Terrific commentary on the “gay lifestyle” by by Erin at Irreverin ( Patheos)
I’m going to say a thing. Stop me if you’ve heard it: “Just because I don’t accept someone’s lifestyle, doesn’t mean that I hate them!”
I’ve heard it before. So have you. If nowhere else, you’ve seen it (blowing up your newsfeed) on a meme quoting Rick Warren. But more broadly, you’ve heard it in conversations with people who do not support equal marriage rights. Maybe you’ve even said it, written it, or thought it yourself.
This line of discourse is the new ‘love the sinner/hate the sin.’
Thing is…when you say ’hate’ in close proximity of gay people, then the sentiment becomes a presence in the room. (Kind of like “I’m not a racist, but…” Once you say ‘racist,’ that word will color whatever thing you say next. Pun intended). Our culture is ripe with hatred toward LGBT folks. It comes in all shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of hostility. And the truth is, you don’t have to be a mean or hateful person in order to be a part of the problem.
And if you’re still saying “lifestyle,” there’s still a problem.
Sexuality is an expression of the whole self. If you are part of a married, committed, hetero-couple, the Church (most any church) is willing to acknowledge this. God made us for love, for passion, to be one flesh and to share our lives together. To say that homosexuals have chosen a ‘lifestyle’– rather than to acknowledge that they are whole people, deserving of love and relationship– creates a divisive edge that will forever keep ‘gay-ok’ people and ‘traditional family’ folks from speaking the same language.
A promiscuous ‘lifestyle’ can damage our bodies, our souls, our communities, and separate people from God in ways that, yes, are ‘sinful.’ But this kind of ‘lifestyle’ is by no means reserved for LGBT folks. Straight people can sleep around; cheat on their partners; do drugs; stay out all night and flake on their responsibilities; neglect their children; overeat; and/or spend all their money on frivolous, selfish things while their neighbors go hungry.