“Homosexuality is immoral”: the Ultimate Spiritual Shortcut

by Alaina Mabaso

Pro-gay-marriage protesters inside the state capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2012. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons..

Pro-gay-marriage protesters inside the state capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2012. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Someone messaged me last night because people from my family’s Christian community launched a typhoon of a Facebook thread about homosexuality.

In what may have been my only stroke of good luck for the whole week, the brouhaha missed my feed, but my friend said that if I felt “the need to be particularly RAGEFUL” I should read it.

“All I want to do is tag your name in a post and let you school all the morons on that thread,” the person added.

Thanks but no thanks, I said.

But I couldn’t help watching many friends on either side lick their wounds the next day

“Just spent way too long reading through a thread of some pretty heavy anti gay and anti gay marriage commentary,” a classmate wrote. “I think if you truly truly love someone who is gay, you could never feel the way these people feel.”

A more conservative classmate couldn’t resist reopening the argument: “I think I really, truly, deeply love specific individuals who identify as gay. And yet I still question the morality of living a homosexual lifestyle.”

You can argue and argue to prove that homosexuality is a biological reality and shouldn’t signify second-class status, or that you can criticize the gay “lifestyle” without disliking the gays themselves. But I’d rather point out the spiritual shortcut anti-gay folks are taking when they define morality by a refusal to do something they would never be tempted to do anyway. How convenient.

However gently you couch your “love the sinner, hate the sin” opinion, when heterosexual people call homosexuality immoral (referring to a “behavior” or “lifestyle” doesn’t get any traction in my book because that subverts the truth that homosexuality isn’t a choice), they’re elevating themselves and their lives over gay people and gay people’s lives. If straight folks call homosexual people immoral, the inevitable subtext is that the straight folks are born morally superior.

It’s like praising your cat for cutting cupcakes out of her diet, when science tells us cats are the only mammals on earth that can’t taste sugar anyway.

I hate to hear people preaching about points of morality when they have absolutely no concept of the so-called temptation they’re fixated on. This doesn’t mean a priest who’s never shoplifted can’t counsel his congregation against stealing. Surely, at some point in his life, he or someone he loved felt the urge to pocket something that wasn’t his. Avoiding the silent squirm of covetousness isn’t some biological lottery. We all know what it feels like.

It’s easy to pat yourself on the back for not doing something you’d never want to try anyway. But it’d be like giving Lifetime No Accident trophies to people who don’t know how to drive, which is just as ridiculous as giving straight people tacit moral accolades for wanting partners of the opposite sex.

Calling homosexuality immoral when you define a moral relationship as what your brain and body are hard-wired to want anyway actually belittles the hard work of a spiritually upright life, fighting the temptations that attack all of us and the pitfalls that require true repentance.

No real meteorologist is going to call for a blizzard in the Sahara. And I don’t think anyone who’s really concerned for others, gay or straight, would warn that the “homosexual lifestyle” is immoral – i.e.,  waiting to trap anyone unwary enough to fall into it.

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