Sunday, March 15, 2015

Open Response to the Teenage Troll Who Attacked the Gay Christians on GCN...

I've written before that I frequently hang out in an online community called the Gay Christian Network. It's a ministry and social outlet for LGBT Christians and our friends. Some of the people there drive me nuts, but I enjoy many of the regulars and do my best to ignore the rest.

I was preparing for bed the other night when some 16-year-old kid named "lovethelord" (AKA LTL for the benefit of this blog post) started trolling the website with a special message for those deceived by GCN's mission and message:

Click on the image to read his entire message. But it's all good because he softened his message with a cute little puppy for his avatar.

I knew that it wouldn't be long before GCN's moderators removed LTL's post. Sure enough, they removed the post. And then he reposted the same exact message again and again and again. Each time they removed his threads, he reposted.

I get that he's a teen. But I really don't have patience for homophobic teens with poor evangelistic skills. If he feels that he can school me and other adults on our faith, then he can also deal with our reactions.

Another man responded negatively to LTL's initial rant, which prompted him to reply with something like "Geez, I'm just sharing my opinion. You guys are too sensitive!"

Which prompted me to respond by chastising him for using the Lord's name in vain. "I could excuse one of us weak gay Christians from perverting Jesus' name, but I expect more from you LTL! You're the superior Christian who's come here to show us the errors of our ways and you're breaking one of the Ten Commandments right out of the gate!"

LTL apologized for taking God's name in vain, and then said that he just wants us to know that you cannot be gay and a Christian.

"Sure you can," I replied. "GCN is full of gay Christians. Our faith isn't about penile/vaginal sex. It's about accepting Christ as our Savior and learning to incorporate his message into our day-to-day lives."

Then LTL's message got removed. I toyed with him for a bit longer before he finally got banned by the moderators. It was suggested by some of the other GCNers that he might be a closeted kid rebelling against his sexuality. I hate that excuse. I don't care if you're rebelling against yourself. It's still shitty to cope with your own inner demons by trying to hurt others.

But, back to LTL's message. What a jumbled mess of rambling disconnected bits of anti-gay jargon it is! I thought that we might explore it a bit within this post.
I remember going to the local middle school one day and seeing these posters around the school reading, BEING GAY IS OKAY! and LOVE IS LOVE! Thoughts raced through my mind. Why is the school getting these kids in middle school involved in homosexuality? Why are they putting these up in sixth grade hallways when these kids aren't even really involved in sexually related things?
My hunch is that it was actually students who decided to put up those signs in order to let other kids know that it's okay if they are okay. Granted, the school would have approved this decision. But it's hardly a horrible message. I knew that I was gay back in sixth grade. I don't know that I would be willing to put myself out there when I was in middle school, but I knew who I was crushing on and who I wasn't. And I know others who knew that they fell somewhere within the LGBTQ continuum at that point in their lives. So I'm actually glad that there are students at LTL's school who are reaching out to kids like I was to let them know that they'll be fine.

Incidentally, I wonder if LTL objected to dances at his middle school? When I was at middle school, we had several school dances every year. Heck, junior high dances continue to be a thing at my son's school these days too. Dances are meant to be fun, but they're also opportunities for students to learn how to interact with dates. You know... "Sexually related things."
Now, let me tell you straight. I do not accept homosexuality. And I do think it is a choice.
Okay. I don't accept anti-gay teenage trolls, but they still exist.

Also, I don't think that most people make a choice about whether or not they are gay or not. I mean, we all make choices about how we live our lives and what types of relational ethics that we practice in our day-to-day lives. But I believe that homosexuality is no more sinful than heterosexuality. That said, if some person makes a choice to become gay -- like consciously says, "Men really suck! I'm going to start dating women" or something like that -- so what?

Then again, I like Dan Savage's recent response to presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson when he recently asserted that homosexuality is a choice because of prison rape: Prove it.
In the Bible, God tells us that homosexuality is a deadly sin, along with the others like murder, and thievery. So are we just supposed to accept the murderer's choice of killing people? No. So why do we as Christians do this with homosexuality?
I love how gay relationships are just like choosing to kill other people. It's exactly the same thing. Oh, and homosexuality is a "deadly sin." Because it says that in the Bible. Somewhere.

If LTL was being honest with his belief that the Bible says that homosexuality is sinful, he would be honest and admit that the Bible also believes that sin is sin. If you commit one sin, you've committed them all. Like murder or thievery or... taking the Lord's name in vain.
It's because we want the world to see us as the people who love everything and everyone! When we should really be thinking about God more than these world-loving people here. When we should really be thinking about God more than these world-loving people here.
In other words, LTL believes that Christians shouldn't tangibly love those they believe to be sinners.
And other Christians protest, "We should love our neighbor as our self is the greatest commandment except for love the lord with all your heart with all your soul with all your mind with all your strength."
So we should love sin? No! We should hate sin. And the world is telling us that we should love it. We can still love somebody but just not accept their choice of being a homosexual. You can still love somebody but hate their choices.
Here's where people like LTL really get squiggly. "I hate sin. But I love sinners. I just cannot tolerate being around them without shaming their sin. So I'm going to go to a website catering to gay Christians -- many of whom have been literally chased from their churches and from their families -- and I'm going to tell them repeatedly that I believe that they are immoral and contrary to Christianity. Because I love them."

Except that you don't love us, LTL. You don't even know us. You haven't tried to get to know us. You created an anti-gay script that you chose to repost over and over and over even after you saw how your message was actually upsetting your audience. You show that you love others by actually getting to know them. You get to know and love others by establishing a relationship with them and demonstrating that love in a tangible fashion.

Maybe you'll learn this if you ever pause from reposting your scripted anti-gay screeds and actually read some of the responses to your words.
God most definitely doesn't want us to shove these people out of our lives. He wants us to comfort them and share with them scripture. And help them.
Apparently by drafting anti-gay mantras and trolling pro-gay websites.
We do everything for God. And God wants us to love. So we shall love those around us, and most importantly, love and serve God for all of our days. Now for those of you who are searching for somewhere in the Bible that says homosexuality is a sin, here is some scripture for you.
1 Timothy 1:10

for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine
So God states in the Bible, that those practicing homosexuality are sexually immoral. I agree with this.
Keep in mind that "homosexual" wasn't even a word until the late 1800s, which makes it a very Biblical term.

It's interesting to see what happens when you compare the wording of that one verse from the NRSV translation of the Bible like LTL did to the BRG translation of the Bile compared to the MOUNCE translation of the Bible versus the NLV translation of the Bible, etc. There are nuances with each of these English translations. Some state that homosexuality itself is sinful. Another says that male homosexual sex acts are sinful. Another says "sex sins with their own sex." Yet another talks about "whoremongers" and "menstealers." Now imagine that you have been translating and re-translating this verse over the course of 2,000 years within societies that have been culturally hostile towards gay relationships and sexuality.

I admit that I view the Bible through my relatively unique perspective. Just like most others do. But I really don't struggle to accept that homosexuality itself is not sinful. I can see adultery within gay relationships as sinful. I can see prison rape and sexual slavery within society as sinful. I can even see premarital sex between gay relationships as sexual. But I really have no difficulty with attaching Biblical principles to gay marital relationships -- whether they are legally sanctioned by society, by the church, or solely between the couples involved in those relationships.
Think about it. Two men cannot reproduce and that is the reason God has given us sex. To reproduce. So gay sex is practically for just pleasure. Now people who are married have sex sometimes and use protection to keep from having kids. And this is fine when it is a beautiful and nice experience.
I'm confused. I'm a married gay man. Is it immoral when we consummate our marriage or is it a "beautiful and nice experience?" And when did reproduction become the purpose of Christianity?? The early Christ-followers believed that they would be the first and last generation of Chrisitians. They abandoned their families in order to follow Jesus and spread his word. In fact, early Christians like Paul discouraged Christians from sex altogether.

But even Paul recognized that not everyone was suited for celibacy. So he encouraged Christians to get married if they realized that they weren't suited towards celibacy. Why is it that people like LTL insist that straight people are given the option of choosing celibacy or marriage, but that LGBT people have had the option taken away from them regardless of whether or not they have been given the gift of celibacy?

People are more than reproductive machines. You wouldn't think so when you consider that our planet current possesses more than 7 billion people. But marriages of both stripes are more than sex acts. But that's what we're reduced to when teenage trolls feel the need to diss us. "Sex feels good, but at least we sometimes have kids when we do it together!"

I never understood why straight people ponder gay sex acts so much when they look at our relationships. I almost never ponder the mechanics of any of my friends' relationships -- gay or straight.
Then we have homosexuals, who don't even have the ability to have sex to have kids. They have to adopt a child. I don't think God wants this only for pleasure sex in our lives.
Actually, gay couples do not have to adopt a child. Some of us do, including Husband Mark and me. We became foster parents back in 2000 and eventually became legal guardians of our oldest boy and adoptive parents of our younger boy. I tried sharing my story as an adoptive parent with LTL when he was posting on GCN. He told me that it was immoral. That goes back to the question of whether or not teenage trolls such as LTL actually love us as Christians or if they are just out there to try and break us down. I mean, there is no desire to hear our stories, much less learn what we think or how we live our lives. In other words, no desire to truly love those different than him.
Everyone always just says 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' and when you say that, you're not really explaining anything. Do you think if you say that to a gay christian they're going to just say, "You know what? You're right!" And walk away a straight man? No, they just won't listen because everyone they looked up to aren't helping them in this time of need. If your son or daughter become a homosexual, then you shouldn't kick them out!
Did LTL just gain a sense of temporary self-awareness?? Too bad that his interactions on GCN didn't carry on with this sense of self-awareness, nor did the rest of this rant...
God gave humans vaginas and penises to have sex and reproduce. God did not intend for us to misuse these beautiful parts He has given us, but he did know we would because he knows everything.
I think this whole 'Gay Marriage' thing is God's Plan. I know everything will work out in the end.
We have agreement!
Also, I do think gay people will go to hell because in the Bible, God says if you participate in homosexuality, you will not inherit his Kingdom. If God created man, and He says you won't inherit his Kingdom if you are a homosexual and God wants us to go to heaven, then why would he create any of us gay?
Does LTL think that God hates gay people or hate gay sex, because he's slipping towards the former idea.

Then again, why would God create people as gay if he's going to create this type of "go straight to hell" challenge for us? What does that say about God? That he's seriously concerned about your typical gay family passing over to Heaven instead of people murder others or steal or rape or bully or otherwise cause harm to others and the world around them?
Rejoice In this Day God has Given You,
Back at you.

Anyway, I apologize to all of you (including Husband Mark) for allowing his rambling rant to become my own rambling counter-rant. But sometimes you gotta rant!

What do you think of LTL's message? Or my response? Feel free to share your own opinions in the comments section!

No comments: