Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It Is Not Good To Be Alone

That’s the number one reason, according to author and columnist Jay Michaelson, for why gay rights is a religious issue.

In his article in the special “Queer Spirituality and Politics” issue of Tikkun magazine, Michaelson lists ten reasons for why “religious people should not be for gay rights despite their religious’ teachings [but] because of them.” Accordingly, other reasons he lists include “God Loves Us and Does Not Want Us to Harm Ourselves,” “Compassion is Holy,” “Justice is Holy,” “Evolution of Religious Doctrine is Healthy,” and “Sexual Diversity Is a Beautiful Part of God’s Creation.”

I share today, as Part 4 of The Wild Reed’s special “Gay Pride 2010” series, Michaelson’s explanation for why “It Is Not Good To Be Alone” is at the top of his list of reasons for why gay rights is a religious issue.


Opponents of same-sex marriage remind us that in Genesis, “it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” But “Adam and Eve” is the solution to a problem: the existential crisis of aloneness. In fact, after the long series of good things God sees during the creation process, Adam’s aloneness is the first thing that is not good (Gen. 2:18). It is the first natural condition which, the Bible tells us, is not to be left as is. Love, togetherness, mutual support – these are the essential qualities of the partnership God creates.

Religious and spiritual people, then, are faced with a fundamental religious imperative to heal loneliness where we find it and to insist on the importance of human relationship in so doing. What is different today is that, unlike five thousand, five hundred, or fifty years ago, we now understand that sexual orientation is either genetically determined or determined so early in development as to be an essential, unchangeable aspect of the human soul. Thus, for millions of people around the world, to remedy this first, fundamental flaw of the human condition requires a same-sex relationship.

Of course, sexual orientation is a spectrum, not a binary, and for bisexuals and some others, there may be mutability. But a few bisexual experiences do not undermine a great many homosexual and heterosexual ones. For many people, the only way toward healing the split recognized in Genesis 2:18 is in a loving, same-sex relationship. Indeed, this is no doubt one reason that so many opponents of gay rights have insisted that sexual orientation must be changeable: because if it isn’t, then the traditional, homophobic interpretation of Scripture cannot be maintained. Of course, that is exactly my point.

For previous posts in The Wild Reed’s special “Gay Pride 2010” series, see:
Standing Strong
Growing Strong
Jesus and Homosexuality

For 2009’s “Gay Pride” series, see:
A Mother’s Request to President Obama: Full Equality for My Gay Son
Marriage Equality in Massachusetts: Five Years On
It Shouldn’t Matter. Except It Does
Gay Pride as a Christian Event
Not Just Another Political Special Interest Group
Can You Hear Me, Yet, My Friend?
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride
Worldwide Gay Pride

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Dan Furmansky: Why We Have Pride
The Many Forms of Courage (Part III)
Making Love, Giving Life

1 comment:

Davis said...

A very good post