How many more fathers will sacrifice their gay sons?

A post by Neil Hart on homosexuality, LGBT,  lesbian and gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.

iOTA is cool. Watch this. Dont just listen….watch and listen. Cmon…just do it. It wiil be the best 3 minute you spend all day. Promise!

Last week I was talking to the father of a gay son. He wanted me to show him the science that proves that people are born gay. He was suspicious. He suspected that his son was just making a “lifestyle choice”… that the “gay lobby” had somehow sucked his son into adopting “homosexual practices”… He said that… *Insert other worn out, conservative Christian, nonsense statement here*. (I’m pretty sure that they all popped out at some stage in our conversation.)

I reminded him that rather than delving into the latest twin study from Sweden or looking at investigations into birth order, he might consider an alternative.

He might just ask his son.

No. He was not about to do that. He couldn’t listen to his son with understanding, acceptance and faith. He had a higher authority determining how their relationship would pan out. He was much more inclined to hold to half understood theories from poorly translated passages of the Bible rather than to the words of his son, his only son.

A story from the Old Testament came to my mind.

Genesis 22

Then God said to Abraham, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”…

9When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

It’s a horrible story. But the line I draw between the father with the gay son and Abraham is dead straight and not very long. The gay sons of God-fearing fathers continue to be bound and gagged and placed onto sacrificial pyres. They are burnt as an offering to some perverse notion of faith. Not faith as I know it but a twisted faith that shuts its ears to reason, compassion, justice and love.  A harmful faith that chooses an idea over the very real needs of ones own child.

The Abraham story has a happy (?) (ish) (?)  ending…

11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham! 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

OK. Good. Isaac doesn’t end up dead. (Probably just a lifelong undiagnosed PTSD and a real reluctance to go on any future walks into the hills with his father). But its still not a nice story. I still don’t get it.

What I do get is that blind obedience based on fear does not make for a healthy family dynamic.

There is something else that I do get. I get the allusion to Jesus in the story.

Jesus. The son, the only son.   The lamb who was slain.  The final sacrifice. The last scapegaot.

He takes the place of the lamb. He takes the place of Issac and the place of the gay son. He lies bound with the knife poised above his throat. He does not object or protest against the stupidity and unreasonableness of this action. He lies still as the act of violence is completeld.

But then, to the utter astonishment of the one who wields the knife…

… Abraham, the father of the gay son, the priest…

…me…

He stares back from the place of sacrifice, the place of blood, the place of judgement..

The place of fear.

and says…

OK. Now that you’ve got that out of your system…let me show you a better way…

To that father I say,

Jesus’ better way always starts  with the real needs of the person in front of him,  the person in front of you.

 

Your son, your only son… whom you love.