I never thought I’d write this. But, after reading an article this morning about the Orlando Shooter, I am compelled. To write about how painful and onerous it must be to live with sexuality conflict and maybe even confusion within. And. Much worse. Can end up with deadliness that numbs the emotions of the heart and the spirit to live well.
Over the years the negative instances don’t haunt, but they don’t go away. Early one morning when I was in the 8th grade my mother showed me the Portland newspaper, asked me to read an article and asked, “Did this include you?” I was in shock, for our minister had been arrested for sexual misconduct with two in our confirmation class, both boys. I was never in a situation like that with him. He left the ministry, moved to Seattle with his wife, painted houses and then, committed suicide. Not a good start.
Remember my first year in ordained ministry being asked by another minister if I was “ACDC.” I had no idea what that meant, but because he had locked his office door, pulled the shades on the windows, I figured ACDC wasn’t good. I was horrified and left immediately, never to see him again.
Then this morning reading about how the Orlando Shooter had frequented the Pulse Club, often trying to pick up a male date.
All I can say is…sure, probably more but for now only this…I have never believed sexual orientation is a decision. I believe it is a discovery. I am proud that my denomination, the United Church of Christ, affirms this and ordained the first openly gay man, Bill Johnson, in 1972.
The battered reality is how much and how often our society considers homosexuality to be a sin, and they will often use Leviticus in the Bible as their “sword of truth,” impaling others. I consider such an entrenchment in judgement to be worse than errant. I consider it a total and barbarous consideration of the Bible. I go with Marcus Borg on this, to take the Bible seriously but never literally.
Still, for those who read this…for those who quandary their sexual identity, please get help. Seek someone, preferably professionally competent, to deal with authentic identity. And then. To live in that manner that respects more than anything else, integrity and fidelity.