Friday, October 14, 2005

Some People Just Don't Get It

At the risk of sounding like my world is terrible (as one anonymous commentator believes), I wanted to point everyone to a blog entry that really got me riled up. *Disclaimer*- My world is not terrible, and I am a happy person.

Over at Natalie's blog, I found the number one example of how a lot of times non-gay people just don't get it. She is talking about the sin of homosexuality. It's pretty easy to talk about sins that you don't committ or don't even have to struggle with. A lot harder to talk about the one's in your own life.

Natalie admits that their may be some atonement necessary from the Church towards gay people. But then she slides right into making some claims that I feel the Church needs to ask atonement for.

Among her first thoughts, "Going back to Ben’s original post… I think the point was that the sin is what Christians are against, and the blatant pride surrounding it - NOT the people..."
-So, she says Christians (I guess she incorrectly means all Christians) are against the sin of homosexuality. Fine. But then goes on to talk about the "blatant pride" that surrounds it. I'm kind of lost. Are all gay people full of "blatant pride?" Sounds kind of general to me. It's interesting because in the comments she gets on a commentor for being too general.

She then slips to comparing gay people to cheating husbands and compulsive thiefs. Then in the comments she compares gay folks to the old standbys--idolators, adulterers, murderers, and thieves (again).

She does also admit one of her sins--spending too much money.

The problem with all of these comparisons is that she is describing gay people by their sin. It's seems pretty hard to me that you can love the sinner and hate the sin when you group gay people together as sinners, comparing them to murderers and thieves. She is describing these people by their sins. How do I separate a gay person from the sin if I describe him (or a group of people) only by their sins. Notice she does not call herself a compulsive spender and say she is the same as a murderer.

The second problem is that she assumes to much about being gay. Rather than wondering what it might be like if she was never allowed to fall in love, spend her life with someone, cuddle romatincally, start a family, etc., she immediately writes off gay people as analogous to other sinners.

Come on, a compulsive thief? Is it really the same that someone is dealing with their natural, unchosen attractions and is being told that they can never love someone and then saying that some people have an urge to steal. Even God realized that man was not meant to be alone. At least Natalie could admit that the idea of dealing with unchosen romantic attractions and realizing that love can never be a part of a gay person's life is one of the hardest things a person will ever have to deal with. God said as much in the Bible, and for Natalie to go and compare it with an urge to steal or spend or cheat is way too convenient.

So, that's it in a nutshell. Rather than comparing gays' struggle with their own lives. I.E. what would it be like if I was told I could never fall in love, never hold hands with a crush, never start a family, people all too often right off gays as other sinners, no different from murderers and thieves. It's easier not to challenge your own comfortability in life sometimes. Unfortunately, it leads to a lot less understanding.


At 14/10/05 1:49 PM, Blogger thinking girl said...

being gay, lesbian or bisexual is not sinful any more than being black or white or hispanic is. the separation between sin and sinner is so extremely difficult when you talk about homosexuality and bisexuality, because it is not a conscious choice to be homosexual/bisexual, like it is a conscious choice to be a murderer or a thief. I for one am sick to death of christians' oppressive attitudes toward homosexuals and bisexuals. the idea that one should have to suppress his/her natural sexuality is not only absurd, it is impossible. Besides, heterosexual relationships are certainly not without problems and oppression, either, so who are straight christians to judge homosexuals/bisexuals?

It is my opinion that gay, lesbian and bisexual rights is the civil rights movement of our century: the oppression is based on something just as involuntary as skin colour. People are people, whether they are black or white, gay or straight, and it is time that we all accept everyone as they are and see everyone with an equal amount of humanity and respect.

At 14/10/05 3:07 PM, Blogger grace said...

I am VERY sympathetic to you on the whole "romantic love relationship" aspect of your (what i call) struggle. And, oddly enough, you know, none of that is specifically about SEX, is it? I'm not commenting because I have anything to say except I do understand where you are coming from with this post. That's all.
:) love ya!

At 14/10/05 3:10 PM, Blogger grace said...

Oh...and one more thing I will say...I think it is an excuse to say it's the "pride" associated with homosexuality that makes Christians act the way they do. There's no excuse for the way "Christians" behave (most, not ALL) concerning homosexuality. The burden of change in that regard remains with the Christians....I remain firm in that stance. :)

At 14/10/05 3:29 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Hi thinking girl- thanks for the comment!

Hey Grace! Thanks to you too. You know, in my conversations with you (brief as they are) and in reading your blog, I figured you probably saw where I was coming from. It definitely shows in your comments. While we disagree, it is very apparent that this is an issue you have thought about and you have geniunely tried to empathize with gays, and I appreciate it for sure. There's a difference between disagreeing after really digesting and understanding an issue and disagreeing without trying to understand (so to speak).

You're right, too. It's not about sex for me, it's about a lot more than that. It's one of the biggest things I had to deal with when I started to realize I was gay.

Oh, and I hope I wasn't being too general in my post. I definitely don't mean all Christians don't get it (or don't try to). It's the ones that don't that just seem to get my attention.

At 14/10/05 4:59 PM, Blogger JJ said...

She closed down her comments, which is her choice, I suppose... but I was kind of offended by the comment she left at the end ..."...until they find a dating service or support group or whatever". Very dismissive. We were just trying to explain our perspective, and I don't think we were rude or anything.

Anyway, I'm not going to worry about it, but it was frustrating to go back and see that she isn't going to respond.

At 14/10/05 5:37 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

So much for the "loving" part of being a Christian, in her part anyway.

I think one flaw in Christianity is that their so caught up in what everyone else is doing,(and whether or not it's a sin or not) they forget about themselves. Is Christianity about them and God? Going off about how we're all "sinners" and such seems to defeat the whole purpose of Christianity which is worshiping the almighty power, God.

At 14/10/05 5:43 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

*Isn't Christianity about the relationship between them and God?

At 14/10/05 7:50 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Hi JJ-

I agree, so disappointing and really exactly what I was pointing out in my post. She has no interest in trying to understand what is going on with gay people, she's just interested in pointing out how they are sinners.

It's also interesting that she decided we were breaking her comment rules considering how she accused the first commentor of being general when he explicitly tried not to be too general.

You're right, it is her blog and she can do what she wants, but why put up a discussion and then refuse to address kindly-worded and well thought out points?

Hi Elizabeth! You are right. I think that is a flaw with many Christians, but it is also human nature in general. As noted by Grace, though, there are certainly folks (Christian and otherwise) that work hard not to fall victim to that.

At 16/10/05 4:43 PM, Blogger natalie said...

I'm a compulsive spender, and the same as a thief and murderer... and the same as any homosexual, runaway father, liar, cheater, adulterer... I'm just as bad. I'm a sinner, a heathen. But... I come to the feet of Jesus and my sins are washed clean by admitting them and thanking Him for the gift of his sacrifice on the cross.. the gift which I DO NOT deserve. As one who participated in homosexual behavior, I freely admit that I sinned in doing so. I DO separate the person from their sin, enough to say they can be forgiven, but never so far as to say the behavior is acceptable. Thanks for the exposure, I can always use the extra traffic!

At 17/10/05 8:46 AM, Blogger Brady said...


Thanks for your comment, although I am disappointed you closed down a civil, well-intentioned discussion on your own blog.

I'm still not sure you are understanding the crux of my argument. Someone that participated in homosexual behavior and someone who has exclusive attractions to the same sex are quite different in my mind.

If your "thank you" for the exposure and traffic I sent to your site was well-intentioned, then you are welcome. I'm not positive it wasn't a sacrastic comment, though.

At 17/10/05 2:15 PM, Blogger Willie Hewes said...

She certainly didn't seem to appreciate what the extra traffic brought her... *rolls eyes*

Is there some sort of secret blog etiquette that no one clued me in on that says you can't disagree with the poster in your comments?

If her blog is her livingroom, why isn't it in a private place so only her friends can see it? (Sorry, shouldn't be venting here. She's closed to comments though.)

Keep it up Brady.

At 17/10/05 3:49 PM, Anonymous Bruce Garrett said...

Hi Willie...fancy meeting you here (grin).

...and...Ha! She turned off her comments section to the post titled "Confession", after I posted on it this afternoon too. Tsk.

Should have added to her list of confessions, that she has a thin skin. But then a lot of them do. It's one thing to yap, yap, yap about how you just understand all us homosexuals to pieces, and another to actually listen to us.

She did two things in that post that got my attention. First, she's saying that her six month thing about another woman gives her the same understanding of my sexual orientation that I have. Right. And if I painted myself in blackface for six months I'd know what it was like to be black in America too. Then she cracked toward the end of that post, to the effect that child sexual abuse makes people homosexual, precicely because it is so horrible.

And this lady thinks she understands? As I told her in comments, she's not even on the same planet as understanding. that she has all this attention from actual homosexuals...people who can tell her from first hand experience what it is like to be homosexual...she finds she'd rather not hear it after all. Understanding.

At 17/10/05 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brady, if you get the religion monkey off your back things would be a lot more pleasant. This guilt you have is terrible.

At 17/10/05 10:39 PM, Anonymous RAC said...

I want to apologize for Natalie Jost's behavior on her site. In handling this subject, she has made false claims about herself, and she has deliberately falsified a message she attributed to me.

As Christians, we are not perfect. Not only do we count Mother Teresa amongst our kin, but also born again mass murderers and everyone else in between. God takes them all, even if they are more flawed than others! :-D

My biggest concern about Natalie's comments is that they have been read by non-Christians who may consider her uniformed opinions as being indicative of a majority of Christians. By and large, we are a smart bunch who have had to deal with stereotypes. Unfortunately, Natalie's behavior enforces those stereotypes.

At every level of every denomination there are Christians who support the rights of gay people and who are seeking a more inclusive church. I hope that anything said on Natalie's website will be understood by all as her own views. I pray that those who are examining the faith with an open mind, but who are not of the faith, will continue to keep on looking and learning without being demoralized by one dismissive person.

At 18/10/05 6:46 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Hey Willie- good questions. I was thinking the same things. I surely have had heated debates on my blog and would never consider closing comments unless the comments dipped to spamming and/or threats. But, that's just me.

Bruce- welcome. My points exactly.

Anonymous- I don't have any interest in dropping my religion. But, I don't think that is the "monkey" I am having issues with. The "monkey" itself is more that many people that are religious have no interest in understanding gay people or homosexuality in general. Unfortunately, they have a good deal of political power and often more interest in the bogey man of gays than of real truth and facts. That's why I get so worked up sometimes.

RAC- thanks for the clarification. I'm glad you made it.


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