A Facebook friend wanted help with a conversation she was have with another person. Below are 11 questions or statements made by the other person in the conversation. Each one is followed by my response, or how I would have responded if I had been part of the conversation. I suspect this is one of those blogs that may include some additional questions and comments.
1) based on the Bible homosexuality is a sin
Actually, based on the interpretation by some religious people of six verses in the Bible (three Old Testament–two of which are the same rule written in two different places–and three New Testament) taken out of context and put into a very different context, engaging in same sex sexual behavior is a sin. NOTE: Behavior is very different from being.
2) the government is forcing Christians to support homosexuality
Actually, the government cannot force Christians to support homosexuality. The government must however enforce the constitution which grants all people religious freedom. The constitution also says that no law can be instituted that gives preference to one group of people (including Christians) over another group of people (including homosexuals). The Christians who do support the rights of homosexual people (and thus could be said to support homosexuality) do so voluntarily and without malice because they believe in the constitution which guarantees equal treatment under the law for all. The United States of American is not a theocracy.
3) radicals on LGBT side will use these laws to shut down more Christian owned businesses
No businesses have been shut down by radicals on the LGBT side. Some businesses may have been boycotted in the same way that conservative Christian groups have called for boycotts against businesses they deem to be on the wrong side of their religious points of view. Some, although I don’t know of any, may have faced law suits due to anti-constitutional business practices. But, no new laws have been written to force Christian owned businesses to shut down. Suggesting such is hyperbole and fear mongering.
4) for some their sin struggle is homosexuality
See number 1 above. Homosexuality cannot be a person’s “sin struggle” if homosexuality is not a sin. This comment is stuck on the notion that one’s sexual preference is a choice. It is not. I cannot change whether I have blue or brown eyes or am five feet two or six feet two. No one would expect me to try. In the same way, I cannot change whether I am left or right handed even though for years people who presented left handed were forced to switch to their right hands in spite of the fact that it took its toll on their ability to learn, their penmanship, and their coordination. One’s sexual orientation is no different.
5) Aids epidemic among homosexual men
The aids epidemic is for the most part due to irresponsible sexual practice and affects all groups. Yes, homosexual men have suffered from the epidemic the most. But let’s dig a little into some of the contributing factors as to why many in the LGBT community engage in sex with multiple partners. I suspect one possible reason may have to do with the fact that many feel they cannot live openly as members of the LGBT community for fear of being discriminated against, threatened, and even physically harmed. Fear and constantly feeling the need to hide takes its toll on long term relationships. Until fairly recently marriage was not even an option. Even now only 19 states allow same sex marriage. Thus society contributes to a less monogamous lifestyle.
6) if it was OK then why can’t homosexuals procreate?
Actually, homosexuals can procreate just not with each other. Honestly, we don’t really want to pursue all the implications of this question. We would never, for example, tell a heterosexual couple unable to conceive that their marriage is less valid or worse–wrong in the sight of God.
7) she quoted 2 Timothy 4
Here we have another passage of scripture taken out of context and applied to an entirely different context. The Biblical gist of this text is that we should be prepared to tell others about Christ, that we will enter a time where it will no longer be popular to talk about the life of Christ and we will be tempted (our ears will be tickled) to emphasize something other than the Gospel, specifically we will be tempted to talk about myths. So, a quick look at the definition of myth reveals that it is 1). a traditional story especially concerning the early history of a people, or 2). a widely held but false belief or idea. I do believe quoting 2 Timothy 4 backfires.
8) when LGBT have their rights, other rights are violated. For example, the christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple received hate mail, threats, etc.
I am saddened that anyone would receive hate mail or threats for any reason. But it is once again fear mongering to suggest that giving one group of people equal rights under the law takes away the rights of anyone else. We do not have a right to discriminate. Period. A Jewish baker serving the public does not have the right to refuse service to a Christian customer who comes into the bakery to buy bagels simply because the Christian customer does not have the same faith as the Jewish baker. Sending hate mail and making threats are not rights. At the same time, being told you engage in discriminatory practices in a letter is not the same as receiving hate mail.
9) a person should be able to live out their religious conviction in a respectful way without fear of being judged, sued, fired, condemned, isolated
Really? Because more people in the LGBT community have been judged, fired, condemned, and isolated simply because of the person they chose to love than anyone simply trying “to live out his or her religious convictions.” The type of discriminatory behavior that you describe is directed toward the LGBT community on a regular basis. And, in this country the primary perpetrators of such discrimination are Christians.
10) religious freedom is being lost in this country
I guess I need to have this statement clarified because I simply don’t see any evidence that this is true, especially if the religious freedoms you are most concerned with are Christian. Our places of worship have not been vandalized simply because they are places of worship. We have not had to turn our membership rosters into governmental authorities. Nobody to my knowledge has been beaten or tortured or murdered because they profess Christ. We’re free to attend our fellowships at any time of the day or night. The government hasn’t picked one single type of faith or denomination and forced everyone to follow it. Nor has the government banned any single expression of faith.
11) if marriage can happen between same genders, why not animals, statues, or other off the wall things you love?
I promised myself when I started this post that I would take every statement and question seriously but frankly this type of question gets my goat. The gentle answer is simple. Marriage can not happen between humans and animals, statues, or any other off the wall thing someone loves because animals, statues, and every other off the wall thing cannot give its mutual and uncoerced consent. Period. Now quit being intentionally provocative. Baiting someone to anger has no place in a serious discussion.