I was struck, though, by the fact that you did not attempt to really justify homosexuality. If I read you correctly, you even acknowledge it is probably a sin. . . . It seems like you are saying, "This is a sin, but I'm going to keep doing it anyways."That is a fair reading of my last post, not because that that is what I meant but because I was purposely ambiguous about whether homosexuality, or homosexual conduct, is a sin. The truth is, I am still working all that out. A big part of me wants to declare it not a sin, but another big part of me cannot flippantly disregard what I was taught as I grew up. Similarly, if I am able to declare homosexuality not a sin, I am the type of person that needs to be able to defend the position.
I have read some rather plausible, indeed compelling, arguments that homosexuality as we know it today is not the same thing that the New Testament writers declared sinful. I would like to latch on to these arguments, but at the end of the day they boil down to "the text is ambiguous, so let's err on the side of 'not sinful.'" I'm not sure that's enough.
Anyway, to be clear and honest, here is where I am now: I do believe that being gay is innate, not a choice (who, I ask, would choose to go through these struggles?). I also think that being in the closet is immoral, sinful even. I believe this because being in the closet is all about lying. I am not honest with my parents out of my own cowardice. I am not proud of this. Moreover, if I were to marry out of convenience that would be a terrible thing to do to a woman, especially if I really did love her, apart from sexual attraction. I also think it is immoral that society pressures me at all to live that way.
So what about the sex itself? The reader who asked the question above made a good point that sexual sin is different (not necessarily worse) from other sins. This is because sex is so closely tied to our emotions and the emotions of our sexual partners (if I was reading him correctly). Using people as sexual objects, meaning thinking of my orgasm over the emotional needs of my partners, is I think immoral and sinful. This is part of the reason I am disinclined from being the stereotypical gay (or even male) sex hound. Conversely, I can think of nothing sinful or immoral about two people sharing a committed relationship that involves sex (homosexual or not). In fact I hope to have it myself one day.
Tangent: I found this on Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish. Sully talks about his faith in far better words than I can hope to string together.
Addendum: It occurred to me that the excerpt from an email quoted above may appear accusatory in isolation. So I have decided to share more of what the reader said, which is quite insightful:
I agree that homosexuality should not be seen as the sin of sins. I will say, though, that I've always thought sexual sin in general to be particularly invidious -- not because it "counts" against us more, but because, in practical terms, it goes to the deepest thing about us. Again, I'm not saying sexual sin is "worse," I'm saying that the consequences of such sin might be of a different order than other sins. We easily can sleep off a night of drinking too much beer. But sex connects us to another person in a profound way, and I think its ramifications linger much longer than, say, a hangover. None of this is an argument for making homosexuality the sin of sins. All I mean to suggest is that sin of a sexual nature (whether homosexual or heterosexual) seems to be something of a special depth. Put differently, the profundity of sexual sin is connected to the awesome nature of sex itself.
Ironically, this, for me, is an argument FOR allowing homosexual practice. Sex goes to the deepest part of us, and fulfills some of our deepest longings for love, connecting with another person, etc. To deny this to another human being based on their orientation is, I think, deeply problematic. I am not sure what I think about all this yet. I have a hard time turning my back on tradition and parts of the New Testament that seem fairly clear (though perhaps not entirely unambiguous). I am, personally, deeply conservative. The knowledge of my own limitations and failings makes me humble in the face of tradition or even the broad sense of the Church on these matters.