So here’s the thing. I need to write about this because it’s been gnawing at me for a couple of weeks now. I have been pretty much ranting about it to anyone who will listen for the last couple of weeks but apparently until I put fingers to keyboard I will not rest.
Now I want to warn you that you may violently disagree with me. I am going to get into some controversial topics that include religion and homosexuality not to the mention the be all and end all, Heaven. Or Kevin as Hannah’s little guy refers to it. How cute is that?
My intent is neither to convert you to my beliefs nor is it to offend yours. These are my beliefs and I will attempt to justify them. If you don’t want to read on, I completely respect you, and if you do, please do so with an open mind and more importantly, an open heart.
A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with someone who brought up the words Christianity and homosexuality in the context that one could not be Christian and accept homosexuality. I don’t know this person well and it was brought up in passing. I didn’t address it although it made my blood boil.
My first thought is that if that is part of being a Christian then I want no part of it. I do consider myself Christian. I am not a knowledgeable one but I believe in God. I believe he loves us ALL. Unconditionally.
To not accept homosexuality as valid goes against that which is my primary belief. If God loves us unconditionally then how in Heaven’s name (excuse the pun) can He not accept homosexuals?
Um, that’d be a condition wouldn’t it?
Now that in itself doesn’t make my blood boil but this does. Today the sermon was about this exact topic. It’s funny because this has happened on more than one occasion. Jim reminded us about this lovely historical fact.
Does anyone remember Matthew Shepard? The long of the short of it is that he was beaten to death for being gay. That makes my blood simmer.
What happened at his funeral sets it to boiling something fierce. A minister of a church and his followers picketed outside Matthew’s funeral and displayed signs that read:
"Matt Shepard rots in Hell"
"AIDS Kills Fags Dead"
"God Hates Fags".
"MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12,1998 , in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22."
First of all, hate and God, they simply don’t belong in the same sentence except to point out that they don’t belong in the same sentence, in my humble opinion. And secondly and here is where I may offend, the bible to justify hate?
Pretty sure that is NOT what it’s for.
I don’t know the book of Leviticus but I do know many parables about Jesus. He hung out with the outcasts of society. He welcomed them into His life like no one else ever had, including people with a horrible contagious disease known as leprosy. Heck, he even associated with prostitutes. I personally choose to use this as a lesson rather than the verse from Leviticus.
People who are homosexual do not choose to be homosexual in the same manner that no one would ever choose to contract a horrible disease that disfigures and injures. So how can anyone justify the hate that is still inflicted upon them today?
I refuse to be that kind of Christian because to me that is the polar opposite of anything Jesus tried to teach us.
Here we are over 2,000 years later and we still haven’t learned.
Now the same analogy can be made to anyone who is different in whatever manner they are different. God love us unconditionally. We are made in His image and our life goal is to be like him. He is also forgiving. We make mistakes, we screw up, He forgives if we ask.
IF, Leviticus is right and being homosexual is an abomination, then would God not forgive?
And then the next issue that gets me a simmering is the ticket to Heaven topic. Recently I was at a birthday party where the topic emerged. Again treading on dangerous ground to get into such discussions at a three year old’s birthday party but I would like to point out that I did not start the conversation. I did, however, have to put in my two cents. I am passionate about this because I feel it to be a kind of religious hypocrisy.
The comment was made that if one did not believe in God they don’t get into Heaven.
Um, when did Heaven become an exclusive club? How about just being a good person? Does that count I asked. Well yeah, I guess, as long as they believe in some form of god was the response.
Wow. Again with the conditions. I just can’t believe that sort of thing. It goes against my core principles. However, the person I was debating with is someone I like and respect and we agreed to disagree.
Maybe I am going to Hell because of my beliefs that God loves and accepts us without condition.
It’s a risk I am willing to take.