Friday, September 2, 2016

Christian Gays

I have been following, and occasionally responding to a blog called The Happy Alternative, which is run by a friend of mine who is a devout Christian. While I do somewhat admire his dedication to the Faith and his dedication to celibacy as an answer to, as he calls it, SSA (same sex attraction), it got me thinking. Is celibacy an ethical answer to being gay? I realize that when one is arguing with someone who has abandoned reason it is similar to administering medicine to the dead, however, I want to write a more cohesive answer to the position of celibacy, and also to say a few words to anyone who is gay and also a person of faith because, having come from a religious background, I am a student of philosophy and dedicated to true morality and ethics, free from interpretation by religious authorities. That's not to say I don't believe in a god((s)(esses)), but my beliefs are my own. My ethics are not decided by deity, but by reason and mercy. That being said, let's get started!

So, you're gay and a person of faith. How do you reconcile the two? According to my friend at The Happy Alternative, just don't get into a gay relationship, pursue god, and be celibate. That will keep you safe, sanctified and holy, right? Wrong. As the Bible graciously points out, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). That basically means you can be guilty of sin, even if you've never known(biblically) another man. If you look lustfully at another man (or woman. I'll be inclusive), that means that in god's eyes, you have just slept with them. Does that really seem viable to you? Does celibacy in that context even makes sense? Again, I say no. If you can be guilty of thought crime, even in your sleep, then that infers that you have just had sex with someone without even touching them.

Let me re-frame the question. Is celibacy, when required by divinity, ethical? Again, I say no. I am generally a sex-positive person, though I don't often post about it. I am also a student of philosophy, and a significant portion of my work has been dedicated to what makes a good life. So superficially, if you're not allowed to have sex, then your happiness (READ contentment) will be significantly diminished. Further, how can a kind, loving god deny his creations the most enriching forms of a personal relationship? Granted, I am an empiricist, and any divine authority is automatically suspect in my book, notwithstanding, anyone who tells you not to pursue a relationship that is loving and edifies both you and your partner is lying. But, I've got to jet. Stay humble, don't stumble, and I'll see you next time.

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