Born this way, and that’s the problem

by Harmony Daws

Jack was a fellow student of ancient philosophy. He was an ex-cop who returned to college after disillusionment with the police force. He was muscular, with a chiseled face and a cool wardrobe—strikingly handsome and very likable. He was also gay.

Once, in the hallway before class, I asked Jack what he wanted to accomplish with his life. He said he wanted to pursue his passions. I said, “So you don’t believe there’s any purpose or real meaning to your life?” He told me he was raised southern Baptist; he does still believe in God. There must be a purpose of some kind. I described my own faith, earnestly sketching out the evidence. Our conversation was cut short by the beginning of class.

Frequently during class I glanced up and caught Jack’s eye. His partner Alex sat nearby. Jack euphemistically called Alex his “partner in crime.” Alex was also muscular and handsome and likeable.

After the midterm, I found Alex hanging around in the hallway. I asked what he thought of the test. We made chitchat. Jack joined our conversation. Alex said, “I have to ask. Where did you get your knowledge of gnosticism? It’s clear that you have a pretty well-rounded picture of it.” I had mentioned gnosticism once in class and when the teacher invited me to elaborate, I gave a brief explanation.

Now, presented with the opportunity, I explained to that gnosticism corrupted Christian interpretation of Scripture, leading to theology which says we have no freedom of will. The men were quick to understand.

“If we have no free will, then God must be a monster,” I said. “It’s unjust to send people to hell for what they can’t control.”

“Yeah!” Jack said, “Like, if I created a two-wheeled trike, knowing it would be sent to the dump. What would that make me?”

“A monster,” I said. “A just God will only send people to hell for sin they have freely chosen.”

It was time for class to begin, but Jack happily clapped me on the shoulder and said, “Right on!”

Taking my seat, I felt uncomfortable. It was easy to guess that Jack believes his homosexuality is innate, and that it is his identity. He is the two-wheeled trike. I imagined he took my words to mean that I agree God will not send us to hell just for being the way He made us. And Jack thinks he was created to be homosexual.

Ignoring the teacher’s lecture, I wrote a two-page explanation for Jack . . .

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