-The annual gay parade that was celebrated this year in Puerto Rico was disgusting!- Hold your horses, before you begin insulting or praising me, this is not my statement. Someone else said it and I had the opportunity of listening and reflecting on what was being said. Like any blogger I grabbed the opportunity to think about it as a possible post.
But, what would I say about gay rights anyway, I’m not really in favor or against it. In 2011 I couldn’t run away from that issue anymore because my daughter, +Stephanie Quintana was in the midst of an open debate with me as to if we should or not ordain non celibate gays and lesbians in our denomination.
During 2011 our church gathered in Minnesota to come together in it’s General Assembly and went on the approve motion 2010 (4th attempt since the late 1990’s) changing our Constitution. These changes would need the votes of our Presbyteries, but surprisingly for many at some point, those who were against motion 2010 became supporters of it and approved these changes. No longer would pastors need to live within the covenant of marriage between opposing sexes, or in chastity. The language in which our Constitution was written had changed for better or for worse. My dear daughter participated as a YAD during that assembly and was a strong supporter of the changes that would take place.
During that time I learned to appreciate that she was different from me. During all my life, repeatedly I had heard about the sinful ways of the homosexuals. Still, I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that our denomination has allowed the ordination of openly gay and lesbians. But as neither a supporter or as part of the opposition I have learned to listen to the testimonies of those who express their sexuality as part of their core identity and not a lifestyle choice.
Homosexuals and lesbians are people who have gifts and graces of God, and it seems not fair to limit what ever contribution they could make to our society. But, again I continue to think and rethink my position with respect to this matter and not find a clear voice within my spirit as to where I stand.
Reading an article that was published via the internet by USA Today in which Peter Smith interviews Reverend Ann Deibart (co-pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky) she speaks about the process she went through to become a supporter of these changes, and in the meanwhile the opposition continue to stand and follow biblical prohibitions on homosexuality. Basically this is where the line is drawn, those who became supporters felt change after much soul-searching, hence those who continue to hold their opposition based on the scripture continue to hold the historic view on homosexuality.
If we like the historical perspective, then we can’t oversee that both Greek and Roman accepted homosexuality at least in men, only Sappho and Plutarch would go on to write about lesbians. Things remained more or less tranquil for these members of the community until Constantine changed the established order in 324 AD and Christianity became the chosen religion for the Romans.
For more than 200 years Christianity grew and its defense of the nuclear family, would lead to a direct attack towards homosexuals and they would become the object of ridicule, contempt and judgment. Still today they are subject to these same things and no longer Christianity is the majorities religion. They seem to live in between us as aliens, as if they didn’t belong within us.
It’s funny though how we could become detached to the point that a read an article in which a Presbyterian minister stated he didn’t “mind” if they obtained some things like, not being discriminated, being able to get employment opportunities or fundamental human rights. These are not things homosexuals should receive, but what they are entitled to by right.
The fact we can’t run a way from is that families today no longer are nuclear and we should applaud efforts taken by our Department of Education that is trying to address these changes through programs that introduce our children to tolerance and respect for others not judgement. I’m talking about a new program introduced in our school system in which they talk about when a family has two dads or two moms.
I’ve learned to discern about this issue and have understood that even though we can find direct prohibition in the Old Testament we still have to set aside a frown and replace it with a smile full of love towards our brothers and sisters just how Jesus taught us and love them no matter what, we don’t have to approve or judge their way of life because our own way of life is as much in the scope of our Lord.