Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pro Choice (but not like you think)

Just when you think the lightning-rod of politics and Christianity couldn’t get any more polarized, I saw this headline “Pastor’s Wife: Counseling freed Haggard of gay urges”. Of course, I left homosexuality off yesterday’s post as the other issue that does Christianity more harm than good when muddied with politics. But this article wasn’t what I expected when I clicked the link. It discusses Gayle Haggard’s new book chronicling her coping with her husband’s homosexual infidelity and “recovery”. The headline is a bit inflammatory because of the notion that you can counsel away homosexuality (or pray it away, and so forth). But the interview on the Today show heads this off as she states clearly, “That’s not true for everybody. That’s his story.”

It also brings up an important point about love, heterosexual and homosexual: it is a choice. This goes back to my distinction between lust and love- lust is selfish while love is sacrificial. This goes beyond the notion of love being the same as a feeling of affection. We choose to love our spouse, our children, our lovers, etc even while they drive us crazy because it is a choice. We may not “feel” love when we are most hurt, but we have to choose to continue to love those who hurt us. That is independent of sexuality. I would hope both gay and straight could agree on that point.

Gayle is a great example of this, choosing to love and not reject her husband regardless of fidelity or sexual identity. That trait is rare these days (another headline today: John Edwards and wife formally separated) and is hard for so many to understand. One justification for divorce is attempting to advocate for the children- that it would be better to be raised in a broken home than in a loveless one. But again, love is a choice. Maybe it would be better for a child to be raised in a broken home than to be raised in a home where one or both parents intentionally choose to be selfish and not love.

Back to sexuality, there are homosexuals in committed heterosexual relationships. Why/how? Because they choose to be. This is another example that is so hard for many in the world to understand but I cannot express it enough, love is independent of sex. I think if more embraced this view of love, many of the prejudicial barriers between Christians and homosexuals could be broken down.

Maybe we need a refresher of 1 Corinthians 13:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

-1 Cor 13:4-8

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