Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Gift Giving

Perhaps this is more of a commentary on me than it is on the topic at hand, but it drives me crazy when people talk about homosexuality being wrong because it misuses "God's gift of sexuality." I suppose in theory it's simple enough: all I have to do to make use of this great gift is marry a woman.

So does it matter that I've never been attracted to a member of the female gender? Or should I take the plunge anyway and marry someone I'm not really interested in having sex with? If that's the case, it sounds like sex is something more akin to a chore than a gift. ("Happy birthday, honey, I bought you a new ironing board!" Moments later, the clang of a frying pan connecting with a human skull can be heard...)

And if I'm called to celibacy even though that's not one of my spiritual gifts, is my sex drive really a blessing or just another burden to be endured as I travel the road to my eternal reward? Yeah, yeah, I have the 'privilege' of learning how to sublimate my sex drive by channeling it into other pursuits. God save us all from such 'privileges.'

It's kind of like a father buying his son a shiny new Jeep and then telling him it can never leave the driveway. I know that's not a perfect analogy, but it's the closest I can come to conveying what an enormous slap in the face it is to call sexuality a gift when there's no realistic possibility that I can ever legitimately use it.

The analogy breaks down, of course, because the father (unless he's the world's biggest sadist) is probably only putting a temporary restriction on the Jeep until his son's driving skills improve. Ah, some would point out, but God doesn't condone heterosexuals having sex outside of marriage, either. True, but there's an ocean of difference between having to refrain for now because you haven't found a spouse yet and having to refrain permanently because your spouse of choice would be the wrong gender.

"Ah," that same group of 'some' would counter again, "but you shouldn't give up on change so quickly. It's a lifelong process, after all." Great, so when I'm 95 and peeing through a catheter, I might be ready for marriage. Woohoo, I can't wait.

That last statement probably sounded dreadfully bitter, so let me clarify that I believe God is a good Father who only gives good gifts. Thus, I'm led to one of the following conclusions:

A) God intends heterosexuality for me and Exodus is simply too clueless to help me get there.
B) There is, in fact, a legitimate context within which I may engage sexually with someone I'm attracted to (i.e. another man).
C) Sexuality should not be viewed as a gift.

I'm leaning toward either B or C here, though I guess I shouldn't rule out any of them just yet.


JJ said...

Dude, you just nailed everything on the head. I might just copy and paste this post. I've never said it any better.

Ash said...

My compliments exactly.

I don't believe sexuality is a gift though. Sex is, but not sexuality. Now, whether the gift of sex should be man and woman, that's another debate.

I'd lean towards A & C, personally.

Ash said...

Just to clarify: When I said sexuality is not a gift, I meant it in the sense that God making us with certain traits isn't really a "gift".

On the other hand, if homoseuxality is in reality just a burden, then would heterosexuals be taking their gift of "normal" sexuality for granted?

Another alternative is that if the ostensible burden of homosexuality is actually some kind of experience to learn from, does that then make it a 'gift' of sorts?

Suddenly I'm confused.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post. Being married to a man (in Sweden that is) for six years I guess that puts me firmly in the conclusion B corner, nevertheless your arguments brings a level of clarity to the whole dilemma that is rare.

I think that people arguing that conclusion B does not have a good biblical foundation should try to argue for position A or C from a biblical point of view.

Christine Bakke said...

Nice post, E! Well said.

Anonymous said...

I would actually lean towards B but might include C. Being a theistic evolutionist, sexuality is part of our biological nature and neutral from a moral standpoint. Ash is correct though that sex is a gift and should be regarded as more than a convenient method of achieving orgasm.

CrackerLilo said...

This is absolutely terrific. There are a few people I'd like to share it with, but I await your permission. Thank you for sharing the product of your thinking.

Eugene said...


That's fine, go ahead and send the link.