Hourou Musuko and Loving the Sinner, But Hating the Sin
One of my absolutely favorite series of recent years is Hourou Musuko. I love the characters, the art, the dialogue, and especially how it made me think (see here, here, and here). But going further than drawing connections to spirituality, the series challenged me and how I view my faith.
The series (and even more so the manga, from what I understand) touches on ideas that are certainly touchy when Christianity is brought into the picture – namely cross dressing, transgender, and gay issues.
I’ll be perfectly frank – I believe that the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin and I believe scripture to be infallible.
I’ll admit, the position makes me feel uncomfortable at times, particularly in the face of popular western culture which says this way of thinking is bigoted and backwards. And it’s increasingly unpopular – even the Presbyterian Church has recently decided to allow gay pastors to become ordained (note: my father-in-law is a Presbyterian pastor and I really wonder what his viewpoint is on this).
I think those that have similar viewpoints as me want to embrace homosexuals as much as anyone else, but it’s hard to do when a defining characteristic (maybe the defining one) of gay individuals is considered by us to be a sin. I asked a question on Formspring about that old maxim about “hating the sin, but loving the sinner.” That’s what I want to do – I want to remain true to my convictions and show the world that I can love you and disagree with you. Some responders to the question thought it was possible; others didn’t; and some, like me, were just unsure.
And that’s the rub – if I had a close, gay friend (which I don’t think I do), I would want that friend to both know that I’m a convicted Christian and that I would love that person with all my might, even if I disapproved of his or her lifestyle. But this topic has such strong and angry connotations and created such a sensitive spot in so many (and rightfully so with the violence and hatred that has occurred historically and with recent news about bullying and suicide) that I don’t know how possible this is. I mean, is it too little, too late when the Southern Baptists (and this is how I was raised much of my life) call for and end to LGBT hate? Does that mean anything to an individual in that group where acceptance is as key as anything in showing support and love?
And where is the balance? I feel a bit like Anna, who waves from left to right when it comes to Nitori’s crossdressing – just where can I stand?
So, I’ll ask you, readers: is it possible to hate the sin and love the sinner? Can one call homosexuality a sin, but still show true love toward a homosexual? Or do you think I’m just a bigot, plain and simple? I’m soliciting responses that enlighten, educate, and even criticize.