Salon has a piece by Murray Richmond, a minister who spent his career preaching that homosexuality was a sin. Now he has changed his mind.
As a Presbyterian minister, I believed it was a sin. Then I met people who really understood the stakes: Gay men
These experiences shook my worldview. It became clear to me that none of these men had chosen to be gay, just as I had never chosen to be heterosexual. How could I condemn someone for something that was really not their fault?
I don’t know Mr. Richmond, how could you? Because you thought that a book written by human beings in the desert was divinely inspired and therefore had to have contained truth?
People like Mr. Richmond are initially certain about the truth of the Bible, but once they go out into the real world, when they meet people and look at evidence, when they actually test the truth of what they are taught, their own worldviews are suddenly shattered. How do they reconcile this shock without admitting the obvious truth that Christianity is a human invention?
Free from the constraints of a congregation, I could spend more time actually looking at the biblical texts that deal with homosexuality, and I was surprised to find they were not as clear as I had supposed they were. At this point, I have done a 180 on the topic. And I believe it’s a change for the good.
Tada! People start seeing the Bible as a fuzzy, “unclear” thing, something that needs further interpretation (to align itself with 21st century values). But they only do so after they start to suspect that there’s something terribly wrong here.
It’s a very funny thing, isn’t it? The inspirational for full, equal, and respectful treatment of homosexuals comes from human experience and general humanistic values. It certainly does not come from the Bible; Mr. Richmond’s benevolent heart just makes his reading of the “Good Book” oh-so-blurry.