Tuesday, March 27, 2007

can't wrap my mind around it ...

Brandon's parents visited over the weekend (yay! Fun times!), and on their last night in New England, they took us to dinner at a very nice Indian restaurant (not "very nice" in the sense of super expensive--it was reasonable--but "very niee" in that the service was friendly and professional, the food varied and flavorful, etc.).

We were maybe midway through our meal when a young couple sat down in the next booth over. Because of the acoustics of the room, their voices carried pretty well to where I was sitting and I noticed they both were casually using very critical, negativistic intonation. I think the guy was saying something about how he'd been disappointed by the food the last time he'd been there--or he might have been talking about a different restaurant--I don't know.

Anyway, later on, we were finishing up our meal and there was a lull in our conversation, so the words of the lady in the next booth sailed clearly and plainly to my ears. "I finally found a place scripture that proves my point that gays are going straight to hell." I think those were her exact words. I'm not quite sure if she said "place in scripture" or "scripture verse" or something else, but the rest I am almost certain is verbatim. Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? Well, in real life, it sounded even worse because of her inflection.

So, I started making all kinds of incredulous, horrified faces, and Brandon and his parents remained quiet. The lady went on, saying something about people that challenge her view, or maybe that she has had doubts--questioning, does God really *want* gays to go to hell? But then there it was, plain as day in scripture. "Yes," she affirmed, "God does want them to go to hell. It was like Jesus talking to me."

And the guy agreed. He said something like "You know, people actually *left* my chruch because my father said that gays are going to hell." Can you believe that? I think he went on to say something about how it's what the Bible plainly teaches, etc.

Anyway ... Of course I know lots of people who think it's *very* important and *very* clear in scripture that homosexuality is a sin. And I've met a couple people who are paranoid and borderline hysterical about a monstrous regiment of homosexuals taking over the country, infiltrating the schools and turning innocent little children into budding gays and lesbians. But I really can't imagine any of them saying what that lady at the restaurant said, the way she said it. I think most people who consider homosexual acts sinful are well meaning. This lady just seemed filled with spite--and she was convinced that God shared her hatred of this particular people group.

Anyway, I don't have anything profound to say about it. I don't know what to make of it, since it's so foreign to my own way of thinking. It's a sin I can't even understand because I've never been tempted quite the same way. If I ever have the chance to have meaningful conversation with someone like that, perhaps I will find out what is analogous in my own experience. In the meantime, I'm mostly just horrified and saddened.


BenjyWay said...

I think that the vast majority of people who say that homosexuality is a sin are not well-meaning.

Otherwise, they'll just ignore the fact that their friend(s) is(are) gay as they would ignore the fact that their friend(s) is(are) fornicators, cheats, hypocrites, selfish, etc, unless they happen to be extremely close, in which case they might pussyfoot around the subject with a few implications, but nothing so bold as to say "homosexual acts are sinful."

I'm happy to say that I think being around children who are remarkably bad-off seems to have taken the cynicism right out of you!

Well, something has, at least. Only an optimist would be shocked by hearing people claiming to be Christians displaying less than brotherly love for their fellow sinners!

(Wait, where have you been? Gay-haters have been a hot in the news for the past, I don't know, 2 years at least)

Virgie P. said...

It's true that people like the creators of www.godhatesfags.com get into the news, but they're *wackoes*--not normal people. It's strange to meet (well, be in the same restaurant with) someone like that in real life.

As for the people I know or have known who feel that condemning homosexual acts is important, of course I don't *really* know what their motives are, but it seems that it's partly because they feel the authority of scripture is at stake and partly because they're repulsed by idea of homosexual acts, and partly because that's what they've always believed.

I have never seen any such person treat a gay or lesbian person with disrespect and I don't know if they've ever confronted a homosexual person. They seem to have little or no contact with GLBT persons and mostly just say stuff about homosexual acts being sinful in an abstract sense.