On “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay”: The Rise of Homosexuality Acceptance
At a time when the topic of homosexuality brings near mass turmoil in online discussions and focus on media qualms brings about even family arguments, America has a choice to make. Topics, such as Duck Dynasty, Chick-fil-A, Boy Scouts of America, Ellen Page, and NFL entanglements with acceptance of homosexuality, brought to light by the media have are being either heavily scrutinized or made honorary idols. Acceptance of the gay community is rising, but will it be enough? It is a sticky situation right now, but the times, they are a changin’. The rise of homosexuality acceptance, in some ways, closely resembles that of the civil rights movement and is commonly referred to as the American gay rights movement. Despite our culture’s influences against homosexuality, Christian disdain and various, often misled understandings of the Holy Bible, and even the public’s ideas concerning moral and ethical conceptions, love and acceptance of the gay community is at a turning point.
Homosexuality is becoming more and more widely accepted, yet there are still many people fighting it. America’s social acceptance of the gay community may reflect the population inflation of homosexuals. According to the article, “Gay Population Statistics”, it is practically impossible to get an accurate population number of homosexuals in America, and it depends on the definition of gay. Gary J. Gates explains in an interview, studies based on the number of people identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender tend to show lower numbers than surveys asking more personal questions pertaining to sexual orientation. Ramon Johnson reports, “The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a sexual orientation law and public policy think tank, estimates that 9 million (about 3.8%) of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (2011)” (Johnson). Populations of homosexuality must be rising as the population in America is also rising, more people are coming out every day (even to themselves), and America is becoming more culturally aware and accepting of the gay community. The gay rights movement, however, is still relatively a new threshold for America, and it is still difficult for many to come out of the closet. As Dan Pearce’s blog article articulates, numerous young homosexual people still have to worry about being accepted by their own parents, let alone the rest of society.
There are yet still multitudes who believe that homosexuality is some form of sin. Christians can be a different kind of people, as with any classification or group of people. A belief system can lead to wonderful, empowering acts of kindness and love, but there are many instances in which the opposite has been the case. Religion was not meant to be something wars were fought over, yet the reality is religion has provided so many people shields to hide under as they spout bigoted and nasty utterances toward undeserving souls. The negative remarks made by many, in many cases claiming to be Christian, toward homosexuals and homosexuality goes beyond unsound, unethical, and hypocritical. It is plain crazy. Many accusations have been made saying homosexuality is sinful, wrong, disgusting or gross. The book of Leviticus is probably the most renowned place to find teachings in the Bible about homosexuality. The Bible was written by many different descendants of apostles and disciples, and can be translated in many different ways. Jesus also taught by way of parables, or stories in which to teach a lesson. Some people prefer to believe that “laying with another man,” actually translates to implications pertaining to war or wartime strategies. Others take it literally. There are scriptures in the Bible that strongly advise against eating beef, and that those who do shall be put to death by hanging. Some chapters, whole books even, in the Bible are letters to specific nations, or kings of nations. It is really no wonder why people get in a tiff about the teachings of the Bible. So much of it is unclear and imprecise. It was written in Hebrew after all, yet some still believe their way of understanding is the only right way. The rest of humanity should burn in hell. This is not true of all Christians, but surprisingly, there are a lot of them.
An excellent blogger, and gay rights activist, writes from his own perspective on his blog, “The Boeskool”, in a post called “Starting an Argument on Christmas for All the Right Reasons”. Pertaining to some of the comments and statuses about the Duck Dynasty riff raff, he proclaims “…triggered beneath all of that anger and controversy was an important conversation about Homosexuality and Political Correctness and Jesus and Judgment… [Sic].” As with Dan Pierce in his article, “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay,” the anonymous author of “The Boeskool” preaches against hatred and judgment and for love and acceptance. A lot of moral and ethical ideas come from individuals’ religious beliefs and backgrounds, but regardless of religious or political standpoints, this really boils down to being an argument of ethics. Is it really okay when people treat others as if they are somehow better than them? The sad truth is that this argument has caused so much insane fighting and word slinging on the internet and probably in real life. There are still some people, some unassuming, some of whom fit some kind of homophobic profile, who would cringe, maybe even have the guts to spit a hateful remark, at the sight of two people of the same gender being affectionate toward each other. The author of “The Boeskool” writes, “The lesson that many people took from all this yelling and uncomfortableness (other than a general sense of Christians be trippin’) is that it’s just not even worth it to say anything.” He follows later with, “We have a responsibility to not let the only voice that the world hears be the voice of the guy yelling the word “faggot.” (“Starting an Argument…”)
Although some sad circumstances can be seen, such as the decrease in boy scouts since acknowledging and honoring an openly gay member, things are still shaping up. “The Boy Scouts of America have lost six percent of their members since changing their policy on gay participants…” claims a Time U.S. article (Dockterman). Since the widely accepted football player, Micheal Sam, came out to the public, little negative press has been seen; though, there is some. An article in South China Morning Post shows the comment, “…veteran New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma said in an interview with NFL Network that he did not want a gay teammate” (Covitz). It has been a landslide since Chick-fil-A. That was probably one of the worst cases of insanity; it brought the argument into light. People rioted, got mad, boycotted, and screamed at each other in caps on Facebook, but it is getting better. Despite the negative press, or people’s old ill-natured beliefs, acceptance is prevailing. Despite the “staying this way because that’s how it has been for years” hillbillies’ hatred of change, equality for homosexuals is on the rise. If now, the worst comment is, “I didn’t want a gay teammate,” and the worst statistic is losing a few members; that is pretty darn good. There is hope for America. Whole states are coming around, and sooner or later, America will be primarily a rainbow flag waving, care giving country breeding acceptance, equality, and love for one another.
Covitz, Randy. “Will There Be NFL Locker Room Acceptance of Openly Gay Player Michael Sam?” South China Morning Post. South China Morning Post, 15 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
Dockterman, Eliana. “U.S.” US Boy Scouts See Ranks Shrink After Policy Shift on Gays Comments. Time U.S., 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
Johnson, Ramon. “Gay Population Statistics.” About.com Gay Life. About.com, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
"Starting An Argument On Christmas For All The Right Reasons | The Boeskool." The Boeskool. The Boeskool, 24 Dec. 2014. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.