I grew up assuming that homosexuality was bad™. I had the attitude that “There is bible verses and stuff, I don’t know where, but there are, and reasons”. And though I “knew” that homosexuality was a sin, as I grew up I couldn’t shake the feeling that we’d really screwed up the way we’d handled everything.
Then everything went to pieces and I left Christianity, which resolved another1 cognitive dissonance I had held as a Christian, and as an Atheist I could happily accept and ignore homosexuality. Not my problem any more.2
Once I returned to Jesus, and meant to respect the Bible, but the traditional interpretation of the various passages regarding homosexuality still really bugged me, more so than ever before. I felt torn by ideologies - on the one hand, I wanted to believe in what I felt lined up with what the bible taught, on the other hand I couldn’t stand with what I saw as widespread ostracisation and dehumanization of gay people by the church.
I recently read Torn by Justin Lee. And I recommend you do too. Gay or straight. Christian or non-. Look, I’ll lend you my kindle. It’s not a long book.
It’s autobiographical, it’s careful biblical interpretation, it’s grace-filled, and gentle. I was expecting a liberal-christianity burn-your-bible-jesus-is-a-hippie book, but it is so not that.
It shook up some of my long-held, but groundless beliefs about the source of homosexual orientations. It caused me to realise that though my most recent reconciliation attempts had me seeing same-sex-but-asexual romantic relationships as a-ok was not really enough - not everyone is as enamoured with the idea of continued singleness and celibacy as I am.
I’m now 100% behind the legalising of gay marriage (yeah, it’s just like me to show up late to the party), and will happily take the flak for supporting and advocating for Christian same-sex marriages. Because I think that’s the right thing to do.
Regardless of what you believe, please never never say “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” That is just about the most self-righteous, dehumanizing, trivialising, arrogant, judgemental, ugh.