|No such thing as a small change|
Thank you for taking the time to point out a possible inconsistency in my post. Going back and reading over it again, I think you are putting words in my mouth. I didn't insult anyone who was gay, I simply objected to someone saying Jesus is gay. Assuming that you are not Jesus, or in some way equivalent to him, I think you are grasping at straws to claim that I am generally insulting all those who follow that lifestyle. But I was reasonably serious in my earlier post, and there is certainly no doubt that I am lacking in maturity, because I thought I had taken some care not to offend. Go figure. :(
Within the context of the Christian faith, it all boils down to who Jesus Christ is. If he is fully man and fully God, as many believe, then in order for his death on the cross to be accepted as a sacrifice for the sins of all people, he himself had to be guiltless. The Old Testament is clear that homosexuality is an abomination to God, and thus if Jesus were a homosexual, he would not himself be sinless and would be ineligible as a savior, having trouble enough with his own sins, let alone mine. To sneeringly imply that Jesus is gay is to strike directly at the very foundation of Christianity in an unkind manner. I'm not insisting that everyone agree with me, but I am asking that when you drive past my house, you refrain from throwing garbage on my lawn. (I speak metaphorically, of course, since I live on a cul-de-sac, and very few people drive past my house.)
The word I used in the post you found offensive was defile, which pertains to dishonoring the sacred. I made no other disparaging remarks about anyone else being gay ... I merely stated that the OP's implication that Jesus was gay is offensive to me and many other Christians. For those not familiar with the religious implications of the word, if I talk about a flag being defiled by touching the ground, it seems silly to claim that I am insulting all tablecloths that have ever touched the ground, when I was only talking about the flag. The word doesn't pertain to a tablecloth.
Holding (or defending, when attacked) a personal belief or standard of right and wrong is not inherently offensive, even if that view is opposed to yours -- it is the act of attacking or provocation that primarily contributes to making a statement offensive. The fact that you take my earlier remarks as offensive (when they were, in their very essence, defensive) is unfortunate and inaccurate. There really isn't a way for me to defile something that isn't sacred, unless there is some special sacred holiness to homosexuality of which I am unaware. My issue with the OP is that, although the faith of Christians had no bearing on the issue he was discussing, he attempted to casually defile the central figure in that faith.
The main defense I can offer to your charge of giving offense is that I didn't start this discussion, and so I think I should be granted some leeway. I tried to react in a calm, reasoned manner to something that another monk originated ... I certainly didn't set out to alienate any gay monks or those who approve their lifestyle. For those who are looking to take offense at my words, I'm sure this post will supply anything that was lacking in my original node, and for that, I apologize in advance. But please note that I have been a monk for some time, and have posted on a variety of subjects. I think that if you review my posts, you will see that I am not characterized as driven by some gay-bashing agenda. I'm not trying to force my views on anyone, and I don't think it is unreasonable to respond to posts that stray into my area of expertise.
The bottom line: A monk made disparaging remarks about someone I honor greatly, more than a parent or a spouse. I privately asked that monk to edit his post, and (when I received no answer) recommended the node for consideration, hoping that the PerlMonks community would see it as a needless jeer at Christians, and would reap it accordingly. For reasons best known to themselves, many monks preferred to keep the node, although it had minimal merit apart from the offensive content. I tried to explain how the node was offensive in my own subsequent posting, but that was not well-received and seems destined for Worst Nodes of the Month. I suspect that many monks think I overreacted to the original casual offense, and that I should have overlooked it -- indeed, I may have done my cause more harm than good through this discussion, although I have tried hard not to bring further dishonor on my Lord. I hoped that this community is one that could respect the faith of people like me. And so we come full circle to my own immaturity -- I'm apparently still young enough that I don't know when to just let things slide.
Or perhaps some things are worth standing up for. We'll see how it plays out. :)