Sunday, October 10, 2010
Is the Bible Partially Responsible for the Rutgers Suicide?
In a blog essay entitled, "Are Anti-Gay Christians Responsible for the Suicide Trend?” (http://friendlyatheist.com/2010/10/08/are-anti-gay-christians-responsible-for-the-suicide-trend/#comment-561492) the author, indicted Christian teaching for establishing a climate that bullies and stigmatizes gay. Of course, the conclusion of this reasoning is that the church must be silenced. I felt that I had to respond to these charges:
This is one charge that repeatedly comes up among your respondents: “The Bible (or Christians) stigmatizes homosexual sex (HS).” While I think that there is some merit to this charge, I think it’s important to lay out several caveats:
1. I know of NO Christians who do not deplore what has happened to the gay Rutgers student, Tyler Clementi – not only the suicide but also the filming.
2. The Bible stigmatizes many behaviors – everything regarded as “sin” – many of which I too am guilty. I just thank my Savior that He forgives me and washes away my guilt and shame. However, you’re mistaken that we have a preoccupation for HS. In fact, I haven’t heard any sermonic mention of this particular sin for many years.
3. True Christians don’t look down on gays. We recognize that Christ has had mercy upon us, and so we owe others that same debt of mercy. In fact, gays who know real Christians don’t seem to feel stigmatized by us. Ocean Grove is a good case in point. Traditionally, it has been a Christian community, but over the last 10-12 years LGBTs have been moving in en masse.
4. It is not just the Bible that “stigmatizes” HS, but also all of the traditional religions and societies. Why? Did they all arbitrarily come to the same conclusion or is there something intrinsically problematic and destructive about HS? I am not aware of any long-lasting gay institution. There is no historical continuity. In contrast to this absence, we observe generations bred by the church.
5. The main source of stigmatization seems to be coming from within the conscience of those who practice HS. The university campus is far more accepting of HS than it is of Christianity, but Christians aren’t jumping off bridges! Why not? Because even if we are hated for our faith, we are still convinced that it’s not shameful. Along with this, many gays who have left the HS lifestyle have acknowledged that they knew that what they had been doing was wrong. Consequently, they were often experiencing shame.
6. If you are truly concerned about the victimization of gays, then you should pay more attention to the Islamic world where gays are often put to death. Instead, it’s the Christian who is bullied by the media for our “repressive” attitudes. Why not Islam? Is it because the Christians are a “soft” target, which will not retaliate?