Friday, November 9, 2012

Homosexual voices of faith

This blog post about a Mormon who identifies as homosexual and chooses to live the way he believes is correct even though it goes against his inclinations is one of the best things I've read in years.  Everything is so logical and clear while still being emotionally powerful and ringing with the truth of hard choices made.  I've wondered if these voices were writing somewhere because they are voices that need to be heard in the church.
"Why was he gay? What did God expect him to do?"  - Josh Weed
Does this mean I agree with everything the poster said/concluded?  Of course not, but so what?  It is a voice that is part of an important conversation we need to be having about homosexuality and religion so that thinking people who are homosexuals can see that they don't have to either "live a lie" or just give up on the church.
"One of the sad truths about being homosexual is that no matter what you decide for your future, you have to sacrifice something. It’s very sad, but it is true. I think this is true of life in general as well. If you decide to be a doctor, you give up any of the myriad of other things you could have chosen."
. . .
"I chose not to “live the gay lifestyle,” as it were, because I found that what I would have to give up to do so wasn’t worth the sacrifice for me."  - Josh Weed
A while back, there was a kerfuffle on one of the related-to-Publisher's-Weekly blogs wherein commenters got very vocal about the idea of different voices in genre fiction.  A lot of people who were not fans of religion said some things that made me sad in their call for inclusion and tolerance and such.  They didn't want any more lying religious propaganda where no characters are ever not-heterosexual or where any incidental homosexual characters are miraculously "cured" to live happily ever after.  They wanted stories that ring with truth (in their case, defined as not-mainstream, not-easy, not-convenient, not-limiting, not-church).
"It all comes down to what you choose and why, and knowing what you want for yourself and why you want it. That’s basically what life is all about."  - Josh Weed
I agreed with these posters in theory, that kids need to be able to read stories told well by realistic narrators they can identify with.  I disagreed with these posters because I think there are stories with religious and even Christian narrators who wrestle with their faith and homosexuality and find their way onto a path they can live with in both their hearts and their heads.  But who would ever publish such writing?  As my college writing professor once said, "Too liberal for the conservatives and too conservative for the liberals."  But I can't help feeling that the audience is out there, listening to the sound of crickets chirping and feeling miserable and horrible and more sinful than those around them because that is the only message they really hear proclaimed loudly.
"I want you to stop battling with this part of you that you may have understood as being sinful. Being gay does not mean you are a sinner or that you are evil. Sin is in action, not in temptation or attraction. I feel this is a very important distinction. This is true for every single person. You don’t get to choose your circumstances, but you do get to choose what you do with them."  - Josh Weed
We need writers who have gone through this struggle to relate it to those struggling with it now to show that there is hope, intellectual integrity, faithfulness, and peace out there, not just despair.  The backlash could be tremendous, but those kids struggling now deserve that helping hand.
"You are no more broken than any other person you meet."  - Josh Weed
If you've come across anything written by those with non-heterosexual inclinations who have chosen to live what they believe is right according to their carefully considered faith, please pass them my way.

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