Recently, one of my friends posted a link to an an article about a fairly typical Christian response to the growing prevalence of homosexuality in our culture, especially television, which is seen as an assault on good Christian heternormativity. When posted on Facebook, my friends were surprised by it. I was not. In fact, when I heard that there were openly gay characters on Glee that were being portrayed as (of all things) normal, the first thing I thought of was of the condemnation that Christians would undoubtedly heap upon it. This, in long, is, as best as I can tell from years of observation, why:
If you know that the gays are not only openly and boldly sinning (or at least misguided, see: Glee), but doing their best to convince, or even worse subtly suggest (again, see: Glee) to poor children suffering from same-sex attraction that their feelings are not evil, sinful, and unhealthy, as God and you well know (and as God lays out in thousands of verses...oh wait, that's loving your fellow humans and caring for the poor).
These gays, and their evil depraved liberal compatriots are trying to push onto their young, impressionable minds that it's not only okay, but perhaps even something to be celebrated and embraced. They're trying to take this depravity and ickiness and turn it into something...acceptable. And you can't have that, because then these children might go as far as to not believe that they are depraved and sinful, and refuse to go to the psychological manhandling that is ex-gay camp, and turn out to be normal, healthy, well-adjusted homosexuals. And if too many kids end up doing that, instead of being repressed, shamed, and pushed to the margins of society, then what will happen to the examples to point to to prove your point?
What of those who have destroyed families by coming to terms with their repressed sexuality halfway through a false marriage? What of the youth who are having sex without guidelines, because they are already completely outside of their rigid Christian morality anyway? We can't have all these Neil Patrick Harrises prancing around. If everyone ends up appearing normal by all appearances, and even good, even decent faithful Christian God-fearing homosexuals, who will you point to to demonstrate the depravity? How will you preserve the holy heteronormativity?
What examples will you use to paint these individuals as outside of God's ideal with a wide brush, like singles, and women, and blacks? Or not the last one any more...Christianity has figured that one out. Get with the program. And women are mostly okay these days, as long as they don't get to heady about it, and depending on who you ask.
And that's the problem.
It may just be that I have spent too much time trying to deny to myself that these viewpoints exist and are widespread, only to be proved wrong, time and time again. But I was not surprised by this. Not in the least. Dismayed? Re-disappointed? Annoyed? Yes. But not surprised.
And I know many people who fall within my wide caricature here, including my own family (hi, Dad!) and friends. And I am well aware that not every Christian who is against homosexuality believes all of this. I know that I am myself painting a wide brush, and being overly general and vindictive. Which is because all of this sounds pretty ridiculous to me and you, but if you insert at the base of it a solid, sincere, God-fearing, honest-to-goodness conviction that homosexuality is evil, not God's intention, a perversion of humanity by the world, and all of this is just the devil, speaking to me, the producers of Glee, directly or indirectly by the liberal establishment, the media, and shows like Glee, most of it makes sense. And I almost understand that, in my rational mind. But the way I put it , it sounds ugly and crazy, because if you don't have that conviction, it is ugly. Ugly, petty, and wrong.
I don't have that conviction.
And I don't think there is anything - not in the Bible, not in rhetoric, not in my family, not in pity or prayer - that will change that.
The wonderful (and heck, the so-so, if there are any) gay people that I know and love, who have struggled with Christianity, struggled with their families, their community, and themsevles, and ultimately concluded that there is nothing broken within them, that it is the world and their religion that is broken, are a testimony. A frighteningly unassailable testimony. And it'll take more than fearmongering and prooftexting to change that.
Many of those (my father) who I think of most when I go off like this are wonderful people. Sincere, God-fearing, loving, beautiful people. And they don't necessarily campaign against homosexuality. My parents, and 67% of my home county, voted against it. And flinch at, and probably comment on, the pervasive homosexuality (and therefore immorality) in television, the media, and the world. The motivation for their beliefs and actions are rooted in a deep love for, conviction from, and belief in God. And to them, the above is biased and inflammatory, but under all the rhetoric, necessary and true. I think. Because you, I, Seattle, liberals, are decieved by this culture, by shows like Glee, by the world, by Satan himself, perhaps. God is looking down on us, shaking his head sadly, because we are being decieved by moral relativism, and we don't even know it.
Much like, to me, the religious right is holding to "tradition" when it needs to be reconsidered. Subscribing to rules when it is justice and people that need to be seen and considered. And being tricked into holding to lines and pillars of tradition, because they are safer and easier than progress. And God is looking down on them, shaking his head sadly, because they are being decieved into excluding and casting out his beloved, and they don't even know it.
That's the world I live in. It's messy, the lines I've painted are anything but firm or entirely fair, and I don't know what to do with it all the time.
This did not surprise me.