The disconnect between homosexuality and church
Produced by Marjani Knighten, NewsNetNebraska
Adam and Eve
For years, most religious groups have used the bible to determine a marriage and relationships. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to wife, and they shall become one flesh,” Genesis 2:24. In 2015, the Supreme court decided otherwise and ruled states cannot ban same-sex marriage.
“In reality, religion has been used to both harm and help LGBTQA members,” said Pat Tetreault, the director of the LGBTQA+ resource center at UNL.
According to a 2013 Pew Research survey, the LGBTQA+ community found that 92 percent said they believed society had become more accepting of them than it was 10 years ago.
In contrast, there are still people who chose not to accept.
Aryn Huck, an LGBTQA+ student at UNL, got pressured by her church youth group leader to tell her parents about her sexuality. “He kept on texting me and trying to make it so I would come out. He gave me an ultimatum one time,” said Huck.
Huck is both bisexual and non-binary transgender.
Practice what they don’t preach
Different churches and religious groups have their understanding and practice they follow. Stephen Griffith, an ex-associate pastor of Saint Paul United Methodist Church in Lincoln, believes every translation of the bible is an interpretation of how a specific religion views same-sex marriage.
According to a 2014 Pew Research survey, of 1,197 LGBTQA+ adults, 945 of them stated the Catholic Church was seen unfriendly toward LGBTQA+ people.
The negative and hateful voices are hard to ignore for most members of the LGBTQA+ community, but those views come from one thing. “People fear the unknown and also have religious fears,” said Pastor Griffith.
In relationship to Aryn Huck and her journey of coming out, she still carries some form of guilt being a Christian and gay.
“It’s hard to wrap your head around, like how could this ever be wrong, if you feel loved and cared for in a community and by people,” said Huck.
Brianna Cassidy, a student-athlete at UNL and who labels herself as gay, also felt the same pinned up guilt like Huck but found someone who helped her embrace who she wanted to be.
“I kept in mind what type of person I wanted to be with, to help push me to be better,” said Cassidy.
Push for change
Pastor Stephen Griffith believes society is continuing to make strides to prove religion does not determine whether someone is gay or not. He stands by the fact if people work to pursue three courses of action, then there is hope. “To learn from each other, to experience and to work together,” said Pastor Griffith.
Becuase, both Pat Tetreault and Pastor Stephen Griffith, agree nowhere in the bible is there an understanding of sexual orientation or is the word ‘homosexual.’
“There is more to this issue,” said Tetreault.