Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Brody's Scribbles... Homophobia Is Still Homophobia!

By Terry Angel Mason (Los Angeles, California) MAY 11 | I was saddened and deeply troubled as I read Reverend Clenard H. Childress Jr.s’ article featured in the New England Informer and numerous other publications, entitled, “Why Homosexuality Is Wrong!” Reverend Childress contends in his essay that homosexuality is wrong philosophically, Biblically, biologically, and physiologically. When reading the article, it is readily apparent from the outset that what is truly wrong is his initial premise! The reason as to why his initial premise is flawed and erroneous is that despite the fact that he is a pastor, Reverend Childress forgets or zealously overlooks the fact that it was God who created same-gender-loving people and GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES!
Same-gender-loving people or homosexuals as Childress describes them are born with their sexual preferences firmly established within their psyche just like heterosexuals! It is not learned behavior or a psycho-sexual attitude that can be can be quickly cast off or transmuted at a whim in the face of religious and political oppression and pressure. Same-gender-loving people know that their sexual orientation is an immutable manifestation of their God-given sexual identity. It is strong, it is unshakable, and it cannot be changed! It can be suppressed and repressed, but only at great psychological harm to the individual. Asking a same-gender-loving person to change their sexual orientation to heterosexual is equivalent to asking a heterosexual to reject their sexual orientation and become homosexual. It does not work in either case unless the individual has the inclination for bisexuality which many psychologists state that all men and women have within them, but because of culturally and religiously instilled homophobia, they are afraid to acknowledge, explore and express that part of their sexual nature.
Moreover, our loving and wise God created a world with a diversity of plant life, animal life, and human life. In addition to this marvelous diversity, God created diversity in sexual expression. To condemn any one of God’s creations as wrong or flawed (in my opinion) is the epitome of spiritual ignorance and arrogance, no matter how many academic or theological degrees the condemning person might possess.
Reverend Childress begins his essay with a quotation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which I find ironic because Dr, Martin Luther King. Jr., the noted theologian, human rights activist and advocate for tolerance, had a same-gender -loving person Bayard Rustin as one of his closest advisors at the beginning of his civil rights career. Dr. King wisely understood that even though they did not share the same sexual orientation, they did share the mutual commitment and passion for civil rights and the advancing of freedoms for black people. Subsequently, because of this spiritual maturity on Dr. King’s and Rustin’s part, they were able to work harmoniously and productively together. Reverend Childress’ use of biblical justification for his anti-gay essay is also problematic because of the fact that the spiritual truths of the Bible were framed within the cultural context of the people at the time. Our same beloved Bible was used to condone and justify the oppression of Black people, the rights to own slaves, and the subjugation of women. This was possible because at that time it was socially and culturally permissible and acceptable to be racist, have slaves, and elevate male entitlement. However, as we spiritually evolved and culturally matured, we realized the horrific injustice in continuing to condone these practices and institutions, so subsequently we abolished them and doing so, made a gigantic leap in becoming a more and just society. But, I have neither doubts nor any illusions that reactionary people back then also fought the advancement of those reforms with the same biblical fervor and justifications for maintaining their policies of social, sexual, and gender disenfranchisement, just as present day reactionary and homophobic members of church and society are seeking to do the same, by offering biblical sophistries against same-gender-loving people as they advocate for their equal rights.
Reverend Childress seeks to further support his anti-gay premise with biological and anatomical arguments that the sexual practices of same sex couples are not natural, yet heterosexuals have been enjoying these same methods of sexual pleasure for thousands of years in the past and they will continue to do so for thousands of years to come (and of course, he conveniently fails to mention this).
Reverend Childress then argues that marriage between same-gender-loving people will harm and destabilize marriage between men and women. Nothing can be further from the truth! If the institution of marriage between men and women suffers, it will be because of the participating men and women who do not value their relationships, nor possess the emotional, mental, and spiritual maturity to realize that marriage takes work, commitment, sacrifice, and compromise. What is even more troubling is that a great many married couples do not comprehend this truth, so is it any wonder that half of heterosexual marriages result in divorce. Marriage is a serious endeavor not to be entered lightly nor capriciously. It is a meaningful joining of hearts, minds, spirits, bodies and resources. The wonderful benefits of marriage, if sincerely and lovingly undertaken, will bring positive emotional and spiritual development to the partners of the marriage and to the children being raised within the marriage, regardless of the sexual orientation of the partners.
Make no mistake about this rebuttal. I am not attacking Reverend Childress personally. I am confident that he is sincere in his beliefs and I pray that he is not intentionally homophobic nor means any malicious harm to the same-gender-loving community, but what I am attacking are his misguided views on this issue because no matter whether benign or malicious, these homophobic views are still harmful to the LGBT community. They create and foster an atmosphere of intolerance, sexual bigotry, and misunderstanding for those of us who had no choice in this matter, but to accept the fact that this was how we were born and this is how God created us! And although Reverend Childress might be sincere, he sincerely seeks to invalidate the right for same-gender-loving people to spiritually and sexually co-exist alongside our heterosexual counterparts and enjoy the same God-given rights that they enjoy. And yes, I purposely used the expression God-given because we were created by God and as I asserted before, GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES!