(Note: This post surpasses my usual 500 word limit but I felt I needed to say this all at once)
As the Ferris Wheel I was riding slowly ascended to its summit a paralyzing fear overcame me and I began to hyperventilate. After one revolution of the wheel I “requested” exit from the torture chamber. I knew when I initially boarded the ride that I was taking a risk. Adverse physical affects are symptomatic of my acrophobia and theme park rides involving slow ascents are the worst. Once, while riding a carnival parachute my breathing increased throughout the ascent. After the parachute was released and we plummeted toward earth others on the ride began to scream in terror but a blissful peace calmed me throughout our descent. The closer I am to terra firma the better I feel. In an effort to combat my acrophobia, from time to time, I accept challenges that force me to face it head on; but I don’t do so very often. I am acrophobic and I admit it.
While I can admit to one phobia, there is another phobia of which I do not identify myself nor should I be identified. I am not “homophobic”. While I disagree with the practice of homosexuality please understand – I am not afraid of homosexuals or the gay community! I honestly empathize with those who struggle with questions regarding sexual orientation.
Everyone embraces a code or set of standards that determines what positions they will take involving mores such as right and wrong, handling interpersonal relationships and other philosophical questions. Some follow their heart. Others follow their mind. Some embrace the Constitution while still others establish their beliefs on social standards or political correctness. I base my life on the precepts of the Bible. I don’t hide behind it, I stand upon it. No matter how someone chooses to establish a life standard, he is not hiding behind anything. In fact, were I not an evangelical Christian, I would probably be more liberal than I am. Why then do I choose Scripture as my plum line? Because, I know that if I trust my heart I will selfishly hurt others and commit grave errors without reason. (More on this in a later post)
After much prayer and research, both biblical and sociological, I have drawn the conclusion that marriage should be between a man and a woman of the human species. I realize that this statement distances me from many who support Gay Marriage however, I would hope that those who disagree with my positions would allow me the freedom to exercise my opinions to the degree that they want me to respect theirs.
I understand the vitriol that homosexuals use in defense of their position. After centuries of oppression the door has been opened to social acceptance and rather than risk seeing that door closed again it is being pushed open even harder and farther. At some point those of us who oppose gay marriage, (but who do not oppose gay people) may become a minority but we will always exist. I say this as an appeal to allow us the same freedoms that others request that I afford them.
Regarding the label of homophobic; according to Dictionary.com…
“Homophobic” is defined as,
However, let us go to the root of the word, “homophobic”. Also according to Dictionary.com…
“The genus of bipedal primates that includes modern humans and several extinct forms, distinguished by their large brains and a dependence upon tools.”
Based upon the above definitions, I cannot be homophobic. I am not afraid of any “bipedal primates”, including modern humans, nor do I have any “fear leading to a compelling desire to avoid them; any of them”. Also, I have no “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals”; I simply disagree with their views on sexual practice.
Disagreeing with someone about any subject does not imply fear. If that were the case, anyone voting for a Democrat must be “Republi-phobic”? I disagree with homosexuality but I am not afraid of it. I am comfortable around gay individuals, in fact some of my best friends are… oh, let’s not go there. The only discomfort I experience from homosexuals arises when I am treated with derision simply because I am an evangelical Christian by someone who has never learned anything about who I am as a person. It doesn’t seem right to me to judge people based on labels rather than as individuals.
It is possible for me to respect and even love someone with whom I disagree. Can the same accommodation be afforded me?
I am acrophobic but not homophobic.