One December day, when I was 7 years old, and alone in our house, I snuck into my parents' bedroom, hauled open their closet door, and found, fresh from the department store, just about every toy I had asked Santa to bring me that upcoming Christmas.
Aghast and transfixed, I then knew the brutal truth: far from being way up in the North Pole, Santa Claus was in the closet.
No, but seriously: I didn't like my new reality. I liked my old reality, the reality in which I had believed for my entire life -- the more imaginative reality. But what could I do? Try to somehow reconcile the unwrapped purchases in my parent's closet with the whole idea of elves working away in their North Pole workshop?
Love the Santa, but hate the sales receipts? Try to pray away the pay?
Forget it. It was over. Adulthood had scored another knockout.
Perhaps you see where I am going with the metaphor.
That's right: one day, when you're home alone, and in no way prepared to deal with it, gay people are going to jump out of the closet and beat you up.
No, but just like the time was then upon me to accept that gift-giving Santa Claus doesn't really exist, the time is now upon you to accept that gay-bashing Jesus Christ doesn't really exist. But at least with your new understanding of the way things are, you get to keep Jesus Christ. I had to totally ditch Santa Claus: all of a sudden Smokey the Bear was more real. But you get to totally change your entire understanding of gay people, and still remain 100 percent Christian. Christianity will actually get better for you because fully accepting gay people will decrease the amount of anger and stress, and increase the amount of love, in your life.
Pffft. Upon learning there was no Santa Claus, I immediately dropped out of Little League and started smoking cigarettes. So. You know.
Here's the thing: In days gone by, it was reasonable for Christians not to question conventional wisdom about the Bible. Because everyone used the Bible to justify slavery, for instance, Christians were OK with believing that some of their fellow human beings were just another species of farm animal they rightfully owned. Later, we Christians were entirely comfortable using the Bible to justify the atrocious idea that women are second-class citizens too simple-minded to be trusted with the vote.
And up until the Internet made readily available all kinds of previously inaccessible knowledge and information, we could be excused for believing that the Bible indisputably states that God considers homosexual love a moral abomination.
Today, however, anyone who can read, or simply watch YouTube videos, is forced to acknowledge the absolute credibility of the universe of scholarship, and the reasoning based upon it (here's mine), which unequivocally proves that the Bible does not, in fact, oblige Christians to believe that homosexual love, in and of itself, is necessarily any less moral than is heterosexual love.
That closet door is now swung wide open. The truth of the matter is now there for anyone to behold.
Christians today who take seriously the search for truth must admit that the old axiom that homosexuality is a sin has been forever reduced in status from objective truth to subjective opinion. From fact to belief. From beyond question to unquestionably dubious.
Believing that homosexual love is a condemnable sin, in other words, is now a choice one must make.
And what Christian -- what person at all? -- would choose ignorant condemnation over enlightened love?
So what if there's no Santa Claus? We still receive all the gifts. And we still get to hold hands, gather around the Christmas tree, sing all the beautiful songs, and feel all the beautiful love.