Agreeing to Disagree

Last night I was invited by two of my friends to have a friendly chat about homosexuality and Christianity. While it went much better than I ever thought it would, and it was kind of cute to watch people trying to drink hot chocolate with too much whipped cream, I still can’t get the last bit of it out of my mind.
I will never understand the conservative Christian who claims to speak for God. I have nothing against conservative Christians, and I applaud their convictions, but I don’t get it. How can a human be so sure in his assessment of God’s will, God’s word, or God’s plan. Even great theologians have been questioned, but he had enough confidence in his opinion, to look at them and say: “I can’t leave without telling you that what you are doing is a sin. You are endangering your soul by continuing to choose this behavior.” Really? I think I could have handled it better if he would have said, “In my opinion…” But he didn’t. After an hour discussion.
I will just go ahead and say here that I was moral support for my friends, presenting their beliefs, but “articulately.” I wasn’t that articulate. It was at the end of a long day. I was tired. I’m tired of discussing this issue. I am tired of having to defend my right to interpret Scripture differently than someone else. I think this is why I love literature. I have my opinion about a text, someone else has hers or his, we smile at each other, and agree to disagree.
My questions are:

  1. Why do we take up so much time in the church discussing things that seem to be so small?
  2. Why don’t we spend as much time discussing why people die every day because they don’t have food?
  3. Why don’t we put some of our anti-gay energy into getting Christians to tithe so that we can save the world?
  4. Why can’t we see that Scripture is far more concerned with a plethora of other things—widows, orphans, aliens, justice, mercy, grace, forgiveness, hypocrisy, gluttony, pride, envy, lust, covetousness, and the list goes on—than abortion, cloning, homosexuality, or whatever else?

I mean, if you look at the Bible, with no agenda, what is it is about? I think Micah 6:8 is a good summary of what God requires of us. Or if your agenda is anti-gay, the Bible somehow becomes about marriage, with the entire spirit of the church and Scripture from beginning to end wrapped in a nice heterosexual wrapper. Jesus is a man, and we, the church, are his wife. Hmmm.
I am pretty sure that I don’t need to explain that I don’t think it is a sin to be gay. I think that God creates beautiful people: gay, straight, transgendered, or whatever. And I don’t think God wants us all to live in constant fear or loneliness. God didn’t create us to be alone, but I also think that logistically God had to create a male and female to begin with, you know, for the simple sake of procreation. Usually, I think that God wants us to celebrate each other, find the person that God has out there for us, and live a happy life trying to honor God within the bonds of that relationship; be it with a male or a female, or someone in between.
I do want to stress that I have nothing against people who don’t agree with me, but sometimes, conservative readings of Scripture remind me of the Bush administration: be scared, do what we say without question, we don’t really care about much but our own agenda. And as long as you are scared, you are malleable. I also think it is interesting that in my experience that for whatever reason conservatives are more afraid of opinions that don’t match their own.
Is it because they are so invested in their own agenda?
Are they scared that in the end God will be a fat, old, black, Jewish lesbian sitting up there with her arms outstretched saying: “Come on home, Honey, I accept everyone!”

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