"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day

3.29.2006

My Obligation.

I've been looking through the blogs of friends today and through the blogs they connect me to and have found a very frank discussion of the Church of Christ's role in relationship to the gay community. I am truly impressed by what most of these people have said, and alarmed/appalled by the comments they are receiving. I looked back at my blog entries and realized that I haven't talked about this. It could be for several reasons. 1. Everyone who reads this thing knows very well my opinions about this issue; 2. This is something so important to me, that I don't really know that anything I say could do it justice; 3. I don't know that I want to be part of the fray. But today I feel compelled to be (I apologize if it seems a bit disconnected. It's really several posts in one.)

So, Brokeback Mountain. I think it's very interesting that a film about something that happens all the time has caused such a stir among Christians--either being on the side that think this is important to witness, or on the side that are appalled that it exists. I think all of these people, and really everyone, needs to see or read The Laramie Project. This is the story of a theatre company going to Laramie, Wyoming and interviewing the community about Matthew Shepherd's murder. It is amazing and terrifying and in so many ways indescribable. It has the same messages as Brokeback Mountain, but is so much more difficult to watch, and because of that, so much more convicting. Matthew Shepherd did nothing wrong. He hid nothing. He betrayed no one. And he was met with such violence as no one should ever even have to imagine.

I feel like this issue will be very important to my generation. Gay and Lesbian people are the last Americans who are left unprotected against bias and hate crimes and inequality. I believe it is our job as Christians to stand up for people who are in need of protection. And I know that for many Christians, the sin is still greater than the sinner. But I say this to them. Imagine the person you love most in the world. Now imagine that they are gay. Imagine the torture that they go through everyday knowing that their society, and, for many their church, believes that in loving the person they love, they are committing an unforgiveable sin. Imagine them feeling rejected by their families and their friends, and ultimately their God. I have seen this happen over and over and over again, and that is why this is so important to me. I feel that there is no greater injustice than taking God away from someone. I believe this is what the religious community is doing when we reject people from our body based soley on their sexual orientation.

I don't believe that this should matter so much. While I understand that people often come to define themselves by aspects that are singled out by others, it's just sex. There are many, many, many things that should be more important in defining a person. My straightness does not define me. My personhood does.


I was a part of a Bible study on homosexuality when I was in college led by one of the smartest people I've ever met. He began the discussion by saying that if you had never struggled with homosexuality, or had never witnessed someone you loved in their struggle, that you were there to listen, and not to talk. This didn't really go over well, but I believe it led to one of the most frank and enlightening conversations we ever had on the matter. We all know the verses in the Bible that say this is wrong, but when engaged in this debate we often forget the ones that speak of compassion and love for all people. Shouldn't compassion always be greater than condemnation?

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

I am not sure why, but lately when I read your new posts I get the chills. Maybe it is because I know your personality and your motivation behind your posts.

And I am forced to read what you have to stay in full before I can interupt. ;)

Kaley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kaley said...

Casey,
I really enjoy reading your blog. You write so well and so passionately, and I am always moved by what you have to say.

I'm not sure what all my thoughts are on this subject, but I know that I believe that love is the answer more than anything else.

Kaley

JTB said...

Thank you, Casey.