I had the opportunity of talking with a coworker about gay people and the Bible. He happened to be working in my area as his machine was getting maintenance done on it and we got into talking. He was about the same age as I am. He talked about girls and if I had a girlfriend and I ignored it at first. He is the second youngest of nine kids and also a Christian.
The whole discussion started with him asking if I read the Bible. In going into the discussion, I felt very heard. He told me that he did not want to offend me and I told him I would not take it that way. He could not wrap his mind around the fact that I was not attracted to women. Though I do not have attractions for women, I can understand and respect men who do. He came out and told me that he had had premarital sex with his girlfriend. I was a sinner for being gay and he had sinned by having sex with his girlfriend before marriage. I think he was trying to build a bridge and say we were the same and I would agree with that. Everyone has sinned and falls short. During the conversation, he asked me if I knew what the Bible said. I told him I did and he repeated the question. I repeated my response. He brought up 1 Corinthians as condemning homosexuality. He did not remember what it said but remembered that, in his opinion, it condemns homosexuality (as we know it today). The discussion definitely sparked him to look deeper into the topic and that is why I fought so hard within me to bring it up. I needed to be real about myself and to share my experiences with a fellow Christian. He told me he would look into what 1 Corinthians said about homosexuality.
The thing that hit me the hardest was the point that he told me not to tell anyone what he believed and that he could not get fired because he needed the job. I am saddened by this. In being in the middle of the gay community and the Christians, I do not promote harming people for their beliefs. It is wrong that the gay community is punishing people for having a different opinion. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and there should be no negative consequence no matter what they believe. It just proves the point that we need to continue dialogue with Christians and being honest and open about our lives with them. The Gay Debate is a issue in the 21st Century. To punish people for their beliefs is to respond with hate back. As a gay man, I extend love to all people. Though I do not agree with this man that I was talking to, I can respect him and his life experiences. I do not have to be angry and hostile. As Joyce Meyer said, “Hurting people hurt people.” There is so much truth to this quote. As the gay community, we are hurt by others who disagree with us and try to keep us down – hinder us from being equal. It should not be our goal though to fight back in anger but to overcome with love. Using power to keep people down will only last for so long until the people are liberated. Love does not keep anyone down and freely liberates.
I am glad I had the courage to come out to this man that I had never talked to before and to have a conversation about sexuality and God at work. He also told me that his brother was gay. I hope that maybe my discussion with him could bring liberation to that relationship and the family’s relationship with his brother. As always it is not my job to change people’s hearts and minds. My job is just to be open and honest about my life and the rest will fall into place.
(Photo Courtesy of Welcome to the New Age via Tumblr)