Sin is a concept that has always intrigued me. The other day I was invited by a friend to attend to his church, during the homily the priest talked about sin: “Sin separate us from who we truly are, from the ones we love, from God” I sat there in silence yet my mind racing remembering many teachings, readings, comments, reflections and even Facebook memes with quotes and words from great theologians all with similar definitions of what sin is.
For us LGBTI & C – C is for Christian – the concept of sin is something that has always been used against us and at the same time it has been put upon us. For many of us the struggle is trying to understand this abstract thing that you either are, you do, you carry around, you breathe, you touch and/or you love. It is confusing.
In that moment and in that bench the concept of sin was clearer to me than ever before, sin is homophobia plain and simple. That which has separated us from our families, from who we truly are at heart, that which separate us from who we love and from the love of God and that which closes the doors of churches, parishes and congregations is homophobia, it is not been gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans. It is the hate that is put upon you because of who you are.
In liberation Theology we come to learn about the concept of structural sin and how some institutions and systems are created to perpetuate injustice which separate us from what God expects from us. To me just as poverty, pollution, sexism and many others, the institution of homophobia is there to create classes amongst people, benefit a few and oppress some others.
“We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are. They are sin. Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for whom they love is a sin,” said Rev Gary Hall at Washington’s national cathedral back in 2013.
My experience serving with the HRC and conducting research on religious leaders with an inclusive and affirming perspective towards LGBTI persons has allowed me to learn about different theologies, different approaches to the scriptures and different ways to connect with God. I am not a Theologian and I don’t claim to be, and even thought the study of different Theologies has intrigued me for some time now I can only speak as a lay person.
I write this post because I believe that change starts from within, Easter is a time to celebrate new life that comes after death, new light that rises after darkness. This is invitation to look pass the traditional concept of Sin that makes us ashamed of who we are and to look at our hearts, at our truth. I am a sinner because I’m a man, because I’m Ernesto not because I’m gay.