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October 23, 2004

Comments

nathan

I'm not sure if I consider myself a traditionalist but I do hold the view that, despite having same-sex attractions, pursuing a sexual relationship or sexual acts with persons of the same sex is not God's best for me.

I would agree with those who said that Kristoff makes his biggest mistake in the first sentence. We have no proof that "God makes homosexuals" at all, any more than we have proof that God makes line dancers, hockey players or individuals with foot fetishes. All of these pursuits and/or conditions develop over years of social/psychological influences, as well as some biological factors. (Also, I object to Kristoff's use of the noun form "homosexuals" as a label).

Leaving Leviticus aside, I don't want to make Paul my lawgiver. However, I think the manner in which he addresses the issue of same-sex sexual acts in Romans 1 shows attention to a larger issue, not just the Jewish legal code in Leviticus. It seems to me, Paul chose to highlight same-sex acts as dramatically symbolic of the loss of direction of humankind. We are SO lost that even one of the most basic profound statements going back to Creation - "Male and female He created them" - becomes confused.

Do same-sex attractions have much to do with gender identity? Some would say no. I say, yes, definitely. This is going on my own experience, and others that I've talked to.

So, do I wear garments made of two different fabrics? Yes, but I see a different value at work here. Let us suppose that this prohibition is related to respecting the created order (leaving aside views about priestly duties). We might also say that the prohibition against eating lobsters has to do with this (a lobster is a sea-going animal with legs, thus appears to contradict the land-sea boundary set up by God). The Ancient Israelites start to seem picky to the point of obsessive-compulsive!

However, the use of the body in sex is, I believe, something much more powerful and more relevant to us living under the new covenant. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. It also relates to the human community.

re: other passages that seem to support same-sex relationships. I have to say that I don't think the case for the roman centurion and his "lover" is very strong. Even if true, it's hardly enough to go on. I tend to put the David and Jonathan thing down to a cultural misunderstanding, modern Anglo-culture men unable to relate to a culture where male physicality does not necessarily mean homo-eroticism, and men could speak of eachother in passionate terms without the implication of being "gay". The same problem comes up with John leaning on Jesus' breast.

First of all, every one of the Bible verses that gay people get hit endlessly over the head with as "evidence" refer, specifically, to men, not women (with the possible exception of Romans 1 - but even Augustine and Irenaeus didn't interpret that as referring to lesbianism). I'm a gay woman and I take exception. In any case, it's pretty clear that the issue is not "homosexuality" per se, but some sort of male-male behavior.

Second, what are gay people supposed to do, in this case? Marry heterosexuals? That doesn't sound like a very good idea - and of course, no heterosexuals ever volunteer for this duty, do they?

Or maybe we're supposed to "change" our orientations? Not much good evidence exists for that being possible. The original founders of Exodus fell in love with each other and left the organization.

I know! Let's insist that all gay people be celibate for life! That sounds like it would be easy and fun - for somebody else, anyway.

Being gay is not about "sexual acts." If it were, gay people would marry heteroseuxally like everybody else and then "sin" by committing these "acts" - and go to confession afterwards and be forgiven. Being gay is about being attracted, emotionally (and thus sexually) to individuals of one's own gender. It's about falling in love and wanting to make a life with someone. If it were just about sex, the "gay rights" movement would never have happened. Who would need it?

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