My brother and I used to meet every Wednesday for church and then head to the pub afterwards for some drinks, appetizers and movie trivia. It was great getting to know my brother better as an adult. My brother is an extremely intelligent person, and interesting. We’d talk about all kinds of subjects, nothing was off-limits. Our lives have since gone our separate ways, we’ve both gotten married, moved away, and had kids in the meantime. He remains a Christian, I’ve become an atheist (he does not know this yet, for reasons I will not get into here). We met up for a reprisal of “old times” a few weeks ago. We picked up right where we left off.
The nice thing about pub night—is alcohol. I find it much easier to get through the usual social barriers when we’re a half a pint in. I don’t even know how we got on the subject of homosexuality, but there we were. Since he’s religious, he of course takes the Christian perspective of homosexuality—its a sin. I looked at him very soberly across my half-full glass of IPA and said, “You know, I’ve actually taken a more liberal stance on homosexuality these days.” (This is honestly the closest I’ve ever come to “coming out” as an atheist.) I told him, “Homosexuality has been a part of the human experience for eons, and is completely normal, despite people insisting that it’s unnatural. Actually, human sexuality is not binary where there’s only male and female, it’s a spectrum of every possible combination between the extremes of ‘straight man’ and ‘straight female'”. To that point, I really like that the LGBTQ community has adopted the rainbow as their symbol. Did they do that intentionally?
Anyway, there’s not much to share that came out of the conversation with my brother. We talked about the concept of “sin” in general. Compared homosexuality to a “lesser” sin such as lying. Compared the gay pride movement to the civil rights movement. Talked about religious leaders that we suspected of being gay, etc. I don’t think that I managed to change his mind at all about the subject. I like to think that just the simple act of telling him that I no longer view homosexuality as wrong, gave him pause. As if the people that share his views are dwindling every day, even his well-informed sister. If he were to read this, he’d probably roll his eyes. 🙂 Did I mention he’s also very opinionated and stubborn? I love him dearly.
Thus is the reason for this post, as I have a number of thoughts about the subject that I’d like to be challenged on, so if you have comments, please leave them.
Image source: Ivan