Tripe but True

D L Henderson
6 min readMar 17, 2024

Tripe But True

March 12, 2024

Through my 74 years, the more I learn, I have realized the more there is I need to learn. So, this essay might only be my opinionated tripe, and it should be written as a question and not as a statement… But since I don’t know how to do that, please cut me a little slack, and please, do not give any emotional overreactions to me… That won’t help my understanding.

I tried to find an online platform that answered my primary question of why people become part of the LGBTQ+ community. Everything I have found is very obtuse and neither clear nor precise, but they all seem to be more about reassuring empathy than defining what root or mindset contributes to making such decisions.

I am left guessing, not learning.

On the other hand, when I searched for why women choose abortions, websites were quite forthcoming, clear and precise. Why the difference? It seems that may be part of my question.

In either query, my search is for understanding, sure enough, but I am searching for solutions. Now, I realize that many will first react with, “It’s not a problem — certainly not my problem, and it’s none of my business, anyway.”

That is exactly the kind of emotional response I cannot abide. However, if that is what a reader might be thinking, it does give me one perspective which views the subject as mired in shame — which begs the question why and where might that shame come from?

One answer I think I already know: Public Opinion — the worst of which comes from a few loud and legalistic quarters in the realm categorized as Republican Evangelical Christianity. While I am a Born Again Christian, I am unpaired and unimpaired by their lack of empathy and condemning attitudes. Not to get me wrong, I do have opinions within the topic. Still, the R.E.C.’s position, again, in my opinion, is neither in sync with, nor can be reconciled with Biblical teachings. After all, whoever is perfect gets to cast the stones…

The Bible verses that come to mind link all kinds of harmful practices, including sexual practices as being harmful to oneself or to others.

In Biblical language, harmfulness is sinfulness — not to mention that everybody has done wrong at one time or another, and we all have struggles and losing battles with our often compulsive negative patterns of behavior.

You see, unchurched people can find behaviors, including aberrant heterosexual and homosexual acts repulsive, as well. I was, a long time ago, a long-haired Hippie (wannabe). So, I have experienced how Social norms and traditions can be a basis for judgmental attitudes. Today, Born Again Christians, like myself, get it a lot from various quarters, too.

So, the Bible is one standard, and I wonder what is another measuring device to discern right from wrong. What book or authority is as decisive a declaration on this or on any other subject?

People are not always a reliable source for constructive criticism or progressive discussions.

Just yesterday, I read an essay claiming the Bible translations regarding LGBTQ+ are wrong, and the verses are really objecting to pedophilia. So, I looked those verses up in the Greek Interlinear Bible, and no, the translators do get it right. In an attempt to justify wrongdoing, It is like claiming that the verses condemning adultery really are talking about rape and not consensual sex… No. Harm is doing harm. Wrong is wrong. Sin is sin. God is not running a Quinnipiac Poll. Actually, God is looking out for us.

I think the perfect illustration of God’s rules protecting us can be observed in the real consequences of sexual misconduct resulting in STD’s. It really doesn’t matter who is “planking” whom. If it is outside the marital bed, bad things happen, and disease is far from being the only bad thing.

Further, I can name a few public persons I respect for other reasons in the multiple array of the dynamics within human existence. There is one man on “America’s Test Kitchen’’ who contributes to my cooking experience. There was a guest professor at Cornell ILR that had a great outlook on establishing something which challenged my thinking in a positive way as to discernment and analysis of establishments. Of course, who can disregard or who can not love the music and lyrics of Sir Elton John? There are others who contribute to people’s lives, I am sure, but whether or not they are LGBTQ+ , I have no clue, nor does it matter, and why would I ask in the first place? So, I never do.

What am I left with?

Where do I go from here?

I am not above the fray. I have too often done harm in a multitude of ways listed in the Bible. I have been mired down by this “sin” problem. However, I have learned not to try to rationalize my wrongs away. That is like ignoring Stop Signs.

Consequences do not naturally go away. They don’t evaporate by changing Social norms and Societal acceptance. They don’t wash off in the shower.

I recognize the consequences of my wrong behaviors, and so I do have some understanding of the results of bad behaviors in others. Yet, I certainly do not qualify as a Judge. Nevertheless, I know how to get unstuck from the mire. It was actually admitting that I could not get myself unstuck. Neither could others — no matter how sincere and caring they were. I was grateful for their efforts, but only in turning to Jesus did I find release.

Adding one more point, people, no matter what community they associate with, do not have just one harmful habit. Everybody can identify with more than one of these shortcomings: “When you follow the desires of your human nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” What Paul is writing about in these verses found in his letter to the Romans is the battle that goes on within and the precipitating actions which follow. Only God has the weapons to win those battles for us. We do have to get behind Him.

Romans 1:18–32 lists more things we do wrong, and I defy anyone to claim they are totally innocent of participating in such harmful behaviors.

The real substantial answer is that one answer nobody wants to hear: Jesus. Turn to Jesus. Start talking to Jesus. Don’t look for answers only with people. People are limited in the scope, strength, and amount of knowledge we possess. God is not. People can be selfish and deceitful. God is always generous and true.

You can choose to listen to whoever and whomever. You can choose to be popular or prudent. It’s always a choice…

He cleaned up the mess I had made of my life, and I am sure it will be the same for you and anyone who decides to seek Him in earnest.

Notwithstanding all that which I have said here, I still have questions, questions only people can answer, people in the LGTBQ+ community. My immediate problem is a reclusive life with little interaction with what’s going on. (Sadly, I never was “hip” and never will be.)

Addendum:

Ironically, a couple days after I thought I was through editing this essay, I happened to encounter this video, which actually did answer some of my questions, and it did come from the LGBTQ+ community…How Jesus Redeemed My Gender Confusion — Dr. Linda Seiler

Also ironically, and listed on the same YouTube page as the testimony above: From New Age to Jesus: My Testimony

File these under “Questions that need answering whether or not they are ever asked…”

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between