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JP Byrnes
 
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Sexuality, Religion and Society

19 January 2013, 09:28
This is a response to the ‘Academy Claims to Cure Homosexuality’ news article published on news24.com approximately a week ago (2013-01-13).

This is my personal opinion on sexuality, religion and society.

Firstly, reading the above mentioned article deeply angered me. I have no idea who ever gave this mentioned ‘Christian arts academy’ the right to tell someone who they can and cannot love or feel attracted to. Further from that, what angered me even more was the comments that where attached to this article. Comments made by the South African people. A people that went through a history of discrimination. A people that went through a history where one group decided that it was wrong for ‘different’ people to associate with each other. A people that should know better than to discriminate against a group of people just because of their personal beliefs about them.

Many justified their anti-gay hate speech in accordance with religion and what the Bible says. Well, let me educate you on the Bible. I am a Methodist and true to the Methodist way, I take a questioning and informative look at any religious text. Yes, the Bible does mention that homosexuality is a detestable sin. Yes it does. But my dear friends, that exact same book that you use to justify your homophobia has another, deeper and more God representing verse in it. A verse that you cannot use to justify any hatred (which, if I could just add, is another detestable act in the Bible) but only justify the true representation of the God that loves every single one of his creations. This verse can be found in the book of Galatians where the prophet Paul mentions the fruits of “The Spirit”. “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, , self-control … have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another… Bear one another’s burdens.” – Galatians 5:22-23, 26; 6:2. Oh, and he adds, “Against such things there is no law.” That’s right. There is NO law against love. And in fact, this verse proves more than just that. It proves that people who are of the LGBTI community are not the ones who will be answering to God on their day of reckoning. It’s the other way around.

Furthermore, I am not a really devoted religious person, so here’s a more reflective view on what I believe.

Homosexuality is not a choice. Do you really think that someone would choose a lifestyle where you are looked down upon and are seen as committing the worst human act imaginable? It’s not as if you wake up one day and tell your parents that today was the big day that you picked whether you’re going to like boys or girls. You are born with your sexuality. It’s interwoven into your DNA. And I’m really sorry for this ‘Christian arts academy’, but unfortunately only God himself can change that and by saying that you can is telling God that he made an imperfect human being.

If the church teaches of a Jesus that discriminates against his own people on a basis of who they chose to love, well I’m sorry, but your Jesus and my Jesus are two different people.

Now, to the LGBTI community that is feeling lost, unwanted, like they don’t belong because of what society tells them, and to those who are being forced by their parents, or whoever, to participate in this ridiculous program at this ‘Christian arts academy’, just know that you did not choose who you are and that nothing you or anybody else does can change who you are. Sure, you can follow society’s direction and marry someone from the opposite sex. But know this, by doing that, you will never know what it truly means to love someone, you will be doing something truly selfish towards your partner, and you will die having this hole in your heart that was never filled.

To parents who are living with a LGBTI son or daughter, if your child comes out to you as being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or even transgendered, it is defiantly not healthy to respond in a negative way. By telling your child to suppress their true selves is telling them that they should live a lie. What they need is support and for you to tell them that just because they are different doesn't mean that you love them any less.

I am a law student and last year a lecturer openly asked a question to the class, ‘How many of you would accept your child if he or she came out as being gay?’ Out of the entire class, I was the only one who said that I would. The rest either tried to avoid the question or outspokenly justified the wrongfulness of being homosexual. I just pray that these people don’t end up having a child that is homosexual or if they do, that they are more educated and understanding of the issue by then.

The truth is that, no matter how much you try, you will never ever fully please society. You can live your life trying to, but by choosing this, you won’t really be living. All you will be doing is floating through life trying to please people that, at the end of the day, are just going to cut you down in any case.

Be true to who you are. Live your own life and not the life that others want you to live.

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