Yesterday, the U. S. Senate voted to maintain the military policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which requires homosexuals to remain silent about their authentic selves if they are to remain in the military. This is tantamount to having told African-Americans, during the days of Jim Crow, that they were second class citizens.
My vision is a little askew. I have never seen African-Americans primarily in terms of their skin color, but in terms of their inner selves, just as I “see” everyone else. It has always been the core that mattered to me, not the label. But then, I see the world through the artist’s eyes.
Likewise, I never have “seen” homosexuals primarily in terms of their sexuality identity, but in terms of their inner beings. I never have thought that the Lord cared much about sexual “plumbing” – which seems rather insignificant to me in the grand scheme of things.
When I studied acting, I learned that there were two ways to approach a character. The actor could seek the inner spirit of the character and develop the part from the inside out; or, the actor could focus upon the outside of the character and simulate the character’s facial expressions and gestures. I thought that the more authentic way to approach a part was from the depths of the character’s being.
When I studied religion in college, the professor explained that the basic view of the more liberal denominations of Christianity is that humankind is essentially “good” on the inside from birth. In the view of these denominations, for the child to bloom to his or her full measure of “goodness,” roadblocks should not be unduly placed upon the child which might repress or scar his or her natural development.
On the other hand, the more conservative denominations of Christianity, so said the professor, view humankind as essentially having a sinful nature from birth. These denominations believe that, for the betterment of the child, the tenets of the church should be placed strongly upon the child’s development so that the child’s inherently sinful nature can be “tamed,” and redirected to “goodness.”
I have thought that liberal Christians, who do not condemn homosexuality, are more deeply attuned to Jesus’ thinking. Jesus said that before we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we must become like a little child. That implies that people are born good. Like Anne Frank, I also believe that humankind is essentially good at heart.
So, I see no need for homosexuals to deny who they fundamentally are within the institutions of our society. What homosexuals inherently are, in terms of their sexuality, is God-given to them to be. And that is good. Of course, sexuality is only one aspect of a person’s total being. It is we, with our penchant for labeling others, often negatively, who create an atmosphere within our nation and its institutions that divides people.
We simply need to raise our consciousness so that we can accept that all, including homosexuals, are inherently equal because we all share a common humanity. Once we fully believe that, our nation’s institutions will reflect that higher consciousness within its policies, such as the elimination of DADT.