Last week I asked five questions that I had for advocates of same-sex marriage, which caused an interesting discussion. I wasn't going to write about this topic again but people have been asking me to do a follow-up post. So I decided to address this issue one last time - but I want to turn the tables.
Just as I have questions, I know same-sex advocates have a lot of questions too. So I want to take a look at the five most common ones I've encountered. I don't necessarily have the answers, but I do want to provide a response.
1. "Why Do Christians Highlight Homosexuality Above All Other Sins?"
I can understand why this question is asked since Christians are talking about this issue a lot right now. I can also affirm that there are some Christians out there who actually highlight homosexuality as a "sin above other sins" (possibly out of homophobia).
However, most Christians I encounter don't feel this way. Rather they're highlighting this issue right now because the culture is highlighting this issue. It's not like Christians are randomly bringing up same-sex marriage. Rather Christians are responding to a trending topic. Some Christians are unfortunately responding angrily, but I think most just want to dialogue.
2. "If You're Against Homosexuality Then Shouldn't You Also Be Against Eating Pork?"
Not to be dismissive, but this is my usual expression when I hear this question. Reason: When people ask this, they do so with a tone that says, "Ooh - I gotchu with that one..." I hate to be frank, but I find questions like these to be extremely ignorant.
People need to understand that there are so many different resources (here here & here) on how the Mosaic Law applies to Christians today. After you go through these resources, you may not have an answer - but you'll be humbled by the question. Therefore when people ask this with such bravado, it shows that they probably haven't even begun to do their homework. Thus the facepalm.
3. "Why Are You So Afraid of the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage?"
For some reason advocates presume that Christians see the legalization of same-sex marriage as the harbinger of the apocalypse. So they'll send you articles about how other countries are faring quite well with same-sex marriages - to assure you that moral decay will not follow these new legislatures.
My response: Who ever said Christians are afraid? When same-sex advocates say this, it feels like they're implying that our opinions are motivated by fear. This feels (at most) dismissive of our questions and (at least) presumptuous of our motives. I don't believe the legalization of same-sex marriage will necessarily hurt me. But it will affect me. Therefore as a citizen, I do feel like I have the right to at least ask questions.
4. "What's Wrong With Someone Who's Just Expressing What's Natural to Them?"
I think questions like these presuppose that there's nothing wrong with acting upon natural impulses since they are, well, natural. But I guess I would challenge this presupposition. After all, aren't there some natural impulses within us that we shouldn't express?
For example, a married man may have an impulse to sleep with another woman. But most people recognize that this impulse - as natural as it feels - should be denied. There are other natural impulses we also ought to deny (e.g. revenge, deception, etc.). But how do we determine this? Who determines which impulses are destructive and which aren't? In other words, this question ignores the complexities that go into this issue.
5. "Why Can't All You Christians Stop Condemning Me & Start Listening to Me?"
I have the most empathy for questions like these. I'm very aware that Christians and Americans have historically mistreated homosexuals in very derogatory ways.
At the same time, I'm kind of confused on how to respond to this. It makes me feel like I'm supposed to apologize to you on behalf of every Christian that has ever hurt you. But have I personally hurt you? I understand that you've been hurt, but I don't really know what's expected of me.
As a minority who grew up within a primarily Caucasian demographic, I was on the receiving end of a lot of racial epithet. Should I now really expect every Caucasian I encounter to apologize to me for the past pain I received? I think it'd be more reasonable to ask for their empathy and request sensitivity. But it'd be unfair of me to expect them to take responsibility for past wounds inflicted by another person.
Again by no means do I expect all these responses to end the debate. But I hope they help people know how to better navigate through the emotional rhetoric that's often hidden in certain questions. That way, real dialogue can transpire and thus real understanding of each other's opinion.