Debate is defined as “engaging in argument by discussing opposing points”. It’s a formal discussion. To me discussion means two sides sitting down and rationally presenting their points of view. You don’t necessarily have to agree, but at least you respect the other person’s point of view. The “homosexuality debate” doesn’t seem to be doing any of that.
This week the biggest story is the Duck Dynasty drama of Phil Robertson. With how quickly the story exploded it’s hard to sort out the facts at this point. What I can gather is he was asked in an interview what he considered sin and he answered with “homosexuality”, along with a list of other sins which no one is taking offense to for some reason. And with that the internet exploded. The whole thing seems a bit crazy. The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. So why is everyone so upset when a conservative Christian is asked what they think about homosexuality and they answer honestly?
Another story which caught my attention was of an Adventist pastor who oversaw the wedding of his lesbian daughter and thereafter lost his job. Individuals were frustrated with the church’s stance, yet again are seem to be throwing reasonable thought processing out the window. In this case he directly violated the policy of his employer which grants him the authority to officiate weddings. If the IT manager for Microsoft lost his job for upgrading all the Surfaces to Ipads, everyone would agree it was a pretty dumb move and he deserved to be fired. So why the difference here? Is there so much angst and vitriol that no one is allowed to have a dissenting opinion? Is that really how far we’ve come on this?
What I can’t make sense of is the goal of the LGBTQ community in these situations. They want to engage in dialogue promoting equality, only so long as you agree with them. They want you to take the time to listen to them and understand them and appreciate them, without doing the same in reverse. I understand that there are years of mental and emotional abuse to overcome. There are mountains of hurt and betrayal that must be forgiven. But it’s hard for me to get on board with any argument which doesn’t respect the opinions of the other side.
I’ve tried to remain neutral on the homosexuality/religion/sin debate. There’s just so much there I’m still trying to make sense of personally. I don’t believe it’s as black and white as people on either side of the argument want to make it. I despise the fact that I have family members who feel they can never come home for Christmas because they’re homosexual. I hate that because I’m a church leader I automatically get lumped in with the “homophobe” group of religious people without anyone sitting down and really talking through it with me. (speaking of which why is saying “homosexuality is a sin” so hateful yet calling a conservative Christian a “homophobic bigot” isn’t?)
But it doesn’t seem like anyone’s allowed to have a neutral opinion, let alone one that doesn’t agree with yours when it comes to homosexuality. Pick a side, you’re either for us or against us.
There’s no winner in this debate. Those who walk away victorious will have done so at the cost of everyone standing across from them. Amicable relationships will not occur afterwards. They aren’t really wanted.
Equality and freedom of speech will only go one way. The same rights that protect a gay rights parade are not wanted to equally protect Westboro Baptist Church.
We’ll all be losers as we step back to make sure that one group is properly put in their place and censored. And any dissention will result in the total destruction of their personal and professional lives.