Justin Lee, 37, founder of the Gay Christian Network, has set out to end one of America’s most intense cultural wars: Gays vs. Christians. The goal is relatively simple. Should both sides come to terms?
“The biggest problem is for Christians is determining what the Bible says or interpreting the Bible correctly,” said Lee. “The unfortunate part is that this becomes an issue, to those opposed, about sex.”
Lee could not have disagreed more. He wants people to realize that if everyone’s interpretation of the Bible were based on emotional and physical attraction to a certain sex, than everything would become easier for this heated culture debate.
“For most LGBT people, it is about a lot more than sex,” said Lee. “So when they hear things like, ‘homosexuality is an abomination to god,’ what they hear is not, ‘I believe homosexuality is wrong,’ what they hear is, ‘I believe you are an abomination.’”
One of the biggest problems in this culture war is the interpretation of homosexuality in our society and its description as a lifestyle in a biblical sense. The controversy is an awkward stumbling block because the Bible never makes mention of it specifically. Of course, if you were to ask any one that is involved in a same-sex relationship the answer is simple.
“You’re attracted to who you are attracted to,” said Sandreja Mendes, a UWG student who identifies as lesbian. “I mean, in the end, that is what it comes down, being happy with who you are with, correct?”
In our society, we define our relationship orientation by who you have sex with, which could be a misconception. This could be a misconception for one reason alone because the LGBT community is applying a different standard when answering this question. Their point is that orientation is defined as who you are physically and emotionally attracted to, and nothing more.
The competing ideas in this argument make strong points that are frankly hard to ignore; however, the LGBT community takes an important stance on one aspect—happiness.
In the end, the two sides have a desire for happiness in what they are able to enjoy in life, love being one of the most enjoyable in life.
Traditional Christians hold positions varying from finding homosexuality a sinful act to deeming homosexual activity appropriate for consenting participants. Denomination is not a contributing factor to which belief one may identify with. It is mostly left up to the individual and whether they agree with the idea that the Bible has been misinterpreted. Because the Bible does not make mention of homosexuality explicitly, this makes the issue incredibly hard to argue, both in society and in the church.
Ironically, the LGBT community is also split on their stance in reference to this issue. While there are gay Christians that believe that the Bible has been misinterpreted, there are still those that believe the literal translation. Lee is amongst those that feel the Bible has been misinterpreted and that homosexuality is not forbidden according to the Bible. While Lee said that Christians are making a hasty conclusion, there are gay Christians that practice celibacy.
“For those that believe it is an abomination to God, my only choices are to not be openly homosexual, or not to be alive,” he said.
So, how does this end? This culture war will not find its end in the midst of immature back and forth discussions about what is right and wrong. It is not difficult for anyone to paint a wretched picture for what they believe is wrong. In order for this to end, both sides must meet and discuss what separates the two. An objective effort must be made with the goal of cooling this hostile climate. Until these differing sides come together and discuss what is specifically immoral, nothing will be resolved.