Here's what I really want to say...

I've been nervous to express my thoughts on a certain subject, but I feel like it's important.

I'm an ELCA Lutheran Church member.  For those who don't know about the ELCA, it stands for Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and recently we sent a bit of a ripple throughout the Lutheran community.

The ELCA elected their first homosexual bishop:
http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/15637-nations-largest-lutheran-denomination-elects-first-homosexual-bishop

Now having a religious blog probably gives off the impression that I would be opposed to this.  Religion tends to be labeled "right winged conservative".  That's the impression in the media.  No wiggle room.  However, I support the ELCA's decision.  In fact, I'm proud of it.

Here's what I really want to say.  I support the movement toward equal rights for the LGBT community.  I support marriage equality.  And I have a hard time swallowing that being gay is a sin.

I've been reading the Bible on this issue.  This disheartens me:

"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error" (Rom. 1:26–27).

I wish the Bible had more kind things to say about homosexuality simply so modern conservatives wouldn't use the Bible so vehemently to condemn the act.  I'm not suggesting that all religious follows do so.  In fact, I know many people of faith who also support LGBT, but like me, are too nervous to step forward.

Let me explain.  If homosexuality is a sin, than it is no more or less a sin than gluttony.  I am fat.  I'm 30 pounds overweight.  I've also been known to binge eat from time to time.  I'm a glutton.  Am I going to hell?  I certainly hope not, but even more than that, I believe in the promise that Christ died for our sins.  He died to wash me clean from my gluttony.  In that case, wouldn't a homosexual also be without sin (if homosexuality is a sin)?  And we all have sins.  So aren't we all guilty of something?  Didn't Jesus die for all of us?

Also, Jesus wanted us to love one another, the way he loved us.  It's so saddening to hear hateful language coming from a religious leader.  That's not the purpose of the church and it makes everyone of faith look bad.

What if we stopped pointing fingers?  What if we stopped trying to scream the sins of another directly to their faces?  Is that really helping anyways?  I know that when I was younger, and people called me names for being fat, it hurt and only made me resentful, angry and depressed.  What gives anyone the right to make another person feel that way?

I know this is a touchy subject. I just wanted to let everyone know my opinion.  I felt that by sitting in the back of the pew, not speaking up, I wasn't being true to the opinions God gave me.  I hope you'll consider my point-of-view, and as always, I welcome respectful debate.