Gay – In the Image of God

Pope Francis

In Genesis, it plainly says that “God created man in his own image.”

In the popular single, “same love,” the Seattle-based rap artist Macklemore warns of “man-made rewiring of a predisposition, [of] playing God …”  See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1TBgcctcco .

Macklemore speaks of gay slurs, born of “the same hate that’s caused wars from religion.”

“When I was at church,” Macklemore intones, “they taught me something else, if you preach hate at the services those words aren’t anointed, that holy water that you soak in has been poisoned.”

Rightly Macklemore concludes, “No law is gonna change us ..and I can’t change even if I tried.”

One school of genetic science says that gay is inscribed in our DNA, thus predetermined, and a person who is gay was made that way, not transformed in some right or wrong alchemic life choice by which one traded his or her heterosexual nature to become gay.

Thus, as gays are born or made, so must God be gay, if in truth the scripture has it right that, “God created man in his own image.”

Of course, nowhere in Genesis is the image of God characterized as having one or other sexual predisposition meaning, nowhere is it plainly stated that God is heterosexual as opposed to gay.

Perhaps man’s understanding of God in our image is where we make our mistake – that we presume to know the mind and nature of God.

Plainly, man and woman are foolish when they discriminate against anyone based on pejorative presumptions that they have not been made in “God’s image.”

Pope Francis this past week made some startling and encouraging declarations about the Roman Catholic Church’s attitude toward those who are gay.

Pope Francis said, “In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them.  But the church does not want to do this.  During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.  By saying this, I said what the catechism says.  Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free; it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”  (For the full interview – see http://www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview )

Pope Francis went further, “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality, I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’  We must always consider the person.  Here we enter into the mystery of the human being.  In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation.  It is necessary to accompany them with mercy.  When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.”

While anyone presumes to understand the image of God, we may fairly ask whether we understand ourselves.

Pope Francis said, “human self-understanding changes with time and so also human consciousness deepens.”  Put another way, he said, “So human beings in time change the way they perceive themselves.”  By way of example, he referenced how “when slavery was accepted or the death penalty was allowed without any problem.”  In this manner, Pope Francis says, “So we grow in the understanding of the truth.”

This is how Pope Francis, the leader of a church of more than 1 Billion persons, “manifest[s] his conscience.”

It really boils down to that passage in Matthew, judge not lest you be judged.  How we treat others manifests our conscience – or the failure to have one.

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