A few weeks ago, there was a real controversy raised by conservative Christians, when the President reminded everyone, accurately, that violence against others, justified religious belief is not new, nor limited to Islamic extremists such as ISIS and Boko Hiram. From my vantage point, extreme violence and hate-based actions are a problem, but a more immediate terrorism that LGBTQ Americans experience on a daily basis is far less violent and every bit as dangerous because it is a relentless form of bullying that can be seen as almost like torture– we are forced to endure it day in and day out without reprieve.
If all the Christians who are so busy feeling entitled to hate the gays, would please stop and step back for a minute, and ask themselves what being a Christian is all about for them.
I think anyone would be hard pressed not to see the whole point of believing in God, and salvation through Christ as being about some expected Judgement Day as well as one’s personal relationship with God through Christ until that day. Being saved sets a person up for getting to Heaven as opposed to being thrown into the fiery pits of Hell. If that is the case, how in the world does opposing equal rights for LGBTQ persons impact a person’s position on Judgement Day in any way shape or form? Theologically and scripturally, there is no basis for any Christians to oppose Equality for Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans, or Queer persons. In fact the very act of antagonizing, harming, and even fighting against full equality, probably sets a Christian up to be sorely disappointed come that Judgement Day (if you believe in such a thing, that is). But before I talk about scripture related to Judgement Day, let me talk about a little about History. We know that there have been people who participate in same-sex behavior since the start of time. These folks may not have identified as “gay, lesbian, or bisexual,” because the notion of sexual identity is relatively new. But it is pretty safe to say that these individuals were just expressing their attractions, and their feelings. There is Biblical support for this. Consider the story of Jonathan and David, which I’ll talk more at length about in another post.
Some contemporary Christians claim that the emergence or acceptance of LGBTQ persons and granting full civil rights to LGBTQ persons is a sign of society breaking down, but there is no rational basis for such ideas. So, if you hear Christian zealots claim that they are fighting against Equality to save society, it is a delusional fantasy they have cooked up in their mind to justify their hate. These same zealots often nostalgically point to an earlier era in America where Faith seemed to play a bigger role in daily life and the fabric of society. But in reality, the only difference between now and then, is that today, Gay, Lesbian, and Bi persons are less closeted. They existed then, and they exist now.
Becoming a Christian is a process of accepting Christ as your personal savior, and living as a Christian is about the choices you make to remain true to that.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
It is logical that a Christian might believe that a person who is Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, or Queer, may be doomed to Hell. But an important Christian tenet is remembering that God alone can judge others. No where in this can you find a justification for the harming, or shunning or bullying of others. The New Testament in it’s entirely suggests only ways a person should act within their own life, and a part of that is love and hospitality towards others.
So, why are some Christian zealots so hell-bent on forcing their beliefs onto others in ways that destroy the very basis of Christianity?
I think mostly because they are busy forcing it upon themselves and they don’t realize that if it is such a hard fit, that it must be so forced, there is a problem somewhere.