Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Straight, Southern, Christian Redneck on Homophobia

by Neal Wooten on Huffpost

I'm not judging homosexuals. The Bible clearly states that it's wrong, so these people are making a conscious choice to live a life of sin. That's why they can't be Christians, and if they're allowed to marry, it will destroy our society.


This is the argument I have heard many times, mostly from dear friends in the South. It amazes me how they perceive this one sin as a conscious choice, but not the other 660-plus sins listed in the Bible. Let me be very clear: All sins are on purpose. No one has ever tripped and accidentally fallen into a sin. To sin is human, regardless of whether it's planned or spontaneous. Sin is not synonymous with right and wrong. If it were, Heaven would be an empty place.

To be fair, some of my gay friends make the argument that their love and same-sex marriage is not what the Bible is referring to, and hence not a sin. I don't know. I am familiar with every passage regarding homosexuality and have read them many times, but I guess I lack the intelligence to fully understand it. That point, however, is moot. The most dangerous things in any society are hate, fear, prejudice, and intolerance.

Let us assume, for sake of this argument, that homosexuality on any level is a sin. Making gay marriage illegal does not un-gay people, so it saves no one. Jesus said that thinking an action is the same as acting upon it, so even if a gay person does not ever engage in homosexual sex, it would not matter. So this anti-gay position, which perceives homosexuality as an unforgivable sin, changes nothing.

The Bible is very clear that there is only one unforgivable sin, and it's not homosexuality. The fact is that we are all born incapable of living a sin-free existence, and I'm certain that most of us are guilty of sexual sins. I don't know one heterosexual guy who hasn't fantasized about some woman he's not married to, be it a neighbor, a co-worker, a celebrity, etc.,and if we're to believe Jesus, then not acting on these desires does not excuse the sin. That's right: We're all the same.

This means all anti-gay arguments are based solely on personal prejudice, and this is easy to prove. For example, there are over 1 million divorces in the U.S. every year. The number-one reason listed is "irreconcilable differences." Adultery makes up a small percentage.

But Jesus, who never said anything about homosexuality, was adamantly clear on divorce. He said that if a man divorces his wife for a reason other than adultery or fornication, the divorce itself causes her to commit adultery, and any man who marries her after that commits adultery also. That means that approximately 1 million people in this country alone every single year are not only choosing to live a life of sin but condemning possibly 1 million more to sin too. Yet how many times have you heard of people petitioning the government to outlaw divorce?

In fact, when a woman leaves a man for his drinking, gambling, or being abusive, etc., we totally support her and commend her for having the courage to get out of a bad marriage. Why do we do that when the Bible is crystal clear on divorce? Why does the Bible suddenly not seem important? Divorce is a sin that affects many more people than homosexuality, and yet we ignore the teachings of Jesus here.

The New Testament is very clear about how to conduct your life. The Bible is not a weapon, nor is it a measuring unit with which to prove that you are a better Christian than someone else. It never instructs you to ignore your own sins while singling out others' sins that you don't like. It makes it clear that your sins are the same as those of others.

The Bible is the ultimate DIY book. It explains that you are to let your life be an example to others, a light, a beacon. Even Jesus met with the worst sinners He could find. Those were the people He came for. Those were the ones who needed His love and light the most. So if someone truly believes that being gay is worse than other sins, although this in not backed up by the Bible, they should embrace homosexuals, love them, and let their life shine for them.

Ironically, if anyone chooses to see homosexuals as different, if they believe that gay people do not deserve the same basic rights as everyone else, if they choose to take any anti-gay stance at all, they're making a conscious choice to live a life of sin.