Friday, December 11, 2009

Hate

Before I start this blog, I'd like to apologize. I didn't really keep up with the "at least once a month" idea. I totally skipped November! Ok so, hate is a strong word right? At least that what the Plain White T's think. And who am I to argue with some one who sings a song as epic as Hey There Delilah? Yes, hate is a strong word. So if it is such a strong word, then why is it so often used as a word used to describe the emotion that the Almighty has toward homosexuality? This omnipotent being who in His own New York Best-seller book wrote that He is love. How can the epitome of love, hate? There are people out there such as Reverend Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church who would like to send a message of destruction and hate to the world. These lovely examples of "christianity" go to funerals of gay people and protest with signs saying "Thank God for AIDS" and "God hates fags"! How ridiculous of statements! One thing that I think he doesn't realize however is that his church has 81 members....70 of those members are his own family. Moving on!
If God hates us so much then why did His only son die on a cross? And why did His son say such wonderful words in the Sermon on the Mount? Let's refresh what the Good Shepherd said:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Now it says something about mercy....what exactly is the meaning of mercy? According to Merriam-Webster, Mercy is: 1) compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment 2) a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion 3) compassionate treatment of those in distress. That third definition really caught my attention. Jesus was the embodiment of mercy. Christians are supposed to be like Jesus. Therefore Christians should act merciful, yes? I'm sorry, but the simple logic of the situation is overwhelming! Ok, next "hate" issue.
Many Christians believe that God "hates" gay people because of our good old friend, Leviticus 18:22 "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination." Hmm...strong words. Now I'd like to dissect that word, abomination. That word abomination in English means: worthy of or causing disgust or hatred. Well sure, now it seems like God is a queer-hater. One thing that a lot of people don't know is, when the Bible was translated into English by King James, some of the meaning was lost. If we go back to the original Hebrew word "toeyvah" which is translated meaning unclean. Not just unclean, but ceremoniously unclean meaning that it went against the Jewish culture. So therefore, being against their culture meant that they couldn't partake. Another argument that is pro-homosexuality is that in those days, God was mainly concerned with procreation. He struck a man dead for (pardon the bluntness) but ejaculating on a woman's stomach because he "spilled his seed". In those days, the Jewish community was so small that any sexual activity that didn't produce offspring was strictly forbidden. Now in the New Testament, Paul also addresses homosexuality. In Romans, Paul says: "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:26-27). Now the reason for the controversy is that in the time, the most common homosexual practice was called pederasty. This was a pedophiliac relationship between an older man (35+) and an adolescent teenager. Obviously, this kind of practice is immoral and most homosexuals will agree that that is someone taking advantage of a person's innocence. Now, most likely, this is the practice Paul was referring to. The long-term, commitment-oriented relationships we are all striving for today may not have been prevalent enough in that time period for Paul to mention. While I have barely scratched the surface of homosexual issues in the Bible, I hope that this basic introduction will encourage your exploration. If you are a devout Christian, there is no reason for you to spread hate in disgust when it comes to homosexuals. Your God loves us just as much as He loves you and I highly doubt this is what He had planned when He sent His own Son to die on the cross. While I am not trying to sway anyone's personal religious convictions for their own personal life, I would like for you to be aware of the ideas and philosophies of others. We are all struggling to find our path. As one of my good friends said, "Religion is like math. 2+2=4. But 2+2 isn't the only way to get 4. 1+3, -3+7, 18-14. The list goes on. We're all climbing life's mountain and there are many paths but only one end result." Thank you guys for listening and I hope that you leave the world better than you find it. It is part of my New Year resolution to continue this blog so look for more updates and I hope more people join in the fun. In the words of Houston's new openly gay mayor (BTW Houston is now the largest city in the U.S. with an openly gay mayor), Annise Parker, "I have always stood up for the fact that I am gay. It's part of the resume that I bring
to the table, but it's just a piece of the package."