…synchroblogging on bridging the gap.

I was invited to participate in a synchroblog occurring today.  Bloggers that blog on the topic of religion, Christianity, and homosexuality are blogging today about the attempt to reconcile these factions.  It was brought to my attention that most of my blogs make it seem that my faith is no longer important.  It is quite the opposite.  My faith is just as important as it ever was, but it has grown, matured, and developed.  It looks very different from my old faith.  There is no shame or problem with what my faith looked like in high school.  It was what I needed to get through some difficult times. 

One of the many tenants I propose with this blog is simple: compromise for peace.  There are some people with political minds that are groaning right now.  I am not naive enough to believe that if we all just listened, compromised, and agreed our world would be at peace.  Having studied negotiation during my degree I understand that there is a lot more that must occur.

 

My previous post was a link to a letter to the Mormon Church forgiving them for past transgressions.  Some of my friends expressed concern over this.  I understand their viewpoint and want to support them.  I never want anyone to do anything they do not feel comfortable with.  Life is about experiences and learning from them.  We all need to be strong in our own beliefs.  In my eyes, this forgiveness to any body of wrongdoing (the LDS Church, the Roman Catholic Church) needs to happen to be able to move on. 

 

I cannot change the past or make certain indiscretions disappear.  Forgiveness is not a forgetting.  I do not want to forget that the LDS church fought vehemently for Prop 8.  We must accept it happened, express our reasons for that not being the best course of action, and move on.  The longer we dwell on what we cannot change, the longer it will take us to change what we can.  I want Prop 8 overturned, but telling the LDS Church how evil they are will not help enlighten them to this civil rights issue.

 

With that being said, I want to add my remedy to some of the division between the homosexual identity and a religious/spiritual identity.  Education is key.  Sometimes within these heated issues we forget to provide our side, clearly and concisely.  When I hear people saying that homosexuality is a sin and a choice or that marriage equality will destroy heterosexual marriage I can often just explode in rage.  I want to yell that they are close-minded and ignorant.  Telling these people that will not convince them to change.  We need to express our reasons and experiences.  Below I have published an email conversation between two people doing exactly this.  You can easily guess who I agree with, but the dialogue is the important part. 

 

“I’ve been fairly quiet since joining this list. But your recent message makes me genuinely curious.

How will my marriage to my husband —- undermine other marriages between a man and a woman? We’ve shared ten happy and wonderful years together. In that time, I’ve yet to see our marriage have a detrimental effect on other marriages.

We’ve not imposed our marriage on churches who do not wish to recognize the blessing of our relationship. We have no plans to. No one is trying to force churches with a narrow view of marriage to marry couples they do not approve of – gay or straight.

No one has come forward to say they are getting a divorce because of us.

Here’s a curious fact: The states that have embraced marriage equality had the lowest divorce rates before allowing gay couples to marry – they still do. States with the highest divorce rates have specifically banned gay couples from marrying.

I share your concern about protecting traditional marriage up to a point. I am concerned about 50+% divorce rates among marriages between a man and a woman. Divorces are particularly painful when they involve children. And women typically fare worse than men in divorce settlements.

Seems like DOMA has done nothing to protect marriage in the USA, and it seems insincere to ban gay couples from marrying to “protect” marriage. Instead of banning gay couples from marrying, shouldn’t you be seeking a ban on divorce?

Respectfully and sincerely,

J*****

M*** responded to my reply with . . . . .

J****, I realize that you feel something for your partner. It may be love but the sin in the relationship is that is is love for a fellow man (male) not the love that God intended for the parents of a child or sexual intercourse. It is a mistake and a sin in the eyes of God. It is a behavior that you choose. I and the members of this group are not discriminating against a race or a biological condition by supporting this bill, we are discriminating against a choice. That is a fact.

While you are a nice enough guy I’m sure, I cannot condone your actions no matter your argument. Marriage is not perfect between any 2 people, and especially not when there is obvious and blatant sin. When we ask for forgiveness we are commanded “go and sin no more..” that means do not keep committing the same sin over and over again intentionally. I cannot not be a disciple of Christ or a Christian and sit by while my government puts a stamp of approval on a behavior that is blatantly against the teachings of Christ.

My or and Christian’s doing so becomes a stumbling block for those who are weak in their faith or not yet saved. Your marriage does threaten families. It threatens children and their development as to what is natural and it threatens your salvation and that of those for whom you are an example.

I am not trying to put you down. I am not trying to claim that I am without sin. However, my relationship with the Lord convicts me of my personal sin and keeps me on the right path when I do fall off. Not that God causes things to happen to me or anything, but I feel remorse and regret when I sin. Christians are told in 1 Peter 3:15 “Instead, exalt the Messiah” as Lord in your lives. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you to explain the hope you have with gentleness and respect.” I am charged to explain to you why and you have asked me why! My hope is in the Lord, and it hurts me to see any person blatantly and publicly sin and feel no remorse. This life is short and it is hard. But God promises me an eternity of being perfected and in His presence and I want that more than anything.

I know I won’t change your mind because it is not within my power. But ponder some things with me.

“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of His Son….We see the original & intended shape of our lives there in him.” Romans 8:29

We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created” Colossians 1:15

Jesus overturned the tables in the temple (Mark 11:15-19) because sin was occurring openly there. How different is your body from that temple? Your body is the temple for your soul.

What is the purpose of your relationship Jonathan? How does the design of your life reflect the life of Christ?

Just think about it and remember you emailed me.

Thanks for hearing me out and I may not have addresses every topic you brought up because I have to run to Walmart but thanks for being respectful. I will pray for you and I don’t know if you are a believer but either way pray for me. We can all use a little more of it and God hears every one of them.

Your friend,
M****”

 

Please visit other bloggers who are writing on this same issue today.  If you are visiting, thank you for reading.  Please comment.  Until next time, peace!

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5 Responses to “…synchroblogging on bridging the gap.”

  1. LOL!!!! WOW, he turned my frown upside-down when that guy said “I have to run to Walmart.” That is soooooo awesomely hilarious.

    I ACCEPT that because of religion, people CHOOSE blind faith and ignorance over reason, logic, and scholarship; but, I do not and will not FORGIVE them for atrocities commited because of that CHOICE, especially since there has been NO evidence of their backing down from their fanaticism. In my book, forgiveness is granted AFTER the apology, not BEFORE.

    Also, getting Bible-thumped at makes me wretch…and I agree that EDUCATION is key…because it helps people view the world and make decisions in it based on what’s inside more than just one book.

  2. I love the “I may not have addressed every topic you brought up because I have to run to Walmart…” comment. What a cop out. That’s funny on so many levels.

    I would respond more to this post, but I have to run to McDonald’s. :-p Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. I read this blog several times and it is not sitting well with me at a core level. From what I am getting is that BOTH sides need to ask for forgivness??? Gays have not done anything hurtful that they need ot be forgiven for. So why should we put ourselves in what i see as a subserviant, self-depricating position for something that we have not done?

    It appears to me to be an attempt by Christian groups to twist / brainwash gays into beleiving that there is something fundamentally wrong with them that they need to be forgiven for.
    It is simalr to asking a slave to have seen the viewpoint of his master, and asking for forgiveness for being less than a full person…(slaves were considered 2/3 of a full human).

    For those of you quoting scripture, I am not a religious person but i know the fundamental tennants of a debate. And if scripture is going to be used to substantiate a point, it can easily be refuted when compared to anotehr line. In NO version of the New Testament did Jesus speak against homosexuality. Sooo it boggles my mind how ANY Christian group can use New Testament scripture, or Jesus to substantiate a claim.

  4. Pam Orlowicz Says:

    Seems to me that bridging the gap between homosexuality and religion,, especially Catholic Christianity, is a monumental task. One solution is for all the clergy who are gay to come out. When the people in the pews realize that good Father ___ is gay and has been a dedicated and beloved priest who everyone loves, they will begin to change their views. Someone in the Franciscans once told me that he estimated that at least 40% of the Franciscans in the Holy Name province were gay. Perhaps the most famous one was Mychal Judge. I never met anyone who knew Mychal Judge and cared that he was gay. He was the best priest anyone could hope for. Everybody who met him had an experience of Christ’s love. It is fear that keeps these priests in the closet and fear which breeds contempt from the people in the pew. This fear springs from the unknown. The paradox is they, like Fr. Mychal Judge, are known to be wonderful and loving pastors and christians, just not as gays. The powers that be in the Christian churches couldn’t possibly continue their crusade against the gay population if all the homosexual clergy could overcome their fear and be who they really are, come out to their congregations and get on with the business of being followers of Christ. Just look at the Episcopalian church. The people of God would clearly benefit from such a move. The fear (false expectations appearing real) would be gone, replaced by the mutual witness to the God of love.

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