Hey there, Sebastian - welcome to TA! Personally I think all theists are just kidding themselves; I haven't run into one yet who hasn't had to rationalize some aspect of their church's doctrine. I've never run into any Christians who take the bible 100% literally - although I think it is possible since I'm sure there are some verses in there that say the local laws must be respected (that's how they get out of their moral duty to put the sexually creative to death). As far as Judaism, well it seems the entire Talmud is an attempt to rationalize the Torah. I'm not sure how Muslims rationalize not killing non-believers, but I'm glad they do - for the most part. Interestingly some very well regarded Imams have stated clearly that Islam does not condemn the transgendered.
I had a blind friend who was part of a fundamentalist church that believed all illness & disability was the result of sin and could be instantly healed by strong enough faith. He believed his faith was strong enough but that god was using blindness to heal him - just part of the divine plan. The capacity of believers to cling to a faith is amazing. It seems to me that the very tolerant non-denominational Christian faiths are really just creating their own Mishnah to adjust scripture to modern context - they hate it when I call them Pharisees.
Perhaps what the world needs is a great transgendered messiah to deliver a message of tolerance based on a god that defies gender altogether - would seem more rational than any sort of anthropomorphized deity - but then one could just as easily adopt a deistic belief set, which to me just seems like another rationalization to the point of stripping the god out of god.
Anyway, that's my two cents; and that's all I got to say about that.
My butch lesbian friend is Catholic.
It always boggles my mind.
She thinks birth-control is immoral.....
I often remind her that the only reason she hasn't been burned at the stake or stoned by her church friends is because our secular government strictly forbids that sort of behavior now.
She just shrugs and says no one is perfect.
I'm still not sure if she means her lesbianism is a character flaw or killing people because of their sexual preference is.
I think "having to redefine your religion to fit your lifestyle" is red light in my opinion. You should not have to adjust your life to live your life as your are and that goes for your beliefs. If the religion one follows does not allow or accept my lifestyle, then that is simply not a religion I would ever choose to follow.
Of course some people still need religion in their lives and many faiths offer acceptance. However, and in my opinion only, the world will never accept GLBTQ community until religion dies completely. As long as there exists one packet of hate, then others will grow. Those in the community who exist in these religions and like Misty's friend, cherry picks the "good" aspects, are promulgating the hate and doing a disservice to all those who struggle with being accepted.
I was in the strictly ran UPCI denomination of Christianity. When I couldn't struggle with the "why won't god change me" issues any more, I started to seek out a denomination that taught the same things, except that it affirmed homosexuality. When I found one, I was so ecstatic. I spoke with the minister via chat about his beliefs. Everything matched up, but a few seemingly minor "flaws" but because of my indoctrination, I couldn't bring myself to transfer faiths.
Are you ready for the flaws? They believed it was okay for woman to wear pants, and men to wear shorts. They believed it was okay for women to cut their hear, and that mean could have long hair. Well, these were nearly the trademark beliefs of the UPCI...I couldn't possibly trade that in just to be gay. So went the struggle to make it all make sense. Eventually a set of youtube videos where a former pentecostal explained her de-conversion from UPCI to atheism, set me free.
I learned it's okay to wear shorts, to love whomever I want, and that Pentecostalism is a cult all to its own. Also, the bible is correct on one thing, "the truth will set you free", but religion won't.
In short, rationalizing your nature with your religion starts from the beginning of your brainwashing... you must find a way to explain all the whys. Orientation is no different.
I'm coming into this discussion a little late, but hey I just found this site yesterday ;)
There's this phenomenon called the Metropolitan Community Church, which is essentially a gay church. I've attended a few services just to investigate how such a thing might operate, and found that it is like most other Christian denominations: quote and preach the parts of the Bible you like, and ignore the rest.
I find the whole thing a bit schizophrenic. A gay Christian makes about as much sense as a Jewish Nazi.