I’m trying to understand..
… the issues in this whole debacle. I’ll be honest, the whole sexuality issue is something I avoid on this blog for this very reason. In the past, I have been accused of being a flaming liberal for my stance on civil union/state marriage of homosexuals. Someone stated in the comment sections that gays and lesbians are more concerened about insurance, visiting their loved on in the hospital or other rights that might be afforded a married couple rather than the actual title of marriage. This had always been my impression from friends in the gay community, but maybe I misread them. There are friends of mine from the conservative camp who don’t like my position on this at all and have questioned my Christianity over it.
I have had numerous conversations with those same gay friends and told them my position about not peforming a gay marriage. They are not fan of my position, but they understand where I’m coming from. The last thing they have called me is a bigot, homophobe or whatever names Knockgoats likes to apply to me. This is why I’m a bit floored by the reaction here and over at PZ’s place.
For the record, I don’t have a church, so it’s unlikely it will ever come up. I’m a campus minister. And indeed, it has never come up when I have been a pastor of a church. I would not presume to tell other churches can or can’t do. If one does gay ceremonies, then that’s what they do. I’m not going out of my way to tell them stop. As this is America, and not Nazi Germany, everyone has the right under the Constitution to live as they see fit. However, I still stand by my position that I wouldn’t peform a gay wedding. I hold this position because of what I believe the Bible teaches and the teaching of church tradition. Does that mean I hate gay people? No. Does it mean I want to see gay people beat up? No, and if anyone ever tried to do it around me, I would stand in front of the gay person to stop the madness. I would willingly give my life to save them in that instance. I’m not sure how else to express my love in a more direct way.
I understand that most people think that being gay is not a choice. Or, that is, that people can’t help being gay because their genetic makeup. Having done some reading on the subject the past few days, I think this is probably true,or at least, from what I can tell. Or, to state it more plainly, I think people can be born with a genetic predisposition to being gay. I don’t think that gays and lesbians should be forced to be hetero. However, the question then becomes, are we just a product of our genes? Do we have choices or are we a slave to our genes? To me, this is where the real question lies. I would say, no, we aren’t. We have choices.
I’m willing to have this conversation. I try my best not to avoid genuine, sincere questions that are put to me in a respectful manner. If this position still makes me a bigot in the eyes of some, fine. I try very hard to be respectful of people and treat them as human beings. I try to learn from them as much as I can. I try to have this blog be a place where different positions are stated and then discussed. I have gone out of my way to be as honest and straightforward as possible. Maybe I don’t always get it right, but I try.
Plus, not to mention, this blog isn’t my life. I have other things going on. In fact, this time last year, this blog only got ten hits per week, as it was just a way to advertise our student group on campus. I never asked for this blog to be what it has become. PZ linked to me after the SSA conference last August and that pretty much did it. I don’t go out trolling for new people and that’s why I have stopped commenting on the thread over there. I read his blog all the time, but I hardly ever comment. I only did so in this case because I was a direct participant in the blog tv interview which I felt gave me the right to post.
I realize this will not be an explanation that will satsify everyone. Fine. I can live with that. As long as we can have some good, tough convesations without the namecalling, I say, talk on. You can call me whatever you want, but the moment you direct your nastiness at other people, you are gone. Period. This is a change in policy, I realize, but I have had enough of the ugliness.
I hope, now, that we can move forward in the conversation.