|Illustration of a Cooperative Wedding|
During the latest class discussion the topic of homosexuality was brought up. I asked the professor a question about sexual orientation and marriage, where he posed the question is there a difference between a married man who has a thought about having sex with another women and a married man who has a thought about having sex with another man. This was about a week and half ago and I'm still pondering on this question. Some would say if the physical act wasn't committed then it is okay where others would say it is a sin. To tell the truth, I still don't know the answer. In both scenarios the subject of cheating is relevant, but in the latter scenario does the homosexuality aspect play a larger role?
I found an article which talks about marriage and homosexuality titled, China's Fake Gay Marriages, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/19/china-s-fake-gay-marriages.html. The article tells how up until 1997 homosexuality was a crime and until 2001 it was listed as a mental illness. It further explains how different cultural factors have led homosexuals in China to seek out cooperative marriages. Cooperative marriages are described as a homosexual male and female entering into marriage for the illusion and benefit factors of a heterosexual couple. With the rise of Internet, it is making this practice easier to access. It also provides a more feasible alternative for closeted homosexuals whom in the past would marry heterosexuals to stay within tradition and please their parents.
Even though this practice may not be readily practiced in the U.S. (from what I know) it makes me think about the ramifications of certain restrictions that are and could be placed on homosexuality. Just a few short decades ago, homosexuality was not something to be discussed in public, much less full church services being dedicated to the sinfulness of homosexuality, but over time this topic has been the discussion of many debates, positive and negative. When it comes to homosexuality-as a Christian counselor or a counselor that is Christian (I do believe there is a difference) how would you respond to a client that wants to address their homosexuality?
During our class discussion there was an article that was talked about, written by a former student, entitled Being Gay at Jerry Falwell's University http://m.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/04/being-gay-at-jerry-falwells-university/274578/?fb_action_ids=10100817199063878&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=&action_type_map=[%22og.likes%22]&action_ref_map= . The article, as titled, describes a student’s coming out as gay after growing up in the church and attending a Christian University. During class, a few students commented that shouldn't we be telling him that he is wrong and doing wrong, when the professor remarked that he knows it is wrong. I had my hand up to speak and as soon as the professor made the comment, I was like thank you! Finally!
The bible says that homosexuality is a sin and anyone who grew up in a Christian home or has any basic knowledge of Christianity knows that homosexuality is a sin, however, when I hear that we need to tell them that it is wrong or what they are doing is wrong, it makes me wonder why do people think or assume that people are oblivious. Maybe this is just my point of view when I hear that comment, but just like a little child that has been taught right from wrong, and then steals a piece of candy, they know it's wrong or just like a person who cheats on their taxes or their spouse, they know it's wrong, but in my opinion it seems like homosexuality and homosexuals are much more looked down upon and discriminated against than a thief or an adulterer.
When it comes to counseling and homosexuality, I'm sure for most counselors whether (psychology or biblical) there is a lot that needs to be thought of before work can begin. Either way you look at the situation it just does not seem cut and dry. When counseling a person who has an issue with their sexuality, many issues may need to be addressed other than them being attracted to the same sex. Some concerns that maybe faced involve intrapersonal issues including self-esteem, guilt or confusion because of the attraction to the same sex, personal hate or dislike because of the feelings that are inside, thoughts or actions of self-mutilation or suicide as well as mental health and eating disorders. Interpersonal issues can include bullying by others, words, feelings and actions expressed by parental figures and/or siblings (negative, positive and sometimes a combination) as well as discrimination, which can include hate crimes. So for present and future counselors, it is imperative that all issues be addressed and dealt with versus just concentrating on the sinful nature of homosexuality.
I mentioned the above two articles and the class discussion because homosexuality is something that fires me up, especially when it is accompanied by the hate talk. Yes the bible says that it is a sin and I am not writing this to disagree, but I am writing this to express my feelings about the hate that is expressed. I recently spoke to a friend who advised that she is in search of a new church because the pastor at her current church (and other churches in the area) seemed hypocritical. She advised that sermons were based on the immorality of homosexuality but nothing is ever said about fornication (in which the pastor has two daughters who are unmarried with children). I too agreed how I have been in the congregation quite a few times and heard my fair share of immorality sermons focused on homosexuality, but that immorality never extended to sexual addictions or adultery or other sins that are also in the bible. I thought sin was sin? I really wanted to write about this subject just so people can see a different perspective than is normally expressed in the media (yeah or nay). My opinion is not about yeah or nay, right or wrong, sin or not sin, but about acceptance and/or understanding of the individual.