Humans in this world have a destiny: a human destiny, a cosmic destiny, and a spiritual destiny. What that destiny is, and how we arrive at it, is a story of many proportions. The Spiritual destiny is however, linked to our human way of being and that is affected by all that came before us, and the milieu we now live in. All that we are, think, believe, and do, forms us, as well as what is done to us, for us or against us. The task is therefore to bring all of who we are now to fulfillment in a way that serves others as well as ourselves. It is my personal belief that one does not need to have a traditional belief in God to meet our destiny, including the Spiritual destiny, but one must be a seeker after good, aware of the reality of our situation, non-complacent and have a capacity for a large inclusive Love, as receiver and giver. But perhaps the most essential qualifier in working toward the path to fulfillment is, to see our spiritual path as beneficial, not just to ourselves but also for others and the universe as a whole, and for us to be willing to sacrifice personally to bring about this good for others.
For the purpose of this project the name “God” is used respectfully to accommodate those embracing that concept as well as to address those who in “God’s” name have lead the attack on LBGT people over the centuries.
My assumption is that we can all agree that humans have a noble if not “divine” calling! For millennia homosexual persons have not been included in that great destiny by those in power, even though they have contributed to it in very worthy ways. They have been judged as evil, sinful, suitable for damnation, outlawed, shamed, murdered, and reduced to believing that they were better off killing themselves rather than living out the magnificent calling they have. In this context the pervasive thinking is that LBGT persons are morally defective and thus can never reach spiritual fulfillment.
Down through the centuries Bible quotes and other judgmental pronouncements have been flung at LGBT persons. It is now time to stop this narrow, hurtful and damning rhetoric and for those of good heart to invite, support and walk with ALL our human brothers and sisters who seek the fulfillment of their potential. This loving acceptance and nurturance will serve to better the world for all creation.
The spirit of Good among us demands an expansive view of the process of evolving from lives imbedded in selfishness, to ones embracing all Creation in Loving acceptance as being integral to the path to perfection. The choice to embody good rather than evil is a movement from less to more, from minus to plus, from immature to mature, from narrowness to greatness, from closed minds to enlightenment and from sinfulness to sanctity. The Spirit of Good has nothing negative to say about Sexual Orientation. The future good of all the Cosmos depends on this movement as a means of rectifying the injustices and evils of the past and present, and to assure the appreciation, gratitude for, and harmonious union of all the diversity expressed in Creation to lead to the fulfillment of all potential.
The followers of Fundamentalist Christianity pride themselves on being imbued with the fervor of Jesus, yet they have in the past, and continue today, to champion causes that condemn undesirable and voiceless persons. They have used the Bible to justify the persecution of Jews, again as a rational for slavery and still today, continue to rally for the repression of women with no regard for the opposite attitude and actions of Jesus, as reported to us in scripture. The Jesus who was continually on the alert to aid the marginalized of his day has no bearing for many who today continue to call themselves Christian. Surely in reading the New Testament one finds story after story and lesson after lesson where Jesus embraces the “untouchable” and welcomes the shunned often in contradiction to the Scripture that he or any Jew was bound by. The point being, he was able to determine when to follow the rules and when to break them. He broke the rules to show acceptance of those who he regarded as being of ‘right heart’ or with whom he was evoked to sympathy for injustices against them that he abhorred, even though the mores of the day did not welcome his behavior. He stated that we not be bound by the letter of the law, but by the love in our hearts. And he railed against the abuses that civil and religious authority imposed. My conclusion is, surely one who welcomed lepers, menstruating women, foreigners, and even the dead, would not condemn LGBT persons. He gave his life for the likes of them, for their salvation! Yet, LGBT people are told by these Bible toting Christians that if they behave sexually, in compliance with their nature, that they are incapable of salvation.
Salvation has many definitions depending on the religious perspective and interpretation of those who use the term. However, all may agree, that when a person believing in God threatens someone with no salvation, this means they are cursing that person to eternal hell, a place of suffering for their sins! This is a most judgmental attitude, and seems to state that acts normal to ones nature are so evil they require an eternity to be made up for. This entirely misses the point that the spiritual balance of the entire Cosmos depends more on the loving individuals outnumbering the condemning ones. Those who shame and condemn others are not themselves on the path of righteousness. And those who profess to be Christian are aware Jesus warned us against the consequences of being judgmental, power hungry, materialistic, greedy and harming others. Yet many religious leaders and followers today, are perpetuating this abusive behavior, especially when referring to gender variant persons.
The basis of discrimination and even hatred of homosexual persons by religions partially lies in the fact that same sex love is non-generative in procreating children. But is it possible that non-procreating sex may indeed be holy and be generative of greater values? If so, the major rational for religion’s castigation of LGBT people as unnatural, a mistake of nature is debunked. If the rational is tainted in purpose as is the underlying goal of any group whose purpose is to increase its population for the purpose of out numbering its enemy’s. Then it is clear that any person who is non-procreative can surely be evaluated as not good for that society (or religion) since it inhibits the means of raising an army or need to increase their populations for proliferation of dogma. Thus widows, older persons, barren women, and LBGT are haunted with an aura of being a burden on society, sinful or some how cursed, and definitely not equal.
I want to raise the possibility that non-productive sex, i.e. the gay and lesbian accepted sexual identity and the living out of that destiny, may indeed have a very positive result in that it may pose opportunities for spiritual fulfillment in a way that is more compelling and even more demanding than for heterosexual persons who are not faced with the same challenges and opportunities. The biologically ‘unfruitful’ nature of the relationship, may indeed incline a gay and lesbian person to devote their lives to others in very spiritually fulfilling activities, as a way of experiencing for themselves love bonding, formation of family and of providing a legacy of the most generous nature that the so called,“non-generative nature” becomes the most generative of all human acts and it even may be considered so valuable as to be seen as the very “salvation” of the human family.
So I pose these questions:
· Does non-generative sexual expression free the gay and lesbian person to be more creative in literature, medicine, art, science, and etc. and by their dedication to those endeavors are they leaving a legacy more beneficial to the world at large than children?
· Does non-generative sexual expression free the gay and lesbian person to be more involved in the direct service to humanity and the world, socially, educationally, ecology, physically and spiritually?
· Does non-generative sexual expression free the gay and lesbian person to be more selflessly bonded to a partner, more creative in their love expressions and more generous in serving other people’s children or abandoned children? Are they the cosmic aunts and uncles in the human family?
· Does non-generative sexual expression and the need to overcome the imposition of shame, humiliation, prejudice, marginalization prepare and incline many LBGT persons to be uniquely devoted to the unloved, unaccepted, rejected, imprisoned, insane, poor and abused populations.
· Does non-generative sexual expression globally, benefit the future survival of the human family by limiting the problem of population growth? This conversation has not gained much popularity but it is so clearly evident one would wonder why? With the Earth’s population heading toward 10 Billion and the much discussed stress this places on resources it is a very serious gift made to the entire human, animal and even plant population by all non birthing humans. For the gay and lesbian population this is not chosen but imposed by nature and can be a great source of grief. Imagine the pain present if the heterosexual population cannot reproduce a child in their own image! Yet this is the natural state of the gay and lesbian person. They can never have the child of the person they love the most! I ask, “Why are they not honored for such a great sacrifice instead of repudiated for it?”.
· Spiritual growth is often kick started by a person’s embrace of the real stresses of life’s crises presented to them. Since gay and lesbian persons are posed with continuing moments of self acceptance, the need to be more visible and authentic, which can be very traumatic and continuing thorough out their lives, in ways heterosexual people are not, would that fact pose more opportunities of choosing spiritually enriching practices, opportunities of self denial and heroic movement toward honesty that could lead to spiritual ‘perfection’ in an accelerated fashion?
· Since Jesus devoted his mission to teach the society of his day to accept those marginalized by culture, politics and religion and that accepting behavior is directly opposite to the policies and behavior of most religions including Christianity. Would he be an advocate for the advancement of equality for gay and lesbian persons fully, in accordance to their nature, if he were here today?
· Is sexual identity more compelling than gender or are we biologically bonded to genital activity in accordance to what gender we are only? In other words where does the greatest demand for authentic behavior originate? Is it interior self -acceptance that is more necessary for living out our destiny or is biological equivalence the qualifier of authentic being?
· Could it be that gender variations run on one dial (the “biology” dial dictating how male or female one is) and sexual identity on another dial (the internal congruence dial) that dictates what I do with that gender?
· In the grand framework of evolutionary spiritual growth, where the progress of Creation is always expressed in greater and wider diversity, where is the place of the diversity expressed in the gender variant persons? Don’t they, in a very special way, mirror the continually evolving movement and diversity of creation as a whole?
· To continue the frame of reference of the cosmic family in a human’s need for social embededness and spirituality in relationships: can gay and lesbian persons who authentically live out their own relationships really be seen as a threat to heterosexual relationships, or any group interactions or to the world family at large as some religious groups propose? Does not the exchange of differences with good intention, as present in learning, and all other relating, have the potential of creating an even more positive, and profound result than meetings where the differences are less distinct?
· Are LGBT people more suited, adept at being creative leaders? They are by virtue of rejection, forced to think “outside the box”, thus pushing for needed change in the world and that process may not be so threatening for them as it would be for someone with ‘more to loose’, like the majority of the IN group. So much of what LGBT people do is life-risking when they decide to shed the cloak of the closet and dare to be authentic. They may be like hardened soldiers in their forging ahead for the common good, which is more in keeping to what they are accustomed to through out their lives, especially when choosing to do good. Susan B Anthony, Amelia Eharhart, Jane Addams, Botticelli, Leonardo, Aristotle certainly exhibited this determination, fortitude and passion in contributing to the global social interest.
· In the accusation that LGBT people “choose” to behave in an errant sexual manner for some irresponsible or criminal reason there is displayed an ignorance of both psychology and common sense. Who chooses to be hated just to act out? When a person IS by nature a certain way, being honest is usually the correct, moral choice and hiding is the lie and is certainly the incorrect and harmful choice? Many “religious people” accuse G/L people of simply choosing to be rebellious humans by choosing to act in ways they judge as evil and label them, “sexually abhorrent”. How can they then think that the help they offer them, to simply ‘straighten’ up and make better choices is a solution? I.e. choose not to be homosexual or at least choose not to act that way or at least choose not to be sexually active. Isn’t this like telling a giraffe to choose not to have spots or a leopard to choose not to run? How can one choose not to be, or act according to what one’s nature demands? It is hard for me to imagine, although I know it to be true, that people still believe that 1. Homosexual people volunteer for the job and 2. Repression of ones nature is a healthy solution to anything. It may be true, this repression, may save straights from dealing with something they have not taken the time and effort to understand but as a solution for the well being of the person involved in the repression, it does great harm. Perhaps a real understanding of the homosexual nature is long overdue by well meaning people.
· This leads to another question about the so often heard rationale for forbidding equal rights to Gay and Lesbian citizens. It runs like this: If this Class of people is granted equality of civil rights doesn’t that demonstrate we (the morally righteous, now holder of these rights) approve of their behavior, and won’t that approval be a bad example to our children and those less founded in morality, making it easier for homosexuality to infect our youth and those less strong in their faith? (Scenario may vary?) The question boils down to, isn’t homosexuality attractive and catchy as well, thus a danger to society?
· And finally is it possible that the scripture used to condemn LGBT persons may be inappropriately used? Don’t we now, through science, know more about the nature of gender and sexual orientation than was known thousands of years ago? Don’t we understand homosexual behavior is different than homosexual nature? And could many of the passages used, really be referring to the sexual abuses of the day such as rape, pedophilia and the use on non generative sex, mainly in use of hetero-sexual relations between men, for the purpose of sexual pleasure instead of relations with their wives which may produce children they did not want to raise or whose birth would cause domestic disharmony? Today if a lesbian or gay man enters a heterosexual relationship isn’t that more appropriately named un-natural?
There are more questions demanding rational responses but this is my offering. I invite all who have an opinion, to voice it. I invite all who have research to share it. Homosexuality has been in our midst since the beginning of human history. It is time for more serious discussions on the topic by mainstream theologians and scientists. It is time for the loving human family to recognize and accept LGBT persons as brothers and sisters on the same difficult path of fulfillment of our potential. The written word of holy books cannot be the beginning and end of the discussion for the sake of the safety of every child coming to age and every worried parent. The world is not a safe place for LGBT people and few want to change that. I implore you to be part of the salvation of those needing it and lay down yourselves to exemplify not just Jesus, but other great leaders who risked all to set a wrong aside.
Received From the National Catholic Reporter Feb. 4, 2011
“David Kato, a pro-LGBT activist has been brutally beaten and murdered in Uganda. This comes just a year after conservative religious leaders from the U.S. flew to Uganda and fanned the flames of anti-gay rhetoric.
Unfortunately, the Catholic bishops in Uganda have been relatively silent on the issue and the Vatican has not taken a public stand against the increasing violence nor the legislative bill in Uganda that would use the death penalty against those thought to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Call To Action with the Equally Blessed coalition has written to the Vatican’s UN Representative, asking him to speak out against the violence. It was religious leaders that initiated the increase in violence and we now hope religious leaders will be the ones to help quell the violence.”
To be continued…..
Barbara J Monda