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|This is a serious question. I have many gay and transgendered friends, more than I have straight friends. I love them all and we never get into discussions or debates about religion. I am a religious person and do believe in the Holy Scriptures, God, etc. They know it and respect that, as I respect them and their beliefs.
At the same time, I have had a couple friends that I've known for years just up and leave me once they ask about my beliefs and I answer honestly.
I believe that my religion is my own concern, and I have to work out my own salvation, as does everyone else. I've never tried to push anyone into anything, nor preach, or anything else intrusive or annoying. If faith comes up, we simply listen and seek to understand each other's unique perspectives and respect that. It's always been as simple as that.
What I can't understand is why so many others hate me outright when I have never done wrong simply because of my religious beliefs. I genuinely love my gay/lesbian/transgendered friends as much as I love my straight friends.
My question is: can't, and shouldn't, respect go both ways? Is this not possible between Christians and LGBTQ?
It has in my own relationships aside from two individuals who decided that love is only possible when each individual approves of every single thing the other person does. But it simply is not possible to love and approve of everything another person does. If that were the requirement for love, love would not exist. One person might breathe too loudly, or not have very good hygiene, or talk during movies.
I believe that seeing things you may not find desirable and loving that person anyway is a GREATER love, even a more lasting love.
|Hi. This is a great question and discussion topic. You are absolutely right - the respect for each other's beliefs goes both ways. I certainly try to do that myself but I have to be honest that when I am getting to know someone and I find out they are real religious (as opposed to spiritual), I automatically back away. For me it comes from the fact that organized religion is the single strongest force that fights against the lgbt lifestyle and whom demonize our community on a daily basis.
Example, I went to a catholic church once because they were going to mention my cousin who passed away. Unfortunately, I had to leave because during the sermon the priest talked about how proud he was that the catholic church was winning the fight against same sex marriage - and everyone in the church applauded. I felt like I was in the midst of my enemy. Imagine what would have happened if I had shown any affection to my significant other at that moment - a lynching? who knows....
That being said, I do realize not all people involved in organized religion feel that way - but do I want a friend that supports that establishment? That is the question I struggle with.
I think this is a great topic and I'm going to send it out to our community and hopefully we'll get more responses!
|Hello, I understand your predicament, or at least I think I do. I was a closeted bisexual since I was nine and only recently came out to my parents and brother and his wife.
I am still a Christian.
I have Christian friends.
I have gay friends.
I have atheist friends.
What's the difference?
I really try to be nice on a general level. If they ask what my beliefs are, I'm going to tell them honestly. If they're going to walk away, that's their own affliction and I can't stop them. But if they are going to get up in my face about it and tell me I'm going to Hell for something THEY cannot change, you bet your a$$, I'm going to tell it like it is.
I believe in forgiveness. I believe that God will forgive me for being this way. Overly religious people will argue that I can be "cured", but I can't. I haven't been a relationship with either sex, but I feel like I won't be lead one way or another just by dating one. I'm always going to be attracted to both sexes regardless of who I'm dating.
I believe in love. Love everyone. Think about it:
Hate is a sin.
God is love.
God cannot sin for He is perfect.
Therefore, God cannot hate.
He tries to abolish SIN. He doesn't want to abolish the sinners. I believe in confessing the sin because sin is air, almost. We can't avoid it. The thoughts of sin themselves are sin.
He want to save us. Give us a home in Heaven. All you got to do is believe in Him. You don't have to go to church.
I'm not condoning all sins here--murder, rape, incest, they're still wrong by public law and wrong by moral law. But being avoided for loving someone of your own sex is ridiculous.
LOVE IS THE MOVEMENT.
|Religion is so wildly all over the place depending which crazy superstition you find the most compelling...
It's not that I couldn't be friends with somebody religious... It's that I would sincerely doubt their capacity for understanding reality and therefore usually get nothing more than patronization of my existence from them at the best. So... I can be acquaintances with a religious person.... Actual close friends? I'd count it as generally unlikely to happen...
|Wow, very compelling question! I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household, and was always taught that homosexuality was a sin. When I deconverted at about age 21, a lot of my attitudes about the world started to change. To this day I honestly still have a negative connotation with Christianity because of past experiences. but after reading Miriam Winell's book "Leaving the Fold" it made me realize that I did gain some positive things from my Christian upbringing, such as an awareness that I'm a part of something much bigger than myself.
I've also realized that there are a very broad spectrum of Christians in the world. There are Christians who are gay, Christians who are transgender, Christians who are pro-choice, Christians who have tattoos and go skydiving and curse like sailors...the only real thing that all Christians have in common is that they hold Jesus in high regard in their lives. Interpretations of the bible vary quite widely. So I have to consciously remember to put my bias aside when dealing with a Christian, because being a part of a religion is just one aspect of the person and not an indicator of who they are as a whole. Not everyone sees it that way though. Human beings have a tendency to discriminate in order to protect themselves. So if someone decides not to be your friend because you're a christian, just know that they're acting on experiences they've had in their past, not necessarily reacting to you.
Religion is so wildly all over the place depending which crazy superstition you find the most compelling...
So it's more based on your disregard for religion, not necessarily what a religious person may think about LGBT people?
|Hello, my name is Scott McKernan and I am a gay Christian myself. I agree that we do not need to approve of everything everyone does, but I would add that if you do not approve of homosexuality (if that's what you mean?) then I understand why your friends left you. I apologise if that hurts.
As a Christian I have studied the scriptures at length because I needed to know if I was okay or not. I needed to know what God thought of me.
As a result of my study and soul searching I concluded that the Bible does not say anything negative about homosexuality or being gay. I have written a book called Can Christians Be Gay? that can be found at http://www.canchristiansbegay.com. if you want to you are welcome to purchase a copy or read my blog to get educated on these matters.
if you are disapproving of homosexuality then you are disapproving of your friend's being. If this is what is happening then this is why they leave.
|OP, you sound a lot like my stepmother. Bear in mind, I'm an atheist bordering on antitheism. When I came out as a transwoman to her and my dad a couple weeks ago, she didn't reject me; she didn't merely tolerate me; she accepted me for who I am just as much as she always has. She has the capacity to turn the same scriptures that are often used against the LGBT community around and apply them in a way that promotes acceptance and unconditional love in the manner that many Christians talk but so few walk.
Basically her thought on it is, God doesn't make mistakes, but he does give people trials. To her, this is a trial for me to overcome, and not in the manner of suppressing my inner girl and being more manly, but in the way of casting off the false masculinity that has plagued my life and being the girl I was always meant to be. At least, that's what I read into it LOL