Originally published in The Metropolitan. Oct. 22, 2005
With all of this change going on in the world, I had to wonder if my favorite Christian group on campus, Christian Challenge, had changed their view on homosexuality.
So I took a moment to stop by and converse with three wise men, who, every Tuesday and Wednesday, set up shop in the food court of the Tivoli to talk up Christ.
I found it rather queer-as in weird-that the sign above the table, advertising their services, read “LET’S TALK.”
Great minds must think alike, because that was this year’s theme for National GLBT Awareness Month.
As I see it, there are two types of Christians: good ones and bad ones. You see, good Christians-as in Christ-like-live what they preach and, for the most part, run with the more loving and selfless God. The bad Christians, however, are usually hypocrites and chill with the fire-and-brimstone gang.
Funny, I thought Hell was the smoking section of Club Afterlife.
Luckily for us, Metro has a swell group of Christ followers.
The aforementioned group, made up of Rev. Ron Gustman, Lewis Price and Allen Green, were praying with Metro student Tim Lagerborg when I approached.
It had been just about a year since Gustman and I spoke last. As a matter of fact, it was Coming Out Day. More importantly, it was the day two Metro lesbian students pledged their love for one another in a public-note, not civic-ceremony. And nothing had changed. Gustman’s hair was still graying and receding (his point not mine), his mustache still neatly groomed.
Gustman shook his head again, “As I read the Bible, marriage is between one man and one woman for a lifetime. Any other union doesn’t fit.”
Gustman and Co. are terrific hosts. They even provided treats for passersby. There was a handful of hard candy and mini chocolate bars, Mr. Goodbars and two kinds of Hershey’s Chocolate: milk and dark.
While Gustman and two students were discussing the role of sex in a marriage (for the record, Gustman contended there is a pleasure aspect), I was transfixed with the chocolate bars.
I held them in my hands and compared them side-by-side. Milk chocolate. Dark chocolate. What’s the difference? Sure, perhaps the color of the wrappers was different. Dark chocolate may be considered sweeter in taste. In the end, both, sure enough, are chocolate. Both are cocoa-based. And they were both delivered from Pennsylvania.
So, I posed the question to the Christians. After a few moments of contemplation a student spoke up.
Lagerborg grabbed the chocolate from me. He held up the milk chocolate wrapped in silver, saying, “This is what God intended.”
Next he held the dark chocolate wrapped in gold. He paused for a moment, collecting his words carefully, “This is homosexual love. It misses the mark.”
We all miss the mark, they told me. Sex out of marriage, cheating on spouses, both sin and just as wrong as being gay.
I had to correct them. There is a difference between homosexual love and heterosexual cheating. Love isn’t sex out of marriage; love isn’t cheating. But two men or women pledging a life together based on honesty and selflessness is love.
By now, it was just Gustman, Lagerborg and I.
After a merry-go-round of propositions and prose, passages and prayer, we agreed that the love-honest and selfless-God intended between a man and a woman can be shared between two members of the same sex.
“So, what’s the problem?” I asked. “Is it the anal sex?”
Both blushed and nodded.
It’s people like Gustman, who will be the GLBT Community’s biggest allies. He and Lagerborg admit to not understanding all the issues surrounding us ‘mos, but they assured me that they, and others like them, are willing to learn and dialogue.
They want to talk about it.
“We should care about the person first,” Gustman said. “Sexuality is a piece of a person, but it doesn’t make the whole picture.”