What if I were Gay?

I had a close friend, once, who was a lesbian. She confessed to me that she really liked me, she hinted at the fact that I’d never had a lasting relationship with a guy and that we’d (me and this friend) had once shared a very platonic kiss on a dare. There was this unasked question hanging between us, and for one split second I wanted to say, “yes, I could, at least I think I could, I could try.” It was insanity, plain and simple, because I’m not gay. Yet in that moment I pictured what my life would be like if I had been.

At first it would have been wonderful. I would’ve been able to enjoy the love of a good friend. I would’ve been in a relationship with someone with whom I had shared all of my innermost thoughts. Someone with whom I had a myriad of unspoken punchlines, where a hand-gesture served as well as a sentence. I would’ve been able to say, “this is like that one movie, with the thing,” and had my partner laugh instead of saying, “I don’t get it. You’re insane.” I would’ve had those things, those beautiful things, those things that never seem to exist in even the best of marriages…

But my parents were both raised Mennonite and I have Amish relatives. I would have been trading that single relationship for a possible loss of both my close and extended family. I would have no longer been welcome at church meals. Many good friends would have been afraid to have us around their children. I would be embarrassed to talk about my home life at work, referring always to my “partner” instead of my spouse, hedging around the fact that my “partner” was female, ashamed to say her name. People would look at me at first in confusion and then in understanding, possibly followed by revulsion. Instead of a casual acceptance of my life, I’d be followed by awkward questions.

Home would be wonderful, the rest of the world more sketchy.

I have always wanted children. If I’d chosen to get pregnant, I would have to daily look at my children and realize that although they were mine they weren’t Stella’s (not her real name). If we adopted, one of us would be the legal parent but not both. We’d live in fear of not being able to both be present with our kids were there an emergency. We’d both feel awkward. Our kids would probably be asked a lot of personal questions about their two mommies.

I’d always wonder if not having a father was somehow affecting them. I don’t know that I’d feel guilty… I’d just wonder.

I have to say- I can’t believe anyone would just CHOOSE that. I can’t believe that Stella simply woke up one day and said, “you know, I think I’ll be a lesbian now.” I’m not saying that somewhere in her brain there wasn’t a switch that got turned at some point. She had some bad experiences, she didn’t want to go through what her mom went through. I just don’t think that it was a choice. I don’t think any sane person would look at a life of acceptance and a life of awkward conversations and say, “my life is too easy. Let’s mix this up.”

Stella, at least, had to have really believed that was who she was meant to be.

She still believes in God, the last I heard. She just has a lot of questions. It’s just too bad that there aren’t very many churches where they’d let her in long enough to ask them.

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58 thoughts on “What if I were Gay?

  1. A lot of the resentment that gets leveled at those of us who experience attraction towards both sexes (from some gay folks) is that we can choose “Het Privilege”, while they cannot.

    I’m still a firm believer that one does not really CHOOSE these attractions, but that the choice to live as one desires is still quite possible. I find people who say those of us who choose a heterosexual life are duplicitous, self-loathing, in denial, living a lie, etc., etc. have no clue really, truly, what it’s like for us.

    The path I chose is not for everyone. But I know I married my soulmate. I wanted family, I wanted children, I wanted to remain true to my faith. Did I make that decision perfectly? Absolutely not. Do I recommend that decision to all in similar circumstances? That is up to them. I am at peace with what I have chosen, for the most part, and I need not worry too much about what others may decide.

  2. it’s sad how hurtful the bible’s message towards homosexuals is. feel sorry or someone going through what your friend is.

  3. Hi! You know what, your blog is a blessing for me. I’m not gay but I’m not totally straight – I love to love women more than men. You see, I’m a Christian… and I don’t want to disappoint my God, but there are really times when I can’t help but fall… like today. I’m overwhelmed with the possibility that i might be falling for a close female friend. Your blog made me realize that my feelings for her is not the only thing that matters… there are lots of factors to consider… and if i truly love her, i should not put her into this mess. thank you.

  4. great post. that last bit gets me, “She just has a lot of questions. It’s just too bad that there aren’t very many churches where they’d let her in long enough to ask them.”

    Sadly, that’s the state of a lot of our churches, yet if I think about it, I think Jesus would’ve listened. thanks again.

  5. let me be clear. scripture has never said homosexuality was a sin. its only man who says scripture says it. and i challenge anyone to show me where the words in the verses of the bible say so.

    i have never understood why all the concern about whether choice or innate. surely the only thing that is important in any intimate relationship is that there is a mutual commitment to be affirming and trustworthy and loving to each other.

  6. I have a very close girlfriend who is gay. She “married” another woman and they had a child together. They used donated sperm from the other woman’s ex-husband to get pregnant. They literally used a farm tool that they use on pigs (ewwww). But that is beside the point. They did it together and they did it in love.

    They raised a beautiful little boy together named Jack. They gave him every single advantage of having two committed and focused parents. Which in this world is way more than most children have.

    Unfortunately, the couple broke up. Now my friend is doing the role of single “dad”. She has Jack 3.5 days a week. Her partner decided she was no longer gay and is now with a man. I think THAT is confusing for everyone. Jack is not confused at all. He knows perfectly well who his parents are. There are legal issues, but thankfully up to this point they have been adult enough to take the high road and put Jack first.

    I do think Gay couples are fine as parents. They can provide just as stable an environment as straight ones. However, you are right, it is harder. Society makes it harder.

    No one chooses to be gay. No one. It is such a horrible road to go. It is so much easier to live a life of a straight person and deny who you really are. Its so sad. I believe that God made us perfect… just the way we are. He doesnt make mistakes. He made Gay people too. And they are perfect.

    I feel sorry that religious people would shun you. I realise that you are not gay, but the concept is so anti-christian. Isnt the saying… he is without sin can cast the first stone??????

  7. You know, many people make bad choices for a lot of good reasons and good choices for a lot of bad reasons. I think your post really hit on that tension. Even if homosexuality is a bad choice (i.e. sinful) there can still be many good reasons behind it, like loving and caring for another human being. Separating those difficult tensions is a nearly impossible task and may only be worthy for an omniscient judge… like God. Point is, churches can’t play that role, they can’t be the omniscient judge (because they aren’t God) but they can and should point people towards God.

    The other thing people often forget is that the path to God is NEVER fun, gentle, or easy. Everyone knows intuitively that becoming a better is hard, and if God wanted to make us into a MUCH better person, it follows that the process bight be incrementally much harder. No pain no gain, right? So maybe life isn’t all about the nicest, happiest, most pleasing choice, but about the best choice even when it is the hardest.

  8. JOHN:

    You should try picking up the Holy Bible sometime and sit down and read it.

    It says explicity in more than one place — both Old Testament and New Testamnet — that is a sin for man to lay with man and for woman to lay with woman. Because the term ‘homosexual’ doesn’t appear in the Holy Text it doesn’t mean that that is not what’s being addressed.

    Take a look at the verses and consider them carefully. You need only to accept them or reject them.

    The Holy Bible even addresses bestiality…and no, I’m not trying to link the two. The Holy Bible comments on everything dealing with sexual morality and sexual immorality, is my point.

    OLD TESTAMENT:

    Leviticus 18:20-24 (New King James Version) –

    22)You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
    23)Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.
    24)‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you.

    And this same statute is mentioned again in Leviticus 20:13-17 (New King James Version)

    NEW TESTAMENT:

    Romans 1(New King James Version)-
    24)Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
    25)who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    26)For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
    27)Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
    28)And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
    29)being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31)undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
    32)who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

    And I must say, you cannot pick and choose which part of GOD’s commands and statutes you’re going to follow. You’re either all in or you’re out. Yes, Jesus the Christ was all about love, but he was serious about abiding by GOD Almighty’s laws (as you see when you read his interactions with the Pharisees and Sadducees).

    If it was easy, everyone would be saved…so be quite careful of those calling themselves Christians.

    Nothing is impossible for GOD. If you want to change, HE can change you. Are people born gay? – Unlikely. And I say all of this as one who has dealt personally with homosexuality. Are homosexuals some sort of ‘mistake’? Of course not. But they are sinners…as everyone is a sinner. And GOD cannot stand sin (it says that too, in the Holy Bible). Homosexuality is sexually immoral (sinful)…as is fornication, adultery, incest, bestiality, rape, etc.

    And again, you either accept it or reject… it’s a bit too late to re-write the Holy Bible.

  9. BRIANJWALTON:

    You said it most nicely…while making it quite clear that homosexuality is a choice.

    And I forgot to plug my other blog: The Good Book | Bible… It’s for folks like JOHN…who need to take time out to actually read the Holy Bible… not to be changed, per se, but to at least know the Truth – for yourself.

  10. I read ur blog. its nice. i must say you reason to question urself is very sane and to the point,these question do arise from time to time in same sex relationship but i have to tell u this also that world doesn’t let u live in any case, i mean if ur married with a guy or not married or is a gay.they talk on your back even when ur dead. but thing is you have to consider urself b4 others.

  11. Avid mass: thank you, so much.
    Mari: Thank you for your comment, and I hope you can resolve your feelings. Love is never easy, but if we truly care more for others than ourselves God rewards that. I sincerely believe it.
    Surpassing Worth: Thank you. Yes, I think Jesus would have listened. I think he cares very much about my friend.
    John: there are a lot of relationships that aren’t what everyone would consider “holy”- God still loves everyone anyway.
    amberfireinus: that is an incredible story. At the end of the day it is the quality of love and devotion that matters most. There may be a lot of confusing things for Jack, but if he feels loved I’m sure everything else will fall into place. A lot of people never really feel loved, and that’s the real shame.
    BrianJWalton: I think you hit the nail on the head, so to speak. It never is easy, what matters the most is if we continue on our journeys, which is never easy to do alone. The Church should seek to bring people along, to bring them out of isolation, not to put them in to it.
    CooleyHigh: I agree that it’s not a take it or leave it thing, but the truth is that the New Testament changes everything. We don’t avoid pork or shrimp anymore, do we? (Perhaps I should simply ask- do YOU?) When one finds mildew in ones house, is the rule still to offer a sacrifice and find a priest to cleanse it? Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord our GOD with all our heart, soul and mind, and the second greatest was to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. While I agree that all people should seek to live a holy life, we shouldn’t do so at the expense of Christ’s words.
    Ammar: thank you very much for your kind words.

  12. Beautiful posts, Shush. The more people like you take the time personalize the challenges that homosexual people face, the more the rest of us will grow in understanding that it is no more a choice to be gay than to be straight. The only choice for many many people is to be true to their nature or construct a world of lies.

    And for those who would base their concept of sin on the author of Leviticus, I hope you will condemn me with as much fervor as you would a gay couple, for last night in a moment of extreme weakness, I succumbed to an undeniable urge and ate a bacon cheeseburger.

  13. I was single for many years. I believe that for some good and just and very kind to us reason, God says throughout the NT (and I would be happy to point to the verses and exegete them with any who really want to know) that any sexual relationship of any kind outside of a marriage between a man and a woman is simply not the best choice, in fact, is a sinful choice. Therefore, for 37 years, I chose to remain celebate. I absolutely wanted to have sex. I often felt pulled to do so. But I didn’t. I wasn’t perfect, but I followed scripture despite my inclinations. Is that being untrue to myself? It didn’t feel like it then and it doesn’t now. The Bible also never condemns alcholol, but it does say not to get drunk. So, some people feel very prone to drink alcohol, but the Bible suggests they stop themselves short of being controlled by alcholol. What I’m saying is that the Bible doesn’t ignore our longings; but it tells us how we should or should not act out on our longings. I denied my longing for sex for many years, but I never felt that God was holding back. I felt that I was holding back in trust that He knew what He was talking about.

  14. A Google Alert led me to your post, shush, and I’m so glad it did. The understanding and compassion expressed here, both by you and almost all of your commenters, has really blessed me on this Lord’s Day.

    I’m a Christian, and I pastored churches in Europe and the U.S. for almost a decade. I’m also transgendered. Since I’ve come out, some of my former colleagues and friends (thankfully, a very small minority) have chosen to shun my family and I, unless and until we repent of the choices we’ve made. Although I’m happier now than I’ve ever been in my life, and feel closer to God than I have in twenty years, the pain of this response to us has been very hard for me to deal with. In conversation with some of these people, it quickly became clear that they had not done the hard work of trying to understand us, what we’ve been through, and how we reached the decisions we made. They chose not to seek to comprehend the horns of the dilemma we faced, but rather to take the easy way out and view it simplistically. I’m saddened at their choice.

    It’s worth noting, I think, that not all of us read the Bible the same way. There has never, in all of the history of the church, been clear consensus on how to read and interpret Scripture. Some of the bloodiest conflicts in Christianity have taken place for this reason. We’ll probably never be able to achieve that consensus, but I think something truly God-honoring would be achieved if we made a commitment to stop beating each other up over it. After all, we’re all one in Christ, and when one part of the body suffers, we all suffer.

    I’ve written a little bit about the pain people like us suffer because of all this at my blog. I’d be truly honored to have any of you stop by and offer your thoughts. Once again…thank you so much.

  15. Shush – great debate you have going here. I thought I’d drop in on it.

    CooleyHigh – Do you follow all of the prohibitions laid out for us by God in Leviticus? It is a fair question. Or do you as many other Christians, cherry-pick Leviticus?

  16. Pingback: More thoughts on pain: “What if I were gay?” « Crossing the T

  17. Pingback: Hinduism and Homosexuality « Searching for Crabshells

  18. this is not a site for scriptural discussion, but for affirming those who seek support.

    for those who wish to engage in a scriptural discussion please go to http://www.christianpost.com go to the right upper corner of the home page, and click “most popular” then scroll down to
    “Pro-Gay Booklet’s ‘Facts’ Draw Criticism” and click. for the last week i have been engaged in a discussion about this very same subject. my only request is that you first read the 10 pages of discussion before you make a comment, so i wont be required to repeat what has already been discussed.

    it saddens me that those believers who would condemn other believers who are homosexual do so without any reasoned understanding of what scripture says or by any personnal witness of just one person who is homosesxual.

    the fact that there is a prohibition against false witness in the ten commandments, and that scripture requires eye witnesses, and says “test everything” doesnt seem to deter anyone.

  19. Pingback: #155 « Lisa_4.0

  20. eatmorecookies: bacon! *gasp* 😀 —thank you for your comment.
    longingforholiday: true holiness is about more than our actions- it is about that which drives them. I feel you must live your life with honor and devotion. Thank you for sharing your story, and for doing so in a non-confrontational manner.
    Allyson: thank you, so incredibly much, for sharing your story. You must have an incredible amount of strength to have made such a journey with your faith intact, and I am glad you have found peace with yourself and trust in God. So many people seek, without finding. Thank you for your clarity and vulnerability.
    PolitiP: thanks for dropping in. 😀
    John: I’ll check the link when I find time.
    Joe Bum & Miss Eek: thanks!

  21. Hello.

    Many question whether Christians are still under the Old Testament laws (in respect to sacrifices). Of course not. Jesus the Christ changed that. But he didn’t do away with the laws, in fact, he clarified them for those who could understand what he was teaching. Yes, he said the greatest commandment was to love, but he didn’t say it was the only commandment… as he went on to clarify adultery, hypocrisy, etc. But since Christians are no longer under the law does that mean we stop obeying the commandments? As Paul explains, of course not. Paul would not have mentioned those cases of sexual immorality (and other sins) in the New Testament if it were not still important to abide by those laws.

    It is a hard truth for us to swallow, but it is the truth nonetheless. Just because you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit in with your way of life, that doesn’t mean it’s false.

    But we find ways around the Truth, too, as John shows. It is quite easy for people to use the text of the Holy Bible to support their viewpoints…almost any viewpoints. – And what about me, you say? Well, I haven’t watered down, twisted or edited the texts I gave in the previous comment… I gave it to you exactly as it says.

    If you don’t have the means to accept the Holy Words of GOD, then you reject them. It is as simple as that.

    And you can continue with the petty questions about Old Testament laws…about eating pork, for example. Or you can get real and ask yourself why you reject the Word. You’ll get your true answers when you start examining yourself.

    I wish all of you luck, as I know what the reactions to this post will be. Things never change.

    And by the way, I never said I hated or condemned homosexuals. If I did, I would have to hate everyone (including myself), as I mentioned above, we are all natural-born sinners.

  22. Cooley: thank you for taking the time to respond to comments. I really appreciate it.

    I may have been overly tongue in cheek in my response to you, and I realize other people were quite sarcastic. I realize your statements were sincerely meant. The truth is that most people either don’t know the extent of OT laws, or simply ignore all of those which are inconvenient. People wear clothing with blended fabrics, eat pork, etc… because the laws which are considered “lifestyle” laws as opposed to “moral” laws or “behavior” laws are often ignored whole cloth, as we are no longer in ancient Israel and our lifestyle has changed.

    That and there is the question of Paul’s vision in Acts 10 and how much it covers. What all was made clean? Obviously sin itself was not done away with, but the need to keep ourselves pure through avoidance of certain things was.

    Note: I have never said, “homosexuality is not a sin” I realize how most people read the Bible and what it seems to (or does, if you wish) say. I have never invoked my personal beliefs on the subject on this blog. I am simply asking that we have a compassionate discussion about the reality of people’s lives, and reality is often complicated and messy. All I ask is that people have as much compassion for homosexuals as we have for alcoholics, people facing drug and sexual addictions, and people with severe chronic problems such as depression. We often make room for the problems of the body, we forgive and cover each others failings in so many areas. Plus, I am forced to face the truth that my comparing homosexuality to alcoholism in this comment will deeply offend some dear friends of mine, who feel that there is NO comparison whatsoever to be made. If I wish to remain a good friend, I must leave personal conviction out of the question entirely and accept them as they offer themselves.

    When it comes to such complex and all encompassing problems as people’s sexual and gender identities, we tend to blame and act cruelly.

    Love and compassion redeem a multitude of sins.

  23. A pastor friend of mine once said that if Jesus came to earth now, he’d offend those on both sides of the aisle: conservatives and liberals. He’d definitely find whatever the Pharisees of our time consider “publicans and sinners” and would embrace them, hang out with them, love them (I hope that would include me!). At the same time, no matter what our inborn or circumstance-bred proclivities led us to do, he’d still say under certain circumstances: Go, and sin no more. And, thanks, shush, for your kind reply to my earlier comment. I try to walk that fine line, but worry sometimes I am not as gracious as could be.

  24. Ya know, I found myself thinking about this post and conversation thread yesterday and again today…my mind went to a story in the Bible where Jesus met a woman at a well who had been married 5 or 6 times and at that point was just living together with someone. He talked with her which in itself was not considered “kosher” in his day…you can tell he loved her. Randy Alcorn wrote a short little booklet called the Grace and Truth Paradox. If you haven’t read it, you’d like it. He wades into this issue of sexuality head on with the same spirit that Jesus addressed the woman at the well.

  25. here is more light in a world of darkness

    She walks the line: Connecticut nun and ethicist addresses sexual taboos and Christianity in her latest book

    BY TRACY SIMMONS REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
    Sister Margaret Farley, a Yale scholar, is the auther of “Just Love: A Framework of Christian Sexual Ethics.” She recently retired from Yale Divinity School. Contributed

    When Sister Margaret Farley became an ethicist almost 40 years ago, she never intended to write a book about sexual ethics. But after looking into the pained faces of hundreds of lay people, of students and of women tussling with the complexities of love, she began to mull over their struggles.

    Last year, she published “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics.” The book earned Farley, a Yale scholar, the 2008 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, a $200,000 honor given for new ideas. Farley’s belief is that justice is an indispensable part of sexual ethics. She defined the verb “justice” in her book as, “to render to each her or his due.”

    Farley, who lives in Guilford, acknowledges she’s taken a progressive stance on hot-button sexual issues, like homosexuality, remarriage and masturbation. While the Catholic Church has distinguished between the “homosexual condition” and homosexual actions, which it describes as “intrinsically disordered,” Farley says the Bible does not give a clear answer on same-sex relationships.

    “Although homosexual genital actions are still judged to be intrinsically disordered, and hence, ‘objectively’ immoral, they can be ‘subjectively’ moral depending on the state of mind and intentions of an individual person,” she writes. “It is difficult to see how on the basis of sheer human rationality alone … an absolute prohibition of same-sex relationships or activities can be maintained … We have to witness that homosexuality can be a way of embodying responsible human love and sustaining human and Christian fellowship.”

    Her views on divorce and remarriage, same-sex relationships, and ordination of women can be considered to differ with the official positions taken by the current Roman Catholic hierarchy, but Farley said that she proposes such challenges as an ethicist and moral theologian who is, ” trying to think through some of the troubling issues facing the church and society.”

    “I do not just assert my positions, I work my way to them, paying serious attention to the concrete situations in real lives where questions are raised, and working with significant resources in Scripture and in the Christian tradition,” she said. “My conclusions may indeed sometimes differ from official positions, but my effort is to shed light both on new questions, new contexts, and potentially new interpretations of the tradition.”

    Farley says that homosexuals have both a right, and a responsibility, to be fruitful through having and/or raising children and that a committed couple has the right to a satisfying sexual relationship.

    Similarly, on issues of divorce and remarriage, Farley disagrees with the Catholic church’s insistence that Christian marriage is indissolvable. “When it truly becomes impossible to sustain a marriage relationship, the obligation to do so is released,” she wrote.

    Susan Garrett, who directs the Grawemeyer award program, said Farley’s idea to chew over these issues, rather than believe what society and the church advocates, is essential.

    “It’s an important message in light of all the confusion surrounding sexuality today. The religious right issues stark decrees while the entertainment industry tells us ‘Anything goes.’ People are confused about what’s right,” Garrett said.

    “Just Love,” the seventh book Farley has written or co-written, addresses what she calls “Taboo morality,” which finds actions like masturbation immoral.

    “In the sexual sphere, ethical rules have been what one would call taboo, that this is right or this is wrong, and people feel guilty if they break the taboo,” she said. “It doesn’t work today because we know so much more about sexuality. … The taboo morality doesn’t work and we don’t have much of another one that does work.”

    But the idea that anything goes also does not work, Farley said.

    “Neither one of those positions are helpful today and people aren’t necessarily happier in their sex lives either. Actually, there’s a tremendous amount of unhappiness and pain and suffering. What we need to do is think through these questions,” she said.

    Although Farley is a member of the Sisters of Mercy orders of nuns and weaves Christianity into the book, she hopes her publication reaches people of with various religious backgrounds.

    “I hope what I do may be helpful for people of other faiths, or people with no faith traditions for that matter,” she said. “I wrote it for the people, for the ethical seekers of today.”

    She said assessing ethics is her job.

    “People still have this kind of romantic image of nuns floating around in long habits teaching little children, which is a very important thing to do,” she said, “but part of my calling is to learn how to think philosophically and ethically.”

    Farley is also a self-proclaimed feminist.

    “I certainly am a feminist,” she said. “Feminism is opposition to discrimination on the basis of gender, pure and simple. Everybody, in my view, should be a feminist.”

    Farley earned a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Detroit and taught at Mercy College for about five years before moving to Connecticut in 1967 to pursue a doctorate. In 1971 she began her career at Yale Divinity School and was the first woman appointed to serve full-time on the YDS faculty.

    She is now retired from YDS but is still overseeing some doctoral dissertations. She said she is playing with the idea of writing a sequel to “Just Love” and plans on writing a book about free choice.

    “Ultimately the elements in a choice have to do with motivation, we choose our motivation, and finally, and this is way oversimplified, I think we choose our own desires. We don’t choose to awaken them, but we choose which ones to follow through on,” Farley said.

    SIDEBAR:

    Over the years Sr. Margaret Farley has earned 11 honorary degrees, the John Courtney Murray Award for Excellence in Theology, a Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology and a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute Award and has served as past president of the Society of Christian Ethics and the Catholic Theological Society of America. She’s also co-chair of the Interdisciplinary Bioethics Project at Yale.

    SIDEBAR:

    Farley’s Norms for Sexual Justice

    1. Do no unjust harm

    2. Free consent of partners

    3. Mutuality

    4. Equality

    5. Commitment

    6. Fruitfulness

    7. Social justice

    SIDEBAR

    Farley’s other books

    “Personal Commitments: Beginning, Keeping Changing,”

    “Readings in Moral Theology, No. 9: Feminist Ethics and the Catholic Moral Tradition,”

    “Compassionate Respect: A Feminist Approach to Medical Ethics.”

  26. short synopsis homosexuality and scripture……..if you want more you know where to go.

    lev in under the old covenant. not all the prohibitions of themselves were sins…………such as household chores on the sabbath.

    num15: 32 While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. 35 Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” 36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.

    heb 8 the reason the covenant in christ declared new is because what is old becomes obsolete and eventually passes away

    gen gang rape

    romans is about same sex relations motivated by shamebased lust(niv)look at the 31 entries about what the bible says about lust. http://www.biblegateway.com

    according to romans sin is commited because people are given over to a spirit of sexual lust. in romans they abandoned what before they were given over to naturally(found and self affirmation) and because they were given over to spirit of lust and indulged in what brought self loathing and self hatred(the fruits of shame based lust). paul wrote this to show the power of the spirit of lust and that passions of the sin nature are shame ridden.

    a person is gay because he feels naturally given over to same sex attraction, regardless of whether innate or choice.

    the fact that romans describes the sins commited in same sex relations no more condemns homosexuality, than the incestial rape of samuel 2 and adulterous murder of samuel 1 condemns heterosexuality.

    homosexuals bond out of mutual love, respect, attraction, devotion, and trust for a shared life together, the same as heterosexuals.

    itim and icor the greek words literally translated mean male bed. the original translation from the (kjv)is abusers of themselves with mankind. “male bed” and even the leap to abusers is obviously too vague to get a clear understanding of what paul was attempting to say. there were other greek words for that time that paul could have used that were very clear.

    i emailed 11 different translations, translations that had transposed the word homosexual for “abusers………….”asking for all reference material that allowed for this transposition. many months have passed and i have received only an immediate acknowledgement of my request and then nothing more.

    what i am saying is that the transposition was incorrect.

    this translation puts homosexuality under regulation. by doing so it puts all who are gay under the law. paul says in christ we are no longer under the law but instead under grace.

    in doing so this translation comes against the spirit of the new covenant of christ.

    jesus said by their fruit you will know them….. meaning fruit of the spirit. the fruit of the spirit of god is love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, self control, faithfulness, gentleness, and patience.

    therefore all that is of god bears this fruit. homosexuality is a form of human bonding the same as heterosexuality.

    the only valid test under the new covenant, one in which we are led and serve of the spirit and not of the old relationship to the written code………………is what is the spirit of homosexuality and what is the fruit of that spirit?

  27. the difficulty i have with my own peace of mind, is having to live with the conditioning that is in me. that even those things that i logically reason are okay, because of the conditioning in me that says otherwise i am still reeling from gargantuaous amounts of guilt.

    so it really doesnt matter what someone else says or proves or what i say or prove, i still remain in a state of needing healing.

  28. John: thank you for sharing your struggle. It’s horrible, the pain and suffering that people go through, especially when it could be resolved with just a little compassion.

  29. You know, I sat and read everyone’s comments on this post. All of the christians and their views.

    I would like to point out that Jesus embraced everyone.

    You are all supposing that God doesnt forgive. That he is a mean and vengeful God. That is not the God of my understanding. Jesus said that we are all his children.

    I think it is so very sad that you pick and choose the parts in the bible that you feel justify your arguments. To say Gay people are against God, suggests somehow that God has made a mistake in putting them here. God makes us all perfect.. and loves us just the way we are… inspite of ourselves. Remember that.

  30. you must not be very familiar with scripture. if you reread it you will realize, that i was making the case, that scripture has never said homosexuality was a sin.

  31. That’s a very moving post. The comments are interesting reading too. One thing I think I can tell about you, even without reading any more of your blog, is that you’re one of those thoughtful, sensitive, intelligent people the world is so short on. As cheesy as this is likely to sound: Thank you for being you.

  32. Amber: thank you. I do find it incredibly disheartening when people simply reiterate Biblical arguments, especially since that wasn’t my intention with the post.

    Cowboy: Thank you. Sincerely.

  33. please feel free to erase them…… with or without explanation.

    im not sure i understand………………i was aware it was not the intention of the post, but thought because what was shared that it had become appropriate………….if i was wrong……………… why didnt you erase it……..are you saying im offended but its okay?…………..or are you asking is anyone offended besides me?

    the truth is after i wrote it wished i hadnt. however but because i wrote it i became aware of the human condition of being shackeled by a liketime of conditioning. that though i may want to embrace something fully, i cannot becuse of the negative influences that have become part of me.

    there is another story about dealing with being gay. titled “GROWING UP GAY, MY PERSONNAL STORY” @ http://hem.passagen.se/nicb/story.htm

  34. John: I am not at all upset with you. Sometimes comment threads take on a life of their own, and many people before you brought the Bible into the discussion. That is the way with such things, it always ends up boiling down to the basic argument, and despite all attempts to the contrary the argument always seems to come back to what is or isn’t sin. Please don’t think I’m upset with you, you brought in a different point of view and that’s always a good thing!

    Thanks for the link!

  35. Shush,

    Oh look at you, stirring up things all over the place! But before I respond to your post I just want to give a big THANK YOU shout out to the commenter who did a cut and paste of Leviticus and Romans we GLBTQ people just can’t hear those two passages enough. I mean, sure, we spent plenty of time considering them when we were first coming out to ourselves and okay, they were the first words our conservative families were able to utter when we came out to them and yes, there have been more than a few pastors and church leaders that provided us with various translations of these passages, and then there’s the television evangelists who know them by heart and don’t hesitate to use them but really, can you ever hear them enough?

    Back to you Shush (now that I’ve exorcised my demons (or is that exercised?) I very much appreciate your simple acknowledgment that GLBTQ folks would be single-cell amoebas to choose to be gay given the consequences they often encounter from other people’s reactions and prejudices. As an evangelical Christian and a minister within a conservative denomination being gay wasn’t in the plan I had for my life, not even as an option to be considered. No “be a leader in my high school youth group, go to Bible College, enter ministry, serve a church for 15 years, lead Christian Education workshops around the country, decide to be gay, resign from ministry, be told to not be alone with children by my pastor, participate in months of painfully strained relationships with my beloved parents, lose friends, be despised by strangers, have my relationship with my spouse negated and devalued, have my life complicated by laws that require we jump through hoops to protect ourselves, and then, let’s go to Disneyland!”

    All the things you listed as the “downside” of being gay in our world are indeed things queer folk encounter but at the same time, putting aside my silliness above, being gay can be the most amazingly graced experience of a lifetime. I love being a gay Christian. I love the perspective it’s given me in how I see the world, how I appreciate the words and life of Christ as told in the Gospels, and how words like grace and justice have burst open. I’m knocked out by the courage I see in those GLBTQ Christians who hold on boldly to their faith despite the rejection they’ve been dealt by some in the church. I appreciate every moment in ways that are so easy for others to take for granted, the wonder of loving another person and drawing closer to them with every passing year even when there’s so little in the world or church that supports and encourages what they share as a couple. And when my spouse and I stand side by side at the communion table each Sunday surrounded by our straight brothers and sisters, our hearts explode with the love of God that welcomes, embraces and includes us all.

    We have a long way to go within the church and without to live out full justice for all God’s people but until that day comes and it will as long as the invisible kingdom exists among us, for some of us it’s a really great life and we’re continuing to spread that world to those who don’t believe it can happen for them. A DVD of this soapbox sermon may be purchased by calling 1-800-latte-now. Operators are standing by.

  36. It is hard being gay and being a part of a church. I choose to be a member of my church, though, because I believe in Jesus’s message of love. He never hated anyone as far as I know. I love my partner, whom I have been with for nearly 17 years. A lot of married couples can’t say that. And we are really blessed.

  37. Thanks for this. For anyone who is ostracized from their church, check out the Unitarian Universalist creed.

  38. anita and 1dumbblond : your posts both made my heart so full. You are both true children of God. God has a reason for everything. He has a plan. Even if we don’t like the plan, it has a purpose. I admire your courage and strength. Some would turn their backs on the church for being treated so poorly. I am glad you have found peace within yourselves and the church.

    Sending you both the warmest of hugs and good wishes.

  39. Anita: as always, thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate your sincerity and willingness to be open!
    1dumblonde: you’re right, a lot of married couples can’t say that! I hope your devotion to the church brings you happiness.
    hereticpriest: thanks for dropping by.
    Amber: you have such a warm heart. Thank you for that!

  40. Shush, thank you.

    How very often I have had scriptures quoted to me and that good ol’ word ABOMINATION thrown my way as well. It’s sad. That word is used out of the original context so much that it near turns my stomach at the mear mention of it.

    Anita, thank you yet again for your wit and your truth.

    I love how people quote those same verses over and over. As you know, they are the unchangable.. black and white verses. The only ones that change with culture and interpretation are the ones that say that you cannot sleep with your wife on her period, or that women cannot speak out in church, and well I remember Jesus saying something about divorce, but none of those apply today… just the scriptures that refer to sexual sin.. and umm.. sexual sin is sexual sin whether you are gay or straight.

    What I’ve come to know to be truth for me, is that never in my life would I choose this. And that there is nothing.. absolutely nothing.. that could make God love me any less or any more than He already does right at this moment. And that if I truly look at taking the log out of my eye, I won’t have time to try to find your speck because it will take me long enough to deal with this big ol’ plank.

    Again, thanks for your words. I’m at work so I haven’t had the pleasure of reading through all the comments, but I will.

  41. Joni: Thank you so much for commenting. I apologize for the late reply, but I simply haven’t had the time as I’ve been on vacation.

    You are so right, that we need to deal with our planks! That is the one place in the scripture that prescribes selfishness, but I think it’s for a reason.

    Again, thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my blog! I feel blessed to have had a chance to speak to your heart.

  42. cooleyhigh-

    You said “If you don’t have the means to accept the Holy Words of GOD, then you reject them. It is as simple as that.”

    Life would be awfully easy if there was a clear dividing line like that wouldn’t it? If everyone would just interpret what is written in exactly the same way. What a world it would be. No dawn or dusk, just an instantaneous change *BANG* from night to day, or from day to night.

  43. I just came across your blog, its really well written and I love the clarity of your thoughts.

    I hope you don’t mind me offering this thought as I barely know you but I have to say you’ve articulated two very important points.

    Firstly why would anyone “choose” to be gay? You’ve completely rubbished the bigoted theory that homosexuality is a choice in a couple of concise paragraphs.

    Second, and this is why I might be overstepping the mark, it sounds to me like you are possibly bisexual or at least bi-curious, yet you choose not to be because of what it would cost you in your church and with your family.

    So the conclusion I’m left with is that, for you at least, being straight is the choice. Would that be fair?

    David
    http://www.bitheway.co.uk

  44. ah, David, you put your finger on a very interesting spot! Did I, in fact, choose heterosexuality? It’s quite possible. I was never very sexual at all as a teenager, almost all of my relationships (male and female) were entirely platonic, and several of my closest friends (including Stella) suspected that I was gay. But I really, really wanted a family, and I really wanted the kind of life that only heterosexuality easily allows.

    Am I, in fact, bisexual and simply molding my life to fit what I want? Maybe. I can honestly say that I’ve always been at least a little physically attracted to women, but I’ve never explored that aspect of my sexuality enough to know if that goes beyond observation.
    Hm.

    You give me much to think about. 😀

  45. Gay. Lesbian. Bi-sexual. Transvestite. Heterosexual. Our society, our world, everyone’s own choice.
    So Shush – you say that you may just be bi and molding to the life you want. That isn’t a sin – you know your feelings and you don’t deny them. You know them, and you don’t act on them.

    I am the same, in a way. I have been attracted to women since I was a little girl. I don’t know why – I’ve had a mother and a father since I was born. (stepmom, stepdad, mom and dad to be exact) I know that I have had these conflicts a many many times in my life. In my mind, being gay and lesbian is wrong. So how do i justify my bi-curious feelings? How do I justify my previous actions and thoughts? I can’t. I am a sinner, but I see how those roads lead people and my previous friends to destruction. It isn’t healthy from what I have observed, and I in no way hate or judge those who choose that life style.

    I do believe that people decide to be gay. It is in their life and how they grew up, what was around them, what they were taught, the things they lacked, the affections or lack of they were shown, there are many contributing things. God didn’t make us with GAY DNA.

    I have taken the time to read EVERY single last comment on here. Why? Because I care about what people have to say. I will not justify my thoughts with scripture or just because God says so right now – because I simply am not in the mood. If you care about my opinion you will be fine with it, and not spark a debate with me.

    I was raised by two very loving parents – without any homosexual interference until school started and even then it was my choice of action. I didn’t understand it, but I got into some things of experimentation and porn as a young girl of even 5th grade. We are very sexual beings as children because our bodies are growing, and we are trying to understand how we develop. What I was feeling, I felt very ashamed of and told no one. I have explored my bi-curiosity but that does not mean I am gay. God made us all with feelings, hormones, and free will. We can exercise it to whatever extent we want, but still will have to face Him in the end. It’s up to those who care about their choices and their sins. It’s up to us who view it wrong to preach and help those who ask WITH LOVE and with GOOD intentions. We can only fix the world when we fix ourselves.

    So I tell you – am I bi-? I don’t know. Not right now at least. I know how my hormones work, and I know the logic that God has placed in me. I pray that not only do I learn, and grow, but other people around me and those in the world can figure it out.

    -Amber

  46. ybtolerant: Sexuality is such an immensely complex thing, I don’t think that anyone can really wholly assess why they are who they are. We just are.

    I don’t make any apology for who I am and I don’t say “perhaps it’s true that I’m bisexual” with any shame. The life I am living is a good and holy one, and that is enough for me.

    As far as you are concerned, if you feel you are living a good life, you are harming no one, you honor yourself and God, and you are not cold or judgmental- that is what matters. God will lead you to who you ought to be, so long as you are willing to follow.

  47. Thank you – it’s nice to hear that from someone else.

    I appreciate the comment 😉

    I don’t apologize fr yself anymore either. I like who I am, I have accepted it, and I don’t care what other peple think about me.

    Anyways – love your postings!
    Keep it up!
    -Amber

    ps. if you haevn’t checked it out yet, I still think that you would really enjoy that book Be Intolerant by Ryan Dobson ^_^

  48. To Everyone.

    Sane Christian is right. Cooleyhigh “summonded” it up quite well, you’re either “in” as a Christian or you are out. Sounds like a bloody good reason to be out.

    If that’s Christianity then god can kiss my ass!

    Why do we need religion anyway? Belief in God is the intellectual equivalent of belief in the tooth fairy. There’s as much proof of the existence of both. (IE: NONE.) Why do we persist in this childish mass delusion?

    Peer pressure? Fear? The hope that our live amounts to more than just our crappy 9-5 existence? Well I’ve got news for you, live is what you make it. Looking to a higher power to give if meaning just teaches you to be complacent and to accept your shitty lot with a dose of demure fatalism.

    If life without God makes you feel hollow and empty, go out and change your life. Do something that will make you happy. Feel fulfilled, build a school for orphans, backpack across a continent, climb Everest (or something a little smaller). The world is a wonderful place and gets a lot better the further your get from fundamentalist religion.

  49. David all of that is momentary and you know it. I do wonder if you believe in Love I assume not, there is no scientific way of proving its existence.

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