by Josiah David
I recently heard an interesting response to a hot-button topic from a speaker at a progressive Christian festival. Essentially he stated that since he was a straight Christian male, he hardly felt as if he was qualified to speak with full certainty on the subject of homosexuality. His fairly effective cop-out inspired an approving response from the audience, but I was among the smaller group of skeptics in the crowd. This is because I hold to the belief that a person lacking involvement at such a depth in a certain lifestyle does not become disqualified from speaking their beliefs on the matter. Neither do I believe that such a degree of separation removes the possibility of one’s statements to be well-founded truth rather than mere unreliable speculation. I would even venture to say that an outside perspective in many cases would bring more clarity to one’s assessment, and that a deeper level of involvement in certain practices of the lifestyle in question would cloud one’s judgment on the matter.
I do agree that lack of exposure is often congruent with lack of understanding, but exposure to such an extent as a requirement to have a valid argument is ridiculous. For instance, I can easily assess from my drug-free vantage point that a life dedicated to fulfillment through heroin is devastating to the addict and those within his or her circle of influence. The addict would undoubtedly be a less reliable source on the matter, fighting to justify and attain their damaging source of fulfillment at almost any cost. A true willingness to seek out full understanding as an outsider to the lifestyle is often adequate in acquiring a firm and dependable case. We are all gifted with capable minds which enable us to come to logically sound conclusions on such matters apart from firsthand experience. We still must fight to lay aside emotion, pride, close mindedness and other potential barriers to reason as we seek to shed light on such issues. This remains true for representatives of all possible positions.
One of the most valuable things I have learned is that it seems I will never fully grasp all of the possible implications of this subject. It is a complex matter which requires much deliberation and a constant fight to set aside the aforementioned barriers to reason. Another understanding I have achieved is that a person’s choice of lifestyle has no negative effect upon their value or the level of respect they should be given…
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