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Homosexual priests

People make choices. Often, these choices have results in their life. Sometimes, choices are made for people. These choices also often affect the person’s life. Cause and effect y’know. That whole Newton “every action has and equal reaction” thing.

So, today’s rant is about folks that make choices (or have them made for them), but don’t want to have to deal with the consequences of those choices. Today’s target is (don asbestos suit) the topic of gay (as in homosexual, queer, fag, whatever you choose to call it) clergy.

It doesn’t matter if being gay is a personal lifestyle choice, or the result of biology, predestiny, or caused by alien abduction. Although today’s rant is not about the cause or roots of being gay, it is appropriate to address a couple of points in that debate. If being gay isa personal choice, there is no need to expound any further. If being gay is a result of biology, neurochemistry, genetics, alien abduction, or eating too many frogs, a bit of discussion is warranted.

Every single one of us is restricted in some way by our biology. An easy example is sex. I happen to be endowed with the external plumbing that makes me male. This means that I will earn more than a woman in a similar job, that I am probably taller and stronger than a woman of my weight, and that I will never be able to become pregnant. Some of these are cultural, some are pure biology, but all result from a fairly random biological event that occurred when I was conceived. If I so choose, I can go to Denmark, and change my external appearance to become a woman. This will legally make me female, and most of the social results of my being male will change to those for a female. However, my genes will still be those of male, and I still will not be able to become pregnant (maybe someday they’ll fix that, but they haven’t yet). A woman faces a similar set of social and biological results that result from her being female. She could also go to Denmark, but the end results are pretty much the same (except she switches internal plumbing for external).

The point is that these are the results of our gender. We don’t get to choose what gender we are. If we are truly unhappy with our gender, and are suitably wealthy, we can change the appearance of out our gender, but from a biological point of view, we’re simply putting on a mask and removing ourselves from the gene pool.

This rant is supposed to be about gay clergy, so gets back on topic. For purposes of clarity, I will be referring to the three religions I am most familiar with: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. All three are based on the Bible / Old Testament, Torah, or Koran. All three of these documents have the same source document, and all three religions acknowledge a common shared source religion (Judaism in case you didn’t know). All three of these religions are (at least theoretically) based on the teaching/writing/whatever of these documents. All three of these documents specifically say that sexual contact between men is A Bad Thing. One way ticket to Hell (or the equivalent). Immediate excommunication, kicked out of the community, stoned to death, and otherwise discouraged from taking part in polite society. Interestingly enough, the chicks get off on this one (no, they don’t “Get Off” Get Off, they aren’t mentioned. Man, what a bunch of perverts). Because society was a Men’s game back when these source documents were written, Sexual contact between women wasn’t mentioned. Because it is not specifically prohibited, your sect of choice can make up its own mind as to if it wants to infer that woman-woman is the same as man-man.

OK, so all these religions basically say that being Gay is a bad thing. As society has changed and the church has lost some of its political influence, being gay is starting to be acceptable in our society. Here is where the issue of results comes up. If someone is homosexual (we’ll leave the ladies out for now because they aren’t proscribed for being lesbians), and decides to become clergy (priest, rabbi, imam), their job is to encourage their congregation to live according to the precepts of their religion, which are (in theory) based on the Bible/Torah/Koran. We have already determined that the Bible/Torah/Koran prohibit homosexuality, so how can a homosexual individual convincingly preach against his lifestyle? “Do as I say not as I do” is anathema to most religious dogma.

I’m not saying that being homosexual is a bad thing, and I’m not saying that there is no role for homosexuals in a religious environment. I just think that a gay preacher (be he Priest, Rabbi, or Imam) is stretching ethical believability when he preaches the bible/Torah/Koran, but lives a lifestyle that those documents specifically prohibit. Religion is an all-or-nothing proposition. A religious individual accepts that their holy book is the word of g-d or a prophet, or whatever, and accepts it as a whole, or they are simply hypocritical. And I have a real problem with hypocrites.

So, in conclusion: if you’re gay, that’s cool, but don’t be a pulpit priest/rabbi/imam. A gay priest/rabbi/imam is like a blind bus driver. The concept of equality is great, but the reality of it is a no-op from the start. There are plenty of other places in a religious community where you can be useful without being openly hypocritical.

(There, I made it without making jokes about the problems the Catholic Diocese are having with their priests.)

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2 Responses

  1. You’ve touched, quite nicely, on all that turns me off of organized, traditional religions. That it is, as you so eloquently stated, an “all or nothing proposition” doesn’t sit well with me and, as a result, I choose not to participate in any one brand of faith. There is very little in life that is all or nothing; I believe that the Creator gave us the ability to see shades of grey for a reason and just can’t swallow that S/He would reject someone as arbitrarily as we seem to delight in rejecting one another.

    Your point, though, is well taken. While one’s sexual preference may not be a chioce (I certainly don’t remember choosing my sexual identity), one’s profession most decidedly IS. While I find the discrimination of churches/faiths in general to be abhorrant, I’m not at all opposed to their right to be discriminatory. It is that very discriminination, though, that *I* find hypocritical.

  2. Interestingly developed argurant. I think what you have to say is informed and persuasively put, not to mention snarky.

    But are you suggesting that eating frogs is a BAD thing? You REALLY crossed the line there.

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