If you haven't already done so, please be sure to read my first entry on My Penance. A friend of mine had asked me to elaborate on just how I got to the point in my life where I realized that sexual orientation is not a sin, nor should we be demonizing those who consider themselves to be same-sex oriented.
Let me first start off by saying that I am not
trying to convince you of my views. I will just explain to you how I
came to my views. It was a process of many years and came to a crisis
when my wife and I were transferred back to America during
the middle of our fourth term in Germany. That was not a happy time and
one I would rather not relive.
A lot of this has to do with my experiences. I had
lived in Germany for 10 years in a socialized economy. I had grown quite
used and accustomed to it, appreciating all aspects of it from the
universal healthcare to the mandatory 4 week paid vacations. When we
returned to the United States, the culture shock was worse than when we
lived in Germany.
When I started to mention some of my
frustrations about returning to the United States, I was told by many
people that I should return to Germany since I missed it so much.
all of this in mind, this was the situation I had. I basically went
through an identity crisis, which I hadn't gone through since I started
attending college. I went through your typical mid-life crisis.
is what happened with my thinking. I became very concerned with the
abject hatred of everyone who is in the LGBT community. It was
terrifying. This hatred was coming from conservative Christians who felt
that they were being persecuted by some "secret agenda" that the gay
community was trying to force on them. That baffled me. If anything, the
gay community was the one being marginalized and repressed, not the
majority Christian population.
Then it occurred to me, if Jesus
had come to Earth, who would he socialize with? Who are the marginalized in our society today?
Jesus never once spoke out against same-sex orientation in his ministry, but he certainly spoke out against
divorce. Yet we continue to enroll soldiers and
ordain and commission officers who have been divorced once or even twice. I
sincerely believe that it is because most straight people have this
"yuck" factor when dealing with the gay community, simply because they
do not understand them. They don't try to understand them. They don't want to understand them.
If we can enroll soldiers and
ordain/commission officers who are twice-divorced, then what about people in committed same-sex relationships? What about trans* people? Nothing even remotely address how we should treat trans* people in any guideline.
I have discovered that I am not alone in my
beliefs. I read an article by Major Juan Burry of The Salvation Army in Canada in the Canadian Salvationist magazine that addressed just how marginalized the LGBT community is. Another friend of mine, Major Jason Davies-Kildea, wrote an excellent personal testimony of his own experience and struggle with these issues.
I have also found community online. This has been the most encouraging to me. To have the knowledge that one is not alone in one's beliefs is consoling and encouraging.
Please don't misunderstand my intention. It is not about open rebellion or insubordination. It's about dialogue. Let's talk. Civilly. Let's listen. Let's communicate.
We are the Body of Christ. Let's act like it.
P.S.: Here's another detailed article that also goes over a Biblical view on same-sex attraction.