Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 220 (Us vs. Them)

I went to lunch with Cesar today, the person that the Session assigned to help me through the ordination process. We had a really good discussion about school, and the ordination process and what my experience has been been like so far. Of course, the fact of me being gay came up, which is totally what I expected. It was a good thing though, because as of this point, the only other person that I've really talked to about this is the senior pastor. He explained the Session's position better, which is something that I needed to hear. He told me that the general feeling of the Session is that being gay is not a sin, but to act on those impulses would be.

I don't want to sound like I am belittling their opinion, but it just seems to me that it's a really easy thing to say when you yourself are not gay and do not have to live under the restrictions imposed on you by the ruling party. Believe it or not, I actually understand why they would come to that conclusion. Being gay is not something that you can ever understand outside of actually being gay. Even if you were conceptually aware of the existence of homosexuality and even if you were sympathetic to the plight of gay people, you would never understand exactly what it is like to live as a gay person in a largely heterosexual and widely homophobic culture. Women and ethnic people can understand some of it, but not exactly what it is like, just like I will never fully comprehend what it is like to be a woman. The difference being that women currently do not have to fight for legal protections that way that gay people do. I'm not saying that women are treated fairly; I'm not saying that at all, but the laws are at least on the books. Gay people don't even have that, and you have to start somewhere.

I just want the same things that most other people want. To get married, have a family, a stable job, and to be able to live my life without being persecuted for who I am or what I believe. Society currently threatens every aspect of my life, and at the risk of whining, it's just not fair.

I firmly believe this is a result of the un-Godly propensity of people to separate themselves into separate camps of us vs. them based on mostly superficial differences. I believe that God wants all of humankind to come together as one family, not to be constantly bickering amongst ourselves as we splinter off into smaller and smaller factions. The sad part is that Christians almost more than anybody are guilty of this type of activity. How many different denominations are there now anyway? There are literally thousands of different denominations, all because people had supposedly irreconcilable differences in what they believe. You know what I say to that? I say it's crap! It's people not willing to put their differences aside and coming together in Christian love despite their differences.

Where is it written that we all have to believe that same thing? I know I've written about this before, but I think this is the fundamental flaw of the human race. If we could all just stop fighting with each other and actually listen to what other people are saying, how much could we accomplish? Could we end world hunger? Could we stop global warming? Could we stop the spread of AIDS? Imagine the possibilities.


  1. The whole "you can BE gay as long as you don't DO gay" approach really (1) makes no sense whatsoever, (2) relies on an impossible to sustain sexual ethic and (3) pisses me off, Charles. Good words here. Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. God's blessing.

  2. You are one of the most moral and non-judgmental people I know. It would be nice if the religious leadership in would be more accepting like you, even if it is not possible to be more understanding.

    I think the prevailing tendency to polarize issues into “us” and “them” is unlikely to change in our culture. It seems to me the most successful road is through changing minds about the “them” status through repeated positive examples that "gay" doesn't equal perverse or wrong (like a moral gay minister ;-) ) and that it is simply love. And as with the civil rights and women’s suffrage movements, it may take many different kinds, some very dramatic, both non-violent and violent, over time that made the public at large stand up and take notice. Even then, I believe the move will initially be a secular one as it is now. The tide is shifting in public opinion, however I think it’s likely that it will take generations until we see actual general acceptance of homosexual relationships by the church given homophobia’s strong roots there.

  3. Thank you all for your words of encouragement!