March 9, 2007

A song with a gay singer singing “why don’t you come with me little boy, on a magic carpet ride.”

A movie with an older gentleman who has sexual dreams and fantasies about the high school boy next door.

I could keep going, but when I heard the old song “Magic Carpet Ride” on the radio this morning, I started thinking about the hyposcrisy of the complaints the religious right against us.  (That song is about a man, singing “why don’t you come with me little girl.”)  They use secular gay activities against gay Christians.  Imagine if the tables were turned.  The movie “American Beauty” is the second example.  (In the movie, a middle aged man has fantasies about the high school girl next door.)  If that were a gay movie, there would be a public outcry from the Christian right and the movie would have been shut down.

I’m not arguing for the “rightness” of these examples within their heterosexual context (nor if they were to be done in a GLBT context), only for the hypocrisy of the Christian right.

We argue in the church for Christian ethics.  We don’t argue for every single activity that every single gay person has ever performed to be considered appropriate for Christian living.

Just because you saw something somewhere by some person that happened to be gay doesn’t mean that letting GLBT people in the church means that the church must condone that activity.

From Integrity’s “Where Do We Stand” Position paper (I’m quoting Integrity but not writing in any role other than that of a Christian gay man):

The message we are sending about sexual morality is that the expectations of fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and holy love are the same for all Christians … gay or straight, bisexual or transgender.

So why, then, do I keep hearing that we, as gay Episcopalians are into pederasty, polyamory, anonymous sex, and a whole host of other things?

To make that claim is to fall back at best to secular GLBT peoples and at worst to unfounded stereotypes.  I might as well say that because Kevin Spacey’s character in American Beauty was hot for a teenage girl that all straight men are pedophiles and should be banned from the church.

But that is not a Christian ethic, is it?  Because his character in American Beauty was not acting necessarily Christian, was he?  The discussion here is about relationships, and how GLBT relationships fit into Christian ethics and theology.  It has nothing to do with sex any more than heterosexual sex has to do with heterosexual marriage.

It is true that many GLBT people have non-traditional views of sexual Christian ethics, just as many of my straight Episcopalian friends have non-traditional sexual Christian ethics.  They are views that see the virtue of holding the relationship most sacred rather than putting a rigid rule about sexual behavior first.  As I said, this isn’t a “gay” view necessarily but one common in many Christians today regardless of orientation.  It is a separate discussion from sexual orientation.

The discussion at present is about the inclusion of gay and lesbian relationships and their validity in Christian ethics.



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