Tuesday, August 23, 2005

6. Final Thoughts on Stranger at the Gate

So I finished Stranger at the Gate… and I have to say it left me wanting. I think part of the reason for that is that I hadn’t realized that it was merely a biography. I had thought it would also include some sort of Biblical theology or arguments to support the position that gay marriage was okay.

As a biography, I suppose, it is perfectly fine. The pastor who I borrowed it from told me she’d thought it was good in that it raised her level of compassion for what gay people, especially gay Christians go through…so I suppose it’s good in that regard too. I guess you can tell I wasn’t all that impressed. My problem, you see, is that I think of marriage as sacred – my issue has never been if it would be okay for me to have sex with a woman, my issue has been whether or not it would be okay for me to marry a woman (the sex, of course, would be included). And while I sympathized with what Mel White was going through, when he began sleeping with men behind his wife’s back I got very frustrated with him. And then, after he and his wife separated, he meets a man and simply moves in with him… without getting married. Now I know that marriage between same sex couples was not (and still isn’t) legal in America at the time, but gay people have been having ‘commitment ceremonies’ for eons – I just ordered a book about gay marriages in the middle ages. And if it turns out that God blesses gay unions, then in my mind it doesn’t matter whether or not the state does… I believe God blessed the unions between slaves when they ‘jumped the broom’, even though it was illegal. I believe if God wanted to, He could bless a same sex union without the help of the state. Of course, I think they should be blessed by the state, just like marriages between people who are divorced (something expressly forbidden in Scripture) are blessed by the state. All of that to say that I was frustrated with Mel for never marrying his partner.

I also was a little put off by his constant reference to his ‘sexual needs’…,well, I get put off by anyone referring to their sexual ‘needs’… it is so often used as an excuse for irresponsible behavior. Sexual ‘desires’ I can understand, I have those… I don’t think I have sexual ‘needs’.

Of course, I say all this as someone who has already said that the idea of lifelong celibacy makes me want to die, so maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t think it’s the idea of not ever having sex that makes me want to die…it’s the idea that I’ll never have any of the rest of the stuff that comes with marriage – the family, the fact that there is someone for whom I am a priority, cuddling up with someone I love while we watch some old movie, making plans about our life… it hurts to think that I won’t have any of that.

Anyway, the point is that I found Stranger at the Gate frustrating. I got a book in the mail today that I’m quite excited about though – The Children are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same Sex Relationships. I think I’ll read a book from the opposing view first though, just to keep things balanced in my head.

1 Comment:

Eric said...

Ha! That's funny. Just last week a friend in my small group lent me that same book..."The Children Are Free"...Miner and Connoley

Haven't gotten around to picking it up yet either. I've got tons and tons and tons and tons of stuff to go through. It's on the list though. I've resolved that this will take at least a year to do all the studying up that i want to do. (Not because i just like reading...in fact i'm not a "book" person. My intent is to write a paper about what i've discovered in a year.)