Q. Does your Church believe people will go to hell for being gay?
Q. But being gay is a sin, right?
Q. Then why doesn’t your Church allow gay marriage?
A. Because marriage was invented by God, and he made it to be between a man and a woman for life. We can’t change that.
Q. Why wouldn’t God let everybody marry if being gay isn’t a sin?
A. There are a lot of reasons not everybody should marry, not just for being gay. But marriage implies sexual activity, and sex with someone of the same sex is a sin.
Q. But didn’t you just…wait. Is being gay a sin or not?
A. Being gay isn’t a sin. Gay sex is.
Q. What’s the difference?
A. Well one’s a feeling, an orientation; the other’s an action.
Q. But how is it okay to be gay but not to have sex?
A. It’s not okay for anybody to have sex unless they’re married. Almost everybody would like to have sex, gay or not, but the Church tells us not to except with our spouse.
A. Don’t worry, you won’t die if you don’t. It’s not like eating.
Q. Okay–So, being attracted to people of the same sex is okay, but you’re not supposed to have sex with them. Why would God make people like that and then forbid them to be in a relationship?
A. They’re not necessarily forbidden from being in a relationship per se, but it just can’t be sexual.
Q. I mean…
A. But I know what you’re asking. The answer is, I don’t know. There’s definitely a certain way that God intends us to be and to live, but there are all kinds of things in this life that make that difficult to nearly impossible. God wants us to be well, but we are often unwell, from outside causes or sometimes from our own doings. He wants us chaste, but we have strong desires in us that prompt us not to be. Same-sex attraction is a disordered desire, but so is an inflamed and out-of-control heterosexual desire. I didn’t say being gay was okay, I just said it’s not a sin. We’re responsible for our sins, not for things inside us or that happen to us. But I don’t know why God made a world where it would be like that.
Q. That doesn’t sound like a God of love.
A. What would a God of love do?
Q. He’d say that love is love and anybody should be able to be with who they love, regardless of their gender or orientation.
A. So, like I was saying, I think just because we feel like or want certain things doesn’t mean they’re good for us. Sometimes they’re bad for us, physically, metaphysically…And a God of love would want what’s good for us, not what’s bad for us.
Q. But if he made us like this then either he wants us to be like this, or he doesn’t care, or he doesn’t love us. Or he doesn’t exist.
A. I don’t think he made us like this. But he definitely allowed it to happen, so, point taken. We Christians DO believe that he didn’t leave us like this without doing anything. We actually think he’s suffered all the essential human problems right along with us, even dying. The whole cross thing, you know. But we believe that, being God and all, he resurrected and did something to our human nature that will ultimately fix everything in us (since he was still fully human and all, too). We don’t really know how all that works, but we do believe that it will somehow. And, importantly, that it was motivated out of love for us.
Q. That’s stupid. Sorry. But if that’s what you believe, why couldn’t he just fix everything without coming to earth and dying and everything?
A. I don’t know. He probably could have, but it probably wouldn’t have meant the same thing as fixing it through suffering as one of us.
Q. Did he fix gayness by being gay?
A. Ha. Good question. I don’t know if our Lord ever had same-sex attraction. Maybe. But when I say he ‘fixed’ us, what I mean is that he fixed our human nature in himself, not in every one of us automatically. The whole Christianity thing is about learning -over a lifetime- to get Christ’s fixed human/divine life into us. It’s a whole big thing that involves faith and sacraments and stuff. And usually the consensus is no one ever really does it very completely by the time they die. But it’s still the best way of life for us while we’re here.
Q. It sounds complicated.
A. It’s not. But it’s not easy either.