Friday, February 15, 2008

Misty Irons on Gay "Lust"

Remember ridiculously cool Christian blogger Misty Irons? She recently posted a thoughtful entry on her blog analyzing why mainstream Christians are unable or unwilling to consider that gay couples may actually be bound by love. Misty chastises those Christians who dismiss gay affection as nothing more than "lust".
To say so is to characterize their homosexual feelings as fundamentally sordid and self-serving. It leaves no room for any of the feelings or impulses that belong to the higher order of human sexual experience such as emotional and spiritual bonding, mutual respect and admiration, the urge to give oneself to another, the desire to sacrifice oneself for another, or the conviction that you have found a "soul mate."

To say that homosexual people are all about the baser impulses of sexual attraction, minus any of the nobler feelings, is essentially saying they are less human than the rest of us. In other words, it is saying they are incapable of human love. (emphasis mine)
Mrs. Irons goes on to write that mainstream Christians' negative reaction to gay folks "would seem more justified if homosexuality were about people who are of a fundamentally lower moral quality. " Contemplating that gay people actually experience love--not lust--for one another presents too great a challenge for such Christians.
to say that there are people who are capable of the exact same kind of sexual attraction as everyone else, except that they find themselves attracted to people of the same sex for reasons even they can't explain, is a more disturbing idea. It turns a part of your universe upside down.

How can something as sacred and sublime as love take on this orientation? How could God allow this to happen? What is he doing? What does it mean? Why am I feeling so freaked out by it?

As much as Christians like to talk about "the homosexual agenda" and their righteous anger over "perversion," at its root this is really about the deep issues regarding our own personal faith, isn't it? As Christians we know we're not supposed to despise people. Everyone knows that. So we look for reasons to justify our uncomfortable feelings instead of just admitting we have them. Maybe that's why we make up stuff about how homosexuality is "lust" and "sex addiction" instead of just listening to what gay people have been telling us plainly about themselves until they are sick of saying it. Believing the made-up stuff is easier than having to accept the truth of the matter, than having to confront our own fears and phobias and doubts and questionings of God. We want to believe this is about "them" when it is really about us.
Another excellent example of how Mrs. Irons really "gets it." She gives me hope that understanding and reconciliation between gays and Christians is a possibility.

Thanks, Misty.


Pomoprophet said...

I think this may be one of her best articles yet!

seithman said...

I'm with both you and Pomo! I saw that post by Misty earlier last week and absolutely loved it.

Brandon said...

God bless her. And God bless you for posting this.