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I was saddened and deeply troubled as I read Reverend Clenard H. Childress Jr.s’ article featured in the New England Informer and numerous other publications, entitled, “Why Homosexuality Is Wrong!” Reverend Childress contends in his essay that homosexuality is wrong philosophically, Biblically, biologically, and physiologically. When reading the article, it is readily apparent from the outset that what is truly wrong is his initial premise! The reason as to why his initial premise is flawed and erroneous is that despite the fact that he is a pastor, Reverend Childress forgets or zealously overlooks the fact that it was God who created same-gender-loving people and GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES!
Same-gender-loving people or homosexuals as Childress describes them are born with their sexual preferences firmly established within their psyche just like heterosexuals! It is not learned behavior or a psycho-sexual attitude that can be can be quickly cast off or transmuted at a whim in the face of religious and political oppression and pressure. Same-gender-loving people know that their sexual orientation is an immutable manifestation of their God-given sexual identity. It is strong, it is unshakable, and it cannot be changed! It can be suppressed and repressed, but only at great psychological harm to the individual. Asking a same-gender-loving person to change their sexual orientation to heterosexual is equivalent to asking a heterosexual to reject their sexual orientation and become homosexual. It does not work in either case unless the individual has the inclination for bisexuality which many psychologists state that all men and women have within them, but because of culturally and religiously instilled homophobia, they are afraid to acknowledge, explore and express that part of their sexual nature.
Moreover, our loving and wise God created a world with a diversity of plant life, animal life, and human life. In addition to this marvelous diversity, God created diversity in sexual expression. To condemn any one of God’s creations as wrong or flawed (in my opinion) is the epitome of spiritual ignorance and arrogance, no matter how many academic or theological degrees the condemning person might possess.
Reverend Childress begins his essay with a quotation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which I find ironic because Dr, Martin Luther King. Jr., the noted theologian, human rights activist and advocate for tolerance, had a same-gender -loving person Bayard Rustin as one of his closest advisors at the beginning of his civil rights career. Dr. King wisely understood that even though they did not share the same sexual orientation, they did share the mutual commitment and passion for civil rights and the advancing of freedoms for black people. Subsequently, because of this spiritual maturity on Dr. King’s and Rustin’s part, they were able to work harmoniously and productively together. Reverend Childress’ use of biblical justification for his anti-gay essay is also problematic because of the fact that the spiritual truths of the Bible were framed within the cultural context of the people at the time. Our same beloved Bible was used to condone and justify the oppression of Black people, the rights to own slaves, and the subjugation of women. This was possible because at that time it was socially and culturally permissible and acceptable to be racist, have slaves, and elevate male entitlement. However, as we spiritually evolved and culturally matured, we realized the horrific injustice in continuing to condone these practices and institutions, so subsequently we abolished them and doing so, made a gigantic leap in becoming a more and just society. But, I have neither doubts nor any illusions that reactionary people back then also fought the advancement of those reforms with the same biblical fervor and justifications for maintaining their policies of social, sexual, and gender disenfranchisement, just as present day reactionary and homophobic members of church and society are seeking to do the same, by offering biblical sophistries against same-gender-loving people as they advocate for their equal rights.
Reverend Childress seeks to further support his anti-gay premise with biological and anatomical arguments that the sexual practices of same sex couples are not natural, yet heterosexuals have been enjoying these same methods of sexual pleasure for thousands of years in the past and they will continue to do so for thousands of years to come (and of course, he conveniently fails to mention this).
Reverend Childress then argues that marriage between same-gender-loving people will harm and destabilize marriage between men and women. Nothing can be further from the truth! If the institution of marriage between men and women suffers, it will be because of the participating men and women who do not value their relationships, nor possess the emotional, mental, and spiritual maturity to realize that marriage takes work, commitment, sacrifice, and compromise. What is even more troubling is that a great many married couples do not comprehend this truth, so is it any wonder that half of heterosexual marriages result in divorce. Marriage is a serious endeavor not to be entered lightly nor capriciously. It is a meaningful joining of hearts, minds, spirits, bodies and resources. The wonderful benefits of marriage, if sincerely and lovingly undertaken, will bring positive emotional and spiritual development to the partners of the marriage and to the children being raised within the marriage, regardless of the sexual orientation of the partners.
Make no mistake about this rebuttal. I am not attacking Reverend Childress personally. I am confident that he is sincere in his beliefs and I pray that he is not intentionally homophobic nor means any malicious harm to the same-gender-loving community, but what I am attacking are his misguided views on this issue because no matter whether benign or malicious, these homophobic views are still harmful to the LGBT community. They create and foster an atmosphere of intolerance, sexual bigotry, and misunderstanding for those of us who had no choice in this matter, but to accept the fact that this was how we were born and this is how God created us! And although Reverend Childress might be sincere, he sincerely seeks to invalidate the right for same-gender-loving people to spiritually and sexually co-exist alongside our heterosexual counterparts and enjoy the same God-given rights that they enjoy. And yes, I purposely used the expression God-given because we were created by God and as I asserted before, GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES!
In conclusion, I wish to state that I have written several articles that are published on this site that address many of these issues in greater detail. And because this is such a hot-button topic, it is also the theme of my new book entitled: They Say That I Am Broken. Following, is an excerpt from They Say That I Am Broken, as well as a compelling audio version of the excerpt. Please take the time to read the excerpt and to listen to the audio presentation. I guarantee you that your life will never ever be the same, once you have heard this dynamic message!
DYNAMIC AUDIO LINK TO EXCERPT:
They Say That I Am Broken
They say that I am broken like an expensive crystal glass that has just fallen to the floor and been shattered into a million pieces.
Cracked liked a piece of fine porcelain or priceless ceramic pottery, even after a master sculptor had labored over me for hours to mold me and create me in His own image.
So shattered, it was easy to be misled, enslaved, and seduced by others to live a lifestyle that many claim dishonors humanity and insults deity.
For years, I believed them before I understood, before I knew the truth, and before I knew how deeply and passionately He loves me!
They had me so convinced, that I was broken and in need of repair until at times, I began to despise the desires that were natural to me and desperately tried to disown them, rip them from my being, and declare with everything in my consciousness that they were not my own and could never be my own!!! And in desperation, I cried out a million times in prayer to be delivered and repaired.
Surely He can repair me since He created me, I reasoned! After all, wouldn't He love me more? Wouldn't people accept me and embrace me more if I were not broken and shattered?
Stay in fellowship, pray without ceasing, sing in the choir, usher on the Usher Board and fast until every evil desire is uprooted like a dead plant a gardener discards and uproots because it has withered and died, were my goals.
So I walked with my brothers and sisters, prayed with them, sang with them, gave my hard-earned money to them, spent the night with them in all-night church prayer shut-ins, let them drench me with anointing oil until I was soaked, and cast the demons out of me. Why did I do it? I did it because they said I was broken and in need of repair.
But one day while walking with them on life's journey, my feet began to bleed, and in utter horror, I looked at them, wondering what had cut my feet so severely. I knew what the glass looked like from my own so-called brokenness, but the huge sharp, jagged pieces in my feet did not resemble anything of mine.
I thought to myself, where could all this shattered glass be coming from? As I looked up the road, I shuddered because I could see nothing but an unending sea of broken glass ahead. But strangely enough, the people who were walking in front of me were not bleeding at all. Their feet had been so bruised, so calloused, so scarred, their minds so seared and hearts so hardened -- so used to walking in broken glass, until they could not see that they were in need of repair and were wounding me!
As I examined the glass more closely, trying to dodge it on the ground so I wouldn't get cut anymore, I saw fragments that reflected their adultery, bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy, deception, hypocrisy, orgies, hatred, prejudice, drug abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse, misappropriation of church funds, alcoholism, infidelity, countless children born out of wedlock, abandoned and uncared for by church mothers and fathers — a list far too numerous to recount!
Instinctively, I knew that if I did not stop following them, eventually my feet would be cut to shreds, and I would not survive the journey.
So I began to discreetly and quietly walk down another road, but when they noticed that I was no longer following them, they screamed at me from a distance: "You are going to hell! We always knew you never loved Him! Your perversion has blinded you! You are deceived and in error! This is the reason why the institution of marriage is deteriorating in our society today, because of perverts like you!"
Tears streamed from my eyes, and my heart was broken. Condemnation overwhelmed me, and guilt worked hard to persuade me to turn around. And just as I was about to, I met a man on the road, carrying a cross. And I thought to myself, why is He walking down this road carrying such a huge wooden cross? It must be heavy! It must be a tremendous burden to carry!
As I got closer to Him, I noticed my name written on the cross. And in utter amazement, I stopped; but before I could ask Him the reason for the inscription, He answered and said, "Because the Father loves you!" And then out of nowhere, another man appeared and took His cross from Him while He bent down to remove the jagged pieces of glass from my feet that had caused them to bleed so terribly. I immediately began to weep and apologize for all the broken glass and for taking up His time, especially since He was carrying such a heavy cross. He looked into my eyes and said, "Why do you apologize for the brokenness of others?" The brokenness of others?, I thought!!!
"Do you know why you were able to find me on this road?" He asked "No," I replied. "I didn't expect to see anyone on this road because of the way I was living, how differently I was made, because of what I desire, and the things I had done in my past!"
That is when He asked me to look up. I thought He was directing my attention to the sky, but I knew it could not be so because the light that was emanating from His body seemed to out-shine the sun. As I gazed around, I noticed a simple sign by the side of the road that said "HIGHWAY OF TRUTH."
As I looked into His beautiful hazel eyes, He smiled and said, "All who worship Me must worship Me in spirit and in truth! The Fathers seeks and loves those who do!"
But I am broken; I am shattered! I am -- that is when He took my hands and placed them in His side and said, "Wounded for your transgressions, bruised for your iniquities, the chastisement of the world's peace was upon Me and by my stripes, you are healed!" I looked at my feet, and they were no longer cut and bleeding, but miraculously healed. But I don't understand, sir! How did you do this? How did this happen?
His reply: "Love compelled me, and compassion inspired me and moved me to action!"
But why? Why for me? And just before I could say "I was broken" again, He said, "The world is broken! There is none good, none perfect, no, not one! Not the Pastor, not the evangelist, not the apostle, not the preacher, not the prophet or the prophetess, not the minister of music, not the teacher, not the deacon, not the Bishop, not even the church trustee!
Son, all of humanity is broken, and that is why I came! While they singled you out because of your uniqueness, they foolishly forgot that all are in need of a redeemer. Even if you had somehow managed to change your natural inclinations, suppressed them, and began to live another way, without my sacrifice, eternal life could never be yours. Do you want eternal life?" He asked. "Yes," I replied!
"Then believe on Me with your whole heart," He said, "and change your confession! Say no more 'I am broken'! Say no more 'I am shattered'! Instead, say 'I am healed'! Say 'I am redeemed'! Say 'I and the Father are one'! Say 'I walk in the newness of life'. "And when the appointed time comes, I shall return for you, and then I will complete my work."
"What work is that?" I asked.
"To restore the planet to its former state of perfection and transform your body from mortal to immortal in a twinkling of an eye; then take you to my Father's house. For there, He has prepared a marvelous banquet for you," was His reply.
Then suddenly, He and the man holding the cross vanished. As I sat quietly by the side of the road, bewildered and pondering what had just occurred, I decided to continue my journey. As I began to walk, the road seemed to ascend and my legs became tired and my body weary from the tedious climb up the hill. When I got to the top, I noticed people huddled together in a circle (looking up), but I could not see what they were gazing at. Something compelled me to press my way through the crowd, and to my horror, I discovered the man who had healed me by the side of the road -- brutally beaten, slain, and hanging on a cross, with nails in His hands and feet. Who could have done this to such a beautiful, kind man? Why did they murder Him and hang Him on a cross to die? I thought, as buckets of tears streamed down my face.
That is when I remembered the words He spoke to me as I was on the side of the road -- cut, bleeding, rejected, and in despair: "Wounded for your transgressions, bruised for your iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed! I am going away, but I will come again to renew the Earth and restore it to its former state of perfection, and I will transform your body from mortal to immortal in a twinkling of an eye and take you back with Me to my Father's house. For there, He has prepared a marvelous banquet for you! Say no more 'You are broken'! Say no more 'You are shattered'! Say 'You are healed!'"
By Terry Angel Mason, Global Author
Excerpt from They Say That I Am Broken