"We must choose the higher course of love that seeks compromise and transformation, not hatred’s tyrannical reign of death."

The debate around Amendment 1 in North Carolina heats up, and homosexuality remains a lighting rod in the Presidential race. As a person educated in theology, I find myself wanting to ask many Christians against homosexuality, “What if Jesus was gay?” 

Immediately, many will balk at this question, saying that I don’t have enough information to say that Jesus was indeed gay. On one level they’re right, but on another level there’s entirely too much of Jesus’s life we don’t have to say that Jesus wasn’t gay. In either case, the question is meant to challenge our ontological conceptions of Jesus.

If we were to go back in history, maybe only 70 years, and find a white person writing, “What if Jesus was black?” a similar backlash would occur. We want Jesus to support our causes, our movements, and our agendas. The figure of Jesus haunts and challenges us to reimagine who we think the Son of God actually was. We do this not because we seek political gain, but because we remember Jesus’s call for radical love.

Many see homosexuality as a threat to their way of life. Much of it has to do with the fact that the LGBTQ community remains a perceived, though not actual, enemy. What if Jesus were among us? What if Jesus said, “When I was hungry, you fed me; when I was naked, you clothed me; when I was the homosexual you welcomed me.” To not welcome the stranger, to not love your enemies, means not loving Jesus.

What this question exposes, however, is that on both sides of the aisle there exists an unchecked cancer growing within our congregations and ecclesial organizations. We resort to ignorance and ad hominum attacks because many live into hate, rather than love. Howard Thurman wrote in Jesus and the Disinherited, “Jesus rejected hatred because he saw that hatred meant death to the mind, death to the spirit, death to communion with his Father.” We must choose the higher course of love that seeks compromise and transformation, not hatred’s tyrannical reign of death.

In the end, this question says more about our current condition than Jesus’s sexuality. For those objecting to the issue of homosexuality I challenge you to seek out education and relationship with those identifying as homosexual.

But for those that object and decree that God cannot or does not love homosexuals, listen only to the words of Jesus, “Get behind me Satan. You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

What if Jesus was gay? I don’t think we’ll ever know, but I do know that Jesus said, “Whatever you have done for the least of these, you’ve done unto me.”

Jesus said it. I believe it. That settles it. 



03/07/2012 17:52

Oh my.....Jesus was not in any relatiOnship at all...an yes we should welcome all and treat all how we would treat Jesus....I love LGBTQ but it doesn't Mean I agree with their life choice. I think those who even bring up foolish comments like "maybe Jesus was gay" is crazy, and with that I mean you.....

Train wreck
03/08/2012 07:49

Theres no evidence he was not gay so why not.he was a challenger of mind sets and besides...the biblical condemnation is not on gays as a whole but on specific rituals

03/08/2012 07:50

Would Jesus call someone crazy, Kathy? I think not.

03/08/2012 08:15

Just because the gospels don't explicitly state that he had any romantic relationships doesn't mean He didn't, nor does it mean He didn't have the full range of human emotions. The gospels portray Him as having strong feelings and close relationships with both John and Mary, and none of us have enough information to be able to judge the full nature of those feelings or relationships. No one is saying the Jesus was gay, this is just speculation for the purpose of reminding Christians of His radical love ministry which seems to get forgotten a lot.

Lisa Enos
03/08/2012 09:57

What would we think of someone today who wasn't married by the age of 30 and only ever hung around men? Oh, and one woman. That they're gay? Or that they just don't subscribe to the belief that you have to be married by a priest in order to be in love and have sex with someone. Hebrews tells us, "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled" (Ch. 13, v. 4), but it also tells us in Chapter 8 that we have a new Priest (Jesus) seated at the right hand of God, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man, but by God.The whole chapter talks about a new covenant with Israel, and the old one being obsolete. Why would Jesus have needed a priest to perform a marriage ceremony? He was the son of God and sex isn't bad or wrong. Of course he had human feelings and emotions. It's stupid to think that he never had sex, and that he wouldn't have done so with Mary Magdalene.

Anne C
03/08/2012 08:22

If God is fully divine AND fully human, why do we so often refuse to consider that Jesus could have experienced sexual desire at all? This is what the whole LGBTQ equality issue boils down to for those that are against it: an innate squeamishness about sex, sexuality, sexual acts. Time to get over it! You didn't make a choice to be straight, gay people didn't make a choice to be gay, and Jesus only made a choice to love every. single. one. of us in spite of this difference.

Christina Johnson
03/08/2012 08:29

You telling GLBT people that you don't agree with their "life choice" (as if you were given the choice to be a woman or be attracted to men) is the same as me telling you that I don't agree with being straight or male. In all honesty, I don't. It's not right for me. The more I tried to be a heterosexual man, the more I failed. I prayed and prayed and the struggle never stopped. The struggle stopped when I took a step in prayerful faith to begin my transition from male to female.

Oh, and the Bible does not say that Jesus wasn't a raptor. So, he may have been.

03/08/2012 11:11

@Kathy, your spelling and grammar suck just as much as your tolerance for those who's lifestyles you don't agree with. That and you missed the point of the article entirely!!!

03/08/2012 07:52

Oh my......Kathy, feeling a little hatred today?

Jennifer Edwards-Ring
03/08/2012 08:13

What a great question. Thanks for making me think this morning.

03/08/2012 08:14

I brought this up awhile back, and basically was told what Kathy above said. If you love your neighbors, Kathy, you'd not have to include that little section about not agreeing with their life choices (and what life choice is that? Not trying to be something they are not? Just being themselves? Wow. What a sin.), nor would you feel the need to call the comments foolish or the author crazy. Guess what- we'll never know. I love the idea that He was gay, or that He, in fact, was with Mary Magdalene. Whatever the details of His love life (or lackthereof- He could have just forgone, true- but if He was indeed "truly human," I highly doubt He had no love life at all), they are, actually, none of our business, do not affect His messages of love, and, in fact, reflect accordingly: Kathy, the details of your love life (or perhaps lackthereof?) are absolutely none of our business. The details of mine are none of your business. The details of anyone's love life are between that person and the person they share it with, and no one else. Perhaps they were omitted from the Bible for that reason exactly.

I love this, and I plan to share it widely.

Michael S. Chacon
03/08/2012 09:12

Well, according to what is written, he WAS arrested immediately after being kissed by a man in plain view of law enforcement.

That doesn't mean he was gay, but he may have been framed.

Couldn't Judas have just have as easily pointed him out to the Roman guards? A KISS? That's pretty dramatic.

Also, Jesus asks, why arrest me now? What have I done? I am the same guy you have been seeing in town for months! You didn't even arrest me when I tossed the money changer's tables in the temple.

(Typically, when you upset the money business, THAT's when a guy gets rolled up!)

03/08/2012 12:25

Back in 1997, Terrence McNally wrote a play about this very same question. For his trouble he received death threats when it was played in the U.S. In 2006 Director Nic Arnzen, revived the play and started a troupe in Los Angeles performing it at the Zephyr Theater. It was sold out for months! This troupe has been touring around the world with the play, and now has a documentary aiming for release in the fall. One can only hope that it will continue to generate open discussion on Christianity and Homosexuality. For information on them go to http://www.108productions.org/history.html .


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