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A fundamentalist Christian blew my mind

11 October 2012, 08:23

I was having coffee and eggs in my local Waffle House when I overheard the cook talking to one of the servers and the subject of homosexuals came up.

The cook mentioned that while he didn't have any ill feelings toward "the gays", the bible condemned their actions as an abomination. He went on to explain that he can't personally respect their decision to be homosexual because the bible is the infallible word of god.

It was pretty slow in the restaurant, so I decided to speak up and put in my two cents. I asked him why he chose to respect that part of the biblical text but not other parts. To which he replied that he respected every verse in the bible and always tried his level best to follow all the tenets, not just those in the ten commandments.

I was brought up in the church and was formerly a youth minister who took my faith very seriously, especially when I started to doubt it. This was a particular thing that I had thought about on multiple occasions, that's why I knew the verses to reference. I mentioned that the verse he was referring to was Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as if with womankind: it is an abomination." He nodded emphatically, "Yeah! That's it!"

I then pointed out that in the very same book, one chapter later Leviticus 19:19 god forbids wearing any clothing of mixed fabrics, or at least mixed of linen and wool. "... neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee." and James 2:10 "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

I explained my point that according to scripture it is just as bad to wear clothes of mixed fabric as it is to be homosexual. I asked him why he thought that we put so much emphasis on the gay thing but not the mixed fabric thing. I posited that it was much more likely that both of these things are meaningless and harmless and that our society likes to pay more attention to the gay verse because it suits our political and social ends but that we all treat other parts (like the fabrics verse) as obvious silliness that we don't need to pay attention to anymore.

Here's the part where he blew my mind. Any one of us who has debated any point with a fundamentalist knows that logic and reference to scriptural contradictions and fallacy are almost always completely ineffectual. You never get anywhere debating a christian. I was expecting more of the same from this guy but after I laid it out like that he kind of just stood there with his head tilted, obviously grinding out this conundrum with great mental effort. He walked away and went back to cooking a new order but eventually came back to me and said, "Man, I never knew any of that stuff. You've got a real good point. I guess not everything in the bible is really worth taking seriously and I can't think of a good reason to pick and choose between them. I reckon gay people have just as much right to be gay as I do in choosing what I wear."

I decided not to get into the difference between fashion choices and being born gay. That's the first time something like that has ever happened to me. I really couldn't believe it.

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