The Current Political G-Spots: God and Gays

Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Scott's Blog | 1 comment

Scott Kiloby, July 1, 2013

There are many possible perspectives on the gay marriage issue, each of them partial.  This is merely one perspective.

Now that the historic Supreme Court gay marriage decisions have been handed down, the summer of 2013 centers on two political G-spots:  God and gays.  As I watch the talking heads on both sides of the debate,  it seems on the surface that the central issue is “What would Jesus do?”  Would he cry in the face of this moral decay or would he think that gay marriage is fabulous?  Religious gay marriage opponents are citing God as the ultimate authority.  And the LGBT community is scrambling to meet them in that argument somehow, as difficult as it is to argue with the idea “This is God’s law.”  What a show stopper!

This union of sex and religion is nothing new.  These two have been strange bedfellows for centuries.  But the tension between religion and sexual identity is magnified on the issue of gay marriage because of its potential social and political implications. 

As I watched the mental sword fight, I saw something which felt more deeply-rooted here, buried beneath the surface issue of God and gays.  There are emotional wounds running the show on both sides of the equation.  This debate can be seen as much more than a question of who should be able to marry or even a question of morality, religion, or sexuality.  At its very core, like most human issues, it’s about identity.  

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I could hear the subtext of the religious opponents of gay marriage taking the form of the story, “I’m unsafe,” (or a similar story).  “Gays are ruining our society” is a really scary thought!  But what is really being threatened?  Is God being threatened by well-decorated gay summer weddings or is the identity behind the religious belief itself being threatened?  I imagine it is the latter. Sometimes when I watch and listen to the fear and disgust, disguised by religious rhetoric, I can’t help but see that an emotional wound is talking, not a religious zealot.

And, in many cases, I see the same on the other side.  Of course the arguments in favor of gay marriage have merit.  I support gay marriage 100%.  On the surface this is about equality and benefits.  Those are sound arguments.  But mental arguments are so often less about logic and more about defining and strengthening identity.  Asserting LGBT identities are important to assert at first, in order to start the conversation of equality.  But they lose their power when we hide what is really going on within us.  We are all hurting and feeling threatened by other.  Below the surface of even the soundest arguments in favor of gay marriage, I still see that little boy or girl looking for acceptance outside him- or herself.  Another wound is talking, singing a different tune called “I’m not good enough.”  That too is a very painful thought!

I see my lesbian and gay sisters and brothers putting forth arguments that make my heart swoon with love and my eyes water in gratitude.  And at the same time, some of my gay and lesbian friends are clearly speaking from the hurt and rejection of many years of anti-gay rhetoric and moral condemnation tossed around freely.  Can you blame them?  No, the culture of homophobia helped create this internalized pain.  But (and this is where my LGBT friends might smack me) you also can’t blame the religious side. Their identities too are being threatened.  They are deeply hurt and scared also, even if they aren’t conscious of it.

No matter how we dress up the pain with sound arguments, it is still pain.  And no one is talking about it.  That’s the real closet here, the pretending that this is not really about separate, deficient selves scratching and clawing to survive at both ends of the debate.  These two divided factions are not-so-cozily nestled in the same closet, claiming that all this sturm und drang is only about morality and who is sitting on whose lap.  What poetic irony . . . .

Whatever is threatening to the mind is threatening to the belief in a separate self because that self is thought-created.  In becoming open to putting this selfing to bed, we might just have a chance to wake up, stop feeling threatened by every adverse argument and stop appealing to a higher authority that no one is able to question.  We might finally be able to hear each other.  What both sides are saying under the moral chatter is “My very identity is being threatened here dammit!”  This is our common closet.  Coming out, and seeing through this game of “me,” may allow something new to arise.  In the meantime, get your logic and biblical quotes ready.  This war isn’t over . . . .

 

  • Grant Tyler

    Scott.. This G Spot blog is brilliant. There would have to be some sense of deficiency in the backdrop that has life experience in the foreground appear threatened… on both sides. If ultimately there is no perceived threat to the sense of self, possibilities abounds for mutual understanding and peace of heart.