Hi Betsy, thanks for your response.

I’ll start by saying that the primary thrust of my article is this: Christians who choose to believe that same-gender relationships are sinful should be aware of the consequences of their beliefs; namely, non-affirming Christians should recognize the harm that they invite into the world when they choose to condemn those who seek love with someone of the same gender. So know the consequences — widespread pain for queer people— and then assess how those consequences align with all the other things you know about your faith. If, as you assess this theological belief, you see that it bears only bad fruit, this might tell you something about the belief itself. And ultimately, if you choose to continue believing that same-gender love is sinful, that’s fine — but do so with the full knowledge of that belief’s consequences.

Though it’s likely that we disagree on many things related to sex (Good Christian Sex by Bromleigh McCleneghan is a great read), I’ll accept the premise of your question for the purpose of a thought experiment: is hating the sin of your son’s extramarital sex similar to hating the sin of your daughter dating — or in fact, doing anything non-platonic — with another woman? At the simplest level, I would say no. The first condemnation involves a denunciation of an individual choice — an act that is easily redeemable, easily reversible, easily repentable. At the end of the day, hating that sin is saying “don’t do this.” The second involves condemnation of something much more fundamental — it requires that one kills off the part of theirself that seeks love and companionship (not just, as many would frame it, sex). Instead of saying “don’t do this,” this form of condemnation says “don’t be this.” I think types of condemnations are pretty drastically different.

But, more directly to another one of your questions: no, I absolutely do not believe that same-gender romantic or sexual relationships are sinful. And while one way of getting to that belief is reading great books like David Gushee’s Changing Our Mind or Matthew Vines’ God and the Gay Christian, this letter was an invitation to get there another way: by recognizing the harm and un-freedom associated with such a belief, and concluding that Jesus couldn’t possibly support — and in fact would actively oppose — any theology that actively harms a marginalized community.

Written by

abolitionist. tweeting @micahherskind.

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