By Dan Brooks (also posted in his blog http://ldsviews.blogspot.ca/)
I went to Gay Pride in Salt Lake City about a week ago and it was great. My wife and I had a great time, we took our friends teenager to meet one of her friends who she couldn’t find but she had fun and I paid for my wife to get a Henna tattoo and got one for the teenager too. Now, I wanted to march with Mormons for Marriage Equality but couldn’t find the time.
In the Bible many think homosexuality is condemned but if you check out this link you will see that all is not as it appears. The preeminent scholars and theologians on the Bible have different ideas. One thing that is mentioned is the fact that lesbianism in never once mentioned in the Bible as being an abomination or not. It is simply not discussed. But the “a man shall not lie with a man as with a woman” seems to be more about treating a man as a man and not as a woman rather than condemning gay men.
I don’t think sexuality, homosexual or heterosexual orientations, are a matter of choice. Listening to the many gay people I have known throughout my life the fact that it is not a choice is consistent. And I know my sexuality was never a choice (and science backs this up) any more than my race or gender.
A question many have though is: why, if it is not a choice, would God make anyone gay? Only he knows for sure. But maybe for the same reason he created different races, different genders, differences in age groups, personalities, mental health or deficiencies, hair and eye coloring, differences in religions, philosophies and beliefs. Precisely to encourage us to be more tolerant and loving of those who are different form ourselves. How is that such a crazy idea?
When people say to you that you are not Christian because you’re Mormon, that you worship a different Jesus and proceed to tell you “What Mormons really believe”, how is that not at the least latently hateful? I think it is hateful because what it is doing is stripping you of your Christianity which is the core of your faith.
So by saying to a gay couple that the love they share, the compassion the desire to be one another’s best friend and partner in life, the number one champion and cheerleader of their love, that that love is an abomination to God; how is that not hateful? How can you not see the harm and deeply negative impact of those words and those attitudes?
What’s more of an abomination to God; treating gay people in such a way that they would rather take their own life rather than suffer through that kind of treatment or just staying true to the way God made them?
What do you think God would rather see? You unconditionally love and respect all of his children regardless of how he made them or see you “righteously judge” and condemn and harass his children because the way he made them makes you feel uncomfortable or offends your delicate sensibilities?
All love is equal in my mind and I don’t see anything insidious about love between consenting adults however it is expressed regardless of who expresses it.
How can we expect to teach our gay brothers and sisters that The Lord loves them if we do not show them love? How can we say we love The Lord who we have not seen if we do not love our gay brothers and sisters who we have seen?
Many gay teens are left to live on the streets after being shut out of their own homes for being gay. Would The Lord be pleased that you refused to feed, clothe or shelter your own child because they sin differently than you? Remember that Jesus said “As ye have done it unto the least of my bretheren, ye have done it unto me.”
So how you treat gay people is something Jesus takes personally, as if you treated him that way. And our gay brothers and sisters are considered the least amongst us given that “That is so gay” gets repeated so often, daily in fact. Gay is synonymous with the lesser.
Jesus cared for all those who had been ostracized by the society of his day. Because they had no one else to care for them, Jesus extended love, respect and compassion to all regardless of their sexual orientation.
We are to love The Lord our God with all our heart and all our minds and all our energy. And we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, even our enemies. Love lights the way to the path of salvation for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters. Remember Jesus came into the world not to condemn it but to redeem it; therefore salvation cannot be found or provided through condemnation but only through unconditional love like that Christ displayed when he provided us with the gift of the atonement.
Embrace that gift, and extend it to all, allow others to partake of it as intended.