As you can probably well imagine, my changing views on the Bible also caused me to re-consider my views on homosexuality. I had always been one of those people who thought it was wrong to be gay...y'know, "love the sinner/hate the sin", and all that fun stuff.
One thing that struck me, as I thought through this issue in a fresh way, was that there aren't actually any good "secular" reasons to be against homosexuality. Now, I realize this may seem like an incredibly obvious statement, to some people, but it really was a revelation to me. I had always been under the impression that there was a large body of research, which clearly showed children are better off with a "two parent family"; namely a Mom and a Dad. But then, as I looked into things a little deeper, I started to run into videos like this one...
So, if the research doesn't in fact show that homosexuals are unfit parents, than what other "secular" reasons might there be for us to fight against "the gay movement"?
(I'm not aware of any.)
I now believe these "secular" reasons are just a front anyway. Christians are well aware of the fact they can't say in public "the Bible says it's wrong to be gay", since this sort of argumentation won't hold water among non-Christians. So, rather than just admitting they don't have any solid secular reasons, for their views on homosexuality, they try instead to find some way to argue against it without needing to invoke the Bible (although they won't hesitate to do that, also, if pushed into a corner).
This is where I agree completely with Sam Harris when he argues, in effect, that on some cultural hot buttons religion is not merely involved in the problem...religion IS the problem. If we really want more acceptance of gays & lesbians, in society, we need to stop talking about "tolerance" and start acknowledging instead what's really going on beneath the surface. In other words, we can't just debate the stuff that Christians are actually saying (or should I say, admitting), in public, we need to talk as well about the stuff they're not saying (but we all know they're thinking). At the end of the day, it doesn't truly matter to conservative Christians what the research shows...they know homosexuality is wrong, because the Bible says as much, and the Bible can't possibly be mistaken (on anything) because it is a completely perfect book. Period. End of story.
Christians also don't see their views as "intolerant", so using this sort of language flies right over their head and gets the conversation nowhere. Let me pause for a moment, to state that last part again...Christians don't see their views as intolerant.
What we should be saying, instead, is something like, "Yes, I realize that you view being gay as wrong, because the Bible seems to speak against it, but, even if that's true, what is your argument for why this should be binding on the rest of society? We're not all Christians, as I know you're well aware." At this point in the conversation, Christians will typically revert to citing the social science studies, referenced above, and that's where you come in with fact based arguments to counter their skewed (or poor) understanding of the research in question (much like Al Franken did, to good effect, right here).
Just as with other areas of sex (and evolution), discussed in my last few posts, there are things about homosexuality which are awkward for Christians to explain and/or explain away. For example, the ex-gay movement has been, for the most part, unsuccessful. Also, how do Christians rationalize the fact that many animals demonstrate homosexual behavior? Is God playing some sort of sick joke on us? (ie. "Yes, it's wrong to be gay, just like I said in my Holy book, but I only meant that for humans...I'm cool with it otherwise!").
Let me say it straight up...homosexuality is not a "sin".
I was wrong.
And the Bible is not God's word, so it's high time we stopped treating it as such.