Speak Out: Are Religion and Sexuality Mutually Exclusive?
I’ve read this question today twice online on separate sites albeit phrased differently: Can you be gay and religious at the same time? Do you “go to church even if some religions condemn homosexuality?” Why or why not?
Some said yes, others said no, but there are also quite a few who said they’re atheists and couldn’t care less while another one said no, he doesn’t go to church because “religion is a little silly.”
One of those who said we can have both—that religion/spirituality and sexuality aren’t mutually exclusive at all—argued that “God is love and we are created in that loving image.” He added that God’s one true command is for us to “love one another.” Another pointed out that, “Religion isn’t homophobic. People are.” On the other hand, those who said no, they don’t go to church anymore; reasoned that it’s because “people from church were nasty to me” and “some people can come off as resentful towards the LGBT community, along with the hypocrisy.” Other sentiments I’ve read include, “some of their beliefs are hurtful” and that “God isn’t real.”
Personally, I think “hurtful” is an understatement. If you’ve watched the film Boy Erased (2018, Joel Edgerton), some people use religion as an excuse to send off their kids to receive conversion therapy from a religious or spiritual advisor just like the main character in the movie (who happens to be a pastor’s kid, by the way). They call it conversion therapy but it’s cult-like, really. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, you really should.
Speaking of pastor’s kids, last week, an American Idol contestant named Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon auditioned with an original song titled “Almost Heaven.” Harmon—who is gay, a church janitor, and a pastor’s kid (PK)—said that the song is about “questioning if there’s a place for me and I guess people like me in heaven.”
Yet, on one hand, there are pastors like this guy who promises in this touching letter that if he has gay children, that he’ll love them.
Anyway, what do you think guys? Religion and sexuality, can we have both? Share with us your thoughts and stories in the comments section below.