Sunday, May 04, 2008

Doing them justice

For the very first time since I started studying this issue eight years ago, I will have an opportunity to teach a class on homosexuality at my church. The fact that I've been overthinking my lesson plans and generally stressing about it shows that I'm more than a little nervous.

How often do we talk openly about these issues in the conservative church? Whenever it does spring up, it's usually because someone within the church is suddenly discovered to be homosexual, and so the discussion arises in an atmosphere of shock, gossip and scandal. The person in question is under a cloud from the start. There is no opportunity to discuss what it means to be homosexual in a calm and rational environment.

I feel I need to speak for that person, to explain to my fellow Christians what homosexuality is from the perspective of those who experience it. There is so much to say, and it is difficult to know where to begin.

I have been reading through old emails that readers have sent me over the years. I'm amazed at how open people have been with me, how articulately they have expressed themselves. It's overwhelming, really. Now I want to do them justice, and I'm afraid of failing them.