No Pithy Title, Just An Age Old Debate
(Yes, I knew better, but I couldn't help myself this time.)
In a nutshell, World Vision, a Christian organization that does humanitarian work all over the world, announced that it would now permit gay Christians who were in legal same sex marriages to be employed by their organization. They asserted that the "Very narrow policy change should not be viewed as a compromise of Christian values, but a symbol of Christian unity."
I kinda liked that, even if it wasn't the huge leap forward in acceptance and tolerance that the world needs. Look, they're a faith based organization and as such, they are obligated to uphold Christian tenets as part of their mission statement. I get that. BUT...they made an effort to acknowledge and embrace the evolving definition of marriage in today's world, and embrace those in non-traditional marriages as worthy and valued employees. It was a small thing, but a thing I could respect.
Unfortunately, the Christian community responded with outrage and threats to pull funding and sponsorships all over the world. What it really amounted to was an epic tantrum.
Forty-eight hours later, the decision was reversed. The statement issued said that "Rather than creating more unity [among Christians], we created more division, and that was not the intent," said Stearns. "Our board acknowledged that the policy change we made was a mistake and we believe that [World Vision supporters] helped us to see that with more clarity … and we're asking you to forgive us for that mistake."
Sorry, that was ignoble. But it's just so infuriating, because now they have reinforced the belief that if Christians just stomp their feet enough, they can force their antiquated ideals down the throats of the entire world. They can't. But World Vision has unwittingly given them a small taste of power that will feed that ideal and sustain the momentum of bigotry and discrimination for a very long time.
It makes me crazy pissed off.
Anyway, the crux of the debate between this gentleman and me came down to choice. You've heard that one before right? Gay people choose to be gay? It's patently ridiculous. I asked him, as I always do when someone expresses this opinion, if he chose to be heterosexual. And as always happens, he ignored this question. Because to admit that he did not, is to admit that sexuality as a whole is not a choice. And that would unravel his entire argument that homosexuality is a sin because it's practitioners are willfully choosing to engage in an activity that is forbidden in the Bible.
See....their entire argument hinges on choice. They like to compare homosexuality to other "immoral" things like adultery and drug use and all sorts of unsavory behavior, which also infuriates me because those things are not innate behavior (with the possible exception of Pedophilia) but conscious choices. Now, nobody chooses to be a drug addict, but they do make the choice to take that first hit, that first pill, that first toke. Silly, silly argument, UNLESS you posit that being gay is a choice.
I want to tell you a little story.
When my youngest son was three years old, we were in the grocery store. Well...more than just the once really, but this is a story about that one particular time. He was installed in the front seat of the cart, happily zooming his matchbox car back and forth along the cart handle while I debated the various nutritional merits of cereal. Into the aisle swept a beautiful woman, with long blonde hair, bright red lips, sky high heels, skintight jeans, and enormous gravity defying breasts that would make angels weep, prominently displayed in a low cut halter top.
The kid dropped his car and his jaw and I swear his eyes did that cartoon bug out thing. ((AH-OOOH-GAH)) As she sashayed past us trailing a cloud of something floriental, he turned to watch her until his head was nearly backwards on his neck. Only the fact that his legs were imprisoned in the seat prevented him from watching her until she was completely out of sight.
He said reverently..."PREEEETTY MAMA."
My point? Stone cold heterosexual.
Did he choose that? No. He had no conscious awareness of sexuality. And yet, there it was, asserting itself. At three years old.
One of my best friends in high school was gay. He told me once that he knew he was gay when he was five years old. And he knew it was wrong. He tried very hard not to be gay. I knew him during the trying not to be gay time and the time after that. He says he was happier when he was lying. Afterwards, his parents wept, his Priest attempted to exorcise him and his peers shunned him. It's not hard to understand or accept that nobody would choose that, unless one is being consciously ignorant of that fact. And that, I'm sorry to say, is what Christianity promotes; conscious ignorance.
This demonstrates once again, how Christianity divides people.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. There are wonderful Christian people out there. Indeed, in this particular debate, I met yet another and I'm glad that at least that one good thing arose out of it. It's not the people, it's the premise. I wholeheartedly believe people are inherently good, kind and tolerant. The premise of Christianity teaches them to judge, exclude and hate.
I hope one day to see Christianity abolished. Maybe the benign tenets will survive while the malignant ones are left to the pages of history books. And like the Holocaust we'll look back on it and wonder how such a thing could have happened. And we'll resolve not to let it happen again.
ADDENDUM: Interesting thing about this post: I shared this link on my FB feed as I usually do. And instead of the debate arising over the gay/sin thing, it became focused on my statement about abolishing Christianity. I got called a bully and accused of being as intolerant as the Christians I have criticized. So let me just say this, once again - My intolerance of your intolerance is not intolerance.