Digging into Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”

Lady Gaga has released the lyrics to her forthcoming album and single, “Born This Way,” which she hopes will be another rallying cry for homosexuals and transgendered people in our culture.  I’d like to offer some thoughts on how our Christian faith should inform our thinking about homosexuality, but first, here are the lyrics:

IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU LOVE HIM, OR CAPITAL H-I-M
JUST PUT YOUR PAWS UP
‘CAUSE YOU WERE BORN THIS WAY, BABY

MY MAMA TOLD ME WHEN I WAS YOUNG
WE ARE ALL BORN SUPERSTARS
SHE ROLLED MY HAIR AND PUT MY LIPSTICK ON?IN THE GLASS OF HER BOUDOIR
“THERE’S NOTHIN WRONG WITH LOVIN WHO YOU ARE”
SHE SAID, “‘CAUSE HE MADE YOU PERFECT, BABE”
“SO HOLD YOUR HEAD UP GIRL AND YOU’LL GO FAR,
LISTEN TO ME WHEN I SAY”

I’M BEAUTIFUL IN MY WAY
‘CAUSE GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY
DON’T HIDE YOURSELF IN REGRET
JUST LOVE YOURSELF AND YOU’RE SET
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

OOO THERE AIN’T NO OTHER WAY
BABY I WAS BORN THIS WAY
BABY I WAS BORN THIS WAY
OOO THERE AIN’T NO OTHER WAY
BABY I WAS BORN
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY
DON’T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON’T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON’T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON’T BE!

GIVE YOURSELF PRUDENCE
AND LOVE YOUR FRIENDS
SUBWAY KID, REJOICE YOUR TRUTH
IN THE RELIGION OF THE INSECURE
I MUST BE MYSELF, RESPECT MY YOUTH
A DIFFERENT LOVER IS NOT A SIN
BELIEVE CAPITAL H-I-M (HEY HEY HEY)
I LOVE MY LIFE I LOVE THIS RECORD AND
MI AMORE VOLE FE YAH (LOVE NEEDS FAITH)

DON’T BE A DRAG, JUST BE A QUEEN
WHETHER YOU’RE BROKE OR EVERGREEN
YOU’RE BLACK, WHITE, BEIGE, CHOLA DESCENT
YOU’RE LEBANESE, YOU’RE ORIENT
WHETHER LIFE’S DISABILITIES
LEFT YOU OUTCAST, BULLIED, OR TEASED
REJOICE AND LOVE YOURSELF TODAY
‘CAUSE BABY YOU WERE BORN THIS WAY
NO MATTER GAY, STRAIGHT, OR BI,
LESBIAN, TRANSGENDERED LIFE
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN TO SURVIVE
NO MATTER BLACK, WHITE OR BEIGE
CHOLA OR ORIENT MADE
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN TO BE BRAVE

I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!

Jonathan McKee has posted a great (but long) response to this song on his website HERE.  He’s also written a very good article entitled “Coming out of the Closet… and Into the Church: What Should the Church do About Homosexuality?” Both articles are well worth your time to read and really think about… especially if you’re a Christian and are wrestling with questions about how to respond to the homosexual question.

Here’s my response, and I’ll try to keep this brief in hopes that some of you will actually read it.

  1. It’s not honest to say you’re “Born This Way.”  Even secular scientists would confess that they have not discovered a “gay gene.”  We all know people who seem to identify with the opposite gender easier from a very young age, but that doesn’t mean they’re born gay.
  2. Sexuality is not the same as Ethnicity.  It isn’t a valid argument to equate Gay Rights with the Civil Rights Movement.  My dad is Irish and my mom is English and Lebanese… therefore I’m a mix of those ethnicities.  But those who profess to have been “born this way” rarely have parents who were gay (although the likelihood of a gay/lesbian “couple” having a son/daughter who is also homosexual exponentially increases… but I believe this is true for social/sociological reasons).  Drawing a parallel between homosexual rights and the Civil Rights Movement is simply disrespectful to those who endured generations of racial abuse because of their skin color.
  3. Natural desires aren’t all good.  I like to eat but don’t love exercise.  Does that mean I should eat whatever I want whenever I want it?  Does that mean I shouldn’t take a walk or go on a run or lift weights?  This is pretty obvious (reminder: Go on a diet and get more exercise!).  My natural desires are very often the opposite of what I should do.  If you are naturally more sexually attracted towards people of the same gender as you, I don’t think that’s necessarily justification to do what feels most natural.  I don’t say that tritely or like it’s something that’s easy or simple, but just because something’s natural and innate that doesn’t mean it’s right.
  4. Sexual organs are complementary and are intended to “fit.”  Even if you take a Creator away and ascribe to evolutionary theory, the sex organs simply do not work together in a homosexual union.
  5. Finally, and this is the obvious “Pastor-answer”: Scripture does teach clearly that homosexuality is wrong.  Those who open the Bible and claim that Scripture doesn’t teach homosexuality is a sin are simply twisting the Bible to say what they want it to say.  Either we believe the Bible is true and believe what is says (regardless of how uncomfortable it may make you) or the Bible isn’t true (and in that case you don’t care that is says homosexuality is a sin).

This is not something I write about with hatred in my heart towards those who are homosexual or transgendered.  I know that if someone reading this blog post is LGBT then he/she will probably think that I’m a wrath-filled or judgment-spewing Christian, and I sincerely apologize if that’s how this post has come across.  My desire in this post is to use “Born This Way” as a catalyst for encouraging the parents and teenagers in my church to give thoughtful consideration about how our Christian faith should inform our beliefs about homosexuality rather than basing our beliefs on such issues on what is culturally acceptable.

19 thoughts on “Digging into Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”

  1. David Allan February 11, 2011 / 11:55 am

    To respond to each of your claims:

    1. For certain traits, there is so much more to genetics and epigenetics than a simple gene. Sexuality and gender identity are one of these. It’s not like eye colour which can be determined by a simple punnett square. It is both a combination of genes as well as epigentics, which is what occurs during pregnancy and thus has nothing to do with the parents genetic makeup. For example, hormones play a HUGE part in who we are inside.

    But the bigger question besides being ‘born gay’, is why does it matter? Gay people are perfectly fine the way they are if you know a few. They cause no harm and pose no threat.

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007: “ Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] ” “Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, “The fetal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.”[8

    2. Hate and bigotry occurs so much more for GLBT today, at least in America, than it does for different ethnicities. Don’t try and say that gay people don’t deserve to fight for rights in the same way that African Americans did. You also have no evidence in saying that parents sexuality has something do with it, it has absolutely nothing. Complete a degree in psychology and then tell me otherwise.

    3. What isn’t ‘right’ about it? No one is ever able to provide a sufficient answer on this. The answers from far right wing people are all so diverse and 98 percent of the time proven wrong and then refuted a year later that you don’t know what to think anymore. This is of course WITHOUT using the bible.

    4.This again is a terrible argument. 1 in 7 heterosexual couples are unable to procreate, not including seniors. Does that mean their parts don’t work? And with overpopulation this isn’t exactly a bad thing. And if someone wants kids who can’t (gay or straight), there’s surrogacy/ artificial insemination as well as adoption. And sexually, believe me, the parts do fit in a homosexual union, I know from experience ;). Some straight couples might not fit (the guy might be too big lol), does that mean it’s wrong for them to express their love?

    5. If this is your only argument and are unable to support with other data, then first off, why would God care?

    Secondly, how can you simply isolate single passages in the bible and say that this is the way things are? I could and people certainly have done this to support slavery.

    What about the message of Jesus about love? And don’t say you “love the sinner, hate the sin” because that doesn’t work with us gays.

    Lastly, does the bible condemn monogamous, mutually loving same sex relationships? I believe it simply condemns promiscuity, which it does the same with heterosexual couples.

    The old testament certainly condems homosexuality. But Jesus overturned this. It also condemns eating shellfish.

    No where in the new testament are mutually loving homosexual relationships condemned. Romans is what is almost always referred to. But of course these sorts of relationships were bad, the men did terrible things to each other. This is certainly not the case with loving, homosexual couples. Yes you can use the bible to condemn promiscuity, but it’s certainly unclear on monogamous loving relationships and whether gender matters in them or not.

    Humans are diverse in our gender and sexuality. Let’s just face it. The bible was also during a different time so we must look at it in it’s historic context. For example, while I believe the bible promotes slavey you might say “it was a different time”. Well, in regards to the romans and the way men treated each other, my God, it was a different time as well.

    Peace

    • ebccrosswalk February 11, 2011 / 2:10 pm

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I think I’m fairly open to admitting I’m no genetic expert, but I have done my “homework” enough to conclude that the medical community is very torn regarding the genetic causes of homosexuality. I’d rather not get into a debate about it, because that so often turns into mud-slinging and I really don’t believe that’s ever productive, helpful, or respectful.

      While I may agree that hatred for the GLBT community may be greater today than it is for different ethnicities (and I’m hesitant to say it is, since I think our country still has a lot of racism left, unfortunately), I simply wonder how those who endured generations of slavery and hatred might feel about the GLBT equating the two “rights fights.” I suspect that even those who would be sympathetic supporters would make a distinction between the two.

      Let me be blunt: I hate hatred, it directly undercuts the dignity that God designed us all to reflect. I believe that homosexuality is a sin, but I believe hatred towards homosexuals is also a sin. I don’t point to only one verse, but to the whole counsel of Scripture when I state that the Bible is clear in teaching that homosexuality (not just homosexual promiscuity) is a sin. I don’t really have time here to list all the verses and give my commentary on how I interpret them, but many people have done so online, here’s the link to John Piper’s church’s position on homosexuality (I’d line up with most of what he says, though I would probably word it differently): http://bit.ly/f1z3BE

      David, I’d finally like to apologize for the Christians who have been hate-filled towards you and others in your community. Us Christians are often good at saying “Hate the sin, love the sinner” (as you stated), but we’re not very good at putting that into practice, and for that I’m truly apologetic.

      • Bry February 12, 2011 / 10:34 am

        If you side with what John says, why even bother to address the biological factors?
        John says:
        “Whatever biological or familial roots of homosexuality may be discovered, we do not believe that these would sanction or excuse homosexual behavior, though they would deepen our compassion and patience for those who are struggling to be free from sexual temptations.”

        REGARDLESS of what our future medical findings might be, you clearly will refute the evidence or remain unconvinced, so why bother?

    • Bry February 12, 2011 / 10:29 am

      Well said, David! Thank you for taking out the time to provide a clear,factual,respectable debate on the original content. I completely agree with all your points

  2. Jeremy February 14, 2011 / 10:57 pm

    I agree completely with David. Even in your comment defending your original position you even state that you don’t have time to give commentary on how YOU INTERPRET them. That said, you are admitting that the bible and the position on homosexuality is subject to interpretation. Therefore I could interpret it differently. This gives you and whoever John is the right to tell me that my interpretation is wrong and yours is right? Typical mindless sheep mentality.

    • ebccrosswalk February 15, 2011 / 10:53 am

      I do apologize that I didn’t have the time to present a fully formed and well written presentation on what I believe the Bible teaches about sexuality (particularly homosexuality). Writing this blog is not my full-time job and the demands of my ministry and family keep me from writing all the posts I wish I had time for.

      Regarding interpretation: According to what your logic, I could fairly interpret Gaga’s “Born this Way” to mean that homosexuality is a sin because we’re created by H-I-M. That’s obviously not what the song is saying, but I’m sure I could find some way to pull a line or phrase out of context to make it sound like it means whatever I want it to mean. But doing that is pure nonsense and I think you’d agree that would completely disregard what the Gaga and the song is saying. But I believe that’s what people are doing when they take a verse here and a verse there and a few very specific historical facts and twist them together in order to “interpret” Scripture as saying that only cruel or promiscuous homosexuality is a sin.

      Finally, I am not a mindless sheep, I have studied and given much thought and wrestled with this issue. I would appreciate the respect I work to show those who leave comments… even when we disagree.

      • Luke February 24, 2011 / 1:31 pm

        So you don’t pick and choose the parts of the bible you want to abide by? You have no problem choosing the positive things, but what about the negative or the absurd? It’s just ignorant not to. I agree that the bible does teach some good things, but I also believe that religion is not needed for those things to be taught. It’s fine and dandy that it’s there, but if it weren’t, those teachings wouldn’t just disappear. People would still be taught to abide by the law, try and live a good life, be kind to others … it’s not just religion.

        Furthermore, the same debate you use can be used against you. People can take a verse here and there, and a few very specific historical facts and twist them together to “interpret” Scripture however they want to.

        My father has a PhD in Theology, and is a Christian. He is a chaplin at the jail in my city. He has no problem with my sexuality, and in fact, his brother was also gay. He worries about me because I’m an Atheist, but he doesn’t try to change the way I am. We talk about religion a lot, but there’s almost always no conclusion, and it just further ingrains us into our opinions.

        In the end, you’re just pointing fingers. Why are you the one judging me based on my sexual orientation? Isn’t that God’s decision? You can’t change a person. Only they can change themselves, so why bother? Is it an appeal to being loving and caring? Because I honestly can’t see that loving and caring part. All I see is hate.

      • ebccrosswalk February 25, 2011 / 1:38 pm

        Luke, I’m truly sorry that “all you see is hate.” If that were true I’d only accept comments on this blog from people whom I agree with and I’d be name-calling, which is clearly not the case.

        I don’t deny that there are well-educated and knowledgeable people who interpret Scripture differently than I do (like your father), I’m not ignorant of that… but that doesn’t mean all interpretations are equally valid. The thing is, you believe the same thing: there’s a “right” way to interpret Scripture and a “wrong” way (the difference is we both think we’re right).

        I’m not trying to judge you or anyone else. I know that God is the judge, not me. But I also believe that the Bible is God’s Word, in which He has revealed both law and grace to us; therefore, I’m simply trying to teach the people in my ministry what the Bible teaches concerning homosexuality.

        Again, I apologize that sense “hate” coming from me, and I’ll take that accusation seriously and will prayerfully search my heart about that. I suspect what you’re sensing as hatred is simply disagreement. In our world “tolerance means approval,” but I really believe that tolerance assumes disagreement.

  3. David Allan February 27, 2011 / 4:10 pm

    @ebccrosswalk

    First off, I greatly appreciate that you are not a “mindless sheep”, a rather derogatory term but nonetheless accurate of how many Christians are. I think it’s great that you are actually trying to be ‘tolerant’ unlike many Christians who simply pretend to be. I feel that the extremists such as Anita Bryant have in a way done the gay rights movement a favour by being so hateful. If all Christians were like you, and actually bothered to ‘wrestle’ with the issue rather than being blind, I really wouldn’t have that big of a problem with evangelicals. I don’t consider you to be ‘hateful’, you’re in a fair position of disagreement (relatively so).

    That being said, I think rational evangelicals (in a way this is an oxymoron) such as you need to reconsider as much as possible about your positions. Before when I mentioned how I do believe that sexuality is predetermined due to a variety of factors, I also mentioned why this isn’t really the main point.

    The main point is why does it matter? This wasn’t answered. I believe it wasn’t answered because it can’t be. As I said, whenever it is attempted to be answered, the answers are so diverse and silly that they aren’t really answers. When talking about disadvantages of being gay, there really aren’t any. The ‘disadvantages’ also apply to straight people as well (let’s not forget the whole spectrum of people in between). If you know more than 3 LGBT people you can confirm that they are fine the way they are.

    We live in a society where generally, gender doesn’t make a difference. This all began with feminism. However, now not only does modern society consider males and females to be equal, but every identity from the most masculine male to the most feminine female are equal.

    I’m currently in my second term at an international university (McGill). The diversity here is amazing. Every aspect of it. There is absolutely no homophobia, or any disproval whatsoever of differences in gender/identity/orientation. You meet very butch women, and very gentle males, and every combination possible. It’s a wonderful spectrum, one that right wing Christians fail to see.

    Because it’s such a high class institution, students are extremely open minded and there is no problem with being who you are. There isn’t a single reason for anyone to feel ashamed about what they have become. Diversity is beautiful, in every way (not just gender identity/sexuality).

    No one has ever explained even somewhat sufficiently what is ‘wrong’ with LGBT people using psychology/psychiatry/science.

    Furthermore, if you do believe it’s harmful, or unethical, or disadvantaged in anyway to not be stereotypically straight, there is absolutely no way you could provide any sort of logical solution for those who are LGBT to become what do I believe is a hateful term, ‘normal’. ‘Normal’ doesn’t exist.

    from the APA:

    “The APA’s concern about the position’s espoused by NARTH and so-called conversion therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish”

    These dysfunctional, unscientific programs are filled with sexual repression and need to be shut down. More than necessary, repressed ’ex-gay’ lunatics act as though they are trying to get into your head when they are really trying to get into your pants. They need to be investigated. (Of course not all of them act this silly but they’re all capital R ridiculous).

    What people such as NARTH are, can only be described as the creation scientists of psychology. They believe there is a conspiracy within the mainstream of doctors, psychologists, social workers, lawyers, etc etc etc just as creationists believe there is a conspiracy amongst scientists of every field, historians, and mainstream educators all around. Both creationists and “ex-gay” programs are so diverse on their positions that you don’t know what to believe. They simply aren’t truthful.

    When in the end it’s not the truth that matters. In the end, it all comes down to scripture, and an orthodox approach to it.

    Peace

    • David Allan February 27, 2011 / 5:00 pm

      ^What I mean by ‘rational evangelicals’ is that although you take a highly orthodox approach to scripture and science, you are:

      a) nice, and tolerant
      b) willing to debate, and at an intellectual level rather than using circular reasoning and other simplistic methods
      c) not closed minded, having the ability to change your mind
      d) this one is not a requirement, but is nice to have: you don’t believe that your way is absolutely the only way to God/ you accept that hell is not for say, Ghandi, a Hindu.

      I am a Christian btw, and gay as can be

    • ebccrosswalk March 2, 2011 / 3:15 pm

      Hi David, apologies for taking a few days to reply. Unfortunately I really don’t have the time now to give a full reply to everything you wrote above (there’s a lot in there to dig through!). Thanks for your respectfulness, you give me hope that we actually can have conversations that don’t spiral into simplistic and unproductive arguments.

      Rather than going through all the scientific causes of this and that (I recently heard a podcast on epigenetics that was really interesting), I’d like to comment on what this all boils down to: We’re all sinners who desperately need a Savior and redemption.

      One thing I get really frustrated by in many churches (including my own, at times) is the tendency to talk about homosexuals like they’re the only ones who are sinners. Meanwhile, how many heterosexual marriages are ending in divorce and how many people are living together who aren’t married, and how many married men are viewing pornogrophy? The difficult truth is, we’re all sinners. The Bible doesn’t teach that homosexuality is unforgivable, but so many people talk about it like that’s the case.

      I believe that everyone’s greatest need is to know the Good News that God loves them so much that He took on human flesh and was born as a baby, that he lived a perfect and sinless life, that he suffered and died an unjust death on the cross in order that the innocent (Jesus) would die for the guilty (us). God is love. God also hates sin… that’s why Jesus died on the cross, to deal with our sin. But the best news is that Jesus didn’t stay dead, he rose from the grave (thus, conquering death and overcoming the effects of sin) and has made it possible for our sins to be forgiven and wiped away forever because we are trusting in Christ Jesus and have given our lives to honoring Him.

      Too often, we Christians act like people need to clean themselves up before they can confess their sin and turn to Jesus. This is where different Christians usually get into disagreements… what happens next to the GLBT person who puts his/her faith in Jesus Christ?

      I don’t really have a clear-cut and well-developed answer to write out right now, but I believe that the main issue here shouldn’t be convincing people to reject their homosexual lifestyle. I believe the main issue should be communicating that we all need God to save us from our sin and for Him to transform us to be the holy people He wants us to be.

      I hope this helps clarify a few things up. I know it’s not scientific, and it’s probably not the response you were expecting, but this is something I’ve been feeling that I wish I had included in the original post above. I’ll try to take some time next week when things slow down a bit to interact with some of your comments above.

      Blessings,
      Mike

  4. David Allan March 7, 2011 / 2:18 pm

    No worries! I’m busy as well being a student and whatnot. Normally boards such as this aren’t my top priority, but you, and a few that I have met at this university who have to some extent liberalized since studying here, have given me hope for the more ‘conservative’ side of Christianity. The science does matter. The main thing that distinguishes our society from earlier ones is scientific advancement since the 17th century, which many Christians are opposed to (silly). But I agree that what matters most is trying to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. I agree with you on just about everything, except on whether or not what’s below the belt matters. I fail to see how a penis is a requirement for pastoral duties, gender roles, love, etc.

    It frustrates me too, as you mentioned, the hypocrisy with sinning heterosexuals putting an overemphasis on, or in many cases only emphasizing gay relationships.

    I believe we have to be like Jesus, and Jesus never said anything on sexual diversity. It has had no negative effect on my life, the lives of those around me, or societies which promote it. The greatest countries to live in: Canada, Scandinavian countries, Belgium, all have same-sex marriage. The rest of the western world has civil unions as well. They’re all with it, and not facing any negative effects, it’s strengthened relationships and respect for one another here in Canada.

    Being gay (mind you, celibate unless in a committed relationship) does not get in the way of trying to live how Jesus did, as you are saying we should try to be. He is a great role model, and I find many Christians unlike the ones I agree with (Episcopal/Most Anglicans, United, UUism, some Lutherans) distort what Jesus was all about.

  5. David Allan July 5, 2011 / 8:44 pm

    It is amazing how you never replied. Says a lot. I’ve never once had an actual answer to my questions with any fundamentalist, and I’m starting to doubt why I am so tolerant. So please reply to my last post. It would certainly help my outlook towards fundamentalists.

    • ebccrosswalk July 5, 2011 / 9:26 pm

      Hi David, I’m really sorry I never replied, I guess I misunderstood your “Don’t worry about it, I’m a student and don’t usually get wrapped up into message boards” as you saying you were pretty much done with our dialogue. I apologize.

      If you look at the frequency of my blog posts lately they’ve been pretty sparse because I’ve been really really busy (Wife, Two Kids, Ministry, Extended Family, Working on my doctorate, etc.). This week is really insanely busy for me and I’m probably barely even going to see my family at all because of my schedule, but I will try to make time to give you a well thought-out response next week (I’d rather give a thought-through response than a ‘shoot from the hip’ reply… I think you’d prefer that too!).

      You’ve asked a TON of questions in your comments to this post, so could you do me a favor and boil down what in particular you’re looking for me to respond about, that way I’m not seeking to answer what you’re not asking. Make sense? I look forward to hearing from you again.

  6. David Allan July 10, 2011 / 6:01 pm

    Hi, since I value your opinion, I will boil it down to 2 questions for the time being.

    Try and answer these without quoting the Bible or a non credible organization (eg. NARTH). I’m not saying we don’t need the Bible, obviously. It is just a very complex book and if an argument can’t be formed without it then either it’s an outdated/invalid point (eg. slavery). I have explained earlier has to how I believe the bible does not condemn LGBT behaviour anyway with a new testament/Jesus perspective and therefore won’t be convinced purely on scripture, it must take more.

    1. How does being gay and celibate, unless in a committed marriage, and otherwise being free of sin (as much as humanly possible) get in the way of the teachings of Jesus?

    2. What negative effect does being gay have on the lives of gay people, those they know, and their communities/states/countries etc.? There is clearly a correlation between a nation’s acceptance of gay people and the quality of life within that nation. Even within America, Alabama and Mississippi have the most social problems, while easily being near the top for homophobic attitudes, while states like Massachusetts flourish. At the world stage this is even more obvious. Look at Canada and Scandinavia, then look at Africa and the Middle East. Gay marriage has done absolutely nothing, as I’ve said before it has only improved lives with adding acceptance.

    • ebccrosswalk July 12, 2011 / 1:53 pm

      I’ll do my best to answer your questions here to the best of my ability without having time to do research/study on them specifically.

      1. Asking me to answer theological questions without quoting the Bible is a little unfair. It’s like asking a scientist to answer a question about biology without talking about DNA. I’m not being argumentative, but simply proving your first point correct. If we disregard the Bible, then of course a monogamous homosexual-marriage would be totally fine with Jesus, because you’re not really working with the biblical Jesus. What teachings from the Bible you choose to keep and which you choose to cut out mean lead to a “cut & paste theology.” You probably haven’t heard many other Christians answer your first question because you’re absolutely right… if you take the Bible out of the equation.

      From my perspective, God created us a sexual people whose relationships were designed to mirror our relationship with our Creator. Therefore, marriage is important because it reflects the intimate commitment and devotion we ought to have with our Maker. Gender differences are real and they matter because they reflect the “headship” of God over his beloved creation (yet, his “headship” is not dictatorial… He loves us so very much that He became a man who suffered and died in order to provide for us to be rescued from the judgment we brought upon ourselves. This is a bit off-topic, but if more husbands loved their wives the way that God through Jesus Christ loved us, then women would gladly submit to that kind of “headship” because they could fully trust that their husbands were not acting in their own interested but in their wife’s best interest.). In this way, theologically, I see homosexuality as a “mirror” of the creation worshipping itself rather than its Creator. If everything was created by God as a “mirror” to reflect what is made clear and explicit in Scripture, then this is how I interpret marriage/homosexuality/family relationships.

      2. I took some time on google to look up “Family Health Statistics” in the countries you mentioned but I simply don’t have the time to really dig into what I found. As a life-long resident of Massachusetts, I can tell you that homosexual acceptance has not been clean up here. My son is three and a half, and I’m concerned about what his classmates are going to be like when he’s old enough to be in school. I hope that doesn’t sound terrible and hate-filled, because it’s not – but it’s a reality that when my son is in school and comes home confused because Jimmy was talking about his two dads or his two moms then it’s going to make for a very difficult conversation. I think the social effects of LGBT acceptance will probably take a generation to really come into the light.

      Psychologists have always pointed to how important it is to have a mom and a dad involved in a child’s life. As more and more families disintegrate (divorce, unwed moms, homosexual marriage, etc.) this is only going to lead to more children growing up with more troubles than the previous generations. Hear me out: It’s not only about homosexual marriages! I wish the Church would focus as much (or more!) on preparing couples for marriage and strengthening existing marriages than it focuses on fighting against homosexuality. With the current divorce rate where it is (and it’s not much different among professing Christians… though it is extremely low among those who pray together, attend church regularly, and read their Bibles together), I think sometimes “Homosexuality” can be a diversion from the even bigger crisis of our time.

      I guess this question is a tough one for me, because it all depends on what you’re measuring to determine the social impact. Are we talking violence, economics, politics, religion, family-life, general happiness? Homosexuality is making a pretty clear impact on religion and family life in the countries you’ve mentioned. When it all comes down to it, I think those are pretty darn important factors to consider.

      Here’s an interesting article I came across a while ago about the health risks of gay sex: http://www.corporateresourcecouncil.org/white_papers/Health_Risks.pdf. As you know, I’m not a medical doctor, but I found this paper informative and concerning.

      I’d just like to leave you with an observation and a question: It seems that you’re not completely closed off to the Bible or to Jesus’ teachings and that you probably find a lot in Scripture that you really like. What if God really did inspire the men who wrote it and has preserved it throughout history (most honest archaeologists admit that it’s something like 99% accurate to what was originally written thousands of years ago and is easily the most reliable ancient book around)? What if the Bible really IS God’s Word? If you believe in God but you believe the Bible isn’t God’s Word, how do you decide what to “copy & paste” into your belief-system and what to disregard?

      I am willing to continue our correspondance and I really appreciate your honest, thoughtful, and respectful tone. You may not believe it, but there’s as much venom sprayed my way as there probably is sprayed yours. If more conversations had this degree of honest and civility I think we’d get a lot further.

  7. David Allan July 20, 2011 / 8:59 pm

    I do agree that the first question may have been unfair, depending on how one would interpret it. I wouldn’t call how I view the Bible to be “cutting and pasting”, as I’ll explain later. It’s more of an “overall message” approach.

    How does “Jimmy” having two dads have any social effect on society? Modern psychologists do not say this…However, I greatly appreciate you going out of your way to say it’s about many other social effects on society as well. Many Christians, as you say, overemphasize LGBT relationships. As far as LGBT parenting, no credible organization will say they are inferior parents. APA, AMA, you name it. Of course, many may say this is due to political pressure. However, the scientific findings by the AMA came long before general acceptance of LGBT people. Around 1975, the AMA said there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, and that attempts of changing it may be harmful, let alone possible. It wasn’t until the mid-90’s that homosexuality became a mainstream idea, and only recently (Gallop poll I believe) the majority of Americans favoured same-sex marriage. The scientific/psychological/medical findings came long before the political correctness came into play. Along with these findings, the greater visibility of gay people brought more acceptance. Look at how much has changed since Ellen came out, for example.

    I am talking about all of those things in regards to what impact it has on society. You singled out family life, which is fair. Again, read the statements of any credible organization and they will say that gays and lesbians are fit parents. Or, visit San Francisco and meet a few :). John Diggs happens to be affiliated with far-right groups btw. http://www.freewebs.com/palmettoumoja/John%20R.%20Diggs's%20lies.pdf.. But that is beside the point. If gay people are celibate/monogamous, there are no health risks. Just as if straight people are. The same ‘disadvantages’ to being gay can be applied to straight people as well.

    In regards to the Bible, I believe there are other methods we must take into consideration, such as science. If I took the bible literally, I would have to deny nearly everything I have learnt about science. I view Genesis in a poetic light, believing that the ‘why’ is more important than the ‘how’, which was the best attempt of explaining in the absence of scientific knowledge. With other parts of the bible, I view the overarching messages as well. For example, I believe what Jesus had to say was much more important than something only mentioned in the New Testament once or twice, with some translations unclear (eg. Corinthians), and the other one only referring to promiscuity (Romans 1). Jesus said nothing of this sort (homosexuality). The Bible is a complex book and I can’t take absolutely everything in it for its face value. The life experience I have had being gay tells me that it is alright. I am a med school student, and have had a wonderful life, wonderful parents, etc. Furthermore, I have a great relationship with Jesus. I appreciate his wonderful messages.

    Could you not be “cutting & pasting” yourself? For example, what about what the Bible has to say about slavery? This is rather off topic so I wouldn’t find an explanation on slavery from you to be necessary, lol. Rather, answering if you cut & paste would be appreciated.

    The other question I have is, what do you suggest gay people do to change who they are, or whatever it is you feel must be done? I find this question to be important since there is no real evidence suggesting it can be done. NARTH, for example, has been filled with hypocrites such as George Reckers. Credible organizations like the APA have a good track record…

    I appreciate your responses as well. Thank you very much. They have been once of many things that have helped me to be much more tolerant towards those with a literal interpretation of most of scripture. I see where you are coming from.

    • ebccrosswalk August 2, 2011 / 3:58 pm

      Hi David, I just want to give a quick reply to what you wrote above:

      First, I do not believe that Christianity and science are at odds. Granted, that’s not necessarily a “popular” view and you would have to view much scientific data from a different perspective (a theistic perspective rather than a naturalistic one), but that doesn’t mean you need to throw science out the window. It’s worth noting that nearly every single pioneer of science was a devout Christian who did their research as a way to learn more about God’s creation. Granted, the Church frequently rejected these discoveries at first, but these men and women did their research as an expression of faith, not as an antithesis of faith. There are many well-respected Christian scientists out there whose voices are silenced from getting equal attention on various theories and interpretations because they reflect a theistic perspective. I’m not looking to start a big conversation about this because I’m honestly not well-read enough in scientific research to do so, but I have read enough to know that stuff is out there and that I don’t need to wonder if my faith and science are necessarily at odds with each other.

      Second, regarding homosexual parents, I’m not saying they can’t be “good” and “loving” parents. I’m sure many of them give their kids more attention than traditional families do because they aren’t taking their kids for granted. I simply believe that what society determines as “good” isn’t always good enough. God had a design and a plan for the family and made us to grow and mature and learn accordingly. Because of that, kids who grow up without a mom and a dad are really losing out (this coming from someone who grew up in a home where my parents divorced while I was in junior high, so I get this a little more than some others might).

      Third, here’s a link to a blog post written by one of my mentors that I read not too long after you contacted me again. I thought you might appreciate his perspective and give a little more insight into where I’m coming from. http://learningmylines.blogspot.com/2011/07/wrestling-with-homosexuality.html

      Finally, you encourage me to fly out to San Francisco to meet some homosexuals. I live half an hour outside of Boston. Granted, it’s definitely not “the same,” but that’s just to ensure you that I’m not secluded either.

      Blessings…

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