By Peggy Oliver
Last Wednesday started out like any other weekday. I made my way to class at the nursing school where I am a student, never suspecting what awaited me. Wednesdays are our normal days for guest speakers in my Psychiatric Nursing class, and this Wednesday was no different – but the speakers were. What sat before me was a panel of guests consisting of a gay man and two homosexual women who, as I came to discover, were “together” as a couple and “married in God’s eyes.” They each donned wedding bands, symbolic of their commitment of nearly six years.
The focus of the day, as I had guessed by that time, was homosexuality. The speakers had been invited to give us a “firsthand account” of homosexuality, and to allow us to ask any questions that we might have – all in the hopes of discrediting any rumors we had heard or fears that we might have had. We were informed of a new medical term homophobic – to describe those people “afraid” and unreasonably terrified of homosexuals, stemming from a deep-seated dissatisfaction with their own sexual identity. In other words, it was implied that if one strongly disagrees with their beliefs and practices, then that person should take a personal inventory to become more aware of his or her sexuality, realizing that such feelings arise from insecurity within one’s “sexual orientation.” To put it shortly, if you aren’t comfortable in the company of homosexuals, then you are the one with the problem.
The first to speak from the panel was one of the women. She works as a massage therapist at a health facility here in Memphis. She began by telling us her history, i.e. how and when she “knew.” She said that she had known of her feelings since she was twelve years old, but that she had only acted on them in the past six years or so. She was married twice, both times being extremely unhappy because she knew she was with a partner of the wrong sex. One marriage produced her twelve year old daughter who lives with her and her “partner.” She tells her daughter that she doesn’t care what she may decide about her sexuality – that gay or straight it makes no difference – just as long as she is true and honest with herself and doesn’t live a lie like her mother did for so many years. This seemed to me to be quite a statement in view of Romans 1:24-27. 1 thought to myself how terrible the cycle of sin is – how it takes hold of our entire being, destroying any sense of right and wrong until the two enmesh and one just does “what feels right for them.”
The other woman spoke next, and I must say that her story wasn’t any better. She, too, had been married previously, but decided after her divorce to “try” bisexuality. After all, she said, she had many lesbian friends, and they all seemed so free and comfortable. After that experience, she decided to become completely homosexual, and sought to establish a solid relationship. But, she added, if she were to become a lesbian, it would have to be openly, because her character demanded that she not hide what she was. Here is a good case against those who argue that homosexual feelings are inborn and there is nothing to be done to counteract them. This woman chose, out of the lust of her heart to do what which is completely against any law of nature, and to do it openly and shamelessly. She now insists that she is happier than she has ever been, that her relationship with this woman is true and undefiled, and that the companionship she feels with this woman could never be had with a man because men are by nature tyrannical. By the way, this woman is a counselor with the Memphis City Schools.
The male member of the panel spoke next, and began by contrasting himself with what he says is the stereotypical image of the gay man. He always ‘knew” he was gay but didn’t “come out” until he was 28 years old. Of course, that made him doubly strange in society’s eyes because, “I mean, let’s face it, here I was, a 28-year-old man who should have been sexually active for about 12 years now, and I had never had a sexual experience . . . then when I did have one it was with a man.” What kind of sickness has invaded our society that dictates that someone is abnormal if he or she is a virgin past age 16? The flippant attitude toward the sexual relationship that God ordained was more than quietly pervasive, it was blatant! I sat in stunned silence listening to the three of them toss vulgarities back and forth between themselves, and aching in my heart as I heard them proudly describe in vivid detail their perverse sexual practices. The language used was appalling and crude, and it hurt me deeply to think how these people were poisoning their children’s minds and souls. What astonished me even more was the reaction of the instructors of the class. They sat chuckling and nodding their heads as if to say, “You all are so right . . . isn’t it great that they are so open with the sexuality?” I felt nauseated.
To add insult to injury, the group proceeded to describe their home lives, emphatically stating that their relationships are no different than those of heterosexual couples – that they argue about trivial things, have trouble with their teenage children, cut the grass on Saturday afternoon, and go to church on Sunday. I couldn’t believe it! How could they, in any stretch of the imagination, sit there and claim to have any religious convictions? How could they sit there and proclaim their families are like any others when theirs are diametrically opposed to the family system that God created? The whole event was to me a gross display of gay activism and a slap in the face of Christianity.
Following this panel was a man suffering from AIDS. He, too, was and still is a practicing homosexual. He is involved with a man now who knows he has AIDS, and says that they take extreme precautions during any intimate interaction. Unfortunately, he didn’t use such gentle terms, and I was again bombarded with language too vile to repeat. He related to us how the acceptance of his disease had led him through a sort of spiritual awakening, and how he is back in touch with God now and intends to live a long, long time. He, too, is active in a local Baptist church with an “AIDS Ministry.”
Obviously, the morning’s events disturbed me greatly, and today I had opportunity to discuss my feelings with some fellow students and one of the faculty members who was present when they spoke. I found myself being challenged by the teacher who, like all the others is very “pro-choice,” if you will. As I defended my feeling from a Bible standpoint, I was met with oppositions of “You can’t make that judgment,” and “the Bible is just interpretation,” and others. When I spoke on homosexuality being wrong and sinful, I was met with, “Wrong in whose eyes?” I was told, or rather it was “suggested to me” that perhaps I should change my views and be a little more open-minded, because there are “two sides of the coin.” I felt myself becoming more anxious and I could feel the tears developing deep inside me – why should I change? If I compromise my faith in that area, I must compromise it in every area. If I give up my morals here, I must give them up everywhere. If I accept that the Bible cannot be trusted because it has been translated so many times, then I have a God who cannot be trusted to give me his word, completely as I need it for salvation. If I believe that the Bible cannot be trusted, then my life is worthless and my faith is vain – I haven’t a leg to stand on.
So how have I learned from this experience? I have been able to voice my beliefs to others, and hopefully make an impact through something that I might have said from God’s word. I have realized even more deeply and strongly how precious and dear my faith and salvation are to me. I have reflected on how fallible man is, and that there truly is “a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” And I have realized just how terribly perverted society can be when under the control of sin.
Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 8, pp. 225, 247
April 20, 1989