First, let me say that I am not a chest thumping Christian that is going to write a post on how all homosexuals are damned and going to hell. I see organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church as more of a hate group than a church.
My heart is to see restoration in every area of life whether it’s personal identity, marriage, or sexual orientation. I have worked closely with people who are homosexual and have learned valuable lessons from them. The relationships I have formed played a part in me becoming who I am today. I actually thank them for helping me better understand who they are as a people group and the good that can be seen in each one of them.
Unfortunately our society today is so divisive and unaccepting that we turn a blind eye to anything we disagree with. We build a case against people based on our current beliefs without taking a moment to connect to anyone we do not agree with. When we do, it actually hinders our ability to create the change we are fighting so hard to see. In the case of homosexuality, we have built a wall in our hearts that refuses to acknowledge anything the “other side” is saying. This only causes justification for their position as victims of society because, in reality, they are. They have been physically beaten, verbally assaulted, and locked out of careers. Our inability to listen has forced them into a corner and marginalized in a way that only emboldens their views.
A need to force the conversation – According to a 2014 National Health Interview Survey, only 1.6% of Americans are identified as Homosexual. To better understand what this actually means in numbers, in 2014 the US population was 318 million. If you do the math, it means that just over five million individuals out of 318 million shouted loud and long enough to create a broader acceptance for their cause. Just look at some of the vital stats of 2014 for homosexuals.
- February 2014 New York Times/CBS News opinion poll showed 56% support for same-sex marriage.
- On July 21, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order 13672, adding “gender identity” to the categories protected against discrimination in hiring in the federal civilian workforce and both “sexual orientation” and gender identity” to the categories protected against discrimination in hiring and employment on the part of federal government contractors and subcontractors
- On December 26, 2013, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 into law, which repealed the ban on consensual sodomy in the UCMJ. – To put that in laymen’s terms, he allowed homosexuals to practice in the military openly.
- Later in August 2014, Obama made a surprise video appearance at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Gay Games.
If you can think back to 2014, you’ll remember that same-sex marriage was one of the main topics of conversation. It was June of 2015 when the Supreme Court ruled for same-sex marriage. It’s amazing to think that such a small number of people can create such a high level of permanent change.
Political assassination of an emotional issue – We can mostly thank the Republicans for the stats above. Now I’m not going to get into a political argument with anyone, (it’s not the point of this post) but I’m highlighting the fact that mostly Republican politicians have used politics in an attempt to condemn a people group instead of trying to understand them. I didn’t say accept their sexual orientation, I said to understand them. There is a big difference.
By shutting them out of a conversation, they caused a revolt, which then helped elect people who would defend them. When politicians turned something that is emotionally driven into a platform to fight against, they leave no option except for people to make it a political issue as well. They would find people that would voice their concerns and be a megaphone for their cause. If I were gay, I would have done the same thing.
I’ll unpack what I mean by “emotional issue” in some of the points below..
Single parent syndrome – This is not only limited to people who grew up with one parent. Single parents are genuinely some of my personal heroes in life. I don’t know how they juggle all of life’s responsibilities while still playing both roles required for raising children.
I’m referring to the thousands of households that were lopsided in their parenting. It’s the family where dad worked his butt off to provide but chose to focus on his career instead of his children. He did what he felt was best. The only problem is it left a massive emotional void by doing so. That’s when you have boys who grow up to be men still starved for male affection. When they find it in their early teens, when their hormones and mind is still developing, then the natural gravitation is to stay in the vein of where you found love… or at least found what your heart had been longing for. It’s not a surprise that he would create feminine tendencies, after all, it’s what further fed his need.
The mom who had a drug or alcohol addiction and was never emotionally present. It forced the little girl to play the role of mother when she needed permission to be a child. She learns that the only way she can manage life is always to be the strong one. In turn, she finds a girlfriend who is attracted to that consistent strength and validates her need to be the provider.
The parent who constantly demanded perfection from their children. Something no child can ever attain. They crave acceptance for who they are to fill the pain that their parent caused by connecting performance to love. When they find it, they can emotionally sigh and lower their guard. In that place they feel known, loved, and accepted. Which is something we all long for no matter what our past may look like.
The list can go on and on. Other factors play into homosexuality. These are only a few broad examples that can be connected to someone’s childhood. Please don’t read them trying to find where your personal experience is different to justify your life decisions.
Erosion of true masculinity – It’s sad to think about what the general perception of masculinity has become in the last 50 years. It’s swung from being proud of your strength, willing to risk and fail, and be okay with not being accepted by everyone to a weakened need to be publicly correct, overly cautious and passive. I’m not saying that ALL men have become this. I’m referring to the general expectation and perception of masculinity. Its no wonder the feminist movement became a valid argument. They felt the need to stand up for themselves because there weren’t enough men who would do it on their behalf.
There’s a reason a podcast like The Liberation Project – A Movement for Manhood are so popular. It speaks to the hearts of so many who are longing to find men who are present with their emotions, willing to risk inviting people into their hearts, and bold enough to stand for something in life.
How does this all play into Homosexuality? There are a few reasons why.
It directly connects to the single parent syndrome when it comes to being gay. When dad isn’t present, is emotionally unavailable, or is too busy chasing his own warped definition of success, it sets young boys up for failure in life. They have to come up with their own definition of masculinity when a healthy one isn’t presented to them, and is often tied to their heart’s longing for love and acceptance.
Women are able to find masculine traits in other women when men refuse to take ownership. Our society has chiseled away at true masculinity and allowed women to step out of the original God-given design. Becoming lesbian is one byproduct when God creates a strong woman, and she is unable to find a strong man to partner with. I’m not saying that all strong women who don’t find a partner become lesbians. I’m saying it’s one factor, just like some of the childhood examples above.
Search and you will find – It has changed somewhat as I’ve gotten older, but until the age of 10 or 11, I grew up in a traditionally Baptist Church. When I was a young teenager, I was feeling a lot of pain connected to the relationship with my dad, or the lack thereof, and had homosexual thoughts. It could have been easy for me to take those thoughts on as my identity and embrace that lifestyle. It was only God’s grace I didn’t. What’s my point? My homosexual thoughts were nothing more than my heart longing for a real relationship with men. I didn’t know where to find it and felt trapped, so my mind entertained the question my heart was asking…. “Where can I find male connection?!?!”. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I found that connection with friends who did drugs. I felt accepted and a part of a group. When that happened, the homosexual thoughts went away.
I found what I thought I was looking for just like so many others have done with homosexuality. It fills the void temporarily but ultimately leads to a deeper emptiness because it’s not actually what they’re looking for.
I’ve also had female clients who started processing her pain and all of a sudden ended up sleeping with another girl. It wasn’t that she was a lesbian who hadn’t realized it until she felt pain. It was because a lot of her pain was connected to the damning relationship with her mother. As she processed the pain, she found comfort from a girlfriend who was willing to sit with her and love her instead of judging her. My client found love and acceptance which then turned physical. She found what she thought she was looking for, but really she was trying to find a way to fill the void she had spent most of her life trying to suppress. As we worked together, she realized the it wasn’t same-sex attraction that drove her decisions, but instead her heart looking for answers and love. We found healthy ways to get those needs met and the unhealthy relationship with her friend changed… not overnight, but over time.
It’s the Church’s fault – That’s right, part of homosexuality is the church’s fault. Why? How? I’m glad you asked. 😉
It goes back to my introduction paragraph. It’s our need to stand on our moral high ground and condemn those who are “living in sin.” As a church, we tend to turn our backs on homosexuals because, after all, how dare we accept their sinful ways. Here’s the problem with that…. It’s not only arrogant and limiting your ability to love, it’s also no different than the politicians who shun a people groups because they don’t understand them. You will never be able to see a change in people when you start a conversation emotionally combative or defensive. People who are homosexuals, or at least the ones that I’ve talked to, often say they wouldn’t choose to live this way if they had a choice. Instead of yelling back “YOU HAVE A CHOICE” we should pause and think about how much pain it must cause to feel emotionally trapped in something you don’t want.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 it says, (my emphasis) “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”.
I know that I was guilty of at least half of the unrighteous things in this verse, but I’ve been washed and sanctified. It doesn’t say I’ve been placed on a moral high ground where I can shun someone who is engaging in something unrighteous I didn’t struggle with. I know the things I did were largely either out of pain or seeking acceptance. Who am I to judge someone who is doing the same thing I did but in a different form?
Sexual abuse – This is a painful reality and has an intricate role in homosexuality. I’m not just talking about the Catholic Church, which had a widespread issue that happened to get into the news. It’s far more rampant than that. When children are sexually abused, it’s often by someone they know. In turn, it drives a wedge between them and what should be a safe place, understandably so. The deep rooted issue with this reality is boys and girls who experience it often grow up with self-hatred or the need to find a connection in the distorted way they experienced it growing up. This speaks to the broader issue of deep rooted pain that leads us to destructive behavior, not just in regards to homosexuality but anything we engage in to manage or numb trauma in our past.
Thank Pornography – By now you should know my opinion on porn, but if you don’t you can read this post or this one. Porn has layers of destructive byproducts, homosexuality being one of them. We know that porn is often first introduced into people’s life when they are anywhere from 7-12 years old. What this does is warp that person’s perception and expectation of love and sexual connection. For some, they are introduced to same-sex pornography and get aroused, which then leads to a belief that they are attracted to the same sex. That’s just not true! If the first time you noticed an attraction to the same sex is around the same time you were introduced to porn, it is not because you’re gay, but because you were exposed to a twisted form of sex at the same time your body is creating sexual hormones for the first time.
You connect the sexual stimulation to your identity and follow down the path of “it feels good” so it must mean I’m gay. Consider gay porn as a gateway drug for homosexuality. It opens a door that is destructive and was never intended to be walked through. This coupled with any one of the points above can easily cause you to not only connect your identity to homosexuals, but then to feel accepted, marginalized, and a part of a group that is fighting for one another.
You can probably pick any one example I gave and build a case against it. If you do, it’s a lot like the Westboro Baptist “Church” taking a few verses in the Bible and using it as justification for hate. My goal is to help show the landscape of why we are where we are.
I’ve never said that I’m 100% right all the time. If there is something you want to dialogue about, great…. I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.