be open, and those that choose not to be, my opinion anyway!

    diall@shaw.ca

  37. StormyMonday

    Thank you for your very thoughtful post! I admit I also get wary when somebody starts in with his or her religion because often it is the beginning of a lecture on what is wrong in the world and what used to be much better in earlier times. If there is a god, he will love all people no matter what gender, sexual orientation or race they are. Unfortenately for religious people everywhere it’s the fanatics that draw the most attention 😦 It’s good to hear people like you speak up! In a way, you also are discriminated by putting all Christians in the same box with those leftovers from the Dark Ages.

    stormymonday (at) gmx (dot) net

  38. When people cite that verse from Leviticus, I urge them to read the whole book. By the time they reach that passage, I’m sure they’ll discover that they’ve committed quite a few abominations themselves, and possbily one or two stoning offences. The meaning of “Christian” is “follower of Christ” or “Christlike” but I see no evidence of his love and acceptance in many who slap that label on themselves and use his name to promote their own hateful agendas. I recently saw a sign outside a church that said, “God prefers kind athiests to hateful Christians.” Makes you think, doesn’t it?

    Wonderful post.

  39. I have enjoyed the blog hop and hearing what everyone has to say. Thank you.

    peggy1984 (at) live (dot) com

  40. Thanks for participating in this hop. I’m enjoying all the great blog posts.

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

  41. How did I miss this one?
    I’m not a Christian, but I grew up in a Christian country, so I look a this from a distance.
    I wish the “moderate” Christians were more vocal, because they don’t pull enough weight in the whole debate, although I’m sure there are a lot more Christians like you out there than there are right wing Christians.
    Thanks for posting this!