Keeping Families Together
The Asian And Pacific Islander Family Pride Blog
August 19, 2011
Religion And Homosexuality: It Should Be Straight Forward
By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA
Religion Is Responsible For Most Discrimination Against LGBT People.
When Episcopelian Bishop Gene Robinson was here for the Gay Pride Parade, KQED interviewed him. When asked what made him decide to come to San Francisco Pride this year, part of his answer was that:
. . . it’s important for religious groups to participate in Pride because, let’s face it, it’s synagogues and churches and mosques who are responsible for most of the discrimination that the LGBT community has experienced over the years, and it’s important that community hear the faith community is changing . . .
This quote came to mind because Bishop Robinson is featured in Daniel Karslake’s film for the BIBLE tells me so (to buy the film click here). Tough an even-handed treatment of the collision between religion and homosexuality, the film nevertheless makes the validity of Bishop Robinson’s statement clear.
Religious Scholars Contradict Each Other
However even-handed, it is still disconcerting to watch one set of serious scholars say that the bible is against homosexuality and another say the bible has nothing to say about homosexuality because it cannot, it has no concept of it. Or to hear someone say, “the bible is the inherent word of God,” and also hear, “the bible is the word of God through the words of human beings speaking in the idiom of their time.” In one case God Himself speaks, in the other God speaks to one of the Bible’s many authors who then wrote down what he or she thinks He said.
Religious Intellectual Schisms Matter
Scholars teach ministers who go out and are assigned communities to shepherd. For a lot of people, Asian and Pacific Islanders included, church is a vital part of their lives and what ministers pronounce from pulpits pilots their lives. Never mind that not all ministers teach the same gospel, what matters is what their minister teaches. We experienced this in our campaign against proposition 8; people were for or against same sex marriage depending on the church to which they belonged. The question is: do we make change at the people level, ministers level, scholars level, institutional level? Fortunately, it is happening at all levels and it probably has to happen at all levels.
Can Religion Be Grounded In One Fundamental Truth?
If scholars can arrive at such diametrically opposed opinions (and we choose the word opinion purposely), can we then conclude that Christianity lacks a fundamental grounding? That whoever comes along can make his or her own interpretation, whether as a serious student who spent years studying or as someone who mailed ten dollars to Merced for a license. If true, it would be sad because we believe Christianity does have an incontrovertible truth in which all the rest may be safely grounded, namely, love, as in “God loves” and at no time, in all eternity, does God ever hate. There is in for the BIBLE tells me so a memorable quote from Bishop Desmond Tutu:
I can’t for the life of me imagine that God would say:
I will punish you because you are black, you should have been white;
I will punish you because you are a woman, you should have been a man;
I punish you because you are homosexual, you ought to have been heterosexual.
It is a scathing indictment of religion’s errors and the misery that brought to the world. It is also a statement of hope, eventually religion will get it right.
Belinda and John Dronkers-Laureta are board members of Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride www.apifamilypride.org