“So do you think X is hot?”
“Ummm… I’m gay.”
That is exactly how it went.
I had not planned it. I had not carefully thought over the words. I had not considered his views or my image.
I was shocked at myself. Every time you come out, it’s different. Coming out is a continuous process and a continuous choice, not a one-time event. This time I was direct, spontaneous and for the first time, abruptly presented with my (still relatively new) identity.
“Do you know, you’re my first gay friend? …If you’d told me like two years ago I would have been, like, ‘I hate you’.”
Changing minds, one at a time. This is what a social revolution looks like on the ground.
The Church of England’s Moral Welfare Council… in 1954 became the first religious or political organisation to call for legalization [of homosexual acts], and the Council’s secretary, the Revd D. Sherwin Bailey restated this view in evidence to the Committee. When in 1960 the House of Commons defeated a motion for legalization, one of the major arguments used by the advocates of reform was the fact that the Anglican, Methodist, and Roman Catholic churches all supported a change in the law. During the parliamentary debates of 1965-7, defenders of the status quo fiercely attacked the churches for failing to stand up for these allegedly Christian laws.
– Hugh McLeod, The Religious Crisis of the 1960s, p. 43
People just assume that religion has always been against homosexuality. People assume that Christianity always lags behind social change. People assume that Christians never take the lead on important social issues.
Need I remind you that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist Minister, and that many leaders of the civil rights movement were also ministers? That William Wilberforce, leader of the emancipation movement in Britain was Evangelical extrordinaire of his day?
And now I learn that the biggest churches in Britain supported the legalisation of homosexuality against the popular opinion of British parliament in the 1950s – a decade before it even began to be spoken about! Why does this come as a surprise? How is it that people got the idea that religion is somehow inherently backwards?
I have signed up on an internet dating site so I can make contact with comely young gentlemen seeking the same.
So far I have contacted no-one. Internet dating is strange. Why?
Sometimes I wonder about whether praying makes any sense. I pray to understand God’s will. I also pray for things. If I pray for things that are already God’s will, surely they will happen anyway? And if I pray for things that are not God’s will, surely they will not happen?
Either way, an answered prayer is a good sign. And right now I am amazed at God for answering.
I love C. S. Lewis’s stance on sexual morality. I would now like to take some of his words out of context, and think about the notion of gay pride. Don’t get me wrong – C. S. Lewis states quite clearly that he believes homosexuality to be a perversion and that the biological purpose of sex is children. I would disagree. But consider this section:
Modern people are always saying, ‘Sex is nothing to be ashamed of.’ They may mean two things. They may mean ‘There is nothing to be ashamed of in the fact that humans reproduce in a certain way, nor in the fact that it gives pleasure.’ If they mean that, they are right. Christianity says the same… But of course, when people say, ‘Sex is nothing to be ashamed of,’ they may mean ‘the state into which the sexual instinct has now got is nothing to be ashamed of’.
If they mean that, I think they are wrong. I think it is everything to be ashamed of. There is nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying your food: there would be everything to be ashamed of if half the world made food the main interest of their lives and spent their time looking at pictures of food and dribbling and smacking their lips.
– Mere Christianity, p. 98-99
Summer has just hit this country really, really hard. It is the time of year when all those people who have been dutiful to their gym memberships peel off their shirts and reveal the tattoos and muscles you don’t get to see the rest of the year. It is the time of year when shorts go on instead of trousers. Suddenly everyone looks really gorgeous.
That is as long as the sun lasts.
I keep coming back to two ideas that bump into one another and then drift off in different directions. The first is that I need to meet at least one (more) gay Christian, someone like a mentor or someone I can look up to, to know how to be gay and Christian. The other that I need to meet more gay Christians so that I can find one, fall in love and live happily ever after with him.
Neither of these things are happening with my current church.
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