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Friday, February 25, 2005

Dawn on the gay debate

The lady priest with the kitten heels has a few choice words to say about the church's obsession with "same-sex genital acts" today, and I enjoyed reading her well-balanced and obviously well-controlled discourse on the gay debate within the different Christian enclaves.

I agree with her that the emphasis of the Church and its heart and mission ought to be "to feed the hungry, tend the sick, preach the gospel, love one another." I share her view that the tone of much of the debate within the church is off the mark by quite a fair margin and I agree that the issue is one that is very important as well.

I also enjoyed reading the article she referred to in no such thing as a straight bishop which strikes me as a much more sophisticated articulation of something I wrote a while back. (My diatribe is here and the quote I am referring to is further down in the post, but you will have to read the entire piece to find it within its context). In his post, the hopeful amphibian suggests that "it is time for all Christians to cease to refer to themselves as 'straight'" because
in light of the dominant discourse of our culture and the history of the use of that term, carries with it the implication that 'I am normal' (whereas others are not), 'I am sorted' (whereas others are not), 'I have got it right'.

And I'm not, no I'm not, and I haven't.

I am not straight. Nor, I would suggest, is any Christian I know.

My sexuality has a brokenness to it, a part of that going back to childhood, a lot of that discovered or accumulated along the way..
Very powerful and strong words indeed. And, they do ring true. I was trying to express the same ideas when I tried to start a conversation on the concept of illicit sex, but found neither the right words nor the participants to engage in it (except for DJ Chuang, who suggested a better way to frame the question).

I suspect that few Christians ventured to engage me in conversation at the time might be because (apart from the fact that my blog is not well frequented by those who do engage in conversations) most think it is an open-and-shut case, when it most definitely is not.

My point is, rather than think that only gays (and sexual deviants) have it all wrong, that their sexuality is all sinful and broken, we need to look at ourselves and see that all of us are wrong and sexually broken.

If we were to accept, honor and respect each other in spite of such brokenness, we need to extend the same grace to them as well. We need to also stop supposing that sexual sins are the most grievous.

It appears to me that Jesus didn't, and neither did any of the New Testament writers. Instead, it appears that not loving our brothers or sisters, not extending the mercy that we so gladly receive for ourselves to our neighbors, and not recognizing our own sinfulness while condemning that of our fellow creatures, are at least more grievous than sexual sins of any form.