Personally, I have never understood why a psychologically healthy Gay man would ever willingly choose to be Christian. Admittedly, this inability to empathize might be a failing in my personality.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not going on one of those Christianity-hating-kicks here. That’s not where my head is at. The truth is there are good Christians, who genuinely support Gay people and want nothing more than to live in harmony with us. The Religious Right, with its cacophonic media presence, is really a very small subset, which gives the overarching Christian community a bad name.
That said, it is also true that Christianity (as a religion) has nothing particularly nice to say about homosexuality, either. In 2016, Janet Edmonds created a booklet analyzing the 7 scriptures, which are sometimes used to attack homosexuality. In that booklet (The Bible Doesn’t Say That Homosexuality is a Sin), she says:
When the Bible was written, the Hebrew culture basically ignored the concept of a loving, committed, adult, homosexual relationship. One author, James Brownson, has pointed out that the Bible is essentially silent in addressing the contemporary experience of a consensual, samesex relationship. (Brownson, pg. 41) In addition, the Bible doesn’t use any words that explicitly mean “homosexual”, nor does it specifically talk about rules concerning equal same-sex relationships.
The Christian Bible’s silence on the explicit topic of homosexuality has created a vacuum, which has allowed a cultural bias of homophobia to be read into some modern interpretations. Many of those misguided Christians mistakenly quote Leviticus to justify their homophobia. In that same booklet, Edmonds says:
To interpret these passages of Leviticus, it’s important to know that this book of the Bible focuses on ritual purity for the Israelites, and setting guidelines for the Israelites to distinguish themselves from their pagan neighbors, the Egyptians and Canaanites, who lived in the lands before they were settled by the Jews.
What I find most interesting in that quote is that Leviticus was a set of rules exclusively meant to prepare the Jews for ritual by distinguishing them from the Pagans who surrounded them. As I said in my own book, Garbed In Green (and Edmonds seems to back me up in her booklet), Gay men were revered as priests within the various “Pagan” religions. Edmunds says:
Biblical historians tell us that the Canaanite religions (which surrounded the Israelites at the time Leviticus was written) often included fertility rites consisting of sexual rituals in their temples. Sex with temple prostitutes, family members, and homosexual sex was performed at the Canaanite temples and thought to bring good luck to help crop and livestock production. (Miner & Connoley, pg. 11).
Whereas the Christian Bible is decidedly silent on the topic of homosexuality, Paganism (in all its various forms) has a great deal of good things to say about Gay men. Paganism, as an overarching spiritual umbrella, not only accepts Gay men. It celebrates us!
Which leads me to ask the question: As a psychologically healthy Gay man, why would you choose to follow a religion that (at best) fails to account for you or (at worst) flat out says you are going to Hell? Why wouldn’t you favor the religious path that holds you up and acknowledges your presence and reveres your contributions to society as a gift?