Christians and the gays.

A fringy religous group wanted to open a restaurant in town. They are well known around the world and have awesome food and homemade products. However, many people in town opposed them because they do not allow gay people in their group.

When my friend told me, I shrugged because I’ve patronized their other establishment many times and they’ve always treated me with respect. Of course they don’t want gay people in their group. If anyone knew the verses they follow in the Bible, they’d understand, I said.

I mean, look. I’m gay. I appreciate when people defend my right to join a cult or not. Yet I would not ask Christians who adhere to a literal translation of the Bible to change their beliefs for me — because how willing would I be to fundamentally change my beliefs for them?

If you grew up in the evangelical church, you know the verses used against gay people. Many have argued that it’s the customs of the time/translations, etc but the verses are clear: God does not approve of gay relationships, both in Old and New Testament (Leviticus and Romans, primarily). I used to rail against the church when I cared about their approval. I tried to convince others with the same vehemence and carried a broken heart for a long time after losing my “fellowship”.

Yet God remained as I sought healing — and God will always remain in my life. If the God of Christianity and other religions believe that gay people are sinful, so be it. I’m not here to change Christians and will defend their right to worship under the Constitution, even if they irritate me with their strident beliefs and outright fanaticism. God is so much more than who we believe that energy is — and I do not need the approval of others to be who I am in this lifetime. There is too much rage and anger and self-righteousness already; I don’t wish to add to it.

So to those who defend gay folk like me, thank you. Yet I’d encourage you to understand why Christians believe as they do — and not ask them to change unless you are also willing to change in the same fundamental manner. This world is big enough for us to coexist with our beliefs and orthodoxy. We are all just walking each other home as Ram Dass once said — and I’d rather have a pleasant conversation over coffee than a beat down!

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