Yes, Homosexuality Absolutely is A Choice

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Confession time.

To all of my Christian brothers and sisters who insist that homosexuality is a choice, I need to break down and finally admit something: I agree with you.

I believe that it absolutely is a choice too, only not in the way that you may have meant.

But I guess that’s largely the crux of the problem we have here. I think you use your terms too loosely without really thinking them through. When you say the word homosexuality, I’m not sure you really know in that moment, just what you mean.

Christian, when you make the blanket statement that homosexuality is a sin, what you’re really doing without realizing it is reducing all LGBT people down to a sex act, as if that alone defines sexuality.

You’re denying any emotional component in their lives; any capacity to feel real love or show genuine affection toward someone else.

In a gross oversimplification, you’re labeling a complex, fully formed human being as merely a performer of intercourse.

That’s something you would never do with heterosexuality and especially not with your own sexuality, because you understand implicitly that your gender identity and sexual orientation are about much more than a physical act. They’re a much deeper part of who you are than that.

This is about far greater things than just plumbing and gymnastics.

You know that in your own life, the physical act of sex isn’t the totality of your sexuality; that it is also about affection and companionship and the desire to love and be loved. It’s about who you are drawn to and attracted to and compelled to be close to.

In your own story, you experienced those things firsthand before you ever thought about or experienced the act of intercourse. In those moments when you first began to understand your own sexual identity, it snuck up on you and surprised you. There was likely no internal battle, no great wrestling, no real conscious choice to be made.

It was not a decision that you came to, but a realization.

As a third grader, I remember we used to play tag on the school playground during recess; the boys against the girls. (They, after all had “girl germs”, so you had to avoid them lest you be touched and immediately infected). One sunny afternoon, a girl named Lori chased me across the steaming blacktop. Something hit me as we ran breathlessly through the school yard. I suddenly started to realize that I didn’t want to get away from Lori that much anymore. In fact, I sorta wanted her to catch me!

In that moment, there was no decision (other than the decision to start running a whole lot slower).

After that, the journey of the coming weeks and months and years was about more and more being revealed and uncovered over time—never a bit of it chosen.

Christian, you probably recall this in your own story of sexual identity and self discovery don’t you? You simply felt naturally and quite involuntarily, the impulses you felt.

By following those impulses you were making a choice, too. You were choosing to be authentic and true to your heart and mind’s leading. You were choosing to agree with the truth about how you loved. The alternative would never have been an option. 

Why is it so hard for you to believe that LGBT people are operating any differently?

Many Christians like to say that a gay person is “struggling with their sexuality”, but that is usually incorrect. In most cases, they are only struggling with the way Christians are treating them because of their sexuality. They are struggling to avoid condemnation, struggling to stay hidden and protected from the bullies, struggling to remain in faith communities where they are mistreated and shunned.

Their conflict is usually not with their sexuality or with God, but with the hateful people of God.

It’s rather careless to treat the gay community as if they are choosing their path of orientation, because what you’re implying when you do so, is that they are naturally wired to be straight but are making the conscious decision to act in direct opposition to this. You are charging them with the most profound emotional treason.

Does that line of thinking work at all if you superimpose it onto your own life? That would mean that you could just as easily be gay as straight; that you could, with enough cajoling and suggestion and support and prayer—choose to be attracted to, desiring of, and aroused by someone of the same sex.

Do you bristle at that idea? (Especially you super manly heterosexual Christian men) Do you find the concept offensive, even?

Good. You should.

It makes no sense and it’s an insult to your personal integrity. It simply defies any logic that you, me, or anyone chooses the way their hearts work.

I know that some of you are champing at the bit to ask the hypothetical, (because you ask me every day), “Well, what if someone says that they are naturally a pedophile; is that OK too?”

If you really want to compare two consenting adults finding mutual affection, companionship, and love in relationship with one another; to one adult preying upon a child purely for sexual satisfaction, that’s up to you but I find the comparison frankly ridiculous; one that shows a worrisome disregard for the greater humanity of LGBT adults.

The same goes for religious folk’s habit of equating the LGBT community with those who feel compelled to murder or steal or abuse drugs, and the reason is quite simple: Those things bring destruction and violence and damage. They are about one person desiring something inherently harmful. (And simply replying, “They damage themselves in God’s eyes” doesn’t quite cut it, I’m afraid).

Regardless of many Christians’ attempts to claim otherwise, two LGBT human beings involved in a committed loving relationship are not damaged by one another. They are, as with loving heterosexual relationships; encouraged, challenged, enriched, and supported by one another. (If you don’t want to take my word for it, ask them).

We can no longer ignore this critical distinction when we toss around our blanket statements about the gay community. It’s time that we who claim both Christianity and heterosexuality, ask some very difficult questions about what we really mean when we say that homosexuality is a choice, and that this choice is a sin.

When we use these words in this very limited and narrow way, we’re also assuming that our own inclinations, toward not just sex; but affection, intimacy, companionship, romance, and love, are all within our control and alterable; that they involve decision on any level.

We’re also assuming that anytime we have sexual relations with someone, that it is always an activity disconnected from and devoid of love. If we choose that path, we’re opening up our own expansive sexuality up to the prospect of being reduced down to solely the act of intercourse.

Further, we need to look at the Scriptures we so easily throw at the LGBT community and ask whether those handful of verses really refer to a person with beautiful inclinations toward love and affection and companionship, or whether they just refer to someone doing something with their body parts, and also ask how we apply those verses to actual flesh-and-blood human beings seeking authentic relationships.

What did the Bible writers reference when they used the words translated as “homosexuality”? (No such word existed when it was written, so this is a crucial question to ask and seek to answer well).

In this very important conversation where words do matter, we also need to jettison useless ones.

There is no such thing as a “heterosexual lifestyle”, just as there is no homosexual lifestyle. These terms have no real meaning or value. They speak no truth about any of us. They serve no purpose but to demean people and insult them and avoid respectful dialogue.

We should throw them in the garbage and dare to ask the much more difficult questions about how love, affection, intimacy, identity, and sexuality are connected—in all of us.

As straight individuals, we can’t demand to be drawn with great detail and precision, while simultaneously grossly caricaturing the LGBT community. Their hearts are as vast as our own, and their stories filled with all the nuance and complexity that we have experienced in ours.

Yes, LGBT people are absolutely making a choice.

They are choosing to be the most honest, authentic versions of themselves. They are choosing to be led by the unfiltered direction of their hearts, just as you and I are. They are choosing to relent to the things that in all of our lives, never can be chosen.

The only relevant choices for straight Christians, are whether or not we will treat the LGBT community as fully complex, intelligent, emotionally intricate human beings, and whether or not we will be willing to examine both our personal opinions and our theology accordingly.

The choice, is ours.

 

 

 

 

467 thoughts on “Yes, Homosexuality Absolutely is A Choice

    • I guess calling Charles Manson a murderer (which was his CHOICE) totally takes away from his humanity, his feelings, his capacity to feel love, and show emotion…I shouldn’t have been so harsh on him

      • If all you can take away from this article is that love shared between two consenting adults being as open, honest, authentic with each other as their self allows ought to be compared to heinous acts of abuse committed against innocents… I daresay you haven’t read the whole of the article, sir or madam.

        Or, perhaps, you simply haven’t examined your own heart, preferring to judge others, likely as a method of avoiding having to admit that you can’t live comfortably in the silence of your own room.

      • Really? You’re going to go right to murderer? You can’t even argue on the merits, from your own life experience, or based on any science–even the junk science used to support the so-called “reparative therapy professionals”? Instead, you’re going right to Manson. What a waste of a mind.

      • Ignorant. How can you compare murder with a mutual, loving relationship? This article is simply about acknowledging all the complex emotions LGBT people (just like straight people) experience having to do with their sexuality. “LGBT” is a label, just like “murderer” is a label, but nobody possessing the slightest shred of intelligence would lump the two into the same category.

      • …. Wow. OK Katkoff… You are EXACTLY the type of judgmental bigot being described. Comparing a healthy, loving relationship to a deranged killer, makes literally no sense. You hide behind your “religion” yet seen to forget every verse about loving others, respecting people and not judging others. You know what the bible DOES say will send you straight to hell? Judging others. Have fun.

      • KatKoff,
        You do realize that Manson has deep, deep, psychological issues and has been under treatment during his jail time. He also supposedly became a born again Christian and asked for forgiveness, “Grip Of Grace, Max Lucado’s book speaks of this. Max is addressing Grace and how we are all deserving of it. It is not man’s job to judge and/or tell people what they deserve and do not deserve from God. That is for God to decide and for God and each individual person to work out….period. Do you think God forgave Manson? Comparing murders and LGBTQ folks is complete nonsense. If you believe that gays are not to enter in to relationships, it is okay for you to express that and why you stand where you stand. Many, many people do not believe as you do. The conversations need to happen on this very topic, but all need to be educated in this area and opinions are all welcome, how ever, pure judgment of any one is not our job. People are born gay, they cannot change that. Some believe they should live celibate, some do not. Bringing murderers and listing other sins of the Bible in these discussions is so old and just does not hold water. We all really need to let people work this out with The Father. 🙂 Whether we agree with them or not, we should walk with them through this and not fracture their relationship with Jesus.

      • I had posted below, and meant Dahmer, not Manson, my mistake, Dahmer was mentioned in Grip Of Grace. Both men in the same insane category. Just wanted to correct that.

        • I agree with you but as I scroll down all the responses here it seems to me that “we” are missing an important point about “them”.

          We (rightly IMHO) say comparing homosexuality to murder misses the point. But the point being missed is OUR point, not theirs. If you want to bridge this gap, we have to try not talking past each other.

          What’s their point, the one that makes sense to them and not to us?

          Near as I can tell, it’s this. They think both murder and gay intimacy are (for lack of a better word) icky.

          Now as a gay man, this comes as no surprise. I’ve no doubt that straight people, if they think at all about gay sex, find the particulars disgusting. Just as I find the mechanics of straight sex disgusting.

          The difference between me and condemning straight Christians is that I know better than to equate my personal disgust with any attitude arising from God.

          Murder is prohibited by the Ten Commandments while no mention of sexuality itself gets mentioned. So God clearly didn’t think sexuality between people of the same gender merited a top ten prohibition. And in four canonical gospels in which Christ was hardly reticent to rebuke others for their lack of righteousness, Jesus said not a single word of condemnation for gay people.

          So there’s a strong case to be made that sexual orientation, in and of itself, isn’t a terribly big deal.

          Most everybody agrees with the moral corruption of murder. Far from everybody agrees about the morality of homosexuality.

          Yes you can find and clutch a few verses out of thousands to rationalize turning personal feelings of ickiness into Divine condemnation.

          But you can (and others before us have) done the same to rationalize slavery. Today, we know better than to stamp some scriptural imprimatur onto an abhorrent practice like slavery. We need to grow up and understand the same now applies to homophobia.

          Jesus told us quite unambiguously that one of his commandments was to love one another. Gay people do that.

          If you have an issue with that, take it up with Christ. But you’re likely to be told to dispatch the plank in your own eye before wagging your tongue about the speck you’re so certain in mine.

            • Aren’t we lucky that you spend your life pointing out others “sins”. You certainly are a righteous person. Maybe invest more time trying to live a righteous life rather than judging others. Seems your focus should be internal not external.

          • Important to remember: Adultery was a property crime. In our time, we classify it with honoring your mother and father. People of biblical times would have likened it more to not coveting your neighbor’s ox.

      • This isn’t a good argument. The problem with your logic is that Manson had victims. By killing them he took away their right to humanity, feelings, ability to feel love and show emotion. That is a tragedy, a crime and deserves our condemnation. By contrast, homosexuality has no victims.
        I suspect you will not respond, but I had to given that other people will read your post.

      • You are comparing a serial killer to homosexuality? Really? You really equate homosexuality to murder? If you have the capacity to judge people in that manner that you must truly be without sin. Would you mind changing some water into wine for me?

      • Title=”You’re Half Right”

        I can’t tell if you are meaning to sound condensing or not, but you’re half right. He had problems. He had feelings like all of us. Although he was a sick person, he still had the humanity and ability to feel and love like all of us.

        • You couldn’t be more wrong. Who would choose to be bullied and beaten and killed? What LGBTQ child would choose to be thrown out of their homes and disowned? Do you realize that 40% of the youth shelter population in the United States are LGBTQ kids, thrown out of their homes by their very proper, conservative Christian parents? Those stats can be found on nationalhomeless.org if you care to check. I didn’t choose to be bisexual and people like you who throw comparisons to murder out left and right or who tell me it’s choice make me so angry. For a very long time, I was angry at God, then I realized it wasn’t God’s fault that people like you choose to judge me. Being judgmental and homophobic is a choice, however my sexuality isn’t.

        • So how did you come to the decision to become heterosexual, Dan?? Was that a difficult decision? Did your parents help with that Decision?? You must have been quite young, that’s quite a big decision for somebody so young….. Was it hard, Dan, did it get really hard?? Idiot!

      • The Apostle Paul, King David, Moses etc all thank you posthumously for your grace and benevolence. Very Christian of you… While you are at it you might even read what Jesus, Abraham, and Ezekiel said about Sodom and Gomorrah.

      • Actually if you do your research Manson never actually killed anyone himself he used others and persuasion and although he may have orchestrated or even planned them he never killed anyone which is the only thing that saved him from the death penalty. Now comparing someone who is lgbt to Manson is a really far stretch even for a conforming “Christian”.

        • Shame on you! For people who profess to preach about truth, you’re far too quick to jump the gun to trade in discredited prejudices. There’s an aphorism that says it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let others wonder if you’re a fool than it is to open it and remove all doubt. You plainly have no understanding of authentic loving relationships to compare them to murder and pedophilia. You wouldn’t dare put your own loving relationships on par with such things. Take the beam out of your eye before pointing to a note in someone else’s, hypocrite!

      • I just love ignorant people thinking they know Gods mind. I must say I am surprised that God equates the choice to be a murder with his (Gods) choice to create a human that does not fit the norm. Being gay is not a choice, it is a gift from God, whether you like it or not. What a sick perspective you have. You actually believe you can criticize God for his creation. What arrogance.

      • You clearly missed the point. Using a known murderer in comparison to regular people who happen to be gay, REALLY??? Jesus. I will pray for you, but I doubt it will help. #hatefulfool

    • Well written, yes. But I just don’t get why Christianity is always being picked on. There isn’t a religion out there that supports this lifestyle. (Before anyone jumps on the “it’s not a lifestyle” bandwagon: From dictionary.com; lifestyle; (noun) the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, etc. That together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group). In fact every religion I can think of strictly forbids it. Furthermore, even non religion doesn’t back it up. It goes against the ideas of evolution. Claiming it is not a lifestyle is just another of the subtle attempts to normalize something unnatural.
      In reality, Christianity in general is maybe the most accepting and tolerant in this subject of all religions. Christianity says in short love the sinner, not the sin, because we are all sinners. Some of us are rude to people, some of us lie, some hate, some envy, some indulge in pornography, some indulge a homosexual lifestyle, etc.
      Yes there are some who say they are Christian and for some reason don’t understand that they are being bigoted, and some who take it a step further and do understand, but don’t care. But just as bigoted are those who get upset by those religious believers who can’t support the changes to what is accepted as a moral lifestyle in this regard any more than they can accept public pornography being accepted as acceptable our normal.

      • “It goes against the ideas of evolution.” How so? Consider: in any social species (such as man), there are going to be orphans. What better caretakers than those who would never have children of their own otherwise? For that matter, it’s a documented fact that the more elder siblings one has, the more likely one is to be homosexual. Doesn’t this argue for a natural counter to over-population?

        If homosexuality were a dominant trait (rather than what appears to be a combination of recessive traits and epigenetic factors), then the argument that evolution wouldn’t allow it might make sense. But as it is, there’s no evidence that homosexuality goes against the tenets of evolution, and plenty of evidence that it fits in nicely.

        • Except if it were good, it would lead to life, no life comes from the union, and if ALL homosexuals were put on an island, in one generation, they would be extinct, because it’s NOT what God intended. I personally know multiple FORMER homosexuals, who realized they were NOT doing what God wanted, and stopped, and now are STILL GAY, and LOVED but not practicing their sin. They are MUCH HAPPIER, and more importantly HOLIER.

          • The vast majority of ants do not produce offspring; most are devoted to supporting the colony in other ways. Members of a population that do not reproduce can engage in kin selection, such as a gay aunt or uncle helping to support and raise their siblings’ children and grandchildren. These children share genes with their aunt/uncle and will pass those on if the support and care is successful.

            However, modern science makes your point moot anyway.

      • It looks like you’re justifying the anti-gay lifestyle as: “religious believers who can’t support the changes to what is accepted as a moral lifestyle in this regard any more than they can accept public pornography being accepted as acceptable our normal.”

        You’re comparing equal rights for homosexuals to publicly displaying pornography? Do you honestly think that’s a valid comparison?

        Saying that historically something was considered “moral” is not a justification for anything. You could use that same fallacious logic to justify all manner of atrocities. “What is accepted as a moral lifestyle” used to include slave ownership in this country. In Biblical times a “moral lifestyle” included murdering people for minor offenses, selling your daughters as sex slaves, beating your children, etc. You really haven’t said anything specific to homosexuality. Your argument could be easily be applied to any one of those things, and it would make just as much sense.

        And saying, “Other religions have bigots, too! Maybe even more bigots than Christianity!” is just childish.

      • Wow, seriously? Not one of the tens of thousands of religions in human history has accepted homosexuality? Actually, I beg to differ. I know at least a couple dozen shades of paganism that do, the presbyterians (probably a dozen or more other christian sects now ordain gay ministers and perform gay marriages), the universal unitarians, as well as most buddhists I know. If you can’t think of any religions that do,then you have not researched the subject much.

        If the anti-gay christian groups would just say ‘Live how you want, but I disagree with you falling in love with someone’…then I would not have an issue with them, nor do I think they would be drawing the criticism that they are. Instead they are saying ‘I disagree with you and I am going to do all that I can to pass laws that will force you to live by my religious beliefs.’ This is why the anti-gay branches of christianity are cutting their own throats and are dying away faster than ever as the younger folks just walk away never to return. That flavor of christianity denies the existence of evolution, but you can see it in action as the more adaptable christians thrive and grow while the old weak and corrupt die off.

      • You have no idea how insulting it is when you compare the life that I’ve built with my partner of 14 years to lying, rudeness, and pornography. The way I see it, you may be speaking softer and more politely, but you’re basically saying the same hurtful things. Oh, I forgot calling my life “unnatural.”

        This is why I choose not to associate myself with people like you. I won’t curse you, scream, or berate. But you cannot expect someone like myself to willingly include someone like yourself in my life. I suffer enough discrimination without having to suffer this kind of passive-aggressive negativity. And it is negativity.

        So, you’re free to feel how you feel. But you cannot feign surprise when gay people like myself refuse to be friends with you. The people we choose to surround ourselves with are those people who love and lift us up. You may think you do those things, but you truly, truly do not.

      • Lifestyle, as you insist on using it, does not apply to the gay community, many of whom have little in common other than sexual orientation. Just like heterosexuals. Hmmmm. Amish is a lifestyle, or living in a kibbutz or a monastery.

      • There are religions who do permit it. The ELCA for one. They even have gay clergy!! Pew research just put out a survey and there are 8 religions who do affirm it, 8 religions who do not, and two who did not vote/participate, ( not sure how it was listed, 🙂 )
        There are gay folks out there that do have ethics, morals, values, and are a Christian. 🙂
        You should go talk to some gay Christians and here their walk, you just might have a change of heart.
        They are human beings and deserve to be heard, helped, and accepted as they are. Love unconditionally.

        • R READING A all this says so much about yourselves and sounds less intelligent than children who speak the truth actually.we are all each one of use unique individuals who live their own journey.Live and let live. FOLLOW YOUR HEART AND YOUR DREAM AND LET OTHERS DO THE SAME.Findd peace within yourself and let the rest go

      • @Aislynn, Heide

        The relevant question here is not what modern day religious organizations claim (and beware the difference between religion and the organizations) but what has historically been the case. (I consider it quite possible that homosexuality has been accepted in the past, if we cast the net wider than the main stream versions of Christianity.)

        Modern (looking at possible the last few decades) churches are under intense pressure to adapt their opinions to main stream thought and the result can deviate quite far from historical thought and causes changes of “official” opinion at a far higher pace than has been the case in the past.

        Paganism, if you mean the modern movements, is likely to be very far from the original pagan religions, underlies some dispute as to status as religion(s), and has a large overlap with e.g. the hippie and new age movements, where support for gay rights were typically far stronger at an earlier time than in the overall population. These still fairly marginal paganism movement cannot be taken as indicative of religion in general.

      • Hilary, when you say no religion “supports” homosexuality you aren’t correct. You assume. I am a Nichiren Buddhist. We do support it because we support the human being regardless of sexual preference. Our lives, as we go through the endless cycle of life – birth, aging, sickness and death we accumulate a lot of effects from causes we make. You call it – you reap what you sow. We call it the law of cause and effect. Most people want to be happy. Many people try to apply what their faith teaches but still has to wrestle with condemning people, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, because it doesn’t jive with what they were taught. Our own “human revolution” is a lifetime process. As a Buddhist, what sex a person is attracted is not the issue. More important, did he climb a mountain in his life and be victorious? Did he change something inside himself that allowed something on the outside to change? Did he use this experience to encourage others? This is much more important. Changing the heart of one man can change the world.

      • I’ve been on the Pagan path for almost twenty years, and I can tell you I have yet to learn of a single Tradition in all those years of studying, research and practice, that forbids homosexuality. Just the opposite; we embrace our LGBT brothers and sisters. They are family, and that goes across all of our Traditions. Individual expression, including sexual identity, is accepted as part of who a person is, not the entirety of their being. We have no issues with homosexuality.
        Also, while some Buddhist sects are anti-gay, there is nothing in Buddhism’s original texts forbidding it and most Buddhists have no issues with same-sex relationships. In Hindu belief there is a similar mix of Traditions that embrace it and those who do not, but many of their Deities’ origin stories have same-sex relationships and there seems to be no major stigma placed against it in the religion as a whole.
        It’s erroneous to claim that anti-LGBT sentiment is universal across all religions. Not only erroneous, but utterly untrue. There are faiths that are completely accepting and welcoming, including mine. We have many LGBT practitioners and clergy.

      • Against evolution? Have you read any scientific papers? It’s documented thoroughly that across many thresholds there have been homosexual parenting, affection and bonding in animals and humans alike.

        Where are your sources that no religion supports this “lifestyle”? I’d love to read that, then I will retract my statement that you are generalizing to an unnecessary degree.

        Christianity is mentioned in this article as the religion in which many folks become hateful in situations that involve the judgement of LGBT individuals. This is because it is a very western civilization religion that has been all but quiet in its outgoing opinion on the matter. You see the hate everywhere, from hate crimes to words to protests. The article isn’t stating that it’s ONLY Christians who are so quick to point the finger – the article even states that it was written FOR CHRISTIANS.

        It’s okay to get self-defensive. But at least use a source for your statements on what you claim.

      • I love how the supporters of homosexuality don’t really have a substantial philosophical/ethical argument as to why homosexuality should be supported by Christians beyond “You’re making us feel bad so shame on you.” So what if homosexuality is compared to murder. So is adultery. In the Bible. Sin is sin, homosexuality is sin, and, actually, we do have a right to judge (see John 7:24).

        • This is known as “cherry picking” your bible verses. Way to go! It’s also frowned on by any serious Biblical scholar; you really must interpret individual bible verses contextually. There is by far much more emphasis on judging being only God’s dominion, not ours, in the Bible.

          But feel free — you obviously believe you are more “right-thinking” than other Christians.

      • By the definition you chose, religion is a lifestyle but homosexuality is not. The fact that homosexuality is not is one of the primary points of the essay, which I assume you read (since you commented) but apparently didn’t understand. I say “understand ” rather than “agree” because it’s not a case of agreement; you can agree or disagree with an opinion, but disagreeing with facts is the willful denial of the truth.

      • I’m always a bit miffed when people suggest how I should not live my life without providing any plan b.

        So how should a homosexual man or woman live their life? Marry the opposite sex, despite it being a lie? Live a life of solitude, despite finding love? Maybe hide behind collar and become a priest? Or is auicode the answer, despite it being a mortal sin? These were my options. Please tell me which one was the right option.

    • “[For those] who insist that homosexuality is a choice, I need to break down and finally admit something: I agree with you.”

      Well, it’s great that he’s being so heroic, but it isn’t really his place to decide whether or not the science is correct. Whether or not someone agrees or disagrees that the world is flat is totally irrelevant.

      “When you say quite matter-of-factly that homosexuality is a choice, I’m not sure you really know in that moment, just what you mean by “homosexuality”. Far too often Christian, when you make the statement that being gay is a sin, what you’re really doing without realizing it is reducing all LGBT people down to a sex act; as if that alone defines sexuality.”

      I think that sounds great, but it’s not true. They do mean homosexuality, they mean the attraction to members of the same sex. If the issue were only with sexual acts, there wouldn’t be a movement against same-sex marriage, there wouldn’t be ex-gay therapy, etc.

      “It was not a decision that you came to, but a realization.”

      …Yes? I’m confused. The author is disagreeing with his entire point.

      “I know that some of you are champing at the bit to ask the hypothetical, (because you ask me every day), “Well, what if someone says that they are naturally a pedophile; is that OK too?”

      Then, the author tries to explain why the two aren’t exactly the same, but function similarly. He unnecessarily equates homosexuality with it, for no reason at all. He argues that one harms people and the other doesn’t. While that’s true, there’s a huge difference he totally skipped over. One is a mental illness, it’s a psychological sickness, and it’s disturbing. He equated homosexuality with all of those things, then decided not to distinguish that it’s not a psychological sickness that shouldn’t exist.

      “Yes, LGBT people are absolutely making a choice. They are choosing to be the most honest, authentic versions of themselves.”

      Then, he closes the article, after taking a lot of weird illogical detours, with his original statement. He hasn’t offered any evidence, and instead he’s accidentally validated ex-gay therapy and made some confusing equations. He follows up with a sentence about homosexuality being a choice because you choose to be honest about it. That’s like saying having blue eyes is a choice because you choose not to wear contacts.

      “The only relevant choices for straight Christians, are whether or not we will treat the LGBT community as fully complex, intelligent, emotionally intricate human beings, and whether or not we will be willing to examine both our personal opinions and our theology accordingly.”

      Wait, why should they? If homosexuality is a choice, aren’t they choosing to be different just for the sake of doing so? Why should they accept homosexuality if it’s just something we decided was more “authentic” or fitted our personalities better? Homosexuality isn’t a pair of shoes, you don’t just put it on because it goes with what you’re wearing.

      • I see that you did not understand the article. I can also see that you have not reflected on your own sexual attraction and how it occurred or at what age or where you were that first moment. Once you understand that Homosexuality is not a choice nor is it a lifestyle, your perspective may mellow. I know many men who have dabbled with man on man sex as a youth or adult. They are still straight and prefer to be so. Homosexuality is a term and description of a natural occurrence in Nature and is not a choice anymore then having blue eyes. Unless you are Gay, you can never have the wisdom to talk the talk based on personal experience unless you can see others being different naturally. How many examples does one require? Are people different colors because of choice? Is being a Tom Boy unnatural? Why do some men go bald? Do certain breeds of dogs behave differently? Is that genetic? Are you so sure from your life experiences that everything you now believe will always be what you believe? Shall we start a tit for tat that all breeds of dogs are the same or can we agree that most breeds have traits that are different? Same goes for gay people. What can we agree on? That they have feeling? That they are basically the same? Just because siblings like carrots does not mean that I have a natural love of the same food even though I grew up in the same house as my brothers and sisters. Life is a little more complicated then your response suggests.

    • I most assuredly agree. John, nothing more needs to be said other than that you have a way with words that I find refreshing and honest, and I appreciate that you put yourself out there, and are being the example you are talking about. Thank you so much more than I can say with just those two words.

    • Me… I was very, VERY heterosexual. SO heterosexual in fact, I could share love and intimacy with more than one woman at a time, just like King David and King Solomon and others in the Bible. King Solomon had hundreds – even a thousand wives and concubines, in total. One did not meet ALL of my emotional and social needs as well as two could. I can TRULY love more than one woman at a time because they completed me in different ways. I’m not being fake about this. I’ve even had multiple women okay with us all together in one bed. No one was harmed. It was all love! Before I gave my life to Christ, I was very active. I STILL love the gals I made love with. They will always have a piece of my heart. I truly BONDED with them, and I probably could bond with others, too if I still entertained that lifestyle. The problem is the Bible says it is a sin for me to be loving, open, caring and intimate with more than one woman. That settles that. I have had a change of heart. A sinful heart of stone to a submissive heart of flesh. It was a CHOICE for me to submit to God over choosing the comfort of having numerous gals. One woman for me is ultimately better than multiple women. I’ve tried it BOTH ways, and I prefer monogamy. My sins were JUST as bad as others, so I’m no judge. I’m just happy I made the CHOICE I ultimately made.

    • My thoughts…

      (Quote #1)
      “Christian, when you make the blanket statement that homosexuality is a sin, what you’re really doing without realizing it is reducing all LGBT people down to a sex act, as if that alone defines sexuality.”

      No, I’m not.
      It is not the thought or the attraction that is sin.
      It is not the confession, ‘I am homosexual’, that is sin.
      Sin is in ‘owning’ the title ‘homosexual’ along with a refusal to seek deliverance from homosexual tendencies and temptations.
      It’s NOT just about the sexual behavior.
      All sin originates as temptation to do something prohibited by nature, the laws of God or man, or the opposing will of another.
      The choice to sin is first made in the mind. Whether you resist a temptation or evil desire is a personal choice.
      To say ‘I am homosexual’ can be a statement of fact as a confession begging the prayers and loving help of an accountable brother or sister. That is NOT sin.
      But to say ‘I am homosexual’ and was made this way genetically and cannot but ‘own’ this identification IS both the root of sin and a denial of true science.

      YOU, my friend, are oversimplifying ‘Christian’ thought concerning homosexuality, with your own counter-judgement concerning a very uncomfortable statement of fact…”homosexuality is sin”.

      I don’t deny your “capacity to feel real love or show genuine affection toward someone else”…only, to carry this “genuine affection” into sexual satisfaction IS sin.

      (Quote #2)
      “They damage themselves in God’s eyes” doesn’t quite cut it, I’m afraid).”

      That’s where you’re wrong.
      Why does true affection for another HAVE to include sexual satisfaction?
      You ARE the temple of the indwelling Spirit of Christ, according to the New Covenant.
      HE is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
      And, according to Leviticus 20:13, homosexual behavior between men is offensive to God.

      “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…”

      And…If you will apply the same equality here as you do to other verses when seeing men and women as equal in God’s eyes, He doesn’t like this behavior among women either.
      If God’s love dwells in you, you won’t intentionally choose things that offend Him.
      And whenever you find you have, you’ll just confess it as such, and go the other direction…in thought as well as in deed.

      (Quote #3)
      “It’s time that we who claim both Christianity and heterosexuality, ask some very difficult questions about what we really mean when we say that homosexuality is a choice, and that this choice is a sin.
      When we use these words in this very limited and narrow way, we’re also assuming that our own inclinations, toward not just sex; but affection, intimacy, companionship, romance, and love, are all within our control and alterable; that they involve decision on any level.”

      AGAIN…
      Our inclinations are NOT sin.
      The decisions we make from those inclinations CAN be…depending on whether we become offensive to others or to God.

      You are seriously like the pot calling the kettle ‘black’ by “oversimplifying” the judgment of all heterosexual Christians who call homosexuality sin.
      It is merely a sensible conclusion, i.e. judgment, based on what has been revealed to man through nature and the Bible concerning the character and nature of God.
      What heterosexual Christians DO with this ‘judgment/discernment’ CAN be sin.

      (Quote #4)
      “There is no such thing as a “heterosexual lifestyle”, just as there is no homosexual lifestyle. These terms have no real meaning or value. They speak no truth about any of us. They serve no purpose but to demean people and insult them and avoid respectful dialogue.”

      Oh, come on!
      Really?
      This is a rather brash statement.
      Lifestyle is, by definition, ‘the way in which a person lives’.
      If you are homosexual in your affections and you ACT on those affections by sexually satisfying a partner of the same sex as yourself, you are living a homosexual lifestyle.
      If you are heterosexual in your affections and you ACT on those affections by getting married, you are living a heterosexual lifestyle.
      These terms HAVE meaning.
      They identify the TRUTH of what we do with desire or temptation.
      One of those choices was permitted by God. The other was forbidden.
      Just as in the story of Cain and Abel…

      “But Abel brought the firstborn of his flock and the fat portions. And the Lord had respect for Abel and for his offering; BUT for Cain and his offering He had no respect.
      So Cain became extremely angry (indignant), and he looked annoyed and hostile.
      And the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you so angry? And why do you look annoyed? If you do well [doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Me], will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well [but ignore My instruction], sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you [to overpower you], but you must master it.”
      (GEN 4:4‭-‬8)

      If you are thirsty, you could have a desire to drink water or juice OR your might crave blood or some other substance harmful to the body and detestable to or forbidden by God.
      “YOU must master it”

      Fulfilment of sexual affections between people of the same sex IS sin before God.

      Love your fellow man.
      DO.
      That’s NOT homosexual.
      Loving someone doesn’t mean we need to sexually satisfy them.
      Get a roommate.
      Wonderful!
      But if you start being tempted to be their source of sexual fulfilment, find a way to remove yourself as far from that temptation as possible.
      Your inclination was NOT sin.

      So, please, stop misjudging all Christians just because some particularly zealous individuals misidentify your particular vulnerability to this peculiar temptation.

      Maybe a person’s temptation is to lay in tanning booths, or smoke cigarettes, or vomit up meals, or shoot heroin.
      Doing any of these things even one time is cause for concern…why do you do it?
      You don’t think you’re beautiful?
      You have an unhealthy outlet for an internal issue?
      None of these things are good for you.
      A true friend will have your back and hold you accountable to pursuing healthy resolutions to whatever internal issue with which you’re struggling.
      Get help.
      Master your desires for the health of your own body.

      BUT, when it comes to things God has expressly given his opinion on, don’t ignore Him.
      Love doesn’t do that.

      “We can always “prove” that we are right, but is the Lord convinced?”
      (Proverbs 16:2 TLB)

    • Well Pastor, I am very impressed. They are my exact feeling on this whole us versus them matter, but you say it so much better than I. I just want to get off the subject a little to explain how I feel towards religious people who quote the bible and judge rather harshly, they scare me and then amuse me and in the end I am so distanced from them because they create a barrier. Quoting at me some bible number, with a tone of voice that highlights judgement and condemnation is not the life of someone who loves a fair god, but someone who is hiding behind gods rules and regulation to suit themselves. And is that not like some terrorist group – using their interpretation of god to persecute people. So those judging GLBT too harshly can be categorised just like terrorist, quoting the bible to suit themselves. Anyway Pastor, I am so glad I have found your site because I like to see the tough major issues (that should not be issues that we need to talk of) being hashed out. Look forward to your next post. Oh and I try to live from a Buddhist perspective, but wouldn’t miss a single word of what you have to say.

  1. Homophobes are the most gayest, closeted motherf***er’s thats ever walked the planet. They are simply entrenched in fear, ignorance, bias, prejudice and intolerance – ravelled in denial.

    They are worse than the devil, in my opinion. Raving hypocrites, who need a lot of love and nurture. Self righteous liars who know nothing about God, they proclaim to love, who gave them mercy and compassion, un-meritously; daily – yet, they fail, and are unable to give the same accordingly back.

    I cry for humanity. The heresy, the sham, the indignation – makes me want to vomit.

    Many Xtains will see no pearly white pearly gate on judgment …’ Why? They don’t know Love*. God is Love*. God is the boss and author of Free Will. Unfortunately – Xtain homophobes use their free will to hate – than love. It’s hilarious.

    Lets talk about catholic priests and continue this conversation later!

    • John 8:7 ESV

      And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

      • He also said to the woman (sinner in this case), “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” Translation, stop doing this. There is a balance in this one called Jesus; grace and truth (see John 1). Most only want to focus on the grace (“Neither do I condemn you”) aspect of Jesus. However, He is also full of truth (“go and sin no more”). Please do not hear sarcasm or a tone of being snarky I merely want to expose the complete truth in stead of the incomplete one.

      • If you continue reading that chapter, you find Jesus telling her to leave her life of sin. Then, he tells a whole hillside of good, religious Jews that they are children of the devil.

        The message of Jesus Christ ain’t just be nice, love people, and do good things. It’s more along the lines of, “repent, for the kingdom of God is here.”

        I must repent of my lust and tonight, procrastination. I must repent of worry and doubt. And these things, though they seem “small” are deserving of damnation. The kingdom of heaven has no cowards, no liars. Yet how many of us have been one of those things at one point?

        The mercy of God is only understood fully when we grasp the wickedness of sin. Those of us who comfortably sit in our sins are not ones who should be making bold assertions about who is innocent and who is guilty. Do we not recognize that we are deserving of wrath ourselves?

      • Yes, this is very important for all of us, especially in this context. This is what Christ told the accusers, and all of us accusers would do well to remember that. But we like to forget what he then told the woman: “go, and sin no more”. He was, with this statement, not justifying her actions..

        • Yep, by the archaic and ridiculous words of the Bible, it’s a sin. Not in the Top Ten, though; just one of many sins along with wearing two types of cloth, touching the skin of a pig, and working on the Sabbath. Not the #1 worst sin that can be committed, as most Christians suggest judging by how much time they spend talking, thinking, and posting about it.

        • yes, Jesus said that. You are not God. You only get to drop your stones and leave. Your mistake is assuming you are more than a sinful stone thrower. We all are.

      • Just to point out the obvious that John 8 is referring to adultery, which is a sin and an act in which hurt, lies and broken trust are the result. Of course Jesus condemns this sin.

        Tying this verse, story and context to the above article completely illustrates the writers point that grouping loving, committed same sex relationships with clear acts of sexual immorality (e.g. Adultery, beastiality, paedophilia) is hurtful, but also entirely ignorant of how to analyse and cross reference scripture appropriately.

    • Why use the word(?) Xtains? Is it like Christmas being called Xmas? Do you have the authority to take Christ out of something? I am not afraid of you, therefor I am not a homophobe. I really don’t appreciate being called a mother###### – I have never had sex with my mother. Unless you have had a divine encounter with God – Im not really sure how you know for sure what happens at the pearly gates on judgement. If your life has ever taken you to the place of learning how to communicate with people (and obviously not) it would be clear to you that you get no where by throwing ‘you’ statements to anyone. So nobody will even bother to listen to your point after this statement is made. As for me, I have confessed my sins and asked Jesus into my heart to be my Lord and Savior. I have been redeemed, saved by grace by no means of myself. Im afraid I am STRUGGLING to feel any kind of love in your remarks. I don’t feel the LOVE of God anywhere. I know where I will spend my eternal life and that is where I need to focus. What you do with your life is your decision and I cant say I am interested in that because of the hateful way your comments were delivered.

      • Actually, using shorthand isn’t “taking Christ out of something”.
        Most places outside of the US call the letter ‘X’ a cross, since the cross represents Christ, an X is used as shorthand for the word Christ by many people.

        If you feel your life is effected enough by homosexuals to need to prevent them from having the same rights as other citizens, or tell them they need to change their ways based on your interpretation of your religion, that’s considered fear to a degree.

    • One must make the distinction between the sinner and the sin. It’s not what’s in your head or heart, but your actions. Choosing to live in sin and repeat the sin is the issue. Choosing to try to gloss over the sin, and make excuses for it, and to corrupt the teachings of God will be a massive problem for those who choose to do so.
      Jesus’ example was to love the sinner, but hate the sin. His exhortation was “Go, and sin no more.” Of course, being God incarnate, he was a far better at it than any of us mere humans. We are called to both mercy and righteousness. One does not supercede the other, nor is it about “balance” (I.e. compromise).

      But more specific to you, it seems as tho you confuse disagreement with phobia, dissent with hate. That’s your prejudice. If you can’t be open to dispassionate discussion, then you are no better than those you rail against.

      • But YOU must understand that *I* don’t have to live by your definition of sin, nor do I have to recognize that sin is anything other than a word that your religion invented as a label for your self-created guilt.
        See, that’s YOUR belief system, not mine.
        And fortunately, one of the great things about this country is that YOUR beliefs don’t in any way affect me, nor mine yours. We’re not governed based on your belief system; we’re governed on principles that affect EVERYONE, regardless of belief system.
        We don’t have to like each other, but we do have to tolerate each other. I know tolerance well — I’ve been tolerating xenophobic Christians since I was very young.
        Despite that, I choose not to judge people, and I certainly would never presume to look down on them.
        However, you might not make that same choice — you’re free to judge all you want, and you’re also free to call it “dissent” if you’d like.
        Just don’t have any illusions that your judgment is an effective strategy for anything other than making yourself feel better.

      • Assuming that homosexuality is a sin is your first mistake. The only sin involved would be premarital sex. Do you assume that every non-married heterosexual couple you meet is having sex? Do you condemn them for “choosing to live in sin” and “repeat the sin?”

        Once gay marriage is legal everywhere it will be a lot harder arguing that all homosexuals are “living in sin.”

    • Wow! Take the plank out of your obviously gay eye. You would make me Homophobic if I were such inclined based on your “over the top” rant. If you are looking for respect from anyone, lighten up a bit here. We are the human race. You can exude love or spew hatred. Which pill will you choose tomorrow?

      • “Obviously gay”? Seriously? There is nothing in that post that even indicates the gender of the author, let alone his/her sexual orientation. Why do you think this person is “obviously gay”? Is it perhaps because you think that anyone who rails so passionately against homophobes simply MUST be gay themselves? Not saying that I necessarily agree with his/her rant, just that it is extremely prejudicial of you to make assumptions about the sexual orientation of someone you have never met based on a couple of paragraphs in an internet forum.

      • But here is the thing, Kevin, religious leaders and followers are being Incredibly hostile, campaigning and raising funds and lobbying to strip away and keep basic rights from the LGBT community. People are being bullied, murdered, driven to suicide and vehemently hated on a daily basis in this country and around the word just for being born gay. There is a bill that is going to be put on the California ballot on the next election being introduced where people would have the right to stone gay people to death if their religion deems that appropriate. Will it pass, of course not, but just wait till you see that the initiative gets enough signatures to be placed on the ballot. That is horrifying. People are getting thrown off buildings to their death in the Middle East for being gay. Rwanda signed a bill into law last year where being gay gets you a life sentence in prison and that was campaigned for by Scott Lively, an American Pastor who went to Rwanda and turned gay people into villains. All of this is easily searchable on Google. take a second and just look through the garage of hate that gay people are subjected to.
        You very probably don’t get this kind of ridicule and abuse hurled at you on a daily basis or else I think you wouldn’t get your poor little feathers ruffled by this mild “rant.” Come back and cry to us when people want to stone you to death so that we can tell you to “lighten up.”

    • I understand your frustration with people who hold to this belief. But I also feel that it it important that we realize that it is just a belief system. I used to believe the same thing about homosexuality. But it was only because I was taught to think it was a sin. You know who taught me it was a sin? My parent. But the only reason they thought it was a sin was because they were taught to believe it was a sin.

      My paerents aren’t bad people but they do believe homosexuality is a sin. They were indoctrinated to believe it. It’s the system that is to be hated, not the people.

  2. I enjoy your insite, but admit I am struggling with your current emphasis on this subject. You have failed to comment on the erosion of culture in this area, since there is so much “press” on the topic. My generation was less exposed to it at a young age then my children’s. That exposure has lead to more curiosity which I believe has drawn more into this life style.

    Wes

    • It’s NOT a lifestyle, just like heterosexuality is NOT a lifestyle. Talking about it doesn’t make people gay, are you joking? You’re born with your orientation; nobody drew me into it. I wasn’t told positive messages, I was told I’m evil. I was automatically disliked and hated because of what a part of me is. You seriously think people choose that?

    • Define “lifestyle.” What makes you think homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle? Is there such a thing as a celery, mayonnaise, and bacon lifestyle? If so, how is that different from or the same as a homosexual lifestyle?

    • I don’t know what generation you’re in, but my generation was raised to live according to somebody else’s definitions and expectations. I’m grateful to now feel free to define my own life and to bring my whole self to the world. Having embraced that freedom, I want that same freedom for others. To me, that’s not erosion, it’s evolution.

      • Those Definitions and Expections came from Centuries of the evolution of Culture and How to live Properly you Idiot. This generation is just LOOKING a for excuses to not follow the morals and ethics and respects of yesteryear, and make it like All things in the past are wrong. This generation talks like it knows EVERYTHING and hasn’t lived through Crap. You feel free now. Please! You’re not supposed to. You’re supposed to learn from those and Listen to those who have developed sociey for Centuries. Then later on question things. 20 year olds questioning society is just a Bunch of Failures looking for an Excuse to level the playing field.

      • Yes, Jack. You are right. Let’s go back to a time when slavery was legal, when killing Jews was the norm. Let’s go back to the time when marriages were arrangements made by land owners to grain more power and square miles to their territory. Those are the morals and ethics which should have survived. I’m so surprised they haven’t. Wonder why?

    • Wes I will posit that what you are seeing is younger folks with access to much more information (than I could get from National Geographic in the 50’s) to help them understand what they are discovering about themselves and much more support for being authentic. My lifestyle is a middle-class, my orientation is homosexual. There is a major difference.

    • The “Erosion of Culture” is a fallacy. 1st of all Erosion is the process by which weathered materials travel from one place to another, So I guess in that respect, yes, culture’s “erode” in that they move from different countries and areas to other areas. 2nd of all what do you define as culture? The brilliant art and literature and fashion of classical Europe and America? All the different culture’s of the world including Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East? Unless you actually mean the lack of quality in the Arts and Education I’m going to assume you mean the decline of morality because if you actually experience any kind of “gay culture” you’d realize it’s more educated and informed and artistic than your “heterosexual culture” of being “hood” or “thugish” or “redneck” or etc. I agree with the writer in part because these culture’s don’t really exist for the whole of the groups. They are subcultures just like bikers, or potheads, any fill-in-the-blank group that seeks solidarity in mutual interests.

      You cannot simply blame the entire decline of morality of homosexuals. Recognize that morality is a two way street. For example the thief that is shot dead in the street by an officer. The circumstances are always dubious but for now let’s just say the thief is unarmed but he is froward. It is immoral to steal in the first place but even more immoral to shoot the thief dead (regardless of how difficult he is being. recognize that the police are specially trained with non-lethal weapons and hand-to-hand combat) and even more immoral to let the officer go without any consequences.

      That is just one example. I cannot accurately claim that the decline of morality is simply imagined based on the pervasiveness of sensational media designed to scare you out of money(news publications, new broadcasts, the internet, etc.) or if there actually is a complete dampening of every individual’s conscience. I’d say that if a Christian justifies castrating and beating a man to death because the man was gay and the society of that area had no problem with that then yes there is a decline in morality. If you’ve had thoughts contrary to your Christian nature, then yes there is a decline in morality. But this has never been new! It became man’s natural state to contend with the will of God since the Fall of Adam and Eve.

      I am an Adventist. I believe that Jesus is coming soon and our current era is the closing of time. We largely believe in the prophecies of Ellen G. White who claims that in 1844 Jesus went to cleanse the sanctuary and Satan began a fresh new assault on humanity. I recommend you watch the lectures of Walter Veith for more details on that subject.

      I am also a homosexual. And despite being inundated with over exposure to the heterosexual life-style I have never been “curious” to experiment with heterosexuality or any corresponding life style.

      My Adventist religion conflicts with my homosexual orientation because we believe all of scripture which says that if a man lie with a man as he would a woman it is abominable. But simply existing as a homosexual is in and of itself not a sin! Remember God hated the WAYS of the Nicolations. Not the Nicolations themselves. I’ve committed myself to a life of abstinence in deference to God’s will but I stumble as we all do and must seek repentance as all Christians must. But to condemn a group of people for the decline morality is simply not Jesus’s way.

      • Hey Stephen. I was just going through the posts here and saw that you are SDA. I am wondering if you have heard of SDA Kinship? My spouse is a board member in SDA Kinship, it is an organization that offers support for those SDA persons who identify as LGBTQIA. If you would like me information on it you can email me at jsw082668@gmail.com or visit their website sdakinship.org. Just wanted to give you the information and day hi. Thanks.

    • Freed them up to be their honest selves is more like it! “Drawn”??? Yeah, read this posting again. Were you “drawn” to be heterosexual? I think not!

    • Perhaps it has allowed more LGBT people to come out of the closet and live authentic lives. I don’t think it has “created” more LGBT people. That’s not really possible. It’s just made it safer to be in public.

    • It is hard for many who are new to this topic to wrap one’s head round it.
      Wes, think for a moment, don’t you think that over time, if straight people hanging around with gay folks made them gay, don’t you think over the years the gay folks would have hung around with straight people to make them straight? See what you are saying?
      Over time and with much education tables have turned and LGBTQ folks are finally feeling better about themselves, and finally accepting themselves and just living as human beings….as they should have been doing all along. Due to ignorance, religion, and society many were and some times still are treated as less then, turned away, thrown away from belonging to a church. Etc , Etc. So in the past, when all of the hate and judgment had been going on, don’t you think that if they could turn straight….they would? I would let them hang with me if that is what it took and that is what they wanted. 🙂 Not going to work.
      Guess who is giving birth to gay folks? Heterosexual people. Yep……a lot of heterosexual Christian folks too:) It is all okay…..
      Your thinking is tunnel vision. I encourage you to read up on the topic.
      Thanks for your comment, helps us to educate a lot more people.

    • There is more AWARENESS. There has to be. There was never a time when YOUR or anyone’s heterosexuality was questioned by anyone. There was never a need for a movement, for law-making, for law-changing, for legality or for acceptance. You have never had to fight an entire systemic view of how you should live your life. Just like women had to push and argue for the right to vote or own land or how blacks have had to fight for freedom and racial equality…. The GLBTQ people of the world have had enough hiding just to prevent YOU from being offended.

      The reason it is in the media is because people are trying harder than ever to change the archaic laws of this world. People are trying to improve humanity by accepting it in all of it’s forms. Be glad you don’t have to fight and push for your rights to be equal to your neighbors, but don’t add burden on those who do.

    • “You have failed to comment on the erosion of culture in this area”

      What? How is culture eroded by this?

      “That exposure has lead to more curiosity which I believe has drawn more into this life style”
      Do you know this to be true? It’s a reasonable assumption that as a society becomes more accepting of homosexuality those who would otherwise stay in the closet will feel more free to come out and enjoy the loving bonds of another person. I would argue however that a permissive society does not make people more likely to be gay if they’re not already.
      Further; our sexuality is very complex. Our own sexuality is as individual as our fingerprints. People are rarely just heterosexual or just homosexual rather people express their sexuality all along the spectrum.

      There are those who are comfortable being sexual with both genders. A society that is accepting of homosexuality may make it easier for bisexual’s to experiment with loving relationships from either gender.
      But I repeat my question; how does one’s sexual expression erode culture, so long as it’s done between mutual consenting adult relationships?

    • You cannot possibly be serious. You actually believe that by being “exposed” to the fact that gay people exist, it can influence someone’s sexual orientation? Is there any particular age that you think you could have been exposed to homosexuality that would have caused you to start having sex with other men? Think about what you’re saying.

    • It hasn’t led to more curiosity, necessarily, it has led to more acceptance.

      People are talking about it more not because it is occurring more, just because there is slightly more openness. Your generation was less exposed to it only because it was more hidden – not because there were fewer gay people. It just wasn’t okay to talk about it. Allowing people to talk about it leads to people living more honest lives. It leads to fewer people being hurt by entering into sham heterosexual marriages. It leads to fewer suicides.

      People don’t “become gay” because they are curious about it. They only make the choice to come out versus choosing to hide.

  3. All the years reflecting on this subject. I have come to a more truthful and challenging request for other opinions.

    First of all – If I were to walk upto and talk to the new Pope. My first request would be to change the third commandment to – Though shalt honer thy mother and father —– who has respected me – you do not even half to love me but simply respect me.

    My father and as he told my brothers, because he would never tell his only daughter. He was sexually abused by the church – when my brother said and asked why did you not call the police. My father responded it happened to us all, especially in the choir.

    Now you speak about homosexuality – was the bible edited correctly meaning Thou shalt not sleep with your children.

    In thought can you separate the two. I also experienced a pedophile next door who knows how to promise everything that they see missing in the child’s life. The only way is that they remember theirs,

    So I stand asking the Pope and all churches that I can only respect who and what who has respected me. If you happen to love me, which I do not really know then I am a fortunate human being – rare amongst us – as children are being wounded tremendously amongst us. Therefore, I really do not care about homosexuality in the church as I have read for many years – it is really easy to make a difference with children.
    Pedophilia has lived comfortably within the church.

    If you want to change life in a Evolutionary manner which I respect God, and always has – we are just far behind God. Why were told Parables because we are to use an Imagination – the greatest gift of God. Have faith – with the short rules and wait and see what happens. You will experience astounding answers when you least expect it and how it has gifted far more people then yourself. Lived it and seen it. Love was not the greatest gift from God – because Love comes through hate – like a teeter-totter in life.

    Imagination is the greatest gift -secondly was Humour – human humour – to let us figure out how to balance hate and love.

  4. Heterosexuality is a choice. You can choose to use it according to God’s plan, in celibacy, or in Holy Matimony for the purpose of unity in procreation. Or you can choose to use it irresponsibly, against God’s plan, following every temptation that catches your eye, never experiencing commitment nor storge. Not even spiritual storge, for you have chosen Eros over God’s plan for your life.

    The problem with homosexuality is that there is no commitment- no intent to use sexuality for procreative good and for God’s plan. Temptation does not matter, temptation alone is not sinful. But the decision to cut God completely out of the loop, as we do with contraception and homosexuality is sinful. But no more so than me deciding to cut God out of my decision on what to have for dinner.

    The sin is not in deciding wrong, it is in deciding on disobedience.

    • Sex is more than reproduction. Sex is intimacy, feeling close to someone you love, a kind of spiritual bond between two people. It’s also fun, playful and joyful. You dont know what you’re talking about. I’m engaged to a woman and I can tell you it IS about committment and I have a religion. I’m not cutting out the gods. Sex is a gift from them. Sex isn’t the totality of our lives and we are more than our orientations. What about heterosexuals who are sterile; they shouldn’t have sex?

      • Dover…. Storge, (Storgē) “love affection”, and “especially of parents and children”….. It is a natural affection typically witness with the love of a child and parent.

      • One of the four types of greek love. We are impoverished in English, so I used the greek. Storge is the natural love felt between a biological parent and their child, between a child and a biological parent, or between biological siblings. Not even an adopted relationship can ever quite reach storge. Therefore, in Scholastic terms, homosexuality, by denying the natural biological parent child connection, denies storge to both the partner who does not get pregnant and the child denied the chance to know his or her opposite sex parent.

    • Teddy please, who are you to say there is no commitment to a homosexual relationship. Either you are willfully ignorant or live in a community so hateful, that the 30, 40, 50 year gay couples there hide in fear. On the lighter side, my husband and I are open to the procreative good of our sexual relationship. We keep trying to make a baby, but it hasn’t happened so far. I’ve known many Heterosexual couples with the same issue.

      • They don’t hide in fear. They actively attack heterosexuals in Oregon with attempts at sterilization of the poor.

        I’m in the same boat with infertility- we’ve been using Natural Family Planning in reverse for nearly 12 years. Sometimes God’s answer is no- but the key is to not enter into disobedience because of it.

      • If you re-read Ted’s original comment, the lack of commitment he speaks of is not between the individuals, but that there is no commitment to God. Or maybe even that by knowing there is absolutely no chance of procreation that future doesn’t exist, which while they may be committed, it is not quite the same commitment. Of course that possibility in today’s society is also dampened by the “acceptance” and “normalization” of another thing most religions teach as usually being sinful, abortion.
        I think that is the erosion someone was previously talking about.

    • God’s plan is about more than population and, as such, He needs more than just people raising babies. Gay men and women have a role in God’s Plan just like any other person not immediately involved in making or rearing a child does.

    • But do you understand that *I* don’t have to live by your definition of sin, nor do I have to recognize that sin is anything other than a word that your religion invented as a label for your self-created guilt?
      See, that’s YOUR belief system, not mine.
      My belief system thankfully doesn’t require “obedience,” and certainly not fealty to an invisible supernatural being who you believe is somehow omnipotent, based on an old set of contradictory fable books.
      And fortunately, one of the great things about this country is that YOUR beliefs don’t in any way affect me, nor mine yours. We’re not governed based on your belief system; we’re governed on principles that affect EVERYONE, regardless of belief system.
      We don’t have to like each other, but we do have to tolerate each other. I know tolerance well — I’ve been tolerating xenophobic Christians since I was very young.
      Despite that, I choose not to judge people, and I certainly would never presume to look down on them.
      However, you might not make that same choice — you’re free to judge all you want, and you’re also free to call it “dissent” if you’d like.
      Just don’t have any illusions that your judgment is an effective strategy for anything other than making yourself feel better.

      • You bring up a great point, Rob.
        If more people that were so heavily guided by their ‘religion’ would take a minute, hell, a SECOND to step back and realize that we are all humans, and that we all have our own beliefs, things would be much different.

        Two homosexual guys, happily married in California. Do we spend our lives going to war with other religions, tearing them down for their beliefs and telling them they are evil and going to a place where they will burn for eternity? No.

        Being happy is a choice, and we chose happiness. We’re not hurting anybody, or ourselves. Just living our lives the way we were born with. We actually happen to be spiritual people, who believe in a God ourselves, but we don’t try to force anything on anyone.

        And let me tell you…You’re a lot happier when you begin loving people for who they are, and not something as petty as their choice of religion. 🙂

    • Like so many of you people, you fail to separate sexual orientation from sexual activity. Heterosexuality is not a choice. Engaging in sexual activity is choice, but a heterosexual virgin is still a heterosexual if he/she is attracted to the opposite sex. It’s really not that difficult to understand. Sexual orientation is something that people are born with, not something that they decide. I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide that I’m going to be attracted to women and not men.

      The ridiculously arrogant idea that God, the creator of the universe, has a “plan” for you is another topic altogether.

      • People are born black, or white. People are born with genes that affect their height. People are born with genes that affect their mental capabilities. People are not born as geniuses. People are not born as imbeciles. Through life experiences and daily choices they may develop into those things. Some people may be more inclined than others to end up in those categories. It may be extremely easy for some and extremely difficult for others, who with hard work and sheer determination find themselves filled with vast knowledge. While others may fight the opportunities to learn every chance they get only to wind up severely limited mentally. They don’t typically make those decisions understanding what’s on the other side. They just get by every day.
        In the rush to think about those who are fully committed to their LGBT lifestyle, seeing things as purely black and white, or either 100% gay or 100% straight, you fail to consider all the possible people in between, all along the spectrum. All the people who at some point in their lives have had feelings of interest or curiosity, but have chosen to follow God. Anyone who says these people don’t exist is ridiculous. If these people exist then it stands to reason that there are people who find themselves with that same decision to make and choose the other route. That is the choice I refer to. Choosing to spend time on that other side can then develop more taste for it. I have known a couple of dear friends who at some point in their were in the middle, but after years of behavior consider themselves to be 100% gay. They no longer have an attraction to women. So life experiences and daily decisions can have a profound affect. I still love my friends because they are great people.
        I have had a struggle to deal with most days. I battle trying not to dive into viewing pornography. Daily decisions and life experiences have a profound effect on the ease of avoiding that in the future. The prevalence of pornography has made it much more difficult for me. But because of daily decisions and life experience, I’m finally at a place along that spectrum that I am much more comfortable with. It’s not even a fight anymore.

    • Apparently women are here simply to pop out babies. That’s our only purpose in life. Should I stand in the kitchen barefoot while making my husband a sammich too?

      Maybe you’d like to return to the 50’s?

    • Heterosexuality is not a choice. You are confusing the physical sexual act between a man and a woman and sexual orientation, that is, where your natural emotional and physical attraction towards another gender lies; sexual orientation and the sex act are two completely different things Theodore.

      What you are suggesting is that homosexuals (like myself) should block, shut-down, and ignore their natural attractions. By doing this you appear to suggest that we are obeying’ God by forcing ourselves to feel attracted to a member of the opposite sex, get married and procreate against our natural desires. This, by any other name, is a form of conversion therapy which is now outlawed, for obvious reasons, in most countries including the US, I believe.

      Theodore, please try and read up on the psychological damage caused to gay people through conversion therapy. It’s an eye opener!

    • So the reasoning is that it is better to be heterosexual so that can give birth to more homosexuals? How is it that there is no ‘commitment’ with they who have no attraction to the opposite sex. Who says all ‘straight’ couples have kids any way? Some do no want to have them. The line of reasoning, at the foundation is invalid.

    • So, sex is all about procreation?

      My wife and I have been married for 35 years this year. We are childless by choice.

      Is our marriage, then, not a marriage in God’s eyes? Are we sinning, because we don’t want, nor do we have, children? Should we not have had sex for the last 35 years because we didn’t want children?

      Because, I’m pretty sure God wouldn’t want us to have been celibate for 35 years.

  5. I do appreciate your both heartfelt and well written post. I do disagree with much of it, less than you would think. However this is your forum to state your views and I won’t clutter it with arguments where we do disagree. Those arguments have gone round and round plenty enough. Instead I will just say one thing I did not see you address here:

    A person’s actions and a person’s orientation are two completely different things.

    • Okay. So, your position is that homosexuals may feel a sexual attraction for each other. However, they have a responsibility before God to never engage in any sort of sex act with another gay person because doing so would be a sin. Right?

      In American society, what should be done about those who ignore the sin and go ahead and do it anyway. What should happen to those people and why?

    • BJ, I hate to disagree but you are wrong. John did clearly talk about the actions of LGBT persons in connection with our orientation. John stated that we LGBT are making a choice to live our lives so our expressions of love are in harmony with our natural orientation. LGBT persons of pat generations lived their lives in heterosexual marriages while wishing for the connection of the soul with a same sex partner. How many of you heterosexuals are also living with partners that you don’t really love to please your parents and community? More than you know.

      • That’s such an American, post modern viewpoint response. You love who you chose to love. “Falling” is just an excuse of chemistry becoming laziness.

    • But you DO realize that both my orientation AND my actions are none of your (or anyone else’s) business, right?
      That I can do what I want within the bounds of the law (as can any other citizen), and that your belief system doesn’t in any way affect my life?
      You do realize that, right?

  6. ok. As usual, I would stand to give you ovation….were I in a room of people! ha ha! I am now intrigued, however, and very curious. What WAS used to describe “homosexual” back before the word was invented?
    Keep up the good work.

    • Becky. I am not quite sure what you are saying here—or whether you are a smart and deep thinking person. From the tenor of your question, it sounds as if you think that every human language has a word for everything that exists in the world. As an anthropologist (linguistics is a primary subset field inside anthropology), I can tell you that any such assumption is not true. I can give you a very good example too. You are no doubt familiar with the comedy team known as “The Three Stooges.” The French language and Spanish language have no term that equates exactly with the word “stooge” in English. If you were to be having a conversation with a person in Spanish, use the word “stooge,” and that person had never heard of the famous comedy team, they would stop you and say, “Stooge? I have never heard this word. What does it mean?”

      To further answer your question, let us say that there is a language that has no term that equates with our English term “masturbation.” There might be many reasons they do not have such a term. One could only guess why. Maybe it was a forbidden subject and no one wanted a word for it. Maybe it was a subject where no one ever saw a need for a word to cover it because it was not an important thing in their culture. One thing we do know is that human cultures have specific words for things that are very important in their culture. For example, the Eskimos have more than 100 words for “snow.” If a thing is not very important in a culture, for whatever reason, it may never get a specific word. So, how would a human culture that has no word for “masturbation” deal with that subject if it ever came up? Well, it would probably be expressed by a combination of words already existing in the language such as “rub your penis a lot until something fantastic happens.” Really. I am serious about that. That is what they would do.

      • In the proto-Eskimo language, there are only three words for snow: qaniy (falling snow) ainyu (fallen snow) and apun (snow on the ground). All other words for snow are simply variants of these three just as we would say hot water, cold water, frozen water, etc.
        Perhaps a better example would be Turkish. There is one word for car: araba. A different word for cars: arabalar. Still another word for our cars: arabalarimiz. Then there’s in our cars: arabalarimizda, he who is in our cars: arabalarimizdaki and so on and so forth. In one sense, these are all different words, but in another sense, we are still just talking about one word.
        So might there be dozens, even hundreds of Inuit words for snow? Perhaps. But really, there’s only three roots.

    • The specifics were outlined with no euphemism as man’s exchange of natural relations with a woman for relations with a man…
      “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. ” Leviticus 20:13

        • Virgo Girl, it has NOTHING to do with the bible …or any other book..it’ s merely a prejudice that is common across all cultures around the world …formal religion or not..athiest, buddhist priest, catholic priest, dogs cats and monkeys. Just saying, if you’re using a misunderstand of God to slam a book…you’re barking up the wrong tree.

  7. All I can say is, if such a drastic sexual anomaly as hermaphroditism is such a profound reality, HOW could it be “impossible” for a subtlety in brain chemistry resulting in sexual perception and/or sexual preference to be a biological impossibility? That notion is absolutely, abjectly ABSURD! Whoever it was who determined that homosexuals could never be “born” is an absolute BLITHERING IDIOT! Plus, it was NEVER, repeat, NEVER a valid theological argument in the first place! Whoever first thought it was should be crotch-kicked throughout eternity!

    • This is one of the key issues the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical communities need to wrestle with in regard to homosexuality. The cause of homosexuality has never been determined with any certainty. Many of my fellow Christians bring me the argument that:

      “A loving God would never allow something so vile and nasty as homosexuality to be incorporated into a human being such that it was something out of their control—like skin color.”

      The problem is that God allows hundreds of such things to be incorporated into human beings beyond their control each day. You mentioned hermaphrodites. There is also Down’s Syndrome. There is sickle cell anemia. There is hemophilia. The list is long. You can say, “Yes, but none of those things are sins mentioned in the Bible.” True. However, there is also nothing in the Bible that says a sin will not be “written into” the biology of human beings. In fact, one of the basic Biblical premises of “original sin” is that it is already written into our members from the moment we are born. We have no control over it. No on asked us. It was just done to us by some past circumstance beyond our control.

      Also, with regard to hermaphrodites, if a hermaphrodite has a long and flexible penis and he/she inserts it into his/her vagina, does that constitute fornication in the eyes of God? Must he/she be married to herself/himself before any such insertion can occur? Does the Bible authorize self marriage? Does the Bible have a rule about inserting your penis into your own vagina? Is it wrong to do so, and if so, what makes it wrong?

    • For the sake of argument then would you be willing to concede that it is possible that people could be born bigots also; I mean have some sort of gene that pre-dispositions them to be as you might put it, homophobic? If so, should they fight it? Would fighting it not be going against who they really are? And the next question then is, should we be tolerant of them even if they are not tolerant of others (but do not forget that they may be born intolerant)? Are most people not born with some culturally (and perhaps spiritually) unacceptable tendency that they learn to hide if they want to be accepted in society?
      Now, as I see it we must learn to live in an “anything goes society” where there is acceptance for idiots and bigots along with crotch-kickers and adulterers and homosexuals and yes even pedophiles, or we must learn the meaning of what Jesus said, “If anyone will follow me he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me,” Matthew 16:24.

  8. I came across your blog about the 4 things you would do if your chad was gay and then followed it here. Thank you for sharing this with the world John. Thank you, a million times Thank you for showing people love. I was always taught that being a Christian was about loving one another and then I came out and was told they were learning to deal with it. I was told not I tell the family and not to have children of my own because I would “just mess them up.” Thank you for being a good Christian and a great father.

  9. Is it really all about the sex, as far as the sin component is concerned? So technically a gay couple can live together, raise children together, and function as an otherwise traditional family, but as long as they never engage in sex acts, it’s okay?

    However unlikely that may be, that’s the consensus I’ve gotten from every bible study I’ve been part of that discusses homosexuality. “It’s not BEING gay, it’s acting on it that’s bad!”

    • That’s the flaw in the theology. Most Christians who believe that being gay is a sin, will say that it isn’t the feelings they have, but acting on them that is the sin.

      The problem is, Jesus says in Matthew 5 that if someone lusts they are guilty of adultery, as if they have acted on it.

      So what we really are saying is that gay people are sinful for both the acting and the thinking.

      We doom them.

      So either their feelings and acting on those feelings are both sinful… or both not.

      • or (and it amazes me that religious people never come to THIS conclusion) it might be that YOUR belief system is yours ALONE, and doesn’t affect anyone else but YOU?
        Can you fathom the idea that OTHER people think DIFFERENTLY than you, and that that’s perfectly okay and that it’s their right to do so?

      • About this scripture in Matthew 5 Augustine says: “Qui hoc fine et hoc animo attenderit ut eam concupiscat; quod jam non est titillari delectatione carnis sed plene consentire libidini”
        Translated, “those who do this have as their desire and intent to lust after her; his passions of the flesh go against the desires of his character.” Basically, he is saying they continue to go back to the look or the thought, knowing it is wrong.
        This falls in line with how I view what is translated “look with lust” in the Greek “πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι”. It is a persistent, cherished longing.

        So being attracted to a girl (or guy) I see walking down the street is not a sin. Going home and jacking off to the memory of that girl (or guy) would be. Thinking a particular actress or singer is hot is not a sin. Getting on the internet to see if they have any leaked nudes would be. Being attracted to a person of the same sex is not a sin. Taking that desire to places it has no business going is.

    • John is right here. Jesus is very clear on this matter in the Bible, and there is a reason for it too. The Scribes and Pharisees, whom Jesus knew well having been educated as part of their tradition, believed strongly that it was okay to fantasize sin all you wanted as long as you never physically committed the sin. In other words, you could fantasize all you wanted about robbing a Roman liquor store, and it was not a sin unless you went down, stuck a sword to the proprietor’s throat, and demanded some brandy. As you will recall, the Scribes and Pharisees were careful down to the jotting or the last “i” and “t” about not physically committing sins. This position allowed them to claim righteousness through full adherence to the Old Testament law. Jesus held to the position that all human beings have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God—with no loopholes. Therefore, He pulled the rug out from under the Scribes and Pharisees—and did so intentionally—by proclaiming and asserting that even thinking about doing a sin was the EXACT SAME as physically doing it. Once again, the Bible is very clear on this subject, and the words come straight from the mouth of Jesus himself.

      The Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals who say that homosexuals are “okay with God and do not sin” as long as they do not physically commit a homosexual act are dead wrong. Jesus made it crystal clear that the thought crossing ones mind is the same as one doing the sin in the eyes of God. Fundies try to get around this by claiming the hogwash it is no sin to be tempted to commit sexual sin. The problem is that the sex drive is so powerful that a person cannot “rightly divide” those two things in the human mind. They are a double helix that come bound together—and Jesus intended it that way so that no slick Pharisee or Fundie would ever be able to weasel out of his divine proclamation that thinking the sin is the EXACT SAME as doing it. Jesus wanted to make it clear that all men are perpetual sinners throughout their lives, even after having been truthfully and properly saved—as the fundies call it. Therefore, no man would ever be able to rightly claim his own righteousness on any count, and faith in Jesus and his grace were the only way out of the sin predicament.

      Jesus 1 Fundies 0

      • So your argument or solution then is to rob the store and kill the clerk should you ever happen to be tempted to do so? We are all probably guilty of murder now just for having read this idea especially if we imagined the act as we were reading the post. Or do I misunderstand and you are not suggesting that a person might as well live in sexual sin (by any definition) if they have the urge since they have already committed the act anyway by having the urges? If this is the case I am in trouble because I have to deny many unrighteous urges in the course of a week and sometimes find it a challenging to exercise self-control. I am sure you are not suggesting I just give in to my urges and be “true to myself.”
        I agree that what Jesus is doing is showing us that being self-righteous is arrogant and sinful in itself. Therefore, we must depend on being delivered from our sin by seeking his forgiveness and surrendering our thinking to his transforming Spirit. But understand that we will be transformed to think to flee all sexual immorality (Culturally acceptable or not); “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men…” 1 Corinthians 6:18.

      • Yes, Jesus is clear that thinking about sin is the same as doing it, but he never said anything about homosexuality. That’s what I’m stuck on – what makes homosexuality a sin in the first place. And please don’t respond with “Because God said so.” The same explanation is used for why the genocide commanded in Joshua is okay, and I don’t find it satisfactory at all.

      • So, as a Messianic Jew, I can’t help but feeling like your problem is failing to properly interpret Matthew 5. “Looking at someone with lust for them…” as the Hebrews would have defined it isn’t the errant thought crossing someone’s mind… it’s the internal steps you take to build upon that thought. David didn’t lust upon seeing Bathsheba naked or upon being attracted to her, he lusted upon deciding that he would have her if he could. The Pharisees taught that you had not sinned if you were entertaining notions of adultery or even approaching people to commit adultery, but had only sinned if you actually completed the act.

        Jesus, by contrast, stated that you sinned when you “looked at” someone “with lust for them”, in other words, when you nurtured a sinful desire from “Damn that person looks good (I am sexually attracted to them)” to “If I could, I would commit X sin with this person.”

        Otherwise, the entire passage becomes nonsensical and Jesus is outlining the ONLY time in the Bible where uncontrollable thoughts and feelings of attraction are a source of sin… in direct contravention of the things that the Mosaic Law, the Proverbs, and later the Apostle Paul himself seem to articulate upon the subject.

    • Matthew 5:27-28 “You know the next commandment pretty well, too: ‘Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.’ But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.

      So, Beth lets extend the case Mathew makes here to a gay male who never acts on his feelings for another man but he does think about it.

  10. Thanks John.

    A brief conversation:

    “Of course being gay is a choice. How in the world you believe anything else?

    “Of course you’re right. I made my`choice to be straight when I was 10…how about you?

    What do you mean?

    What age were you when you decided to be hetrosexual?

    Don’t be rediculous!!

    I’m trying not to be. But I do wonder why all the emphasis by conservatives on “conversion therapy”? If being gay is actually a choice, why don’t those wanting to switch back to being straight simply do so?

    You must be an atheist!

    End of conversation.

  11. John. John, John, John, John, John. With great love and affection for you, when are you finally going to understand that you cannot “reason with” a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical on this issue—or any other subject for that matter? In their lexicon, words like “reason,” “logic,” “thinking,” “critical thinking,” and “understanding” are all tools of Satan. This notion has been beaten into them ever since they were old enough to understand their first words. Just as Jesus said of these same people in his own time, they would not be able to hear your kind words—even if a man arose from the dead.

    All that matters to them is “The Bible Says…” in the 1611 version of the King James Bible. They do not even admit that the word “interpretation” exists when one reads the Bible. So, the Bible says only what THEY say it says—and absolutely nothing else is acceptable to them. There is no way you can fight any man or woman on this Earth who has decided that a red sofa cushion is actually a blue sofa cushion. That is the great strength of Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism—as well as the great strength of Satan himself: “The truth is irrelevant.” You just decide firmly on what you believe, no matter how false and stupid it might be, and refuse to listen to what anyone else has to say. If the Chevy truck is in reality red, all you have to do is claim that it is a blue Ford F-150 and stick by it no matter what anyone else has to say or do about it. Just be stiff-necked and stubborn. I learned long ago that attempting to reason with one of these people is like trying to reason with a tree stump. What you have to understand is that Satan OWNS Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism as his own personal property, and he has deceived its followers (and blinded and deafened them) so badly that they are incapable of seeing truth or hearing it.

    • dover, I hate to say it but you are spot on. I wouldn’t put Satan in the equation but I understand why you do. I have found that when I am so inclined, and confronted by fundamentalism, I’ll take a few minutes and play in their ballpark. It is so easy to quote scripture that contradicts their quotes, but it falls on hardened hearts and deaf ears. Usually I quickly get tired of playing, because all it does is cause them consternation.

    • While I agree that some Christians act like “logic and reason” are to be shunned, it is not at all true that all Christians this way. I am a conservative Christian who holds logic and reason in high regard.

    • “Satan” is a construct of YOUR belief system, not mine, as is “sin.” My belief system has no such constructs.
      Thankfully, governance of a people is not based on belief systems (yours OR mine), but rather on principles that affect EVERYONE, regardless of belief system.
      Believe what you want (as we are all free to do), I’ll believe what I want, and all we have to do is tolerate each other.
      Simple.

    • Sadly and very worryingly, I find myself agreeing with you Dover. There is something incredibly devious, clandestine and devisive about Christian fundamentalism. In fact, I would go further and propose that all religious fundamentalist movements harbour the same destructive qualities. I can see a day, in the not too distant future, when all fundamentalist movements from all faith groups unite to create a unified fundamentalist army – see where I’m going with this..? At the end of the day what Christian fundamentalism (like all other fundamentalist movements) wants, is power, control and authority to dictate, direct and mould the thinking of the masses; this is no different to the intentions of other fundamentalist groups. God is used as a smoke screen to hide egotistical sinister intentions. Many of the arguments presented here mask and veil this intention; although I’m not even entirely sure that those writing in favour of religious fundamentalism are seeing the wood for the trees and the inherent dangers embedded in their discourses.

      One of the most worrying (for me) aspects of the fundamentalist posts is that they are void of an emotional link and bond with love; it’s as though they had had a ‘loveitomy’. If you were to collect say 100 fundamentalist posts you will hear a similar thread, it goes something like this: to love is not a feeling, feelings come from human ego. To love is to observe strictly the word of God and obey his commands.

      There is a psychological disconnect which is (to me) apparent in this language. Quite frankly, it scares the crap out of me. What is happening in all fundamentalist movements is far, far more serious than we can measure right now. The psychological disconnect is causing regular people to separate and disregard their feelings from their intellect. This is how cults function. Once you stop feeling you stop questioning, once you stop questioning you’re pretty much as good as a programmable robot. Always remember – thinking affects how you feel, feeling affects how you behave. Using this psychological framework, Fundamentalist ideology does away with the feelings bit – ask yourself why?

      All fundamentalist ideologies de-humanise humans. They profess and insist that natural human urges such as passion, sexual desires, personal goals, etc etc are sinful and should be shunned and disconnected from. From a psychological perspective, this is mass emotional suicide and the potential birth of what I describe as global sociopathy. What happens is we shut down the centres in the brain which facilitate natural relationship building with others; in effect we lose the ability to relate. Once this happens we are completely susceptible to control.

      I am extremely wary of any organization, group or person that uses the argument that they possess absolute truth (from whatever source) and that you must accept this (their) truth wholeheartedly and without reservation in order to be in. This selling point is the ‘hook’. I will offer you salvation, protection, safety but you must accept my truth, and disregard whatever you felt or thought before. Of course, they will use the Bible as the diversion and distraction; the Bible says this, the Bible says that, I don’t say it the Bible does; and here’s the one that affects most vulnerable people, the Bible says you will rot in hell for all eternity if you don’t…. It’s s guise and an absolute scam, nothing more, nothing less than a scam! What is actually being sold is a patented human interpretation of something which is self-proclaimed as gospel truth. This is how cults function. Interestingly, many cults are also often obsessed with sex, particularly homosexuality, and controlling sexual behaviours. Paradoxically, this practice often ends in abusive sexual relationships and perverted sexual initiation ceremonies.

      Remember absolute truth is God and therefore no one can know absolute truth except God.

  12. I’m not religious but I am part of the LGBTQ+ community, and I have to say thank you. I might be an atheist but I have no problem with other people’s religion; it’s your business, not mine. I do have a problem with all the hate in the world, and we need more people who are accepting like you.

  13. I’m a Hetero Christian blogger that writes for a very dear friend that happens to be a Lesbian. Thanks for these words. I wish I had written them. I’m going to share this with her. Perhaps we, she and I and you, might, with our words and actions, change the World. Again, thanks.

  14. Absolutely spot on. I do not understand how they can be so hung up on what two consenting adults do behind closed doors, and after all, that IS what they are quibbling about, right? Your comparison between what heteros feel — the realization, and what LGBT feels — the realization, is perfect.

    • No. The T already gets left out of the LGBT community enough. Besides, the people saying homosexuality is a choice are most certainly also saying that it is a choice not to identify with one’s biological sex. The two issues, though not identical, are closely intertwined. The victims of both issues are suffering from the same fountain of ignorance addressed in this excellent article.

    • No. The T already gets left out of the LGBT community enough. Besides, the people who believe homosexuality is a choice most certainly also believe it’s a choice not to identify with one’s biological sex. The issues, though not identical, are closely intertwined. Both sets of victims are suffering from the same fountain of ignorance addressed in this excellent article.

  15. Your article is very interesting…and challenging. Despite all that I have read on this subject, and despite agreeing with the validity of what you have written, still, I have great difficulty in feeling good if my son/grandson/grandson were homosexual. Maybe, it’s my conservative upbringing. Maybe, it’s envisioning in my mind the sexual ‘acts’ that homosexuals engage in. I just don’t know why I feel the way I do. And maybe this is similar to the way homosexuals with their sexual orientation.

    • You feel the way you do because it is a violation of your “own nature.” I feel the same way in my “own nature” because I am heterosexual. Watching two guys kiss makes me cringe because I could never even remotely imagine myself doing that with another man. Part of it is no doubt cultural. Part of it may be biological as well. Those of us who are strictly heterosexual because of biological brain wiring may have that revulsion wired into our brains along with it.

      This is something I wish my homosexual friends could understand. They believe that all such revulsion is purely cultural. I am a professional anthropologist, and human culture is my business. I do not think it is all cultural. Some of it is indeed biologically-based revulsion. This is hard for my homosexual friends to see because homosexual behavior feels so easy, free, natural, and flowing to them—because they do not have heterosexual wiring. I think the homosexual community has a tendency to rush to the judgement that these feelings of heterosexual revulsion towards homosexual acts are ALL CONSCIOUS VALUE JUDGEMENTS AGAINST THEM. This is not true at all. If God had never existed and human culture contained no anti-homosexual content at all—absolutely zero—that revulsion feeling inside heterosexuals would still be there because of biological wiring in the brains of strict heterosexuals.

      Indeed, going forward through time, this is perhaps the greatest single issue the homosexual community will have to contend with in American society—and to the extent it is biological—dealing with it is going to be difficult. Even after gay folks can marry. Even after gay folks have won 100 percent cultural and societal acceptance in thought, intellect,and the parchment of the culture, this wired biological revulsion thing is still going to be present in strict heterosexuals. For example, if John and Fred are on a double date to the Drive-in Theater (Remember those?) with Tom and Mary—and some hugging and kissing start—as it did in the old days—John and Fred in the front seat are just going to have to accept that Tom and Mary in the back seat are more than a little “grossed out” by what they are doing in the front seat. I do not mean to dispirit my gay friends by saying that, but it is most likely something that gay people will never be able to overcome because it is biologically wired. This will make long-term cultural acceptance much more difficult for gay people that it was for blacks, Jewish people, Mexican immigrants, etc. The reason for this is that most human beings are average, are not very deep thinkers, and are unequipped mentally to sort out their brain-wired biological revulsions from what is cultural (including religious) in their lives.

      • With respect, have you entertained the idea that homosexual people share your feelings of biological/cultural revulsion. However, instead of “watching two guys kiss” being the source of cringing it was when “a heterosexual pair kiss” that causes the cringing? I know that I’ve often felt the need to look away from any two people “kissing”. I believe this to be partly because I feel that “cringing”, and because I don’t know why I was watching in the first place.

        One could also argue that it depends on the “kiss”. A quick peck on the cheek or lips is often not notable by anyone. A full-on PDA (Public Display of Affection) will often result in both camps agreeing that there is a time and a place for that type of activity and that being in public while engaging in said full-on PDA is clearly not the right place. I’m not suggesting that either side is prudish. Rather the “full-on” display makes most people uncomfortable. Again, I would ask why anyone was “watching” in the first place.

        I’m also intrigued by your comment “this is hard for my homosexual friends to see because homosexual behavior feels so easy, free, natural, and flowing to them”. I’m assuming that your friends have shared their views on their own behaviour being so easy, free, natural and flowing? From my own experience the only word that holds any truth in your statement is “natural”. It’s natural due to my not knowing or feeling anything else from the moment I realized that I was not sharing the same behavioral views as my friends and family. That I was somehow different. Once I was able to reason and grasp both the implications and the gravity of that fundamental difference, accepting it made it seem natural. Different from the world around me, but natural to me. The easy, free and flowing bit, despite sounding like the script of a shampoo commercial, is most certainly not the case. It is no more easy, free and flowing than heterosexual behavior. I don’t believe that anyone has ever found their own sexuality as being easy, free and flowing. Puberty, adolescence and adulthood, for any and all, is rife with uncertainty, rejection, failure and alienation.

        I realize that I’m focusing on semantics, but I’m curious and endlessly amused when I read or hear comments that distill down to wishing another could see through another set of eyes. The reverse is often just as illuminating.

      • Biological revulsion may be innate but it is overcome quite early on in a human’s development by the far more influential cultural revulsion. A relevant example of the later can be found in the long list of forbidden things found in Leviticus.

        Cultural revulsions are eliminated by exposure which is why we no longer think twice about wearing clothes made from different materials, eat shellfish and don’t force women to leave town when her Aunt Flo comes to visit. I’d be willing to wager that if they shared the attitude you expressed in this post and weren’t bombarded with instructions to the contrary, Tom and Mary would quickly cease to be grossed out by the goings on in the front seat.

      • “Even after gays can marry?” You live in the US? Because same-sex couples have been able to marry here for almost 10 years. Ever hear of the State of Massachusetts? And same-sex marriages are legal in 36 States and the District of Columbia (with marriages recognized in some other States). More than 70% of the population lives in places where same-sex marriages are legal. (That includes 22 Native American tribal jurisdictions.) If anyone has a problem with it, it will be the weird heteros who have their “biological revulsion.” If you have a problem, notice that it’s YOU that has the problem. All the happy same-sex couples will the THAT: happy. You can count on that. 🙂

      • @Dover

        Dover, could your revulsion just be down to not being used to seeing two guys kiss! If this was more visible and more out in the open, you would probably not bat and eyelid. Incidentally, do you have the same revulsion watching two women kiss?

    • Ross, I have one example for you. Lets instead consider that your child were to bring home a person that you did not like. The child is heterosexual. Would you feel any different than if the child were gay? I think that you would also disagree with their marriage. As for the sexual acts that your child and partner engage in, there is nothing that a gay couple can do that a heterosexual couple can’t do also.

  16. This is a very well-written, thought-provoking, and much-needed post! While I’m not a Christian, I do feel this message is one people of all faiths and non-faiths need to hear! Whether one agrees with your opinion or not is up to them, but it’s worth reading and deciding for oneself.

    Personally, whether homosexuality is a “choice” or not is irrelevant. It’s sad when a group of people, humans, are treated as less than simply because some religion disagrees with somebody else’s lifestyle.

    I really loved these lines you wrote:

    “In this very important conversation where words do matter, we also need to jettison useless ones.

    There is no such thing as a “heterosexual lifestyle”, just as there is no homosexual lifestyle. These terms have no real meaning or value. They speak no truth about any of us. They serve no purpose but to demean people and insult them and avoid respectful dialogue.

    We should throw them in the garbage and dare to ask the much more difficult questions about how love and affection and intimacy and sex are connected—in all of us.”

    They are beneficial for all to read and digest. People shouldn’t treat others with less respect or compassion for any reason whatsoever.

    • One thing you miss is that Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals—especially the ones who are raised in it from birth—believe that they have a “Christian Lifestyle.” From where people sit, both consciously and subconsciously, they tend to look out upon the rest of the world and use their own “frame of reference” (which is all they have ever known) to try to organize and understand the foreign world they see around them. If they strongly believe that they have something termed a “Christian Lifestyle,” then they are going to try to understand the world outside of their realm in terms of what is familiar to them— “lifestyles.” The problem is that doing so is naive as hell and does not tap into any sort of reality that exists outside of their realm.

      • I was raised in the Midwest, where most everyone is Christian. I was too until I realized I don’t believe in God myself later on as a college student. I have met some very fundamentalist Christians and they are just as annoying as fundamentalist atheists and the like. I completely understand what you mean by people not looking outside their frame of reference. It’s normal to view things from where you sit. Empathy is something all religious and non-religious people should develop. Thanks for replying!

      • Try having the discussion that religion, in general, is a choice. That a “Christian Lifestyle” is a choice. With some, it won’t go over well. As one commenter above stated it would be like “trying to reason with a tree stump.”

  17. Reblogged this on What's Rattling My Cage and commented:
    As always John – you hit the nail right on the head! My partner Cruz and I have been together a little over 14 years and our relationship is based solely on love, respect, and the desire for both of us to be successful at whatever we do. He has seen the best of me and he has survived the worst of me in the throes of alcoholism and addiction to cocaine and yet he is still by my side!! I will also tell you that as with heterosexual marriages sex becomes the least important item in our marriage!! JUST SAYING!! Thanks for the great post as always!!

  18. My gay son and I were just discussing this. Some guy has just talked about “embracing the homosexual lifestyle,” and we were trying to figure out what that even means. My son and his partner live like the rest of us. They have white collar professions, they pay taxes, mow their lawn…just like the rest of us. And just like the rest of us, the actual act of sex is a small part of their day (or week or month.). We decided that vegan seems like a lifestyle. Being gay is just a life.

    • Vegan is not a lifestyle. It is just something people do with food. There is no such thing as a meat-eating lifestyle. (See my response to Ketaninkorea above.) Apart from the frame of reference thing, the Religious Right PR people are playing codeword games with the American public. “Gay lifestyle” is a conservative politically correct term designed by Madison Avenue PR consultants to dupe the American public into believing that homosexuality is a “sin choice” rather than something that “comes on naturally.” The words “Pro-Life” and “Pro-Choice” in the abortion debate are also PR consultant words. Whenever you see a term like that, stop for a moment and think about a 65th floor conference room on Madison Avenue in New York City. It goes something like this:

      “The American Family Association is our new client, and we need to come up with some great PR tactics to help them fight against gay people in America. Does anyone have a starting place? (Jan raises her hand.) “Well Tom, I think we should start by coming up with some one-word or two-word terms that our client could use to make the other side look bad. For example, we should probably not use a term like ‘gay people’ because a gay person is someone’s son or daughter—a human being. Instead, we should come up with a term that objectifies people and moves them away from the personal level and family level—and something that also makes it all look sinister and evil.” (Merle butts in.) Jan is right, and I have the perfect term we can use, the “homosexual agenda.” The word ‘homosexual’ objectifies those sons and daughters to an ‘it,’ it already has bad historical connotations, and the word ‘agenda’ makes it sound like they have some sort of secret conspiracy—something evil—like a plot to murder someone.”

      How many of you knew that hired consulting companies have been playing with your minds for years? It is called propaganda—and it was mastered by Hitler henchman Joseph Goebbels. This is regular Madison Avenue stuff. How do you think they talked millions of Americans into smoking themselves to death? Same way. Never be taken in by propaganda.

  19. Thanks for this. I think you’ve really hit some good points about the complexity of being human beings and how we often rob people’s dignity by trying to categorise/simplify them.
    BUT it seems like you’re saying that moral goodness is found when we “stay true” to our feelings and impulses. And I’m pretty sure Jesus would not agree with you on that. I think the whole Bible testified to the fact that we show up with hearts (physical/emotional/spiritual) that are naturally bent towards sin.
    I would say that LGBT’s are born the way they are, as I am, sinners. And our choice is to place ourselves under the authority of God or put God’s Word under our preferences… The latter being bad.
    But again thanks for keeping the discourse going.

  20. If I chose “to be led by the unfiltered direction of my heart,” I’d be choosing to be an adulterer, because I have all sorts of complex inclinations toward women in general, not just toward my wife. Some I express; some I restrain. I live by my heart as filtered through the code that I believe in. That is the nature of Christianity. That is the nature of all religions, to put limits on the inclinations we chose to allow expression in our lives. And what we allow expression in our lives does impact our evolving inclinations somewhat. I don’t know what it’s like to have homosexual inclinations, and so I usually wouldn’t comment on an article like this, but I do believe that “being led by the unfiltered direction of one’s heart” is spiritually unhealthy for anyone of any inclinations.

      • The Jesus filter is love. Being gay is desiring a loving relationship with a same gender partner nothing more or less complex. Its not the same as having an addiction. It would be a real sin for me to make a choice to marry a woman as a gay man. Too many men and women have done so in the past and also go meet same sex lovers to feel a deep soulful connection they are missing. The LGBT people that also create a mental image of a same sex partner while having sex at home are sinful in their heart.

  21. Good commentary but terrible headline. I understand you want to lure readers in and then turn the tables, but most people won’t bother reading the article, just the headline, which only serves to affirm their bigotry.

  22. John, I often see Facebook posts or emails that I disagree with, but I choose to move past as they are not the forum for the fight. Your posts, however, are written as a ‘leader’ to those who either are, or hopefully become, Christians. As such, it is the place for the fight.

    Your posts on this subject fall under the category of Scriptural warnings. The first Chapter of 1 Timothy is a good place to start. Like you, I feel moved to say what I think God places on my heart to say this morning. As such, I must say that I believe you to be teaching contrary to God’s Word, and your words are a danger to our ministry and are a stumbling block to the unwary.

    This post today suggests that what some of your regulars say about Bible ‘translation’ have merit, that being that it was man who must have come up with this crazy word ‘homosexuality’ because it doesn’t even exists in some texts or wasn’t even a word, in turn implying that we will just have to trust you that this made-up term was slipped into God’s Word by some old self-righteous Christian that we would bray out of any hip church these days. And incredibly, you attempt to create a false chasm between Christians and God by trying to isolate Christians who rely on Scripture as being the real source of conflict, the conflict really not being ‘with God’ as you put it. Your audience should be wary of your attempts to teach that Christians have it all wrong with this ‘homosexuality’ word that somehow ended up, as you put it, in a ‘handful of verses,’ the obvious implication being that it is of no significance and can just be discarded by those who really understand human emotions and don’t get all hung up on man-made Scripture. Granted, since God tried that whole Top Ten on stones routine and it didn’t go over too well, He left it to imperfect men to pen what we now read as the final version of the Bible. Now, perhaps you would have penned it more clearly and filled in the gaps created by God, but you weren’t there and gosh darn all we have to go by is this flawed work that, well, you guessed that I would bring it up, does mention the ‘H’ word in the same breath with ‘lawless,’ ‘rebellious,’ ‘ungodly and sinners,’ ‘unholy and profane,’ ‘murderers,’ ‘immoral men,’ ‘kidnappers and liars and perjurers,’ ‘and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.’ Don’t you just hate it when God uses generalities like ‘whatever else is contrary to sound teaching?’ It should ring a bell.

    I’m saying this to all within an earshot: Be wary of stumbling on John’s teaching here. Becoming a Christian is easy, but being a Christian is not. Pray for knowledge and wisdom as you read these teachings on ‘homosexuality’ or LGBT issues, and in addition to Scripture, a heavy dose of common sense will go a long way to understanding just what God wants for your life.

  23. Can you then explain the clear scriptures in Leviticus and throughout the Bible regarding men lying with men? The scriptures in the New Testiment also where Christ and the Apostle Paul are telling people to turn from their sin, which homosexuality is included? Yes sin in sin and when we follow Christ and make him Lord, we will sin less, we will have others hold us accountable, we desire to live in obedience and follow His Word. As my father who was a great Bible teacher and Pastor said, we are not to practice sin! We are not to continue in it just as Christ told the woman at the well, He challenged her to go and sin no more. We are to love everyone, and be Christ to all. We have a gay son and love him and care for him deeply. We are always there for him and we pray someday he turns his life over to Christ and follows Him. Our son knows we love him, as Christians we know his lifestyle is not what God desires and is clear about. We pray for his salvation daily. We are here to glorify God, not ourselves and our selfish desires. everything is not acceptable. Mathew 18 also makes that clear. We need to love, be kind, be encouraging, we don’t have to believe it’s okay with God because it is not. He suffered terribly for our sin, not for us to continue in it. We believe someday our son will be free in Christ, he is miserable searching and going from one guy to another trying to fill that void, please pray for Joe!

    Thank you

    Linda

    • You have shown that you completely missed the point, as religious folk often do. First of all, if you are goinf to bring up Leviticus, then you must also be in favor of stoning adulterers to death and killing non-virgin brides. You probably also don’t wear any mixed fiber clothing or eat pork or shellfish. Right? No? Then shut the hell up about Leviticus and the rest of the Old Testament.

      And secondly, this post has to do not with homosexual sex, which you bible thumpers seem to be obsessed with more than any other group on Earth, but with sexual orientation being a choice or not. Read it again without blinders on.

    • I will pray for Joe that his mother Linda will find the truth. Joe is no different than if he were heterosexual. He would still be searching for a partner that he really loved. How man men marry their first love? Few do. The real difference is only that most women are likely wives and they are easy to spot as they are looking for a man.

    • I would also add that your gay son may never “lie with a woman”…so Leviticus kind of flies out the window as the statement of “if a man also lies with a man, as he lies with a woman…” would never apply. So he should be good to go. I’m just throwing that out there.

    • Linda, your son is blessed to have a mother who loves him enough to speak the truth to him rather than what he wants to hear! I hope you are surrounded by Christ-loving people who will pray for you and with you to keep showing your precious son the real love of Christ! Don’t pay attention to the negative talk and lies. You love your son more than these people do! You know how much God loves your son! NEVER give up hope!

    • @Linda

      Hi Linda, I’ve not exchanged any posts with you. Thank you for your honest and transparent message. You sound like a very loving mother to me and one who appears to want the best for your son; at least what you consider to be the best in respect of your interpretation of Christianity.

      This post may come as a surprise to you. I’m a gay Christian Linda and have been in a stable, loving relationship for around 16 years now – doesn’t time fly! First of all, I would like to acknowledge your pain from this side of the fence, as the gay person, so to speak. Sounds weird? Not to me. Linda, my mum agonised over my sexuality for a very long time, both personally and from her Christian faith base. My father, a quiet, unassuming man, but quite macho, also a Christian, just could never bring himself to even say the word ‘gay’ in front of me. Do I condemn them for this? No! I knew both my mum and dad loved me so much that that side of things was never in question. I also never stopped loving them back even though, I have to say, on many ocassions I felt their utmost disapproval which I can assure you, cuts like a knife.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is that the whole issue was painful for everyone. Linda expressing your pain, and hearing your son’s pain is important; it forms part of healing together and it forms part of nurturing your relationship. And, even if you never accept your son’s sexuality (I sincerely hope you do one day), continuing to have a wonderful, loving, honest and open relationship with him, as a gay son myself I can tell you is really important, for everyone’s sake. Trust me when I say that your son probably needs you more than ever. He may be gay, but he will still loves you. Like you, he will also feel scared, lost and even confused about what he is experiencing.

      Linda, I don’t have all the answers. I am not a religious scholar and don’t profess to understand everything written in the Bible. I can only reflect on my own experiences and my stories. What I would say to you, however hard it may be for you to hear this, is when I fell in love with my partner, the experience of love and emotional ‘rightness’ was so completely overwhelming that no verse in the Bible could ever have convinced me that what I was experiencing was sinful. What I feel for my partner is love nothing more, nothing less, and the concept of sin just doesn’t come into it. For many heterosexual Christians this idea probably feels anachronistic.

      Many Christians will tell me that what I ‘feel’ is irrelevant. That my ‘feelings’ won’t get me through the pearly gates. Many Christians tell me that my emotions are all wrong, mixed up and confused. My response is pretty standard; when you walked down the isle or were waiting for your bride to appear. When you asked your spouse to marry you, or when you first realised that you were in love, did you not ‘feel’ anything? Did hour heart not skip a beat and ‘feel’ the butterflies in your stomach? Did your heart not race and jump for joy at the slight mention of your partner’s name? Did you not dream about him or her and fantasise about the day you would live together? Did you seriously not ‘feel’ anything, nothing at all, but, instead just hear words from the Bible telling you to obey?

      In my humble opinion Linda, the biggest stumbling block is not the Bible versus but our minds’ inability to believe that two men or two women can absolutely fall in love with each other in exactly the same way as a man and a woman fall in love. There is no difference other than the obvious. You see above all, your son wants to experience exactly what you experienced when you fell in love. If he is gay, he will NEVER experience that with a woman. Yes he can love a woman as a freind and even have an extremely intimate friendship with her. But, if your son is gay, he will NOT fall in love with a woman because, emotionally, the wires are just not connected in that way; that relationship will always be with a man.

      Finally, I leave you with a thought – it is not what we do but our motives and intentions behind what we do that exposes the sin.

      God Bless.

  24. I read somewhere that the personal is the political. I think the LGBT community makes those same blanket statements toward Christians. If they are really to “outdo” Christians in God’s version of love, then they’d return the judgement and “hate” with love.

    The LGBT community claims that their “love” is not hurting anyone. Perhaps that is true on the microscale of their personal relationship, but that is NOT true on a larger scale. I’ve read articles on children of LGBT who have gender deprivation. I’ve met people who were divorced by LGBT people to be “genuine” to their “identity.” It is very in tune with a individualist mindset that “my happiness and rights are king.”

    I do applaud the children that “come out” earlier BEFORE they traumatize people who loved them in a heterosexual way only to be forsaken.

    Christians need to highlight their sins and work on themselves before they project judgement on the LGBT. We are all sinners and created by God. Just goes to show how much acceptance would dial down the wrath in both directions. I went to church with a gay teen and he was talking nasty about them. I asked him why he was so free to judge them, going into their house, and yet expect acceptance and non-judgment in his direction.

    I ask that God intercede and take over this hot-button issue.

  25. This reminds me of something that happened back in the dark ages, pre Stonewall. A friend of mine’s mother said to my mother, “Mary Jo, I’m afraid that ‘Ellen’ is on drugs or homosexual,” to which my mother replied, “Oh, let’s pray it is the latter!” “How can you say that?!!” “Well, drugs can harm you, but loving is a blessing.” Perhaps not the exact words, but that was the sentiment. What a remarkable woman to grow up with!

  26. I agree with you on one aspect…yes, there are SOME in the gay community who are wired that way, who have felt that way for as long as they can remember. There’s no doubt about it. However, I disagree that everyone in that community is wired that way. There is no time in history where there have been so many gays and bi-sexual individuals. I worked at a school for at risk teens at one point, and a lot of the kids there were playing with the “bisexual” concept just because they wanted to try it out. Being gay and bisexual has become so common and accepted in our society that even people who have been truly heterosexual are questioning their sexual identity. Boys who are even a small bit different from other guys are made fun of and made to think that they are gay because they are not exactly what society defines as a man. If they like to cook, they are looked down upon. You get my point. A lot of what’s going on these days is in the choice category because it’s considered ok to mess around with experimenting with your own sexuality, and with this the definition of right and wrong has gone away. It’s way more complicated than you are making it sound. Each situation is different and a lot are choices.

    • “There is no time in history where there have been so many gays and bi-sexual individuals.” I would like to see your peer-reviewed proof on that statement. Also, and I know this from my own kids and the crap they brought home from school, that teenagers talk stuff like this to shock adults but do not actually do it in most cases.

      • If we accept the premise that “homosexuality is not a choice” then it logically follows that “There is no time in history where there have been so many gays and bi-sexual individuals.” in the same way that there is no time in history where there have been so many heterosexual people.

        Just sayin’

    • girlfriendfix, I ask you to consider that there are no more LGBT than in the past but that most in generations before married and lived sad loveless lives. And there are more people than ever in 2015, Population: 7.324.782.000 billion. Even at 3 percent that is huge.

    • I get where you are going with this and I think your point has some merit. But, I would respond with a couple of points. First, one very reasonable explanation for there being “so many more” gays now than before is not that there really are more but that there are more gay people who feel safe enough to admit it publicly. There were more in the past – they were just hidden.

      And, yes, I think there are more people considering their sexuality, asking themselves “well, could I be?” That’s really only a problem if you think one way is right and the other is wrong. I think even those that experiment eventually settle on their true sexual orientation. It’s not something easy to fake or hide.

  27. I have never thought about it this way but when I look back I remember family members being more grossed about the ability of two men being tender towards each other (as love tends to bring out even in the toughest guy) than of two men having anonymous sex… it seems one was a bigger assault on manliness than the other!?

    • That’s because the challenge here, is to see and talk about complexities of life that are not contained in a handful of verses.

      If you can’t engage in that conversation, fine, but many people are.

      • John, another fine post. I really love you for your insight. You write it so clearly. You really get it. It is so much more than sex. A son that is LGBT is still that even if they are a virgin. Why is it not the case that parents do not assume their son is sexually active if he is heterosexual? I read stories where parents have asked How do you know, have you had sex with another boy yet? Or demand their son get tested for STDs because they believe he must have had several partners.

  28. Pingback: Yes, Homosexuality Absolutely is A Choice | Reluctant Mysticism

  29. You misrepresent those you criticize, sir. I know of no one who reduces others down to a single sex act, except perhaps those who define themselves that way. Our culture dehumanizes homosexuals and Christians choose a different course. The notion that one’s manner of loving and their attitudes and inclinations toward sexual attraction and behavior is unchosen (biologically determined) disregards that person’s humanity. It presumes they are nothing more than choiceless robots or lab rats when it comes to love and sexual inclination. Being created in the Image of God means we have free moral agency. Our culture absurdly claims that gender itself is a choice but our attitudes, actions and inclinations surrounding who we love and how are NOT chosen. That is dehumanizing, sir. Preferences and orientations develop over time and a long series of factors and choice patters impact them. First a man makes his habits, then his habits make the man.

    • Yet another knee jerk reactionary that completely misses the point. This has nothing to do with “habits”. It has to do with the people to whom one is attracted, with whom one has a desire to form a life partnership. Might I suggest a reading comprehension course for you?

      If you are heterosexual, you cannot choose to be physically or romantically attracted to a person of the same sex. You can choose to act on attraction or not, but you cannot choose the attraction. What is so difficult to understand about that?

  30. My son was gay & I knew it when he was very young! He didn’t choose to be gay he was born that way! I watched him all of his life up until he died he struggled with it. Always trying to fit in with the right crowd at school & with friends but most of all with his Dad!! Even to this day his father will not say my son was gay!! He quit high school because of the kids there bullying him. I was not nor have I ever been ashamed of my son for his life style!!

  31. I understand completely. I know what desires are like, I know what you’ve been told. And I know this side of the story. I know both sides of the story.

    I guess I’m in a unique position.

    I have the ability to choose my sexuality. Either form of sexuality is enhanced or diminished by my choices. If I choose to indulge in desire, attraction, or even lust in the same gender, choose to imagine myself as the opposite gender, I feed that nature in myself and I become distant to my spouse.
    If instead I choose to neglect that desire and so on, I find that I become closer to my spouse.
    But even before I chose to marry a woman I had lived with this.

    At about 8 I felt attracted to girls, at about 16 to boys. I didn’t realize what it was until 20. All I knew is that I hated it. It made me feel confused, and made me wonder if I was becoming what people were mocking me for. I was never a strong masculine boy. I was imaginative. I talked a lot. I’m certain my range of pain tolerance is completely zero. I’m easily nervous, and had low confidence, because outside of grades, I had few successes. I loved my dad to death but I didn’t identify with him. I was a gamer before that’s what it was called. I was a gamer when it’s what those geeks did in dark rooms, closed off and alone. I wanted to be rescued. I wanted to rescue. I wanted to be held, I wanted to hold.

    I did not know my role. It affected everything from my ability to fit into a group to being able to attract a girl. I lacked confidence. And as all these things were attacking me I wanted to give up. I wanted to be held and be weak. I wanted to hide in another person. And that’s when my sexuality changed. I identified more with my mom. I preferred romantic comedies with my mom, over action movies with my dad. I would pretend I was a girl, but only from the perspective of knowing what that was like. I imagined myself with breasts, but only because then I would be able to hold them any time I liked. I didn’t know what it was.

    It wasn’t until I found a woman that responded to me that I could clearly see the two sexualities in me. I was away on a trip and found myself attracted to both another girl and another guy at the same time. Both would be cheating, so I stuffed them down and chose not to think about them. But I realized both were damaging, in their own ways. Both were dark. Except one was because of my commitment to my spouse. The other would affect me deep down in a darker way. It threatened to twist my identity up past the point of being able to understand who God really wanted me to be. God wanted me to be confident, and only one choice led to that. The other one led to darkness.

    Hindsight is 20/20. I can tell you that I am more confident in my sexuality when I choose what God intended for me to be.

    I understand that there are people who say they can’t make that choice. Which is why my advice for them is to pray deeply about this. Identity is a very important thing to God. A human’s ability to identify with God depends on their ability to understand the identity God designed for them.

    Men are meant to lead in love and women are meant to submit in love, but in day to day operations, these things are indistinguishable. I cannot demonstrate this any better than Christ, who led his disciples by washing their feet.

    When you create homosexual relationships, you disturb the ability of these persons to identify with God. To understand the role of the church and the role of Christ in salvation. That Christ is the husband, and the church is the bride. That the husband covers and provides and leads the wife.

    To say that if a action or choice does not harm it is not sin is immensely dangerous. It says that your wisdom is greater than God’s wisdom.

    You are starting from a position that a homosexual relationship does no harm, then working back to the Bible to make the Bible fit that notion. Not the other way around. You are not fairly reading the Bible to determine the truth.

    In the Bible, a reference that doesn’t even use the word homosexuality, gives clear indication of what it is and that it is not God’s intent for a loving relationship between people.
    “Men giving up the natural use of a woman, to lie down with men” has nothing to do with cheating on your spouse. Lot offered his daughter up to the men outside his home because men cheating on their spouses with an underage girl would be less evil to God than men cheating on their spouses with other men. As grotesque as damaging that girl would be in that manner, damaging the men would be far worse. That says a lot about how God views homosexuality.

    Now, what you’ve done is taking the act between same gender and tie an emotional relationship to it, and said the emotional relationship is good therefore the act is good. You’ve simply reversed what your opponents have said and performed the same fallacy you blame them for. The fact of the matter is that the act is wrong. And it doesn’t matter what the relationship attached to it looks like. Men can have loving relationships without them being sexually driven, and these relationships are ok.

    Let me describe how spiritual harm works:

    What if you just can’t understand how God could exist. That despite everything you are told, you believe with all your heart that you have never experienced God and then don’t have the frame of reference to choose him.

    A sinful lifestyle does no harm and therefore even if the Bible were to disagree, you cannot see in any way that it is harmful, and you have not experienced such a harm, and therefore you have no reference from which to choose that homosexuality is a sin.

    These two are equal.

    If you can justify homosexual because you do not feel the presence of its harm, then how do you justify the existence of God? Through your experiences. How can you be certain it does no harm? Are you homosexual? Do you struggle with sexuality? Why do you insist that any damage that a non-heterosexual experiences must be due to external factors?

    So please understand me. When I say that I deal with this issue in my daily life, and I want to warn people of the dark dangerous path they are treading down, it is absolutely with the intent to show them love.

    • When you create homosexual relationships, you disturb the ability of these persons to identify with God. To understand the role of the church and the role of Christ in salvation. That Christ is the husband, and the church is the bride. That the husband covers and provides and leads the wife.

      So much wrongness there. Not everyone is you.

      • Not everyone is you, either, but that doesn’t mean that your opinions are “wrongness”. Why is it that you are able to express your own opinions about the church, but the author here cannot because he doesn’t speak for everyone? I feel such pity for you. You are blind and you don’t even know it.

    • Being bisexual isn’t the same as being gay, even if you feel like it is (with one relationship being *normal* and the other one *not*.) But good luck in your quest to be…whatever you are.

    • I usually don’t reply to these things, as they always end up in a foobar over religious beliefs, and ideologies, more specifically geared towards Christian beliefs, then any others. But, there’s two aspects here that I wish to point out, in your own explanation, that require definite opposing points to be posed to you.

      The First, which is the most ridiculous point of them all. “Men are meant to lead in love and women are meant to submit in love” and “That Christ is the husband, and the church is the bride. That the husband covers and provides and leads the wife.” No, just, no, just ABSOLUTELY no. God did not create Woman to be lead by man. And this comes from the bible you speak of. God created woman from man, not to be charged with, but to be supported by, Not to lead of, but to be reasoned by. Meaning, that he intended Woman to be equal to man, to be there in judgement, and decisions, that affected both, to be cherished by each other, and to lead forward in their life. Which, of course has absolutely no effect on “Homosexuality”. That was just the creation myth from the bible that involved Adam and Eve. Nothing else. So do not make such statements as this, as it intends to point out that Man is ABOVE all, including Women, when that is simply not true.

      The Second, is your lovely description of Atheism. The whole frame of reference where a person cannot perceive god through their own experiences, and therefore cannot know good from evil. (Which is what I get from your implication, that you can only know good through God.) Utter Nonsense. You, and I am talking about you, do not learn “From God” what is good, and what is evil. You learn what is good, and what is evil from 1.) Your Parents, 2.) Your community, 3.) Your religion. And I mean it in that exact order. When you are young, you start learning what you can, and can’t do, by the direction your parents give you. You learn what is acceptable by testing it out, and seeing what the reaction is from your parents. You steal a cookie from the cookie jar, your parents tell you no, not before your dinner, and you learn that it is wrong. You then learn from your community, your interaction with other kids, and school, what is right and what is wrong. You take a toy away from another kid in school, or in a play date, and you find out from the kid, Teacher, or Parent, that no, that is not right. And you learn that it is wrong, and therefore your experience grows, and you start to learn what is right, and what is wrong.

      Finally, your religion teaches you the rest. And I’m not speaking specifically of Christianity. I speak of all faiths, Hindu, Catholic, Islam, Buddhism, Jewish, Wicca, Satanism, and all the other various ones, teach you the laws set forth by a deity that determine what is right, and what is wrong. Christian and various sects of Christianity (Jehovah, Latter Day Saints, Restoration-ism, Catholic, Protestantism) tend to have some kind of schooling for Children, and they touch base on the basics, not really getting to heavily into the graphical parts of the Bible, to help teach children what is right and what is wrong. Many Christian’s believe that the only true morals come from the bible, and therefore are the only ones that are learned, and therefore any that do not follow, are heathens, and cannot be truly moral. When in all Anthropological and Historical precedents, it can be seen that the order that I had just described, directly shows that you start learning Moral things LONG before you even get to the Bible. And while yes, I will admit that some of the Moral parts that are passed down to children from their parents come from the Bible, you will almost never find specific incidents where a Parent will sit there and explain to a child, while taking a toy from another is a sin against Christ and God (There are those rare occurrences that it does occur), they will simply just say, That it is wrong, for the simple fact that the child has no frame of reference to God or Christ at this point.

      So, to declare Spiritual Harm, simply on the fact of NOT knowing Christian Morals, or following Christian morals, is no argument at all. For if that was the case, you were doing spiritual harm to yourself when you were a child, and did not know of Morals, but instead made the choices to test what you could get away with.

      And the same goes for Sexuality. As you have stated in your own, you have dealt with this dilemma, as you went through your life, you tested yourself, based on what you had learned in the past, for what was right for you. You may suffer the urges, or inclinations, but in the end, you made the choice, and you felt that choice to be correct, and right, FOR YOU. I can’t emphasize that enough. You made your own choices, for what you felt was correct, _/FOR YOU/_. And I do not judge you for your decisions. You made the decision for yourself, and that is correct for you. Congrats. I’m happy for you. But to sit there, and judge another person, or to criticize another person for their choice, based upon your own choice, is not for you to do. Sure, you can think about it, and you can express your opinion about it, but to outright judge, and demean someone else on their choice, cause it didn’t align with your choice, is not correct at all.

      I don’t like to quote the bible against anyone, except to point out certain things, as above with Adam and Eve, but at this point, I have to take a page from the bible, and as someone quoted above, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” This quote is very much used by quite a few people, for the very spirit in which the quote is meant to be. Yet everyone keeps throwing the stones anyways, cause they believe they are without Sin, even though they are born of sin, they are with sin, and they are not freed of sin, till the turn themselves over to Jesus, in the final moments of their life, to be redeemed, but in essence, the underlying meaning behind that phrase, is quite simple. Do not judge others by your own choices, and experiences, you don’t have that Right. You never had that right. It is a sin to think you have that right, for the only judgement that is to be had, is by God, in what you have done with your life, and your choices.

      That’s about the only statement out of the bible that I can actually, truly agree with, aside from the commandments of death, killing, stealing, and all that. But in all honesty, the commandments are really, just common sense things, that anyone with a proper moral center knows. Feel free to express your opinions, as you are free to do so, but judge not, least you be judged.

  32. I think you make some very good arguments here regarding the “choice” to be LGBT. The way you explain it will hopefully help those who are willing to listen see that our attractions are outside our control. However, I have to disagree your argument that because LGBT relationships aren’t damaging, they aren’t sinful. The effects of an action don’t determine it’s sinfulness, only God and the Bible do that. We can speculate that the negative results of an action were the impetus of God’s decision to label it sinful, but I don’t think this allows us to determine what is and is not sinful.

    • “The effects of an action don’t determine it’s sinfulness, only God and the Bible do that.”

      Beware, you are making an idol of the Bible. The book is written by men that were attempting to understand the purpose of existence. The word for God in the Hebrew text is a verb not a noun. Its closer to “to be” or “being” not a being.

  33. This is so good. John, I’m continually thankful for you and your ministry for the Christian LGBT community. I think it’s so important, and you are doing a great job. I never case to agree with the things that you post, and you honestly get it so much more than so many other straight Christians out there. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s thankful for you lending your voice to this.

  34. I completely understand your comment’s, but I have some questions; What happened to doing what is right even when you don’t want to? What happens to the scriptures in which God himself called this act an abomination? Why the flood? Why the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? I know that all sin is pleasurable to the flesh, but we as Christians are supposed to keep the flesh under subjection and abstain from sin. I will in closing say this; Sin is Sin and none is worse than any other. We should never judge one another because we all sin daily. We would be better off helping each other come to the knowledge of the truth. The WORD provides a route of escape for every temptation, When the WORD says that it is good for doctrine it is good and when it says that it is Sin it is, WHETHER WE BELIEVE IT OR NOT. WE WILL ALL GIVE AN ACCOUNT FOR OUR OWN SELF’S.

    • Singling out homosexuality but excluding the “Seven Deadlies” is seen by many (including many Christians) as hypocritical. Why are Christians marching against gay marriage, but perfectly OK taking advantage of others to buy a bigger house and nicer car, or eating to excess while others starve? I recall that Jesus spoke out against homosexuality, but overturned tables of the greedy in the Temple.

      My view (as a Christian) is that most Christians choose to NOT be homosexual, and by doing so separate themselves from the world, and tell themselves that they are somehow “better”. They then live in this “Christian bubble” but ignore the log in their own eyes.

      Sin is sin is sin. It’s all bad and separates us from God. At the end of the day, if you call yourself a “Christian” you buy in to the Great Commission. How then to make believers of those that you show so much hate towards, and push away from God with hypocrisy? Better to love on them and let God settle it. He’s the only one with power anyway.

      • John Bowers, You recall that Jesus spoke out against homosexuality. Maybe you could point out where he did that? I know Leviticus and I know Paul who was refelecting his conservative Jewish upbringing and world view but I am not aware of any specific comment that Jesus was ever reported as having said in regard to homosexuality. To what are you referring?

  35. I love most of this, but I think it’s patently hypocritical of you to take exception Christians reducing being gay to sexual behavior while calling a pedophile someone “preying upon a child purely for sexual satisfaction.” A pedophile is someone who is sexually attracted to children, NOT necessarily someone who is a sexual predator. There are plenty of pedophiles who recognize the problematic nature of (that aspect of) their sexuality and do not assault children, and there are plenty of sexual predators who are not pedophiles.

    If you don’t want Christians to view your sexuality as a sexual behavior, don’t do it to others in the same breath.

    • More to the point, not all (quite possibly not even most) of them are actually attempting to be sexually active with children, be it by violence, trickery, or consensually.

      Far too often, I see people making the equivalency pedo = the devil incarnate, where we should have the common decency to look at what the individual actually _does_ (as opposed to what he might think, feel, or want to do).

      This is, of course, a clear parallel to how some people, in particularly in the past, have though about homosexuals: If someone is a homo/pedo throw him on the metaphorical bonfire together with the witches.

  36. “It’s about far greater things hand plumbing and gymnastics.”
    I appreciate this.
    Thank you for an eloquent challenge to reevaluate nominal and antiquated beliefs.
    This topic really does require a significant assessment of whether or not our beliefs are our own or if they’ve been inherited.

  37. Sorry. No empirical evidence that it is genetic. Until then its a choice.
    BTW, anyone over 50 can remember when the gay community gladly embraced “choice” until they knew it would not get them civil rights status, only then did it become “orientation”.

    • Sorry, no empirical evidence that it’s simply a choice, until then it’s a bit more than you would like to intellectually simplify.
      BTW, I’m over 50 and remember when we used to say “colored”. Things change, thank goodness.

    • Minireview: Hormones and Human Sexual Orientation: Endocrinology: Vol 152, No 8

      image

      Minireview: Hormones and Human Sexual Orientation: …
      Most people are sexually attracted to individuals of the opposite sex; they are heterosexual.
      View on press.endocrine.org
      Preview by Yahoo

      Sexual orientation is on a spectrum….seven distinct categories

      Taken from the above findings from the American Endocrinology Association

      Most people are sexually attracted to individuals of the opposite sex; they are heterosexual. There is, however, a significant minority (3–10% according to many estimates) of men and women who are exclusively attracted to individuals of their own sex; they are homosexual. Intermediate forms of attraction also exist, and as early as in 1948, Kinsey et al. (1) were classifying sexual orientation in seven distinct categories ranging from completely heterosexual to completely homosexual. Sexual orientation (heterosexual vs. homosexual) is a behavioral trait that displays one of the largest degrees of sexual differentiation, given that 90–97% of individuals of one sex display an attraction that is different from that of the other sex.

      The paper then goes in to animal studies.

      Then human….hormones in utero,….

      Many Sex Differences in Humans Are Organized by Embryonic Sex Steroids

      Clinical Studies

      In summary, the existence of a genetic contribution to the control of sexual orientation is now firmly established, but the specific gene(s) that are implicated in this process have not been identified so far. Whether or not this (these) gene(s) affect sexual orientation by modifying steroid secretion or action during ontogeny has also not been determined.

      Conclusion:
      Current knowledge does not allow discriminating between these interpretations (see Ref. 34 for a more detailed discussion). It is clear, however, that biological factors acting during prenatal life play a significant role in the control of sexual orientation and that homosexuality is not, for most people, the result only of postnatal experiences or a free choice. It is often an awareness that presents itself to the individual during their adolescence or early adult life. The acceptance of a nonheterosexual orientation in a minority of subjects is often the cause of significant psychological distress and social isolation. In contrast, heterosexual orientation emerges with the individual often being unaware of the underlying process. There is no question of choice here. Data presented in this review strongly suggest that most human beings do not choose to be heterosexual or homosexual. What they choose is to assume or not their orientation and eventually reveal it openly. Sexual orientation represents a highly complex behavioral trait under multifactorial control that includes genetic, hormonal, and presumably immunological determinants potentially acting in concert with the social postnatal environment. More interdisciplinary research is needed to better understand this fascinating aspect of human behavior.

  38. Thank you.

    Thank you for not being stupid, obtuse, ignorant, accusing, bigoted, close minded, belittling or callous like SOOOOO many are.

    With a sigh of relief I can simply say “Finally!” and, again, thank you.

  39. You assume, it seems to me, that all natural urges and desires are automatically good, fitting and proper for humans to act upon and pursue. If someone naturally feels sexually attracted to members of the same sex, then it is good, fitting and proper for him or her to act on that attraction, simply because that is how he or she feels.

    To me, this seems like a bad grounding for what is morally acceptable for human beings generally. What do we do when are faced with folks who feel natural sexual urges for animals, or for inanimate objects? If the only moral basis for evaluation is if it is a natural desire or not, then we have to say that sexual relationships with animals and inanimate objects are acceptable as well, for those particular people. And of course, some people do.

    It seems to me that if the relevant category for determining the scope of moral action is whether or not it feels authentic to your personhood, then we are in a lot of moral trouble.

    What I think you forget is that human beings live in a broken world, and are prone to experience naturally urges and desires which are in fact bad, and immoral. This is the basic Christian doctrine of sin. Sometimes, we want what is not good. Because we live in a world that is affected by sin, we cannot use urges and desires as relevant category for determining whether or not actions are moral. Sin touches human beings to their very core, warping their desires, warping their urges, warping what they want to pursue. Because of the affect of sin in this world, how we feel, and whether or not it is natural, can’t be a relevant moral category.

    • We all “are prone to experience naturally urges and desires” and for the majority its heterosexual or humanity would face our end. But at over 7 Billion and counting not going to happen because just 3 percent are not. Ther is no harm to LGBT but there is from animal sex with humans. Many humans use vibrators and there is no harm.

    • Very good, Zach. I hope that we are more than our biology! It is a part of an ever-pervasive humanist mindset, I think, to cling to and consider sacred the things which we experience in our own minds and bodies. But as Christians, we ought to know that we are all born into a sinful nature; hence bodily urges and so many of the things that we “feel naturally” are really just us at our worst! It is only through the regenerative power of Holy Spirit, and the mind-renewal that comes with bible study and Christian fellowship, that we may be blessed to be able to turn from sinful ways.

      If it seems that I only restated what you said, that is because I agree with you!

  40. yes, one can choose to be true to themselves and stop trying to change for the comfort of others, to fit a mold society deems acceptable. But as for it being a choice in terms of biological attraction, NO its not, its as real as being straight and not finding the same sex attractive. If the rule was reversed, and being straight was the issue, how would one turn gay? Would it be fair to expect someone to try and change, to simply “choose” to find the opposite sex attractive?.

  41. This was such a great answer to “choice” – very nuanced and yet direct way of asking what makes us human: our sexuality or our totality as a person. Again, well done.

    Melinda Workman

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  42. It’s also careless to treat all Christians as screeching homophobes. This is the initial tone of the article, though later on (when many have stopped reading) it changes to “many Christians”.
    I am very vocal with fellow Christians that homosexuality is not one of the seven deadly sins, and yet is most oft pointed to when describing a fallen world. Somehow they feel that the actions of a relatively small percentage of the population are more offensive to God than the much more pervasive greed, envy and gluttony practiced by so many, including so many Christians.
    My point is that I agree with you, but grow weary of the Christian bashing that I see so often in these types of articles. It’s factually incorrect, and has no place in thoughtful discourse on important subjects.

  43. Very well said. The only question I’d raise in response is for Christians whether our focus should be on being “the most honest, authentic versions of ourselves…and relenting to the things that in all of our lives, never can be chosen”

  44. Romans 1:20-32 ESV

    For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

    • So where are the Christians calling out the envious, the murderous, the ones full of strife, the deceitful, the malicious, the gossipers, the slanderous, (oh, we know where they are, calling out the “haters of God”), the insolent, the haughty, the boastful, the inventors of evil, the disobedient to parents, the foolish, the faithless (oh, forget that one…Christians LOVE calling those out!), the heartless and ruthless? Nowhere. But the LGBT community? The words NEVER STOP. That makes hypocrites of people who do that. Because a sin is a sin is a sin, is it not? There are worse things than loving another person…like HURTING and TAKING ADVANTAGE of another person.

      • I’ll answer for the fundies. All those sins you listed do exist, but they are everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill sins that have been with mankind forever come rain or come shine. Homosexuality is a highly special and set-apart sin known to make God so angry that he destroyed two whole cities and everyone in them. Some even think He was so angry that He used nuclear weapons to do it. Because the sin of homosexuality is such a highly sensitive issue with God far above and beyond that of most sins, American approval of homosexual marriage and even any other tendency towards societal acceptance of it and homosexuals is highly likely to bring the same fate down on the United States that was visited on those two ancient sodomite cities. Can’t you people see? We are not just standing up for God’s law. We are desperately trying to save the United States itself from sudden and total destruction!!! We do not want ourselves and our families to be destroyed as collateral damage when God comes after you sinners. Why can’t you apostate Christians and nonbelievers understand that homosexuality is one of the most dangerous jars of nitroglycerin that has ever been on the face of this Earth? Even the slightest jostle could set it off and destroy us all. Yet, American culture and John Pavlovitz seem to be hellbent on setting off a 9.9 earthquake under that jar of homonitro!!!

      • This is a reply to Dover since there isn’t a reply button below:

        Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (Ezekiel 16:49-50)

        The reason God did away with Sodom and Gomorrah was because they were too much like modern day America. 😉

    • Thank you Matt, and in addition to the Scripture you quote is Leviticus 20:13

      However, there’s nothing wrong with a guy sleeping with his own mother as it’s a pleasure shared by the two of them which is not in anyway detrimental to those around them as well as their society yet, society and nature does not consider right so goes with a man and a man.we must understand that there is no limit to the freedom God has given to us but there’s a limit as to how we use the freedom he has given us.freedom comes with a sense of responsibility!
      This responsibility makes us consider evil as evil and good as good. What’s bad’s bad and what is good is good – the world is unified on that.

  45. Please do not put your emotions above the Word of God, lest they become your idol. All Christians are called to deny themselves and pick up their cross, leaving their sins far behind.

    Also, if you are saying that homosexuality is ok, then you must say that other sins are okay too. You can’t pick and choose what sins are and aren’t ok. What if a grown man really loves a child? If they have a proper wedding and do so lovingly, does he also deserve to have his emptiness fulfilled? If you love a nonbeliever, should you also be allowed to marry them? What if a man is in love with a beast? Shouldn’t he also have the right to marry it? You see, this leads into all sorts of problems with you interpret the Bible in this way.

    Also, God does not set up laws for marriage JUST BECAUSE. He’s painting a picture of here. Everything that God does is a symbol of what is to come. For example, sacrificing sheep was a symbol of what was to come: Jesus, the perfect lamb. Prophets and priests were meant to reflect Christ, the one true Priest. What about David? Meant to reflect the one true King. Adam, one man brought everyone to sin, but Jesus, one man who brought everyone to life. Evening the various cleansing rituals of Israel were meant to symbolize the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus. They were all prophecies of what was to come. And marriage is also a prophecy of what is to come.

    Marriage symbolizes what is to come: The wedding between Christ and his bride, the Church. Husbands and wives are also to act this way, as a reflection of what is to come. This is why wives must be submissive to their husbands, because they are supposed to symbolize the church. And this is why Husbands must have leadership and love their wives as Christ did, because they are symbolizing Christ. Why do you think God made marriage exist in the first place? It’s because he wanted us to understand a shadow of what is to come. A union between a man and a woman is essentially supposed to reflect the union between God and His Church.

    Paul says:
    Ephesians 5:21-27
    21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.

    Matthew 19:3
    3 The proud religious law-keepers came to Jesus. They tried to trap Him by saying, “Does the Law say a man can divorce his wife for any reason?” 4 He said to them, “Have you not read that He Who made them in the first place made them man and woman? 5 It says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will live with his wife. The two will become one.’ 6 So they are no longer two but one. Let no man divide what God has put together.”

    In the beginning, way back when God created Adam and Eve, he made them man and woman. Eve was to be Adam’s helper. She was taken from one of his ribs. God didn’t want man to be alone so he created a woman. Why would God bother to create another separate gender? Why didn’t God just give Adam another man? Why’d he have to create a whole other gender, with an entirely different role (Helper) to be with Adam? So that the two would become one flesh? Two leaders can’t become one flesh. Two followers can’t become one flesh. They are two parts of a whole (one flesh), man and woman. See, it wouldn’t make any sense for homosexuals to be part of God’s plan for marriage, because they can’t mirror a Biblical marriage. The Bible says men are to be the head, as Christ is the head, and that women are to be submissive as the Church is submissive to Christ. See, if you stuck two males together in a marriage, you’d have two heads. You’d have two leaders and no one to follow. This would cause a division. Likewise if you have two females you have two followers, and no one to follow.

    If it were true that homosexuals were allowed in the Bible, then when Paul says “You wives be subject to your husbands” he should’ve really said “Wives be subject to your husbands, or wives, whichever of you decides to take the leadership role, and likewise, you husbands love your wives, or males, or whichever of you decides to take the follower role, but one of you must take the leadership role and another the follower role and I’ll leave it up to you to decide who wants to take what.”

    Do you see how confusing and murky this gets all of a sudden? Now we have no idea who leads and who follows, and the Bible makes it clear that one has to lead and one has to follow. The Bible specifically says that ALL wives must be submissive to their husbands (Regardless of whether or not they have a controlling personality) and ALL husbands must be the head and love their wives as Christ did (regardless of whether or not the man is a laid back kind of person who doesn’t like to take leadership).

    The Bible never once tells us to do something we’re comfortable with. Right here you can say that God is holding expectations of me that I can’t change. I’m a female. I’m a CONTROLLING female who likes to lead. I like to make the decisions. My boyfriend on the other hand is the opposite. He’s laid back, he likes to follow what I say. He likes to let others take the lead. But see, despite this being in OUR BEING as you’ve said, that it’s a personality trait I can’t get rid of, DESPITE THIS God holds me responsible to somehow fulfill this law?! Why?! Isn’t that like trying to get a lesbian to fall in love with a male? It’s not her nature. And it’s not MY nature to submit to a man, I’m a born leader! And just look at Moses. God chose Moses to be the speaker but Moses grumbled and complained that he wasn’t a good speaker. Do you think God didn’t know that? Of course God shaped Moses and knew that it wasn’t in his nature to be a speaker. Moses HATED speaking. He hated speaking so much that he questioned God’s command and grumbled about having to speak. He never took into account that God knew already that Moses wasn’t good at speaking. But see, that wasn’t God’s point. God doesn’t choose people for what they’re good at or what they prefer or where their personality says they would fit. God chooses where they fit, despite how we humans feel like that plan just doesn’t work for us because, well, sometimes it just doesn’t work.

    But God’s point is that he’s greater. He is ALWAYS greater, and with God all things are possible. I could say “God, it works fine the way it is. Look, my boyfriend is naturally a laid back person and I’m naturally a leader. So how about we just keep doing it this way? It works just fine.” But no. God has bigger plans and his plans don’t always make sense or seem to fit or even seem appealing but that’s God’s point. He wants us to follow him no matter HOW UNCOMFORTABLE the journey ahead is. And to say that God doesn’t know us well enough because he’s not understanding our needs very well is a sin in itself. God is ENOUGH. Even if we have absolutely NOTHING, God is always enough. We have to trust that whatever tough journey God has in store for us, that God works for the good of those who love Him.

    There are also plenty of stories where God has overcome someone’s homosexualism, well of course there are. God can overcome any sin, no matter how great. He can overcome any impossibility, no matter how impossible it seems.

    http://www.iwasgay.com/

    There’s tons of stories like this, where God has helped people to overcome their sin. And to say that homosexuality is a person, is true. Yes, you know what? We’re all sinners. Yes, because of one sin we are all condemned to die. That’s why Jesus had to come in the first place. To save us from ourselves. Yes from OURSELVES. By definition we are sinners. Nothing more. Sure, we were made in God’s image but once sin tainted us we fell WAY WAY WAY short of the glory of God. We had no hope of getting back up there. Jesus could’ve just snapped his fingers and made our sins go away and make everything easy but He didn’t. Because God is a just God and he cannot go outside of His own character. The wages of sin is death and Christ paid for it with his life. If Christ could overcome that, can’t he overcome something like someone’s being? We all change. We become new creatures in Christ. No, not GOOD PEOPLE. We do not become good people with the same personalities and we don’t stay the same. WE COMPLETELY CHANGE INTO COMPLETELY NEW CREATURES! All of us do. Not just the homosexuals who have to completely rechange their orientation, but all of us. We all become new creatures in Christ. We deny ourselves and we pick up our crosses. And we know that we’ll be there for each other and that God will never abandon us. We keep thinking that those crosses are way too heavy than we can lift. Are you kidding me? I can’t change my sexual orientation! I can’t! You’re right YOU can’t! But Christ can! And I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. You think that cross is going to crush you into the ground and be an impossible weight, but God is there holding it up alongside you, he is not going to abandon you. It will be hard, but it is not impossible.

    Matthew 11:30
    For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    • “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

      Yeah. Right. Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism in both voice and practice make a total mockery of that statement made by Jesus.

    • You talk often of submission of women to men in your reply. You also say a woman should never leave him. That is sick on both counts. If a man abuses his wife than she must leave. If he keeps his wife from leaving the house without him than she must leave. Galatians 3:28 In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ.

  46. I just recently started reading your blog, so forgive me if you’ve already addressed these questions in a previous post. But what is the hermeneutical conversation about the “handful of Scriptures” and their translations? How do we reconcile the scriptures? I’m looking forward to your insight.

    • James, The best way to “reconcile” the scripture s is to ignnyore the ones that don’t make sense over 2000 years later. Lest ybbou think I am being flip or facecious, I contend that ignoring sciripture is precisely what we have done in large part throughout the Bible. There are over 100 different diatery “abominations” in Leviticus. Perhaps you don’t like shrimp or lobster or clams or oysters or bacon or any kind of shellfish or bacon…etc. ad infinitum. Do you reallyi not eat any of these items because of Leviticus? And if you do aren’t you committing an abomination? Why is homosexuality singled out? Oh, because of the dreaded DEATH PENALTY? Ever work on the Sabbath? Ever curse your mother or father? Ever engage in blasphemboy? Ever have a son who was disobedient? Ever gather wood for the fireplace on the Sabbath? (and bythe way, when the Bible was cobbled together by committee picking and choosing which books to include and which to omit, the Sabbath was Saturday not Sunday). I do hope you never contemplate wearing clothing of mixed fibers or engage in, God forbid, adultery or divorce. There are hundreds of serious transgressions/sins enumerated in the Bible which rational non-superstitious people have learned to ignore. God’s apparent distaste for homosexuality should be one of them. I like my shrimp and bacon…how about you?

    • No you are not. You are a fundie who has come here under the guise of humbleness to create trouble. You should start out by being honest and stating your fundie position—-which everyone already knows. You just want to see if you have the Holy Spirit “MOJO” it takes to “Save John Pavlovitz” so you can take his scalp back to your fundie friends and say, “Hey!!! See me. Who be da man? That’s right. I be da man ’cause i saved Pavlovitz.”

      Ain’t gonna happen.

      • Excuse me Mr. Sentell. I checked you out online. Please accept my apology for being so incorrect about you. We may not agree on every little thing. Who does? I found your rhetorical arguments on your assorted websites to be interesting and engaging. I hope you can succeed in making the world a better place—or at least a more reasonable place.

  47. Thank you so much for this! As a gay Christian (yup… I said it!), I’ve constantly found myself stuck in the middle of two seemingly warring factions. Christians, being human, are more popularly known for their outspoken disdain for the gay community instead of being known for reflecting God’s love. Then, there’s the gay community – full of people who have been hurt by those aforementioned Christians. Staggering numbers of gay people have left churches because they were made to feel unwelcome. The idea of anyone being unwelcome in a church… The idea is baffling… and surely not what God intended… but I digress. I’m stuck in the middle. I attempt to defend the church while explaining that judging and condemning isn’t the point of Christianity, and that sadly, some Christians have gotten it wrong. This, while doing everything I can to politely let the church people know that I’m not a monster.

    And here’s the part where I expect a few heads to explode. My fiance and I… we go to church. He helps lead mission trips and humanitarian work for our church on a global scale. I help run video and lighting for our contemporary service. He once started a non-profit to help physically and financially support AIDS-affected orphans in Africa — before his board shuttered the operation after he came out because ‘he was unfit to lead’. He’s also a gifted photographer. I write music for TV and Film. We have two dogs, and two cats. He has a ball python… and I won’t pretend to take any ownership of it.

    He’ll be leading a trip to Zimbabwe this Summer. I know God’s got him… but I worry. He’s been on many trips before… but I always worry. I miss him. I’ll even admit that I’ve been known to cry.

    We watch TV shows together. Grey’s Anatomy is a family favorite. It’s those medical shows that always get me. When terrified wife has to say ‘goodbye’ to fatally-wounded husband, I get choked up. Not because of the stellar acting, but because I dread the idea of having to face that situation in real life with my fiance. The idea of it chills me to the core. If I cry when he’s on a mission trip, I imagine things will be pretty rough if I know he’s not coming home. Nevermind the fact that in Texas, I have no legal standings or rights with regards to him.

    As much as some people would deny it, here is my truth. God, the Almighty… the creator of the everything.. could have placed me in whatever time and place in the course of human history. And yet, He chose to lead me to a specific spot on planet Earth on a specific date and time — to meet the love of my life. We make a strong team. We build each other up. We encourage and strengthen each other’s faith. He’s a dude. So am I. But together, we are much more. I will never be convinced that we are abominations. We are together – not in spite of God – but because of God.

    • Hello and I agree with you! Christians are getting a bad rap; some sectors of Christianity are forcing fear of same sex couples. Jesus died for all our sins and Thank you Jesus because I have been led into some major ones. My sins are forgiven. I used to believe that homosexual relationships were sinful, but then came to my senses because how is loving someone else a sin? Who am I to judge? It’s not my place. Jesus loves us. When we are born He has our partner and helpmate born and each of us has the life experiences we need to support one another. We as Christians are to Love One Another and reassure each other that Jesus forgave us all our sins and bought us. Please do not construe any mention of sin to mean I am labeling any lifestyle as such. I hope more Christians take up the discussion that we are forgiven. I think that’s the real truth to Christianity. I also believe as you say that Jesus brought the two of you together. May God open eyes so they may see. Best regards!

  48. Christian here.

    Facts:
    1) Marriage between 2 people should first and foremost glorify God. Marriage between 2 people is analogous to Christ being married to the church.
    2) Sex out of marriage is sin. This goes for hetero and homo alike.
    3) Romans 3:23, for all have sinned (hetero and homo) and fall short of the glory of God. John 3:16, God sent his only son, Jesus, to die for our sins – whoever believes this shall not perish but have eternal life. Again, for hetero and homo alike, Christians are saved.

    Is homosexuality a sin? I think so – but I don’t really know – nor do I really care. Our calling on Earth is to Love, not judge. Our sins are between God and each one of us individually. Is a Christian really Christian? I know that question sounds funny, but it stands, because… Can an LGBT individual be Christian? I definitely think so.

  49. Pingback: Is Homosexuality a Sin? | The Forum For Discourse

  50. Pingback: Yes, Homosexuality Absolutely is A Choice | x2plive

  51. Thank you so much John…I wish I wrote this.Hey homophobes! God is not a critic, watching over humanity, picking and finding faults in their existence. God is also a man who understands and accepts his creation just the way he created them. If you are against this fact and truth, then there is something in your life you are not admitting which is reality. God is the reality! To all the ex-gays, I have been there and im back. There is nothing sweeter than accepting who you are. It is what God wants for you more than anything. I was lead by God himself to accepting who i am. Since then our relationship has been something else.

  52. I suspect that you have missed a critical aspect of the issue, namely what the Christians oppose:

    Is it the homosexual inclination it self or “just” the homosexual acts?

    I suspect that the answer will vary from individual to individual, but the difference is sufficiently large that a treatment that does not discuss this aspect, respectively does not consider both views, loses considerably in value, because the implications can be quite different, even with regard to the very question of choice.

    To take a similar example, the Catholic church is unlikely to expect its priests to magically become asexual upon ordination, yet still expects them to remain celibate. It may or may not disapprove of sexual fantasies, but it is the act of sexual intercourse which is the main problem. A priest cannot realistically choose to be uninterested in sex, but he can choose whether or not he actually has sex.

    As a real-life example, my own (then religious) father originally chose to follow a heterosexual path, despite being homosexual, and only after some six or seven years of marriage with two children, followed his heart instead.

    (Note: I am not expressing my approval of either of these two takes on the issue. Instead, I point to the importance of making the differentiation.)

  53. Absolutely beautiful. Well said. I’ll also add that it doesn’t matter if it’s a choice or not (imagine someone who is bisexual deciding to marry – that person would make a real choice). We all make choices. Who to marry, how many kids we have if we have them at all – we make all kinds of lifestyle choices. God made us all who we are and wants us to be our authentic selves. Only then can we love others…

  54. John Pavlovitz , Pastor and Writer. As long as there is a God, “Pastor Pavlovitz”, there’s a choice to live or not to live according to what “He”, God, says is sin. No Christian has ever claimed that having a same sex attraction for someone of the same sex was ever a sin. Christians acknowledge what Christ said in Matthew 19 that God, His Heavenly Father, created male and female for the purpose of being joined together in a loving affectionate relationship and that Jesus gave example that any romantic or sexual relationship outside that of a man and woman relationship, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual relationships, is in fact fornication or adultery, (Sin). You say that they, a people with a same sex attraction, are being true to themselves. I say that we should first be true to God and as a “pastor” you should not only know this but preach repentance towards God from any immoral lifestyle.

    • As I stated on your FB version of this:

      Your use of “pastor” is insulting and demeaning and invalidates your contribution.

      You sound like a really devoted “Christian”.

      See how petty that is?

  55. Leaving religion completely out of it: the question is When did just loving someone stop being okay. When did it start requiring a sexual act? Can I not love my best friend and have a deep emotional bond with her, without choosing to have sex with her? Can I not think she is beautiful? Saying it is not a choice tells me that you yourself confuse love and sex. You may not be able to help whom you love (which I actually would have to disagree with) and you may not be able to help whom you are physically attracted to (which I would also disagree with) but you certainly can help whom you have sex with. If that is not the case then we would all be justified in committing affair after affair with those we love AND are attracted to.

    I can choose whether or not to still love my husband. It takes work to feel that same passion we felt when we were first dating. I can also choose to stop loving him. I may care for him, but I assure you, having been in love with other men, I can choose not to love him anymore. I can also choose to be or not to be attracted to him. If I want to notice that he’s gained some weight and shrunk an inch or so since marriage, and choose to see those as reasons to not be physically attracted to him, then I have that right. I can also overlook, or better yet, embrace those new characteristics in him.

    On another note: There is no animal in the wild kingdom that is actually “homosexual” in the terms that you describe it. There are animals that will perform homosexual gestures in order to assert dominance or simply because it feels good.

    Speaking back on religion: If you say that you cannot choose your homosexuality, you are in fact doing exactly what Satan has wanted and planned all along. He wants you to give up your free agency. It was his plan all along to force us to be good. Since he didn’t get his way, he will try every tactic to get us to do wrong. and convincing you that you have absolutely no control over whom you love and are attracted to and more so whom you have sexual relations with, is one of his greatest games. If you willing CHOOSE to give up your free agency by CHOOSING to believe that your body is not yours to lead, then you can justify that all your life. I am just sick and tired of your community trying to convince the world that we have no choice.

    • You write of Free Will while also telling me what I must do. Just because of some ancient texts of unknown authorship.

      “If we permit ourselves to conceive right ideas of things, we must necessarily affix the idea, not only of unchangeableness, but of the utter impossibility of any change taking place, by any means or accident whatever, in that which we would honor with the name of the word of God; and therefore the word of God cannot exist in any written or human language.

      The continually progressive change to which the meaning of words is subject, the want of a universal language which renders translation necessary, the errors to which translations are again subject, the mistakes of copyists and printers, together with the possibility of willful alteration, are of themselves evidences that the human language, whether in speech or in print, cannot be the vehicle of the word of God. The word of God exists in something else.

      Did the book called the Bible excel in purity of ideas and expression all the books that are now extant in the world, I would not take it for my rule of faith, as being the word of God, because the possibility would nevertheless exist of my being imposed upon. But when I see throughout the greater part of this book scarcely anything but a history of the grossest vices and a collection of the most paltry and contemptible tales, I cannot dishonor my Creator by calling it by his name.”

      Thomas Paine 1794

  56. Although we all should respect and protect people living a gay lifestyle, because they are created in the image of God just like all of us, that does not equate to a Christian having to believe, live or speak in any way that says such a lifestyle is morally good in the eyes of God or any bible believing Christian. Christian exists because the Son of God appeared among men and spoke Gods word, opened the way for eternal salvation to all who believe and obey the gospel and obey the word of God, the son of God was born as prophecies predicted into a Jewish home and lived among jewish people and reinforced the law and all of the prophets in all of his teaching and preaching, he chose to establish his church through jewish men the apostles including Paul who all believed and taught that Jesus was the Son of God the predicted messiah and that he fulfilled all the prophets predictions. Which is as much to say that Jesus and all of those he chose to establish his church and who all wrote the whole of the bible believed that their was One God and Father, One Lord and Messiah Jesus Christ, One Faith, One Gospel, One truth and teaching given by God first through his prophets and last of all through his Son. With regard to human sexuality there has been no conflict for two thousand years as to what God and his Son expected of those who believe in Him and obey Him, its consistent throughout all of scripture old testament and new, prophets, Son, and apostles all agreed on what good human sexuality was and is. Therefore when you speak to Christians and try to convince Christians to turn away from the teachings of God and his Son in scripture you need to present a logical reasonable argument from scripture to convince christians that we have heard God wrong all these years. Or you need to present a logical argument that one greater than the Son of God and his chosen teachers is here that trumps what has already been said. If you cannot do that then you should not speak to christians to try to lead them astray from established teaching or you will have to give account to God for your action, you are falling into the realm of a false prophet or a false teacher. It seems to me that you have chosen to be a man of the times and have chosen to look to others wisdom or to yourself for wisdom and have turned away from the wisdom that comes from God as many have so easily done within and without the church in this day. Christianity without the truth of scripture is no Christianity. If you love this issue enough to give up scripture for it that’s your choice, but your also giving up christianity too. I would trend lightly in trying to convince other christians to follow your lead. The LGBT community needs to stop pushing christians to go against their conscience and against their book and therefore against their God, it can never be. We will respect their space of unbelief and they should respect our space of belief, they will live how they want to live in unbelief and we will how we need to live in belief. Amen.

    • “That which is now called natural philosophy, embracing the whole circle of science, of which astronomy occupies the chief place, is the study of the works of God, and of the power and wisdom of God in his works, and is the true theology.

      As to the theology that is now studied in its place, it is the study of human opinions and of human fancies concerning God. It is not the study of God himself in the works that he has made, but in the works or writings that man has made; and it is not among the least of the mischiefs that the Christian system has done to the world, that it has abandoned the original and beautiful system of theology, like a beautiful innocent, to distress and reproach, to make room for the hag of superstition.”

      Thomas Paine, 1794

  57. A very well written article and we agree but not 100%. It is a choice, it was God’s choice as he made us all the way we are, it was not a personal choice but the Choice of God….

  58. “They are choosing to be the most honest, authentic versions of themselves. They are choosing to be led by the unfiltered direction of their hearts, just as you and I are. They are choosing to relent to the things that in all of our lives, never can be chosen.”

    You are so right and wrong in the same sentence it isn’t funny. Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

      • You did it John, you did it! You finally agreed with the Bible on the condition of man! You said that man follows his own heart and that’s true. You just don’t agree with what God says about man’s heart. I will agree with you on man being true to his (innate) natural sin nature. But there are those who know God are are called out of that condition (redemption). Why leave people in their natural sin condition and not move them to spiritual maturity?

        • You nailed it Edward. I think it is a glaring sign that one just might be on the wrong side of sound biblical teaching when an argument depends on disproving the authenticity of Scripture. Some Scripture is no doubt left to the fallible interpretation of man, but this topic is not. A sad discourse indeed.

  59. Please tell me from where you construct your idea that God’s plan = procreation. Have you not read the Song of Songs? God made our bodies, all of our bodies– which I think means that God made us to experience pleasure, too. Also, while I think God’s presence in marriage is important, I don’t think that marriage necessarily connotes healthy procreativity. Our society does not often create space for meaningful conversation about healthy partnership (of all kinds, including friendships and familial relationships), which can be connected to marriages which do not provide healthy, abundant life for children. Marriage is not the golden ticket to healthy children, and denying the materiality of our bodies contributes to sexual violence, patriarchy, misogyny, self-hatred and harm to others.

  60. ” Don’t you know that wicked people won’t inherit the kingdom of God? Stop deceiving yourselves ! People who continue to commit sexual sins, who worship false gods, those who commit adultery, homosexuals,” – 1 Corinthians 6 : 9 (GWT)

    • Please don’t just quote Scripture here. People are trying to engage in conversation. This isn’t a position, it is an isolated verse and is not productive.

      If you have a perspective to share, please do. This is cut and paste.

      Thank you.

  61. To say that we are Christian means that we believe in God ,and God sent is Son to save us . It also means that we believe that God inspired the bible’s authors to write it . In the bible it states that homosexuality is a sin. The bible is God’s word. God never changes. Can you please correct me if any thing I said was incorrect ?

  62. Hi All,

    I believe what the bible says about all of this; and at the same time, I will not judge LGBT people at all. Infact, I have many christian and non christian LGBT friends. A few are even some of my closest friends. I am always interested in hearing their hearts.

    At the same time, there is more than sexual desire and the act of committing it here at stake. The bible says to honor the law of the government and it also says that marriage was designed for a man and a woman. It states that fornication is sin, fornication is sexual intercourse outside of a marriage. So, by this, gay couples that have sex outside of marriage are committing fornnication. So, even if we were to agree that it was ok to be gay, it is still fornication because marriage is for a man and woman, and sex outside of a marriage is fornication.

    These are just thoughts to consider, but I am by no means judging the LGBT community. I love everyone equally. Well, maybe not everyone equally, I probably love my children a little bit more, just saying lol =)

    To the Christian LGBT community: We do still need to honor God’s written word. Dont listen to people, they will not understand, but the Spirit of God and his written Word is true and must be recognized in the life of every believer. The bible is either totally true or it is totally false; I believe it is totally true.

    Be blessed and I hope that this sheds some light.

    • Want to know the Biblical definition of marriage? Well, Isaac took Rebecca into their tent and they were married. Later on, Sampson had to throw a one week party in her town to marry the Philistine. Solomon got married a few hundred times. Joseph and Mary had to wait out a one year betrothal period first. They were “half married” when God decided to complicate things. Biblical marriage changes throughout the millennia plus time it took for the Bible to be written. If we take that to be pattern then as culture changes and homosexual marriages become both legal and, by the majority, acceptable then this argument against it falls apart. As it stands, a vast majority of the US now holds homosexual marriages to be legal and valid. So if it is “breaking the law” in one area, all a couple would have to do is hop state lines, get that piece of paper, and they are free and legal. Well, legal perhaps. Marriage is a bond, not a freedom.

  63. As a gay person, your writing breaks my heart! I hope more and more straight people will understand the suffering, pain and often self loathing that gay people must endure from the religious condemnation for something which can never be chosen in our life.

    • @Ricky

      Ricky, thank you for your heartfelt and honest post. I too am a gay Christian and have felt condemned during my life.

      I believe your post actually hits on the central argument: many Christians (but not all) will insist that at some point in our lives we chose to become attracted to a person of the same sex. Hence, we knew we must have known we were heterosexual and at some point chose to become homosexual. I only wish those who insist upon this argument chose to realise how completely ridiculous it is. But, you are absolutely right Ricky, the central tenet lies on this ludicrous idea of choice.

      Here’s the thing; Christians who believe that gay people are ‘wrong’ cannot use any other argument except that we, in effect, chose to be gay. Reason? Because, if they accepted that being gay was not a choice, every single argument they hold so dearly in their heads would come crashing down. If they accepted that homosexuals have absolutely no choice whatsoever, in feeling attracted to a person of the same sex then they would, necessarily, have to redefine their thinking and somehow re-align it with their narrow interpretation of the bible. This makes them feel incredibly vulnerable and insecure and rather than facing this cognitive dissonance and potential uncomfortable feelings head on like an adult, they block-out any possibility that they may be wrong and continue to insist upon their original assumption; that way they don’t have to deal with anything.

      Just to give you a little moral support Ricky. Christians who are anti-homosexuality or anti-LGBTQ base their argument on nothing more than pure speculation and assumption. In other words, their argument is not based on fact at all and is therefore totally flawed. Know this Ricky, the use of assumption and speculation (in this case that that homosexuality is a deviant choice made by a former heterosexual person) as the basis for any moral argument is tantamount to prejudice. It is, by any other name, prejudice because it is not based on reality but rather a loose notion about something which is then generalised and used for all. This is prejudice in exactly the same way that racism is.

  64. This article was posted on Facebook by a dear gay Christian friend of mine and liked by another sweet sister in Christ. I love and respect them both, but I disagree.
    John Pavlovitz’ article is very well written and persuasive. However, there is one aspect of his article, and the many others I have read from the same perspective, that I feel needs to be addressed. If you are a Christian and believe the Bible is the Word of God, then what it says about homosexuality is the truth.
    Pavlovitz writes: Further, we need to look at the Scriptures we so easily throw at the LGBT community and ask whether those handful of verses really refer to a person with beautiful inclinations toward love and affection and companionship, or whether they just refer to someone doing something with their body parts, and also ask how we apply those verses to actual flesh-and-blood human beings seeking authentic relationships.
    With all due respect, the scripture never makes such distinctions so to impose our preference would be a mistake. In this article, as in so many others, no one ever bothers to quote and discuss the actually “handful of verses” dealing with homosexuality.
    Here is the complete list if you’re interested in reading them all. (Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; I Timothy 1:10).
    For the sake of brevity, let’s look at two:
    Lev. 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as one lies with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.” – understand that “to lie with” is the primary Hebrew idiom in scripture for having sexual intercourse. If you read the whole chapter you’ll find that this verse is sandwiched between similar verses condemning adultery, incest and bestiality.
    Rom 1:26-27 “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
    I’m sorry for insisting on having the Bible be my authority, but I see no ambiguity in scripture or wiggle room for those who’d like to accommodate “loving, monogamous, faithful, enriching, … gay sex.” It’s just not there.

    • If you really care about your brothers or sisters in christ who happen to be gay, do you really understand that it’s not a choice for them to be that way? those scriptures are not foreign for gay christians, but those are clobber scriptures of the bible, read those scriptures deeper and do not just take them from how they sound, the bible can not be separated from the history.

  65. You have written a marvelous article. Well done, John. I use the term homoamorous and heteroamorous to describe relationships. What I do sexually is no one’s business. Who I love does affect our community, thus the reason we marry in a public way. So, let’s talk about love instead of sex. Perhaps choosing our words will help us to more easily choose compassion.

  66. Thank you for writing this. I grew up in a very Christian family with very loving parents. I knew at a young age I was “different.” And by that I mean that I didn’t feel like I was supposed to. I dated boys and even married a wonderful man but I never felt right about it. When I finally came to terms with who I am I was able to meet my now wonderful wife and we have 3 wonderful children. My parents struggled at first but they and their small country church never once turned their backs on me or my family. My mom once told me that the light bulb went on for her when a counselor told her that I didn’t choose this for myself. Anyone that ever asked me after the fact how I could do that to my family I replied with, “Do you honestly think that I WANTED to hurt my parents and all those closest to me?!” It was such a struggle but I thank God all the time that He blessed me with parents that were so understanding and ultimately showed that they will love me not in spite of anything, but simply because I am their daughter 🙂

  67. Amen! As a Christian, when facing controversial issues like this and where I stand, I often ask myself, would Jesus accept this person (thought, act, idea, etc)? I truly believe that Jesus, as loving as he was, would not turn away from an LGBT. What is wrong with someone loving someone else, regardless of their gender? The entire New Testament preaches love. Love for Jesus, love for God, love for your neighbor, love for your enemy. Our concern should not be for why/how someone is loving someone else. It should be why we, as a Christian, are judging and criticizing a brother/sister in Christ when (a. the Bible commands love above anything else and (b. we are sinners and not worthy of judging others. The only relevant judge is Him.

  68. Just in case anyone would like to know why so many new fundies showed up here, it is because another John Pavlovitz primary post about homosexuality and Christianity here at his blog was just broadcast to millions of people around the world on The Huffington Post. John’s thoughts and ideas are getting the same kind of wide distribution and public exposure around the world that Billy Graham did back in the 1960s. The other key factor is that his writing is articulate, clear, and soul-moving in its very essence, which means that it is going to get even more exposure worldwide and will likely attract millions of people to believe in what he is saying. John Pavlovitz may just be the greatest single threat to the already badly eroding fundie belief system and influence on American culture that has come along in many decades.

  69. John,

    I am a Christian. I’m a also a minister and have about the same number of years in the ministry as you. I usually don’t enter the fray of these debates because it ends up generating more heat than light. But a young member of my congregation was given your article by her sister who is a practicing lesbian. The sister’s intent was to demonstrate how people can be Christians and gay at the same time.

    You are a talented writer. However, your statement really bothers me:

    “What did the Bible writers reference when they used the words translated as ‘homosexuality’? (No such word existed when it was written, so this is a crucial question to ask and seek to answer well).”

    First of all, the New Testament was written in Greek. Did the Greeks have the ideas, words and practices of same-sex sex in their culture? Do you really believe the Bible writers going all the back to Moses had no idea what they were saying when they said ‘men should not lie with men as with a woman for it is an abomination’ (Leviticus 20)? If you keep playing that game, eventually the Bible (and any written communication) is reduced to meaninglessness, which means that even what you (and I) write is meaningless.

    I spent a few years studying Classical and Koine Greek. While I was a student at a state university, my pagan classical Greek prof (a PhD) said, “In ancient Greece, if a man ran down the street yelling ‘I’m in love’, people would stop and ask him ‘with a woman, man or boy'”. How did my prof know such things? Why doesn’t someone raise an objection to using English words like ‘homosexuality’ or ‘man-love’ to describe the goings on in the writings of Aeschylus, Xenophon or Plato? Their writings pre-date the New Testament and Homer wrote during the time of the Old Testament (c. 750 BC). Don’t you know Paul, Luke, et al read some of this literature in their formal education? Paul quoted Epimenides (600 BC) in Titus 1:2 demonstrating his fluency with Greek culture and literature. Is it impossible to believe that these men had a vocabulary sufficient to describe, yea even denounce same-sex relations?

    So here’s a choice to make: Believe what God says or not.

    Did the Apostle Paul who had the equivalent of 2 PhD’s by the age of 21, a scholar par excellence, really mean something other than same-sex sex when he penned Romans 1:26-28? Please explain to me and the 200 + commenters above how Paul really meant something else when he said: “That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.” If Paul meant something else, what was it and how do you know?

    I agree, Christians have not loved the same-sex community well. Shame on us! That’s a choice we need to deal with, but you’re not bringing people together or moving the debate forward by telling Christians ‘the Bible really doesn’t say’ what it clearly says; you’re just wrestling with God.

    Choose wisely.

    • I don’t believe God says what you believe God says, Toby. I’m entitled.

      You might be right. I don’t believe that you are.

      I think for you to be right, we’d have a petty, hateful, sadistic God Who makes things He despises and then forces the to live loveless lives in order to please Him. If you’re OK with that, please believe that. I’ve come to a different understanding of God.

      Here’s a choice: You choose to follow the convictions of your faith and I’ll choose follow mine. The truth is, neither of us knows what God says. At best, you know what Paul said.

      P.S. Paul couldn’t have been that brilliant. He spent lots of time killing followers of Jesus.

      • Oh the arrogance. You are not entitled to anything regarding God’s Word. It doesn’t matter what you, Toby, I, or the many commenters before have posted based on their beliefs. It matters what God SAID! You are not free to make God into your own image. God is God and he sets the terms. It’s all well and good that you show God to be one of Love, as he is the definition of love. But don’t forget that He is also a HOLY and RIGHTEOUS God who cannot abide with sin.

        Also, why do you have to have sex with someone to love them? I have friends of both sexes that I love but don’t want a sexual relationship with. God’s rules about how we are to love are not sadistic, but show love and concern for us. He cares for us and wants us to live lives that are healthy for us but are also honoring. Following God’s laws keeps us out of trouble on a daily basis and not just in reference to our eternal salvation. Are you insinuating that David and Jonathan had homosexual sex because they “loved” each other? I have heard that one too.

        The Bible will tell you what God says if you genuinely read it. The argument of translation has been thrown around for years but I find that God, the Creator of the Universe, is quite capable of keeping his Word intact despite human failings. Those that would corrupt his Word will be dealt with in due time.

        Smart people do stupid things all the time. This is what leads to sin in a majority of cases. At least he was smart enough to see the Light and act accordingly.

      • Dave
        I have a few thoughts about what you said. By way of commenting on what you stated ” The Bible will tell you what God says if you genuinely read it” In my experience people are generally genuine when they read the Bible. But, they may understand the Bible differently because they have unique minds, different levels of education, assorted personalities and come from different cultures and backgrounds. Some people are intellectuals and love to dissect scripture, some need structure and love devotionals, some people need certainty and love memorizing verses, some people ask a lot of questions and love the paradoxes or mysteries inherent in the text… and they love to point them out to others. Churches have been unable to overcome diversity just look at all the denominations that have come out of schisms in church history.
        Some christians and will be saved without ever picking up the Bible, without reading it daily, without owning a copy. It is not necessary for salvation or even knowing the truth (the truth being who Jesus is). We know that common people during the Middle Ages rarely had access to scripture and for centuries it was only read in Latin during church services. Millions of christians during those ages most certainly were saved despite not having a Bible to read for themselves.
        In the case of LGBT people they have an added burden of reconciling their faith and sexuality. Most often the reality of their circumstance puts them in a vice of choosing between right or wrong. This is usually promoted by reinforcing the clobber scriptures in the Bible or issuing dos and donts or being zealous about what God says! But when someone who is gay wrestles with the question of their sexuality and they have been taught that God is inflexible on this issues and there is no room for them to consider questioning what the Bible says, then they think, they are going against conscience, when they have feelings for someone of the same sex. It is despairing because they are being told they are not allowed to have real feelings and that leads to suppression which leads to anxiety about having friends, participating in church and being an appreciated member of their own family.
        It appears that sexuality is tied to us differently than other types of bodily functions or other kinds of choices we make in life. It is not the same as any other behaviour we might label as sin in the sense that one could choose to steal or not to steal. Rather it embodies the whole direction our life will take and how our life will look, what kind of relationships we have. Our society and our churches value marriage and family above all else and those who cannot participate because they are gay are not given the space to wrestle with these choices they are personally are responsible for. They feel they have lost the autonomy to consider making a vital life decision about marriage and love without it automatically being labelled as sin. No one can make that choice or distinction for someone else. So the difference when we are speaking of sin is that this is a question about what relationships we will form in our life who will be there for us and us for them.
        I think this is where I have come to understand that this issue is not for me to decide for another person because I don’t know their heart, their relationship with God, their spiritual maturity, whether or not they have a support system or friends. Instead I can encourage them that they are loved and Jesus is there with them no matter what they are going through, no matter what they decide. We know there are many stories in the Bible about imperfect people (all of us) who God was faithful to.

        • I thought I should elaborate on a statement I made because I want to express more clearly what I was trying to say, so when I said

          “ It is not the same as any other behaviour we might label as sin in the sense that one could choose to steal or not to steal. Rather it embodies the whole direction our life will take and how our life will look, what kind of relationships we have.“

          I was referring to the idea of having no choice over who we are attracted to but more importantly I was referring to transparency and bonding in relationships which is pivotal to our spiritual growth as well as our ability to be whole and relate to others. If I only ever fall in love with women or if I am only ever attracted to women and I deny that part of myself it would have a great impact on my life and the relationships I form. If one ‘loves’ then one wishes to express love and it does not necessarily lead to sexual expression. But even in the case of sexual attraction one has the ability to choose how the relationship will be. If you cannot even talk about it, which is what happens to many gay christians it becomes emotional baggage and weighs you down. If you run from it, it remains unresolved. These are things that straight people can manage through dating, flirting and just being honest about who they think is cute and not cute. In the church there is no outlet for a gay person to express these authentic feelings. Loving someone can take many forms. Romantic love being one of them. It can be a positive life giving experience, even if it is unrequited, if we know how to deal with. So many ‘ifs’ but the church has historically failed to recognize the humanity of gay people and same sex attractions and that sexuality (the capacity for sexual feeling) in and of itself does not equal sin nor is it like other sins. In so many cases we haven’t a clue how to respond to romantic love in our churches and I think that goes for straight relationships as well. So that is how I think being gay is different for other types of things you would label as sin.

    • Even if a gay person is a perpetual sinner and is totally unrepentant of their gay sin, even if it is to no effect, what the fuck business is it of yours to tell them that they have no right to believe in Jesus and no right to worship God if that is what they want to do? It seems to me that that is between them and God—and not them, God, and Toby.

    • Correct on all points, Toby. We Christians have beliefs, as do those of other faiths. John has joined the chorus of those who would have us stray from biblical principles so as not to be in conflict with those who simply don’t want to, or feel they can’t, live according to His teachings. There is no basis for our watering down Scripture or questioning the authority of His Word so as to be acceptable to the LGBT community or any others who feel they are being mistreated by those of us who try to teach biblical principles.

      • I am made perfect through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He came to me and has counted me worthy and sooooooo incredibly loved before I understood or even could use in a sentence the word homosexuality. I know my Abba new what he was getting when He created me and called me His own. No surprise to Him:) I think the biggest decision we need to help people make is to accept Jesus, Gods only son, He sent to save us and have a relationship with us. The few words all of us have been allotted in our short lifetimes need to be used to shed light on Jesus, His LOVE, Grace, and longing for Everyone. I think once an individual finds their way to their savior, whether Jesus uses our serving hearts and life as a witness, or not, Jesus can handle the rest. Let us continue to learn how to love the way Jesus loved and do our best to imitate that with each and every soul precious soul we encounter. Peace to you always dear brother.

    • @Toby

      Toby I think the answer is embedded in your text. Have you considered the possibility that Paul was not referencing gay people at all but heterosexuals who had become so sex crazed that they ‘turned’ to other sexual practices. A homosexual cannot ‘turn’ because they already have attraction towards the same sex. You have what I describe as religious target fixation which is blinding you to the subtleties in the writings. Open your eyes and read without prejudice, you may discover something.

  70. Well written, however, why is your article only aimed at Christians? There are plenty of ignorant people out there of other faiths, and yes of no faith. I AM a Christian, and have no problem with who another person loves. While you are attempting to point out the ignorance and bias by Christians, you yourself are showing your own ignorance and bias.

  71. As a staunch Christian I need to take a step out here and say that not all Christians think alike. And sadly some make a bad name for the others. As a Christian I love everybody and I don’t judge, it is not my place. God will have the final judgment and that’s all that matters. As a Christian I can also say I firmly believe in removing the plank from your own eye before pointing out the spec in another. And he without sin cast the first stone. Instead of everybody pointing fingers at each other and who’s right and who’s wrong we should all learn to just love each other and let God have the final say. our God is a loving merciful graceful God and it is not our place to tell another they are Sinning but rather to pray for each other and love each other- that’s it so simple.

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  73. AS a T in the LGBT community I am not Gay in the sense i lay with another man. nor will I , I have been this way since birth and i had no choice on being a woman in a males body, GOD made me this way to experience life as his ambassador on this earth as ME. Yet i had to subdue this woman for 60 years in the Male dominated World, now I am letting her out and my life has taken on new meaning, i experience getting my make up on and being late like most women putting on makeup for a party,.
    but that too is troubling too for women don’t even understand us Transgendered girls Again as PAUL had stated we are Ambassadors of and for GOD no one else….
    I truly cringe when some preacher YES they are still on radio , Pulling one law from 187 laws of Moses in referencing a male shall not lay with another male i ask my self, does it not say anything about a woman laying with another woman, if it does I never hear that , or in Moses law, you must wear slack cloth, and put rails on your roof so that one does not fall or, and you are not wearing slack cloth that Moses says’ you must do .. so taking one obscure law from 187 well. what good is that…
    As a child of the 50 my male side endured and played foot ball, track and then I went to VIetnam came back from there (shamed and ridiculed because of what our chief and commander requested us do) then got married and no kids , just my wife of 28 years and I , when she passed, I finally looked at my life and brought out who i truly was Robyn as the name i go by now the VA kind of enough to understand that and label me Gender Dysphoric However that again is a label it is not who I am, but what I am.

  74. For those of you who keep throwing out that Jesus told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more, let me ask you this….
    How did Jesus respond to her accusers in front of the crowd to be witnesses by all? Was he pleased with them? Did Jesus show compassion for the woman in front of the crowd for all to witness the love he had for her? Sure he did!! Did he discuss her sin with her in front of the crowd? Of course not because a true relationship with Jesus is very personal, between Jesus and each individual soul! Stop trying to bring all these “sinners” to Jesus for the wrong reason…I don’t believe He is pleased by that…drop your stones and walk away!!

    • I think you are missing the point. The point is Jesus didn’t justify her adultery, adultery is sin. Whether in private or public.

    • Hello Teresa,

      I believe Jesus only condemned the way and manner through which the pharisees wanted to correct, by following the laws of Moses which demanded that she be stoned to death. The pharisees were void of true love, which only Jesus gives, and it’s only with true love that we can RIGHTLY correct ourselves and neighbours when we feel anyone is slipping away. Everything should be done in love.

      Indeed, the LGBTQ issue is a very complicated one. What we should do, i believe, is to love everyone deeply. But when we feel that anyone seems to be struggling with anything, we should draw close to them in love, to seek to understand their ‘personal’ plight, and to point them to Jesus, who only can give them the power to SIN NO MORE, as demonstrated in the bible passage being discussed.

      To close, I just want to point out something. I believe there is a reason why God created ‘man’ and ‘woman’, different sexes. Or don’t you think there is a reason why? Have a great day.

  75. I don’t have all the answers, but for the Christian, and for only the Christian, any debate on any sin needs to start with a position of, “whatever is God’s will for me, I want to submit, for it is no longer I that live but Christ in me” If that is the foundation that you approach a topic with (not the Joel Olsteen version of Christianity that asks, how can God help me live a better life trying to be made complete by the things of this world such as money, spouse, career, etc), then I think you can have an honest debate about what God wants in your life in a Christian context (regardless of nature or nurture debates). The answer of God is not good if he does not agree with me on how my life should go does not fit well with the Bible. Jesus asked tough questions of people who said they wanted to follow him, and gave tougher answers such as “let the dead bury the dead, and asked a guy to give up all his money, asked a prophet to many a woman from prostitution that he knew would be unfaithful to him, asked the Jewish men to mark their most intimate body part with a sign of a covenant, God once asked Abraham if he would be willing to put his son on the alter and destroyed Job’s life including taking family members to show a point and draw closer to Job, so for the Christian willing to ask such a question puts EVERY aspect of their life in jeopardy with no pre-assumed conclusions about God may or may not desire for their lives compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing God – everything in your life is on the table for the follower of Christ. He asks the Christian to understand what it means to give up his earthly life and the concerns of such a life and trade it for the concerns of His kingdom. From this perspective is where a healthy debate on what is permissible for and beneficial for the Christian to live out.

  76. Very well written article. And I agree with most of what you said. But there’s an underlying problem at the heart of almost all your words. And it really doesn’t have to do with Homosexuality… You called it OUR choice, and the underlying message of this topic (as well as many others in religion) is what WE want and how WE FEEL and the life I think I should live. The truth is my friend…it’s not about US or what WE want is it?

    24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25″For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.…Matthew 16:24-25

    Kinda puts a little damper on a lot of arguments out there NO??

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  79. The idea if homosexuality is a choice or not is irrelevant. Being something is not sin, just like being male or female is not a sin, just like having brown or black hair is not a sin. Christ always separated ones actions from the person. Sin comes from either our actions or our lack of actions. When you choose to engage in sexual relations that are outside of a man/woman marriage, it is a sin because it violates the purpose for which God gave you your sexual organs, and His purpose of marriage. Popular culture and the media has blurred this greatly. When you begin with God’s purpose in your life, it leads you in a clear line. Due to our fallen nature, when we think about our wants in life, then we can easily go down a different path. Our mission from Jesus is to call each other back away from sin, and not to encourage you in your sin. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King demonstrated this, not by hating the racist, but to call them to follow God and abandon their hate. I don’t hate gays. I know too many of them. I will not encourage them to follow a sinful lifestyle that takes them away from God.

    • Then you are still teaching hate…you just think people should be nicer in their hate! You either accept that if it IS a sin, it is THEIR sin, it is a matter between THEM and GOD! You as a fellow sinner have no say in the issue, and for you to point out what YOU perceive as “their sin” you expose your own! Time to tak a hard look at the life and ministry of Jesus himself, and not all the garbage that has since been turned into dogmatic rules that must be followed. Jesus taught that faith is a totally internal action, that the exterior is meaningless, it is only what is inside that counts. Many in the church have taken it upon themselves to “save souls”, but the reality is, it is not YOUR PLACE, you don’t have the authority to save ANYONE, that is between the individual and GOD, no one else. The pride of many Christians drives more people from salvation than the Devil himself. So if you have a problem with homosexuals, the sin lays not with them, but within YOU!

  80. Pingback: Excuses of Biblical Proportions | Amusing Nonsense

  81. Thanks for this article and interesting to read the comments. I didn’t read all of them but I got the general idea: thank god (or jesus or allah or whichever one you follow) for the right to an opinion. And for the right to follow your nature. Because that’s what all people who reacted do. So if everybody is happy to do that, why is it still a problem? Religion? I don’t think so. We’re talking fobia here, for something we don’t know or refuse to take a better look at. I invite everybody to live one week in a country where you are not welcome (or worse) because of who you are, not of what you believe. This would help greatly in understanding why this discussion is academic only.
    Yes, I am gay and live in a country where 17 years of emprisonment for being so is very much the rule.

    I wish everybody happiness.

  82. Although I am married to a wonderful women, Every beautiful female butt, full female breast, draws my attention. Should I be “honest with my true self,” or should I honor my marriage. seek 1Cor chapter 6. It applies to pretty much all sexual immorality. Remember, I didn’t write it. I do my best not to ignore it.

    • If your “true self” is damaging to your wife, that’s a you problem.

      Obviously you’re overlooking the “true self” refers to sexual orientation, not preference for body parts. That’s where you and so many simply miss the point, which is sad.

      Paul wrote Corinthians. God didn’t.

      • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)

        16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

        17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

        • Marsha,

          We’re trying to have conversations here. Posting a Scripture quote is not doing that. Please engage the topic with discussion and provide context and insight from what you quote.Thank you.

  83. Oh the old smoke and mirrors trick, have ya? Talk about “love”…. don’t even exam what the good book says, did ya? Talk about “committed relationships” …

    I have great love for all of God’s people. Full stop!

    The fact does remain: sin is sin. I can love the sinner with all my might yet realize his shortcomings, just as you have been able to love those who are persecuting the gay-homosexual but pointing out his flaws, which, might a add stop at being unloving or hypocritical!

    Gay homosexuality is a sin long before it gets to buggery, mind ya! There’s much to be said about the stirrings and the feelings. The young gay homosexuals growing up in e’en the best most progressive Christian homes still struggle. Why is that?

    Me? I’ve never struggled with another’s sexuality but I know what is right and what is wrong.

    Examine your theology Mr. Pavlovitz!

    • wow, you know-none of this arguing or complaining or face slamming gets any of us any where. do you really want to know who i blame for all this mess? it was the Pope. it’s all his fault because he said aliens are real and that we should baptize them. THIS is our true enemy! it’s those darn aliens and all their probing and testing they do on the human race!!! how can you blame anyone for their beliefs or choices or DNA/RNA substance unless it’s the aliens????

      that being said; why argue? why make blame? why chastise those who we know NOTHING about? there are many Christians that i would love to strangle, however; there are also a few extremists i’d do the same to. why don’t we all try this:
      1. If it doesn’t concern you….don’t jump in.
      2. If it isn’t something that relates to you specifically….mind your business.
      3. IF (<and this is a big "if") we cannot get along with someone…don't interact with them.
      but those things being said will not make the world a better place. neither does arguing, spewing hate or condemning anyone for anything they do. why not just be ourselves? be who WE are-no matter what that implies or means to others? AND not to downplay any of you for reciting anything from the Bible but from someone else who makes more sense than some of you bickerers?
      "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all" -Thumper
      Christians, Catholics, Athiests, Buddhists…we are all human.

    • Must be great that “your sins are all disguised ” and we cannot call you out on them or “help you” by pointing them out and debating about them to you. What sin do you struggle with brother? Maybe we can all discuss it and let you know what the Bible says about it too.

  84. Pingback: Yes, Homosexuality Absolutely is A Choice | Power To The Voters

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  86. Well, after looking at all of the comments above, what is about to happen seems clear and inevitable. After the U.S. Supreme Court declares gay marriage to be the law of the land in June—which it will—the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals intend to behave like the Southern racist population did at the end of the American Civil War and institute both an attitudinal and legal Jim Crow oppression onto LGBTQ people throughout the nation. Rather than put up with 100 years of Jim Crow like the black people in the United States did, people who believe that LGBTQ people should have the same civil rights as all Americans need to immediately begin a campaign to shut down the establishment of anything smelling even remotely like a Jim Crow system for LGBTQ people. What is needed are civil rights laws to protect LGBTQ citizens from Christian-led lynchings and anything else that resembles the way black people were treated in the movie “The Help.” Whether being LGBTQ is a sin or not is not the relevant issue. We already have 315,000,000 sinners walking the streets of the United States right now. The issue is how we as a people treat the sinners who walk our streets. The answer is that we treat them with the same decency, love, respect, and dignity that we do every other American citizen who has not violated a criminal law.

    Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are asking for the right to discriminate against and oppress gay people on religious grounds—specifically their religious grounds. They are asking for special permission and special legal rights to cleanse American society of LGBTQ people. This is not how true Americans behave, and this is not how followers of Jesus Christ behave. If I have anything to do with it, my country is not going to go “Nazi-Like” just to satisfy the whims of a bunch of hateful and bigoted religionists who feel they have the right to enforce persecution and a death sentence on LGBTQ people. If it comes down to it one day, I will hide LGBTQ people in the attic of my house, just like the family that harbored Anne Frank and her family. If they are discovered and the Baptist Gestapo shows up, we will not be going along quietly to Auschwitz like the Frank family did. We will be armed, and we will kill as many Baptist bastards as we can before we go down. However, to be quite honest with you, I doubt this will be necessary because the truly dedicated fundie population is less than 20 percent of the American population as a whole, which means you are outnumbered by more than 5 to 1 from the get go.

  87. The original Greek words Hamartia (translated to sin) and Metanoia (translated to repent) have lost their true meanings in those translations. Hamartia means “to miss the point” and Metanoia means “to change perspective.” So “Ye sinners repent” is actually “Ye who have missed the point, change thou’s perspective.”

    If Christians are truly followers of Christ, it is important to know the history of the Bible and the climate in which all the books of the Bible were written. Shouldn’t the Christian, as a follower of the founder of the “New Covenant” focus on the gospels? There is no place where Jesus himself condemned homosexuality. When he was asked about the greatest commandment (i.e. which is the greatest sin), he replied with two simple rules: Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself.

    So, he basically gave us one simple word to explain it all: Love. Just Love. Seems to me that makes understanding how to handle any situation much easier to discover.

  88. This is what I recieved as a response to this article when I shared it on fb. A message from a girl I haven’t spoken to since high school…. I don’t even know how to react.

    Hi, Chelsea. You shared an article this morning directed at Christians and about what they typically say concerning homosexuality. I know that a lot of people who claim to be Christians say a lot of things about homosexuality. After reading the article and hearing some things that some people say in opposition to homosexuality, I wanted to share what is on my heart about the matter. I love Jesus and try to live for Him the best that I can. And I believe that He is loving but He is also holy. Here is what I believe to be a Godly viewpoint on homosexuality. (I know it’s a long message, and I hope it comes across in a way that brings glory to God, but if you don’t want to read it, please just know that I love you very much and God loves you even more ????).

    Those who truly follow Christ would never believe that those in the LGBT community are any less human, any less complex or any less emotional than any other person because we believe we are ALL created in the image of God. And we don’t believe that those who choose to be in homosexual relationships aren’t fully capable of expressing the same amount of devotion as heterosexual couples. They absolutely ARE capable! They are capable of expressing devotion, love, affection, making sacrifices for each other, etc. We are all absolutely capable of being in complex relationships because we are such complex beings.

    For Christians seeking to follow God and His Word and wanting to honor the Lord with our whole lives, it’s never been about saying that homosexuals aren’t capable of being in a loving and committed relationship. The reason that true followers of Christ express a contrary view to the LGBT community is not to cut them down but to show them God’s word. God’s word is absolutely clear on this issue — yes, the act of homosexuality is sin. Just like fornication is sin and adultery is sin.
    (Jesus in the Bible actually used a word — where we derive our word “pornography” — that in the original language was a blanket term to describe any sexual act done outside of marriage.)

    It is sin. And sin separates us from God.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says:
    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Because there is sexual sin, our sexuality means a lot to God. In fact, Jesus said if we even look at another person and have lustful, sexual thoughts about them then we’ve actually committed adultery with them in our hearts. His standard of sexual purity is so much higher than our worldly viewpoint. And really, it’s not just sex. Even telling lies, taking God’s name in vain and stealing are sins in God’s eyes. Jesus also said if you have hatred in your heart for someone that’s murder in His eyes! I mean, just think about all of these things… The Bible says those who practice these things do not belong to God.

    By these standards we’ve ALL sinned! Even when it comes to our sexuality. Think about it, those who have looked at another person and have lusted after them sexually have sinned — that’s all of us! God’s word is clear: anything sexual done outside of a marriage between a man and a woman is sexual sin.

    In the article you shared, it talked a lot about what if heterosexual desires were wrong and heterosexual couples had to struggle against what felt natural to them. Well, we do have that opposition! Our sexual desires tell us that it would be pleasurable and natural to have sex with lots of different people. Our natural human desires tell us that it might feel good and natural to have sex with a married friend or co-worker. But just because it feels natural or we just really want it, does it make it right? No, it doesn’t. See, because we are all sinners, we naturally have sinful desires. There are so many things in life that seem natural, that feel good. Maybe it feels good to tell a lie because you want to avoid getting into trouble… Maybe it makes you happy to take something from someone else because you want that item… Maybe it feels right to sleep with your neighbor’s spouse because you’ve fallen in love with them… But, just because something “feels” right doesn’t mean that it is right. And this is why true followers of Christ believe that sexual sin is wrong in God’s eyes — because He said it. He created us, and so whether it “feels right” to us or not, God has every right to tell us how our sexuality is supposed to work. He cares about how we use our sexuality!

    I know that God’s standards about sexuality seem especially impossible to the LGBT community. But nothing is impossible with God! God’s truth is that homosexuality is sin. It doesn’t say that it is sin to experience same-sex attraction — just like it isn’t sin to experience opposite-sex attraction. But, if I act on my opposite-sex attraction and have an affair with a man who is not my husband, that would be sin! And if someone who experiences same-sex attraction acts on that attraction and engages in homosexual acts with them, that is sin. You see, we all struggle sexually (and non-sexually) in life, but with God we can be redeemed from our sins.

    Here it is (in a nutshell): You and I have sinned in life. We’ve all broken God’s law. And because God believes in justice just as much as he believes in showing love, he must punish sin (because he is a perfectly just judge). And it’s not enough to just say “God, I’m sorry for disobeying you; it felt right at the time.” That’s not enough to clear our names. (That would be like a murderer saying to a judge, “I’m sorry judge; I’ll never kill again.” The judge wouldn’t let the man go free! He’s guilty!) And we are guilty. So, what did God do for us so that we can be clean in His sight? He sent Jesus to come and die on the cross. Jesus took all our sin on Himself and used His precious life to pay our fines. Jesus paid our fine so that God can justly look at us and let us (the guilty ones — who are ALL of us) go free. That’s amazing! You see, it isn’t enough to believe in a God and then live any way we want to until we die… Jesus said, “No man comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). John 3:16-21 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.” You see, in order to be true Christians and true children of God, we have to first believe in Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and as the Savior from our sins. And then, we must turn away from our “darkness.” We must give up the things in life that are sins in God’s eyes (even if they bring us pleasure, even if they feel right). We are only saved through faith in Jesus Christ, yes this is true — salvation is a gift! But, he is also clear, those who practice sin will not inherit the kingdom of God (they will not be saved and will not spend eternity with God in Heaven). Yes, we all sin occasionally, and all of our sins are equally terrible in God’s eyes. And when we sin, we must rely on our sweet and powerful Savior for forgiveness. But, those who make a lifestyle out of sinning, are not obeying Jesus and will not be saved unless they turn away from their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus.

    So, what does this mean for people in the LGBT community? It might mean a lifetime of celibacy and singleness, or it might be that once they repent and give their life to Jesus that He changes their desires to meet God’s standards of sexual purity. It most certainly means that if they want to follow Christ and be a true Christian, they must turn away from their homosexual lifestyle and yield their life to Christ. And most importantly it means that if they choose to repent and live for God, they get to have a lifelong relationship with Jesus — and this is the greatest gift of all!!!

    The reason that true followers of Christ express a contrary view to the LGBT community isn’t because we think everyone should live cookie-cutter lives. It isn’t because we don’t think homosexuals can be true and devoted partners. It isn’t because we want them to be another way. It is because we want them (and everyone) to have Jesus! He is what it’s all about and where TRUE joy comes from. The goal in life is not to find someone, get married, have children and live happily ever after… The greatest joy in life is knowing Jesus, and anything we give up in order to know Him is absolutely 100% worth the sacrifice! And that is why we as children of God oppose homosexuality — we understand that it is one of many sins that separate us from God, and we can’t keep silent when people we love are separated from God. Jesus gives us the way to true life, and we must obey Him in order to receive it. We find our identity in Jesus Christ. Our identity is not defined by our sexual desires. We are SO much more than our sexual desires! They do not define us. God created us and designed us with special plans in place — He defines us, and we are made perfect only when we give our lives to Him. Jesus said our identity is that we are sons and daughters of God! We are so, so much more than our sexual desires; we are children of God And, He gives our lives the truest meaning.

    To end, I would say that we ALL struggle with our sexuality because we all have an inherent perverted view of sexuality. We all want what feels right and what seems right in our own hearts. But, the Bible tells us that “the heart is wicked above all things.” Only God fully understands the complexity of sexuality — because He created it. Sexuality means so much more to God than just a sexual act. And, that is why we look to God to show us the way. He has already revealed what is right and good in His eyes regarding sex. If we want all of the benefits of what He has created sex to be, and most importantly, if we want to be a son or a daughter of God, we must follow His ways.

    Homosexuality does damage those who engage it because it is sin and it separates them from God. That’s the damage. I don’t for one minute make the claim that homosexual couples can’t have a wonderful relationship according to the world’s view, but according to God’s law and in God’s eyes, it is sin. (Just like a heterosexual couple having sex outside of marriage.) And therein lies the damage. It doesn’t matter if the act of homosexuality is disconnected from or devoid of love — or if the act is done with complete love and complete devotion — it’s still sin to God. And we can’t be fully God’s while still holding onto our sins. We must recognize that what God’s word says is true and live our lives accordingly.

    Chelsea, I hope and pray that this message does not make you feel unloved. I’m sure that you’ve heard some very unloving things from Christians about this issue, and that should never be our intention. It certainly isn’t my intention to make you feel unloved in any way! It’s only because of God’s love that I felt the want to share this with you. I feel like we were such close friends in high school, and I think about you and the sweet friendship that we shared during that time.

    Many Christians understand that God says “no” to homosexuality, but often they don’t understand why or don’t know how to explain it. I think that’s where so much confusion and so many offensive comments come from. Please know that you are loved by many (especially God), and God has called you to be His daughter and live life for Him and live each day getting to know Him more and more.

    I love you and your sweet, fun-loving personality very much! You are one of the sweetest people I know. Please feel free to message me if you ever want to talk about this or anything else.

    Jordan

    • Chelsea, There is no point in replying to Jordan other than to thank her for her response. Jordan has not only drunk the kool-aide, she is swimming in it in a vast sea of Bibleocity. There is nothing that you or John or anyone else could possibly say to change her religious world view so just tell her that you love her also and move on with the understanding that “true believers” are impervious to reason and are committed to their understanding of the gospels. She is probably an extremely good person and this is enough no matter how she got that way. Sorry if this sounds insufferably condescending but I gave up long ago attempting to reason with “true believers”.

    • Jordan’s Bottomline: I’m straight, and when I’m married, I get to have sex with my wife as much as I like. If you re gay, you must remain celibate and lonely and single your entire life. Maybe, if you are really really good, God will make you a heterosexual, and then you can finally have sex just like me. Until then, just suck it up.

      Oh, and be sure to worship this God who placed an impossible burden upon you. Only he knows why he made your life so much more difficult than mine. Guess it sucks to be you!

  89. Love this piece. One huge thing though. Since you’re only talking about sexual orientation, say LGB. Transgender is not a sexual orientation. Transgender people might be gay or straight or anything else as well as their gender. LGBT people are all harassed based on how they don’t fit into gender stereotypes. (“a gay man isn’t acting manly enough if he pursues men instead of women” for example) which is why they are listed together so often, but transgender people are harassed for how they want to be known instead of who they love. If you’re only talking about marriage and romantic relationships, then don’t pretend to include the T. Leave it out.

  90. I always wonder too, how can we say they are sinning, unless…. we are peeping toms and stalkers, following their every move? It’s assumed, yes, that two gay individuals are practicing intercourse. But what if they’re not? Are they then still “sinning” because they love someone of the same gender? If that’s true, what good of a Christian are you to ASSUME something, that may in fact be completely untrue? Let us love, and not judge.

  91. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! I must admit the title got me going.

    This was one of the best articles I have ever read in this form. Your description of the love between two people knowing no bounds was so beautiful it brought a tear to my eye. As human beings we are much much more than about the physical act of sex. I would be glad to share this piece with every one I know. If we are judging we are not loving.

  92. I am heterosexual and also a Christian. Yet, it might surprise you to hear that I found this article to be well-written and well thought out. It makes a whole lot of sense to me. Also, I think that most people fall somewhere along a “sexual spectrum,” neither being 100% heterosexual or 100% homosexual. It’s very complex. I try to live by the most important message Jesus delivered: Treat others (ALL others) the way you would like to be treated. This means that we show each other love and respect and do not act as a judge and jury. The Bible also says to “remove the plank from your own eye so you can see to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Good words of wisdom.

  93. Pingback: Yes, Homosexuality Absolutely is A Choice | Church and Sex

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    Those with Mental Illnesses,Addictions, all around needing help to Deal with there FEELINGS,about anything that HAS or is happening to you or someone you know that’s in Pain & Suffering, and WHAT EVER else you may need to reach out for help & understanding for?
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  95. great logic, but we still miss the point in it all. Loving, committed relationships are indeed very important and significant in each individual life. But in all of those relationships, sex will ultimately play a part. It is not a relationship, that is bad, it is the neglecting to understand what God imparted and created. The man, woman relationship. anything else is against God’s design

  96. Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination……Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    • Lee, If we took literally every “abomination” prohibition (including the required punishment) found in Leviticus and Deuteromony, none of us would still be alive. Fortunately, most of the civilized world has had the good sense to understand the bronze and iron age context of the OT prohibitions and simply ignore large parts of the Bible. It’s a function of the growth of knowledge and the shrinking of ignorance over the centuries. Have a nice day living in your intellectual bubble.

  97. This seems more culturally compelling than biblically compelling. If your goal is to convince Christians, then you should pull your arguments from what they are grounded in, the Bible and Jesus Christ. What did Jesus, or his followers, have to say about this? This would probably lead to better understanding on both sides.

  98. . Why do you think God destroyed Sadom and Gomaoorah? Ezekiel 16:49-50 declares, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…” The Hebrew word translated “detestable” refers to something that is morally disgusting and is the exact same word used in Leviticus 18:22 that refers to homosexuality as an “abomination.” Similarly, Jude 7 declares, “…Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion.” So, again, while homosexuality was not the only sin in which the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah indulged, it does appear to be the primary reason for the destruction of the cities Those who attempt to explain away the biblical condemnations of homosexuality claim that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality. The men of Sodom and Gomorrah were certainly being inhospitable. There is probably nothing more inhospitable than homosexual gang rape. But to say God completely destroyed two cities and all their inhabitants for being inhospitable clearly misses the point. While Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of many other horrendous sins, homosexuality was the reason God poured fiery sulfur on the cities, completely destroying them and all of their inhabitants. To this day, the area where Sodom and Gomorrah were located remains a desolate wasteland. Sodom and Gomorrah serve as a powerful example of how God feels about sin in general, and homosexuality specifically.

    Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Sodom-and-Gomorrah.html#ixzz3fd5xlBiD
    Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Sodom-and-Gomorrah.html#ixzz3fd5cvb4m
    I want to add that God loves us all and sin is sin whether it is adultery or worshiping false idols. In my experience in speaking with those who are homosexual most was molested by the same sex or for women turned against men by being raped or abandoned by a father or father figure. I pray for all and love everyone and I am no ones judge.

    • If your god actually thought that homosexuality was such a horrible sin, don’t you think that it would have simply made 11 commandments instead of just 10? It doesn’t even make the top ten, and yet you make the case that it so despised that region that it made the area into a desolate wasteland. Could it be possibly that it has been a desert for tens of thousands of years and that the people whose legends were used for control of the superstitious masses lived along the edges of a desert?

    • Hi Marie,
      I am not going to debate scripture with you. There are too many versions, too many denominations, too many perspectives/interpretations to do so any way. There are affirming and non-affirming churches and church leaders too. 🙂
      I will, how ever, have to add to your comment about homosexuals being molested and thus, that is what caused their LGBTQ orientation. There are a number of folks who this has happened to and thus the psychological trauma does cause them to not trust or not be able to have relationships with the opposite sex. How ever, with therapy they can move past that.
      There are also a large number of people who have experienced such traumas in their life, and they are still heterosexual. People do respond to things differently.
      There are also a large number of people who are simply born LGBTQ. They cannot change. They have both parents or one good parent in their life. They never were molested and had good relationships with parents. They simply are born gay. Epigenetics. Sexual Orientation in Utero if you wish to read more about it. 🙂 These folks are raised just as heterosexual folks are and have always known they were gay. They do not choose it, they just are. Just as you are a heterosexual they are a homosexual. Really simple.
      Be blessed.

    • I would recommend that you study Greek and Hebrew text. You are doing nothing more then repeating the same old bible thump clause taught in ignorance. Sodom and Gomorrah was not destroyed due to homosexuality. Gang rape is performed by straight men. We see it all the time in Colleges across our country. It was quite common in the day against outsiders and those who lost in battle. Imagine Lot offering up a daughter to the masses to be raped in exchange for the protection of angels. Do you think that the angels were unable to protect themselves? They were not of this flesh and were Angels that came from another realm. Do you think that Lot’s actions were right with God? Would you cause emotional damage to someone in your family in order to protect visitors from heaven? I would ask you to look deeper and do some research.

    • @Marie

      Hi Marie. Just wanted to add another perspective. Have you considered the following:

      Sodom and Gomorrah are described in the Bible as being full of homosexual men; in other words most of the male population were homosexual. My first point is this – can you think of anywhere in the world where a town, or city is made up almost entirely of homosexual men? Do you not find this concept slightly odd? However, what if the ratio of male sexual orientation was as it is today, in other words the majority of men in Sodom and Gomorrah were actually heterosexual; this now becomes much more plausible. So perhaps what was being described was a situation where heterosexual men had become so sex crazed that they didn’t care anymore about the emotional and psychological aspects of relationships and instead were embroiled in orgy after orgy with whoever was available, men, women, etc etc. These were NOT gay men but, as I have stated above, sex crazed heterosexual men.

      Sodom and Gomorrah is often used as the proverbial passages to condemn the LGBTQ community. I finish with two points as I interpret matters:

      1 The passages in Sodom and Gomorrah are about sexual acts and NOT about gay people and gay people’s lives.

      2 It is most likely (based on global distribution of sexual orientations where heterosexuality exists in the vast majority of the population) that the sexual acts spoken about are within the context of sex crazed heterosexual men who were basically up for anything and anyone in order to have their out of control voracious sexual appetites seen to.

      To conclude the ‘sins’ of Sodom and Gomorrah are more about uncontrollable sexual lust and urges which lead to the worshipping of the body. In other words void of any relational dimension, love, respect, warmth, companionship etc etc. Ergo, absolutely nothing to do with gay men or the LGBTQ community. The warning is mainly at the heterosexual community, although, clearly any sexual orientation can become sex crazed.

      What fin you think?

  99. Okay John, so here is my question: You obviously are against using blanket statements against homosexuals, but you use a blanket statement in saying that all pedophiles are predators. Now, the definition of pedophile is “one who is sexually attracted to children.” If the child reciprocates that attraction, how can you say that the pedophile is morally wrong? I bet you would say that it is wrong for a fifty year old father to have a mutually compromising, fulfilling relationship with his twenty year old daughter, but how can you justify that?

    One more question bud. Obviously you believe that a relationship is determined by mutual acceptance and fulfillment. So in Romans 1:27, when “men burned in their lust one towards another” I see nothing but mutual acceptance.

    Mark well, if your mind, so long besotted with the draught of error is still entertain a sane thought…John, you are not merely mistaken, this is madness! There is no way you can morally justify homosexuality on the basis of mutual acceptance and yet rail against pedophilia, even when it satisfies the same requirement of mutual acceptance.

    • John is being neither insane nor inconsistent. The rationale behind the various laws concerning “statutory rape” is that a child cannot legally consent. The age of consent varies by state, by country, by culture but it is present virtually everywhere regardless of how arbitrary the cutoff may seem in individual cases. A child of two or three or even younger may indeed enjoy the physical and emotional attention of a pedophile who is loving and tender with the child but can that be called “consent”? At what age do you finally say “well, that’s just too young!” How about 18 months? 12? a newborn? At some point you have to realize that “mutual attraction” requires “consent” on the part of both parties. Can a baby really give consent in any real sense of the term? Is the failure to cry out or object really enough to be considered “consent”? It seems to me that John’s distinction makes perfect sense.