Today I finished Marva Dawn’s chapter on homosexuality in her book Sexual Character (or read my review). I like her explanation because she makes a strong case for homosexuality as a sin, but then backs that up with a stronger argument for why and how the church should support homosexuals. If you’re going to tell homosexual people that they’re living in sin, you need to help them out of that situation. Dawn argues that a homosexual should be able to live a celibate lifestyle with the support of a close Christian community. She deals with personal experience by noting that although this seems like an unfair position for the church to put homosexuals in, no human lives a temptation-free existence. When critics ask if it’s fair for a homosexual to be denied any possibility for sexual fulfillment, Dawn humbly asks if it’s fair for her to be denied the full use of her legs, eyes, and ears.
Difficult questions and difficult answers. But at least it’s a discussion of the real issues. I feel like so much of the debate over Bishop Gene Robinson has been two different arguments. One side declares loudly that homosexuality is wrong, while the other asks why you can’t just accept homosexuality. It seems like neither side really listens. I would have expected the Episcopal Convention to deeply scrutinize the biblical texts and come up with a biblical solution. Sadly, I’m not so sure if that happened.