It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a sin.
Sound familiar? Yeah. I’m tired of hearing it too.
I’m Christian. To be precise, I’m Roman Catholic. I know. Some of you are ready to lynch me already. My religion and denomination get a bad rap and we all know why. Hate. Christians just seem to hate people. Homosexuals. Muslims. Single parents. Abortions and anyone who has one, talks about one, or performs one. The list goes on and on and on. And it seriously makes me want to throw up.
I’m going to focus on homosexuality for a moment and I’m going to start by saying I’m cisgender, female, and straight. But I’m an ally. I will not judge you for your gender, your sexuality, your gender expression, your hair colour, skin colour, eye colour, religion, or country of origin. I will however judge you if you are an asshole, a racist, a bigot, or encourage hate speak against anyone.
That’s not to say you can’t have an opinion. You can be against abortion. You can believe that homosexuality is a sin. But you have to be polite. And you have to be kind to people even when they don’t fit your mold for the world.
Sorry. I’m off topic. Homosexuality.
Homosexuality is a choice. Therefore choosing to live like this can be labelled a sin because only choices can be sins.
This is a loaded statement and needs a little unpacking here.
- Christians believe that homosexuality is not part of God’s plan for humanity and was never intended to exist. Therefore anyone who does not fit the binary gender and binary sexuality standards is choosing not to fit.
- There are two levels of choice here. One is choosing to be attracted to the same gender. The other is choosing to act on that attraction and date/sleep with someone of the same sex. MOST Christians will go so far as to say that being attracted is not the sin, only acting on it is. In fact you can sometimes convince Christians that being Homosexual is not a choice if you split the issue like this.
- The lifestyle of sleeping with someone of the same sex is a sin because all sex outside of marriage is a sin and homosexuals cannot be married in the eyes of God.
Christians are evil and cruel because they won’t allow homosexuals to marry in the church or openly express their sexuality without retaliation. They shouldn’t be able to discriminate against us.
Let’s unpack the other side now, shall we?
- Christianity is protected by Freedom of Religion laws and does not, now or ever, have to cave to external pressure and allow homosexuals the sacrament of marriage. Catholics don’t allow the Sacrament of Holy Orders (priesthood) to women and we’ve been hollering about that for generations. Don’t expect Christianity to change this any time soon.
- Christianity is also often against short skirts, revealing shirts, pornography, sex before marriage, public displays of affection or sexuality, children born out of wedlock, and drunken revelry. Don’t worry, they’re just uptight about sex in general.
- Discriminate. Here we’re talking about the infamous wedding cake and wedding photographer issues. I will discuss those in detail in a moment but hear me out. Anyone has the right to refuse a job that makes them feel unsafe, right? Generally that applies to using unsafe equipment or doing a task they are not trained in. This is an extension of the Safe Work issue. They want to be allowed to refuse work that makes them uncomfortable and I say let them. Hate on me all you want but I say let them.
So how do we rearrange all this so that homosexuals and Christians can co-exist? Seems impossible, but it’s not. Except that there are people who don’t want to solve the problem, they just want gays to go away. But we’ll ignore those people for a moment and deal with the rational people first.
I’m going to start with the wedding cake and photographer issues.
Let’s say I’m a wedding photographer, and I’m Christian, and I believe that gay marriage is a sin. A same-sex couple approaches me to shoot their wedding. What do I do? Easy, I reply to their query like this:
“Thank-you for your interest in my work and your kind words about my portfolio. Unfortunately I am unavailable on the date of your wedding. Thank-you again for considering me. I hope you find someone you really like and I hope your wedding is beautiful.”
Or like this:
“Thank-you for your interest in my services. Unfortunately I am not personally comfortable working with same-sex couples. I believe all couples deserve the best on their weddings and I would not be able to provide that for you. I hope you find someone you really like and I hope your wedding is beautiful.”
See? Polite, professional. I have turned down a job without ever condemning the couple who has approached me. And cakes can be handled the same way.
But for me the issue is deeper. Why are you turning them away? If it’s just because you’re not comfortable with it, you’re not sure how to translate the poses you use to this new subject, then you’re declining for professional reasons. I’ve turned down work because it’s something I don’t think I’ll be able to do well and I don’t want to disappoint a client. There is NOTHING wrong with this. BUT if it’s an issue of beliefs, then we need to talk. And here’s why.
We already established that sex before marriage is a sin, and since Christians don’t allow homosexuals to get married in the church they don’t believe homosexuals are ever married at all so they will always be living in sin. And they don’t want to support this sinful lifestyle. And I say this should be allowed. ON ONE CONDITION.
Sex before marriage is a sin. And the only marriage Christians recognize as legitimate is the sacrament of marriage in the church before god. So anyone who gets married with a Justice of the Peace is living in sin. Common law? Also living in sin. Do we extend this to Jews and Muslims too? Or do we assume that if you are getting married before god in the religious tradition of your choice that it’s a religious marriage, and therefore a sacrament, and therefore acceptable? Debatable.
So here’s my condition. You are only allowed to deny services to same sex couples on grounds of religious freedom if you also deny services to anyone who is not getting married in the church. EVERYONE. Either you support sinful lifestyles or you don’t but picking and choosing? Not going to fly with me.
Can we please accept that there are two types of marriage? There is the Sacrament of Marriage and this is provided by religions. There is also Legal Marriage and this is provided by the state. So long as homosexuals are just getting a Legal Marriage and not applying for the Sacrament of Marriage they are no more living in sin than the atheist couple in the next chapel.
So let Christians keep their Sacrament and offer it only to those they choose to. Let the state offer marriage to all consenting legal adults.
And let me just cover a few tangents quickly.
“But pedophiles claim they have no choice either. They’re attracted to children. We still say it’s wrong even though it’s a wiring in the brain. We still arrest them when they act on it.”
Please tell me I’m not the only one who has heard this. There is so much wrong with this statement and this comparison. First of all, I only support homosexuality in the same contexts that I support heterosexuality. You MUST follow the law. That means obeying the age of sexual consent. That means obeying statutory rape laws. That means obtaining consent without alcohol, drugs, abuse, or coercion. Period. Always. For everyone. So that means that pedophilia is against the law, not because it’s a choice to be attracted to children, but because children are vulnerable and our laws protect them from adults and teens. If two consenting adults have sex no law has been broken so what do I care about their genders?
“If we let homosexuals marry soon they’ll be letting people marry their dogs.”
Talk about insulting. I repeat: bestiality like pedophilia is against the law not because it’s a choice or not a choice but because animals can’t exactly consent in any understandable way to having sex with a human. Second, an animal has different rights under the law and therefore cannot be married under human law (which deals with taxes and benefits). Third, you are stooping so low as to compare same sex couples to animals. Stop it.
“We’ll be legalizing incest next.”
Nature doesn’t like incest and so actual cases of incest outside of rape and porn are very rare. Most cases center around adult siblings being reunited after many many years apart. Their affection for each other is misplaced as sexual attraction because they did not grow up around each other. This normalizes after a while. It can also happen between a parent and a child who were separated at the child’s birth and reunited when the child is an adult. There’s a term for it. It exists. As far as I’m concerned, incest is wrong on the basis of genetics and in breeding and all. And I’m going to leave it there. The reason we don’t allow it under the law is because we understand the danger of in-breeding and because we understand the danger of coercion increases in these cases.
What are your thoughts on this?