Live and Let Live: My Stand on Same-Sex Orientation

I wrote this as a comment on Steal The Crumb’s blog, but it became long enough that I felt it should probably just be its own entry. There are some basic assumptions in this that one has already read his take on what the Bible has to say about homosexuality. You may want to read it first.

I disagree with the “Christian” argument against homosexuality. I didn’t grow up Christian, therefore didn’t have the religious angle thrown into my view of it. I did however grow up Unitarian which embraces everyone’s worth as a human, and homosexuality as an aspect of many people’s humanity.

Growing up in Berkeley and San Francisco, I would have to say I have known a very large number of gays and lesbians (Berkeley being the supposed lesbian capital of the world with more lesbians per capita than anywhere else, at least back then, and the same with San Francisco and gays). Some of the lesbians I have known made a conscious choice to seek out other women (largely due to abuse at the hands of men), but none of the gays I knew had made a conscious choice to seek out other men instead of women. They simply found women completely non-sexually. A *few* in college had made the choice to “try it out”, hence their temporary labels as bisexual, but I never saw anyone continue that over the long term.  Most of the lesbians and all of the gays I have known saw their sexual selection as something that they did not choose and most as something they would not choose due to the harsh life that came with that selection. Simply choosing to go against their innate choice for same sex selection put them into states of misery, living lies and hiding secrets, but being allowed to live lives that were outwardly acceptable. Choosing to go with their innate choice of same sex selection allowed them to live lives of inner honesty and integrity, but put them into positions of living lives full of discrimination and rejection because they were outwardly unacceptable. Why would someone choose a life that resulted in rejection by their families and most of society unless they were unable to live authentic lives any other way?

My view today mixes these views together with my standing as a believer in God, and comes out thus: I believe people are born with one sexual orientation. They can choose to go with it or against it. Some people will be able to live authentic lives either way, some will not. I believe that God creates us and knows us and that we are exactly who we are meant to be. If God is infallible, and creates some of us with same-sex orientation, than that is who we are meant to be, there is no mistake, and going against that orientation is NOT what God intended. Those people who choose to go against their innate orientation are the only ones choosing to live lives differently than God’s intentions. And, frankly, if they are able to live those lives and not feel that they are living lies, than perhaps God’s intentions were for them to choose. I still believe in the innate worth of every human being, that we are all connected, and that what we do affects everyone around us, in a ripple effect.  Choosing to hate people based on their sexual orientation smacks of hypocrisy to me. Are we not to love everyone as ourselves? Choosing to hate the behavior of same-sex orientation also smacks of hypocrisy to me. Do we not want people to live the lives that God intended for them? Who are WE to make that judgment as to what God intended? We are no one, we have no authority, we have no ability to know God’s mind or his intentions, so we must live and let live.

I do understand that some people are not comfortable accepting gay and lesbian behavior, but being uncomfortable about someone’s same-sex orientation and behavior is the only true reaction that makes sense to me. That’s authentic, because it is based on one’s own feelings. But there is no need to spew that uncomfortableness about. Other people could care less about gay and lesbian behavior, it has no affect on them. That is also an authentic reaction. I guess that’s all I care about… that people live authentically.

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5 responses to “Live and Let Live: My Stand on Same-Sex Orientation

  • Steal_the_Crumbs

    There is a lot here that I think is really helpful. In order for substantive conversation to take place in churches and other places where GLBT people are traditionally unwelcome, we have to acknowledge our innate personal feelings about homosexuality. I have never felt any innate moral disapproval for homosexuality–I wasn’t raised with it and I couldn’t make myself feel it as an adult. However, I personally find the thought of interacting sexually with another man VERY distasteful.I imagine there are a lot of straight men like me (just as there are many gay men who say that they find the thought of sex with a woman highly distasteful). What I want to communicate is that that reaction belongs in a preference category, not an ethical category.

  • breathelectric

    Well said. The way I see it, if God truly disagrees with homosexuality (which I don’t necessarily believe He does, but that seems to be a general Christian viewpoint on things), then judgment is for Him to deal with… not us.  I have not been given authority to judge anyone for any of their life choices which do not directly affect me, and no person’s sexual or love life affects me personally outside of my husband and myself.  Whether it’s right or wrong is not for me to decide… I guess is what I’m trying to say.  I get riled up when the Christian reputation is to condemn anyone, as anyone who has read the bible and claims to be a follower of Christ surely can’t miss the message that we are to love and care for one another despite our faults and differences, and that the religious leaders who are caught up in religious laws that go against loving and caring for others are not to be trusted. Anyway, guess I’d better stop before I REALLY go off.  But yeah, I second your post there…

  • aledawithwings

    I think your argument would be well put if it were in a coffee house or bar or something but it doesn’t address any of the biblical issues at hand, which are huge to the christian audience. Personally, I think you need to address the fact that people are ALSO born with heart defects, degenerative diseases, crack addiction, etc. It isn’t enough to say “you came out this way so it must be cool”. 

  • going_under_effortlessly

    @aledawithwings – that’s an interesting point, one I frequently use in response to people who say that you get what you put out there (i.e. “if you think good thoughts you get good things”). That seems different to me, but I will have to give it more thought than i can muster right now.

  • curtin_severn

    hi pookie. maybe i’ve returned like the p. son and i need a fattened calf? or maybe not. i’m listening to the weepies and over the rhine and reading old entries. i read chris’ entry and now yours and i wanted to respond to your response to aledawithwings – or maybe i just want to put out there that being queer identified is not in the same category as being born crack addicted. in fact, i was real concerned about that comment – enough to write a response when i haven’t had proper contact with you in ages, but now that i just wrote that i snorted and laughed. imagine. i’ve been compared to a chid molester and a crack addicted baby!

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