An Episcopal priest responds

Here is one Christian perspective on being gay… 
From: thepriest@windstream.net
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2009 14:25:47 -0500
I certainly don’t want to address ECLA polity and governance.  I wouldn’t know a thing about how they are ruled.  On the matter of homosexuality as the Episcopal church seems to address it:
1.  We have increasing evidence that a homosexual orientation is not a matter of an individual’s choice.
2.  That means that the orientation is either the result of environmental influences or is innate (read: God-given)
3.  Research has been unsuccessful in finding causes or correlation between a homosexual orientation and environmental factors (especially in studying families) and appears to be closing in on actual differences in brain structure as a cause.
 
That’s the science
 
Here’s the theology:
 
1.  the word “homosexual” did not exist until the 19th century, and while same-sex relationships have probably been around as long as human beings (and many other species) the Bible does not directly make any statement about that as an orientation or as a lifestyle.
2.  in some  cults, sex was a part of religious practice, and since there is always a conflict between Yahwehism and other “pagan ” religions, bible writers stressed those distinctions.
3.  The Bible is clear that the value of a human being is so great that force or the threat of force to coerce anything is wrong; therefore any forced sexual activity is wrong (see the visitors to Sodom).  Other scripture passages are very unclear about their actual meaning.  Greek and Hebrew words hint at certain kinds of behavior, but attributes like force or even sloth are always a part of the word meanings. 
4.  One of the earliest descriptions of human beings is that “it is not good for the man to be alone,” yet those who oppose homosexual relationships offer only celibacy as an alternative.
5. There probably has never before been a distinct option for a recognized monogamous relationship between same-sex couples.  There certainly have been such couples throughout history, and the result of their love was always something good for God’s Kingdom.  “By their fruits you shall know them”
6. The Episcopal church calls all couples to the same standards of fidelity and love and permanence.
 
Hope that’s grist for the mill.

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