A 'Lovingly' Cast Stone is Still a Stone.
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
*This entry is meant to be a follow up to my previous entry "The Right Side of Truth." I am still waiting to hear from the pastor on his thoughts of that entry.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Many may be familiar with "The Doll Tests" results that were used in the 1954 Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. This unanimous landmark decision would rule that U.S. state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional, even if the segregated schools are otherwise equal in quality.
Let's shed a little light on this.
What was their case?
Chief Counsel Thurgood Marshall and his team sought to prove that the "Separate But Equal" legal doctrine that was handed down and confirmed from the 1896 Supreme Court decision of Plessy v. Ferguson" was unconstitutional. The "Separate But Equal" doctrine, as spelled out in the previous court decision, said that as long as the facilities provided to each race were equal, state and local governments could require that facilities, including schools, could be segregated. This doctrine, of course, was mostly and widely used in the south. (See the Red? Hard to miss.)
But Marshall and his team decided to dig much deeper than whether or not, and to what extent, facilities could ACTUALLY be "separate but equal." They wanted and needed to convince the court that the doctrine of "Separate But Equal" itself, was inherently wrong and immoral.
The Doll Tests
Doctors Kenneth and Mamie Clark developed a series of experiments and tests to study the psychological effects of segregation on black children.
As part of this experiment, the doctors would place a set of dolls (identical except for skin-color) in front of a black child (aged 3-7) and would ask them to indicate which doll they preferred the most.
More often than not when these black children were asked:
"Which doll is the nice doll?" .....the black child would point to the white doll.
"Which doll is the good doll?" ......the black child would point to white doll.
"Which doll is the pretty doll?"......the black child would point to the white doll.
"Which doll is bad?" .....the black child would point to the black doll.
"Which doll is ugly?"......the black child would point to the black doll.
And after answering this series of simple questions these children were then asked:
"Which doll looks like you?"
These children often could not bring themselves to answer this question.
Many times, these children would appear confused - reluctant to answer.
Many times these children would point to the white doll.
Many times these children would make their choice followed by tears.
In the end, these tests and their results were enough to convince the court that this case was about more than simply determining the merits of equal facilities - but moreover, that the institutions of prejudice, discrimination, and segregation had a direct impact on a black child's self-esteem as well as created a feeling of inferiority among black children.
For so long, the logic of "separate but equal" had been treated as a sort of compromise with the belief that, racism withstanding, the black community, and the CHILDREN within the black community, were going to be JUST FINE - as long as they had "equal" facilities.
"Separate but Equal" was found to be - and IS - immoral.
Plain and simple.
So what is my point?
These children, though they had NO CHOICE as to what skin color they were born with, CHOSE and FAVORED the white doll.
These children, though they had NO CHOICE as to what skin color they were born with, felt:
not nice, good, or pretty enough.
All due to a long-standing national belief that one race was superior to another. A belief that, for centuries, had been justified by the use of Scripture.
My point....and forgive me for being blunt.
If you find yourself disturbed and disgusted by how these children were made to feel by a society that didn't value them and by a society that used Scripture to justify this - then please know that those of you who today would utter the words "Homosexuality is a Sin" are doing the EXACT same thing to impressionable children and teenagers today who are struggling with their own sexual and gender identity.
Members of the Christian faith - if/when you declare a message akin to "Homosexuality is Sinful Nature," this is EXACTLY what you are doing to children and teenagers of the LGBTQ community. You make them feel inherently
When you so casually proclaim these words, EVEN if through a filter of love and compassion, you are still telling them that, through no choice of their own, they are inherently WRONG or INCORRECT.
Just because you lovingly and compassionately proclaim that "being gay is a sin" does NOT make this proclamation any more comforting or any less confusing and hurtful to someone who struggles with their identity - ESPECIALLY when they realize that it was not a choice that they made to begin with. (Much like the black children being tested KNEW they had no choice in their skin-color which explains why they struggled with "which baby looks like you?")
I have recently heard many well-intentioned devout Christians say that even though they believe that a person most likely "might be born gay" and that "it's probably not a choice after all" they usually follow this statement with something like "but it is only due to the death and destruction that was implemented by God after Adam and Eve ate some fruit."
With that they are saying that, though a person might be born gay, it is sinful for them to act on it.
They say ALL of this while also adding that it is still important to show love and compassion to members of the gay community. "Hate the Sin. Love the Sinner."
From the perspective of someone who KNOWS that he was born guy, I can assure you, even when said through a filter of love and compassion, it is disheartening to hear that
your very being
the kind of man God created you to be
the baby that resulted from a knowing-Creator "forming you in your mother's womb"
a nature in which you had NO CHOICE in the matter
"is merely a result of death and destruction."
I don't care if that sentence is spoken out of love and compassion or hatred and disdain -
It is still damaging to the soul.
It is still damaging to the psyche of children.
It is still damaging for the impressionable teenager.
It still leads to feelings of inferiority, unworthiness, ugliness, and "not enough."
and worse of all -
It still leads to suicide attempts and unfortunate successes by countless numbers of our children, teens, and young adults.
My IDENTITY is a result of DEATH and DESTRUCTION.....not the LOVE of my All-Knowing Creator???
From my earliest memories (even pre-dating kindergarten) I knew that there was something different about me. I could tell by social indicators that the way that I looked at men was problematic at best. I picked up on all of the cues and rhetoric from both society and the Church that convinced me that there was something inherently wrong and evil inside of me.
I "KNEW" that homosexuality was "sinful" based on what I was being fed by both society and the church.
I also KNEW that I had no choice in the matter.
When you combine these two factors it's remarkable that I made it to 40 years of age. Many don't.
As a kid I felt unworthy, unloved, unconnected - like I didn't belong. I struggled to make friends. I struggled to identify anything good, nice or pretty that was within me. I struggled with self-confidence, self-love, and self-hate.
As a teenager I grew frustrated; I hated myself. I built walls to hide who I knew I was.
As a man I grew lonely by isolating myself. I placed all of the hurt and shame I had for myself into my work so that I could, at least, gain self and social acceptance in some manner.
All of this due to a lie that I had been brainwashed into believing from my earliest days that
"Being gay is a sin"
"Who I was born to be is a product of death and destruction."
As I pointed out in my last blog entry - "The Right Side of Truth" - if you are going to use Scripture to justify calling homosexuality and the act of homosexuality a "sin" then you should be able to reconcile and explain how you are able to justify using the same Bible that was once used to justify hate towards people of color to justify your hate - and I do mean hate - of members of the LGTBQ community. *Especially considering that your clumsy words have a spiritual, emotional, and psychological toll on children and teenagers who are dealing with this.
When talking about spiritual realities of Homosexuality being a sin, Pastor Whiting discussed how unfortunate it is that a person who was born with a "propensity" to be gay may just have to live a celibate life in order to be "right with God"
Think about that.
In order for the good pastor and other Christian followers to feel better about the way they are interpreting Scripture, I, somebody who was BORN gay, am encouraged to just be alone and celibate for my entire life.
I think many who consider the word "homoSEXuality" focus-in on that 3-letter word in the middle. But being gay is no more about SEX than being heteroSEXual is. It's about INTIMACY and COMPANIONSHIP. It's about CONNECTING and BELONGING.
Imagine being told that you are not able to be with the one you love and the one that loves you because somebody has interpreted it as sin. And when this ASK is being given by a significant group of people like The Church - then this can be a difficult pill to swallow.
And let's consider that phrase "propensity to be gay." This phrase is often thrown out there with other "sins" like "
"a propensity to be an alcoholic"
"a propensity to be addicted to drugs or porn"
"a propensity to be an adulterer"
"a propensity to be a gossip"
"a propensity to be greedy"
"a propensity to lie"
But consider the difference between the "propensity to be gay"compared to all of the other sins on this list.
Being an alcoholic, addicted to drugs or porn, being an adulterer, being a gossip, being greedy, being a lier, and a host of other sins, DIRECTLY HARMS AND IMPACTS THE SINNER AND/OR THOSE HE IS SINNING AGAINST.
Meanwhile my being gay has no hurtful impact on myself or anyone else. I think THAT should be enough to, at least, give somebody PAUSE on that ridiculous comparison.
I cannot and will not accept this narrative that being gay is a "propensity just like any other sin" just so other sinners can feel better about this brainwashed lie that they have been fed.
I cannot and will not accept the belief that my very sexual identity is born of death and destruction and that their faith in Scripture that they pull this belief from shouldn't be questioned or challenged - not just for myself, but for our impressionable children and teens that are dealing with this.
At this point some of you who have made it this far into this blog entry may be feeling that I'm just rambling on and on and repeating myself. And that's probably an accurate assessment. I suppose it's my way of providing a couple of different lenses so that people can begin to look at this issue from a different perspective.
But, just in case, allow me to wrap this up in a nice package.
Just like our country had evolved to believe that a doctrine such as "Separate but Equal" is a more compassionate, loving, and fair way to handle the Scripturally based belief that the black race was inferior to the white - ONLY to be proven wrong through a series doll tests that only proved the opposite - that "Separate but Equal" was inherently immoral and damaging to the psyche of young children in the black community...
...so too, it seems, that the church is evolving in the belief that they can call homosexuality a sin in a loving and compassionate way.
And I am here to tell you that you are wrong. That this loving and compassionate COMPROMISE of yours is doing more damage than you will ever realize.
Even when you are saying "Homosexuality is a sin" out of a filter of LOVE -
it still very much feels like HATE.
You are just 'lovingly' casting a hurtful, soul crushing, psychologically and spiritually damaging, stone.
It is simply immoral and I will continue to speak out until this rhetoric changes.