I am always saddened whenever I read in this paper’s editorials discriminatory language against gays and lesbians or claims about a negative “homosexual agenda.” I wish to respond to this as a person of faith who affirms the rightful place and God-given identity of LGBT members in the Christian church.
To begin with, I define “homosexual” as a person whose genetic predisposition directs them toward relationships of intimacy, commitment and love with people of the same gender.
It is true that scripture comments on same sex relationships in a handful of verses, but it is silent on the topic of committed homosexual relationships as defined above.
For example, the Old Testament rightfully speaks against homosexual temple prostitution done for ancient fertility rites, and rightfully speaks negatively of examples of homosexual rape such as the case of Sodom. And the apostle Paul spoke against abuses in Greek culture in which wealthy men used young boys as household and sexual slaves.
Interestingly, though, Jesus was silent on the entire topic although he had much to say against passing judgment on our brothers and sisters.
There are gays and lesbians in every church family in Pittsburgh. However, the reality is that within many church walls, it is not safe for LGBT members to be honest about who they are.
For same gender couples who have adopted children, shouldn’t these families be part of church programs and worship? For youth struggling to understand their God-given sexuality, shouldn’t that discernment process occur within a non-judgmental family of faith? Given the high risk of suicide and homelessness faced by LGBT people pushed to society’s margins, shouldn’t the church respond pastorally to this crisis?
For our Pittsburgh community, combating racism and economic inequality need to be at the top of everyone’s agenda. The sooner we stop claiming that LGBT children of the family of God are not full citizens in our shared life, the sooner we can all work together for a better tomorrow.
Rev. Dr. Randall Bush
East Liberty Presbyterian Church