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Here’s an idea: Let’s meet in the middle

It’s an age old battle: Christians vs. Homosexuals. Because of its evolution, or lack thereof, the argument has become trite with noise and lacks any substance, as propagated with good example as Anonymous shared their plight with us in the last edition of The Corydon Democrat (‘Stereotypes fuel hatred of gays,’ Sept. 28, 2005).
Everyone has an opinion, and no one is willing to offer a solution.
Time and time again I hear where a gay person needs appeasement. I used to be one of those. ‘I’m here, I’m queer ‘ get used to it.’ I hate to be the bearer of bad news: I think you might be the only one who cares.
Then we have The Christians, a filthy breed of hate-mongers who are one homemade bone spear away from going ‘Lord of the Flies’ on all of society. Or some would have you assume.
Let’s get ‘real’ for a moment on both points.
Not every gay person is a pansy/pedophile like the writer states. There are gay people in our backyards who will live their lives as such until they die without raping anyone and who will never own a scented candle. Only a select few in their circle will know their lifestyle, and they will be productive leaders in our society without pause.
But on the flipside, not every Christian is a John Lewis. We (yes, I am an evil Christian) will never hand-fashion an ‘AIDS KILLS FAGS DEAD’ sign and stand on any courthouse lawns proselytizing.
Here is what I see as a man who has lived two lives, both as a flagrant homosexual and, now, as a flagrant Christian ‘
Gays are people. They are hard headed and unwavering in their beliefs. They believe their way of life is right, and those who don’t see it their way are wrong and lost.
Christians are people. They are hard headed and unwavering in their beliefs. They believe their way of life is right, and those who don’t see it their way are wrong and lost.
Oh, look, seems we have a common thread.
Let’s go through some stereotypes of Christians:
Lie One: Christians are all hard-nose hypocrites.
Truth One: Christians come in all shapes, sizes and types. And some are actually sympathetic.
Lie Two: Christians hate gays and want them to just go away.
Truth Two: There are Christians in the world who love people and, although they don’t agree with the gay lifestyle, can look past the veneer and love the person inside.
Lie Three: The Church has let the gay community down.
Truth Three: OK, I’ll give you that one.
But let’s remember something: The Church as an establishment is made up of people, and people are flawed. There are Christians in my life who may or may not worship with me, who think I am one Donna Summers’ Greatest Hits album away from a pair of gold lamee shorts and being re-immersed into the ‘Gay Lifestyle.’ Does that make me lose faith in church or God? No, it just makes me want to try even harder to live an upright life and prove them wrong.
Here’s how I see it: We need to stop pointing fingers at each other and learn to meet in the middle. Christians need to embrace gay people as ‘people,’ not as ‘gay.’ Until we Christians start assigning worth to people we believe are lost and jump in to get our hands dirty in properly witnessing to them in love, then we are never going to bridge our side of that gap.
Lemme tell ya, I got the Fire & Brimstone lecture for YEARS as a gay man, and it never changed my mind one time about how I was living. Not until someone came alongside me in gentleness and love did I ever question that maybe the way I was living was wrong for me. We have to deal with gay people on a one-to-one basis. Let’s stop attacking a community and start loving people as individuals.
And Gays, take heed: If you have spent any time in church or around Christians and you haven’t been hurt, you will be. It’s the way of the game. If you are currently or have been in a church that did not help you work through your questions to find Biblically-based answers to your queries, then you need to find another church. I know ‘ministers’ who do not believe Christ has the ability to change my life in healing me of my past. To them I just turn the channel because they are not transmitting anything I need to hear. I know what the Good Book says and without falling into scriptural rhetoric, I know where Christ stands on homosexuality. He told me Himself. That’s what happens when you stop looking at the Bible and actually read it with your heart and not your eyes.
Gays, listen up: Stop licking your wounds in the corner and get a life. So you’re different. Big deal. Just as you get discriminated against, so do Christians. Not long ago, I was talking about my faith at work when I was reminded that it was ‘against company policy’ to have such scandalous discussions. We are not all so different. And if you think no Christian has ever met his end at the hand of violence because of his lifestyle, you need to get out more.
Here’s what I suggest: Christians need to practice more righteousness and less piousness. I know it’s a revolutionary thought, but I have faith we can do it. And to the Gays: Why don’t you start doing some free-thinking of another kind and seek answers on your own? I know how it is: You got friends telling you how you’re ‘OK’ and ‘This is just how life is,’ but if you are hurting, do something to heal yourself. My triangle bumper sticker has not been gone so long that I can’t remember the pressures of your own community and what they levy on you.
I won’t beat you to death with my Bible if you don’t choke me to death with your rainbow flag. Let’s meet in the middle. I invite you to come to church with me, and if you don’t like it, leave. But at least give it a try and see if you like it. I wish there were an average of 20 openly ‘struggling’ homosexuals at my church every Sunday, because at least then I would know there is progress because the two sides would be united in a common goal: Understanding one another.
Gimme a holla. It’s on open invitation: [email protected]
And The Greatest of These is Love.