When confronted with religious condemnation of homosexuality, it would be easy for me to simply say, “Well, I don’t follow your religion,” and leave it at that. Sadly, it’s much more complex than that — even then, I often have to make arguments about what religious freedom actually means (I’m allowed to not follow your religious beliefs, and you are not allowed to push them on me). But furthermore, I prefer to open minds and make a difference if I can, and so I might attempt to engage in debate explaining why they should not be morally opposed to homosexuality.
But often, any logical arguments I make can be deflected with “but the Bible says…” or “but my religion says…” which becomes something of a bulletproof shield — if they believe that it is against their religion to think otherwise, they won’t, period. Logic notwithstanding. (“Animals engage in long-term monogamous homosexual relationships, so how can that be ‘unnatural’?” even attempts to use language from the Bible, but can still be repudiated with “because it says so”.)
(While I haven’t engaged in major religious debate in a while, I do remember one lovely conversation in high school during a spare at a table in the library…before I had come out. While it was somewhat infuriating, I actually quite enjoyed the experience.)
The other complexity is that there are people within those religions who must deal with the general prejudice of their entire community and are constantly living in fear and pain as a result, and while I would love to argue that they should really just abandon the religion, they too have the religious freedom to believe what they believe, and who am I to decry them that faith?
So I have a huge amount of respect for the ability to engage with the religious (in this case, Christians) on their own terms. I think there is a much better chance of success of changing their minds about homosexuality by speaking to them in terms of their religion rather than changing it. For this reason, I’ve tried to understand some bits and pieces of the Bible in order to make my own points. I know, for example, that the line that says that lying with another man as with a woman is an abomination is from Leviticus 18:22, and that that same section decries shellfish and making clothes from two materials and rules for selling your daughter into slavery.
But this — this — is just incredible. A young gay man from a Christian community spent a couple years intensely studying the issue and the Bible, and the six passages in the Bible that could be argued to speak against homosexuality — and explains why none of them hold water in condemning loving, monogamous relationships between two men.
If you have the time, his presentation is well worth watching in its entirety. You can also check out the transcript, linked below.
Source with brief background of Matthew Vines