Gay and Evangelical--Is There Another Side?The New York Times has an article out right now about being gay and evangelical in today's society (hat-tip Ex-Gay Watch for the link). It's an interesting read that gives gay Christians an opportunity to offer their opinion to the public debate, albeit briefly.
I like hearing gay Christians, and especially evangelicals, speak out about the ability for a person to be both gay and Christian. For so long anti-gay folks have been given the power to frame the argument and convince the public that gay people cannot be Christian. I've always said that gay folks need to take a stand and reframe the debate, and proving that there are gay Christians, and even gay evangelicals, is a great way to let the gay voice be heard.
Of course, there are always detractors, and the Times quotes one religion professor that is adamant that homosexuality is against scripture. The article counters by saying that many gay Christians believe the Bible has been misunderstood and misused and the oft-cited anti-gay passages are speaking about idolatry and temple worship rather than homosexuality as we know it today. I'm glad the articles gives an alternate view to the "against scripture" argument, but, I think there's another side to the issue.
I want to be the first to say that I don't know for sure what God says about being gay. I think the idolatry and other similar arguments are certianly more compelling than most anti-gay folks give them credit for, but I'll admit that I think there is a chance that the anti-gay readings of the scriptures could possibly be right. So, where does that leave me?
Well, from a practical standpoint, I'm amazed at how often anti-gay folks talk about how being gay is against scripture. Lots of things are against scripture (and I won't even get into the Old Testament argument, it's too easy to refute). Let's stay topical and mention divorce. The bottom line is that evangelicals and most protestant Christians tolerate divorce, and even have a divorce rate similar to the rest of the country. Sure, they don't celebrate divorce, but no one celebrates hardship. But, they tolerate it. They also tolerate (and celebrate) the marriages of Christians to non-Christians, and they even celebrate second and post-second marriages.
So for me, it's not a matter of whether or not scripture says being gay is wrong (well, certainly that is an issue, but it's something I'm dealing with). This is an issue of why so many Christians seem to think it's fair to tolerate so many martial and sexual sins while condemming another. It's not whether scripture says it's ok or doesn't, it's whether God says it's ok or it's not, and at this point, I haven't seen a convincing argument as to why the church seems to think divorce, remarriage and all of those other issues are ok with God while being gay isn't.