I hope this title intrigues people enough to bear with me to read how these disparate things can be connected, at least in my mind, and conclude that I may not be as crazy as it might seem.
Many Africans believe that albinos possess magical powers which can be passed on by eating their flesh. They have no understanding of a genetic disorder that results in a lack of pigmentation. All they know about albinos is here is someone very different and they are led to ascribe some magic to explain how this can be.
It seems to be a universal human trait to search for meaning in the world we see around us. In ancient times, if a drought or bad storm occurred, it was understood that the gods must be angry and needed to be appeased. When Jesus encountered a blind man, his disciples asked him who sinned, the blind man or his parents, that caused him to be blind. Being blind is not normal and certainly not good; so how does this happen? Humans look for explanations for things. We search for meaning. So Africans who do not know science, explain albinism as having to come from magic. Witch doctors thrive on this belief since they can fetch a lot of money by providing someone an albino body part to eat for good luck.
So what does this have to do with homosexuals? It seems to me that our common condemnation of LGBT people is based on no better information than what the Africans think about albinos. How do we account for some people falling outside of the normal gender roles? I see it highly likely that our common understanding of homosexual people is a complete misunderstanding. It is assumed by most people that it is a sinful choice a person makes to not behave in a normal manner. The bible has injunctions against homosexuality, so that would make it a sin. It seems so simple. So why not leave it at that? Homosexuals are sinners, bound for hell unless they repent. But maybe it is not so simple.
I will save it for a later discussion that the bible also has injunctions against tattoos and body piercing and many other things that we dismiss. So we pick and choose from the bible what seems to bother us the most.
Native Americans, who had homosexuals among them, had a better treatment of gay people (until they became Christianized). Their explanation for how a gender role could be reversed was that sometimes the Creator put the spirit of a man into a woman’s body or the spirit of a woman in a male. These people were not shunned or made outcasts. They were seen as special and given the role of caring for orphaned children.
In my feeble attempt to grapple with how to explain gender reversals, my logic would lean away from calling it a choice a person makes. Who would voluntarily chose to suffer the discrimination and persecution they face? There are anti-social people, for sure, who take pleasure in flouting the rules and causing havoc. But I don’t think gay people fall in that category. There is also a group of people who desire sex from anyone available, male for female, with no intent of commitment or a lasting relationship. I would call these morally depraved, or maybe psychologically wounded and unable to give and receive love. Whatever the reason, I see them as separate from others who desire to show true love and commitment to another person, straight or not.
What about the theory of relativity? How does this relate? Relativity states that the speed of light is absolute and unchanging throughout the universe. In order for that to be so, and to account for observations of nature in astronomy and physics, space and time must be variable. This is so counter intuitive it is almost impossible to grasp. But it has been proven with many experiments. Likewise, homosexuality seems so unnatural that to straight people it is impossible to understand, and the only explanation is that something must have gone wrong. So we don’t desire to eat the flesh of albinos, yet we punish LGBT people for being who they are – and call ourselves “civilized.”
Sadly, for most of my 72 years I was among the majority who think badly of homosexuals; calling them queers, sinners, etc. I believe God is leading me to see otherwise. And I hope I can convince others that people with different gender identities deserve better. I think until a scientific understanding of human gender identification is researched and developed, the Native Americans have a better explanation and treatment of LGBT people than our so-called “civilized” society. I hope that someday modern science will be able to explain how such a thing can happen, like it has done for albinos. In the mean time, I wish the rest of society that considers ourselves “normal” could come to accept LGBT people as persons with dignity and rights and children of God.