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I’m Christian, unless you’re gay

Published: Sunday, February 5, 2012

Updated: Monday, February 6, 2012 15:02

Diversity

sxc.hu


A note from Sam Smith, Viewpoint editor: When I found this piece by Pearce, I was compelled to obtain his permission and share it, shortened to fit the section. I hope those impacted by this article will visit his site, danoah.com, and read the responses.

I'm not being facetious when I say that I hope I can get this message across without offending … well … everybody.

That being said, I believe some strong words need to be said today.

"God hates fags." We've all seen the signs being waved high in the air by members of the Westboro Baptist church. It's hard not to take notice. Over the years, I've watched seemingly never-ending disgustingness and hatred spill across the media airwaves from those who belong to the organization.

For those who don't know much about that "church," they have made a seedy name for themselves by doing drastic things like picketing beneath atrocious signs and hosting flagrant anti-gay protests at military funerals.

Almost every person of nearly every religion has no problem loathing and condemning the Westboro Baptist Church and its members, and perhaps with reason. They take freedom of speech far beyond what our Founding Fathers intended when they fought to give us that right, and they laugh at the rest of the world while they do.

But today I don't want to talk about those idiots. I want to talk about you. And me.

And my friend who I'll call Jacob.

Jacob is 27 years old, and guess what ... he's gay. Not a lot of people know. He lives in a community where being gay is still very "frowned upon."

I was talking to him on the phone a few weeks ago, telling him about my failed attempts to write this post. He was trying to hold his emotions in, but he eventually became tearful as we deliberated the very problem that this post attempts to discuss. Today's post is not about homosexuality. It's not about Christians. It's about something else altogether. It's about love. It's about kindness. It's about friendship. And love, kindness and friendship are three things that Jacob hasn't felt in a long time. I'm thankful he gave me permission to share our conversation with you. It went something like this.

"Jacob, I honestly don't know how to write it," I said. "I know what I want to get across, but I can never find the right words."

"Dan, you need to write it. Don't give up. I'm telling you, it needs to be said."

I paused. "You don't understand. It's too heated a subject. It's something people are very emotional and touchy about. I'd be lynched."

My friend hesitated. "Dan, you are the only friend I have that knows I'm gay. The only freaking one," he said.

"What do you mean? I know you've told other friends." That's when his voice cracked. He began crying.

"Every single person I've told has ditched me. They just disappear. They stop calling. They remove me on Facebook. They're just gone," he said. "They can't handle knowing and being friends with a gay person."

I didn't know what to say. So I didn't say anything.

"You don't know what it's like, man. You don't know what it's like to live here and be gay. You don't know what it's like to have freaking nobody. You don't know what it's like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn't choose this. I didn't want this. And I'm so tired of people hating me for it. I can't take it anymore."

How do you respond to that? I wanted to tell him it was all in his head. I knew it wasn't. I wanted to tell him it would get better and easier. The words would have been hollow and without conviction, and I knew it.

I live in this community too. And I've heard the hate. I've heard it all, and I've heard it tucked and disguised neatly beneath a wrapper of self-righteousness and a blanket of "caring" or "religious" words. I've heard it more times than I care to number.

About gay people.

About fat people.

About people who smoke.

About people who just look at you or me the wrong way.

I've heard it, and I've heard it over and over again.

Hell, in the past (and to some degree in the present) I participated in it. I propagated it. I smugly took part in it. I'll admit that.

And I did so under the blanketing term "Christian." I did so believing that my actions were somehow justified because of my beliefs at the time. I did so, actually believing that such appointments were done out of ... love.

This isn't just a Utah phenomenon. It was just as bad in Denver. It was just as bad in California. I hear it on television shows and radio programs. I hear it around my own family's dinner table from time to time. Usually said so passively, so sneakily and so "righteously."

From Christians. Buddhists. Hindus. Muslims. Jews.

"God hates fags."

"God hates addicts."

"God hates people that aren't just like me."

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3 comments

Anonymous
Mon May 14 2012 17:16
I am saddened yet again to see the Christians falsely accused of "hate" when the very tone of this article, along with any others attacking Christianity is so full of bitter, negative, very hatefule emotions.

I am also saddened that many Christians are misrepresenting God. The 10 commandments, which were written by God's own finger (as opposed to Moses law which has all those "extras") clearly states not to take His name in vain. Many think that means not to take the word "God" in vain, but it a showing of who He is.

So now here goes with what the Bible clearly states: Homosexuality is a sin in all manner...New Testament as well as in the Old Testament. Not only is it a sin, but those who suppot it is sin as told in Romans. Not only is homosexuality a sin, but adultry, lying, cheating, stealing, etc...is wrong. So, we must look at the whole and not just the one.

People say God is love and God made me this way. No, God did not make you "that way" simply because He LOVES you too much to make you that which He specifically says He did NOT create you for. When Jesus came to earth, many point out the example of the people about to stone the adultress "He who is without sin cast the first stone". Ok, great, Jesus loved that woman enough to stand for her as he saw past the sin. Yet, what people fail to do is look at what happened after the crowd dispersed. Jesus turned to the woman and after asking about her accusors, He said her sin is forgiven and go and sin NO MORE. So, as those who come to God as is, He accepts them and washes them of the sin. But to be able to maintain a relationship with Him, we must be willing to "sin NO MORE". It is not an easy walk, but if we are willing to do that which makes God Himself happy (which means obedience to His word, which includes not participating in the homosexual practices), then we would be happier and more fulfilled and have more love for our fellow humans (and their errors) than we know.

As followers of Christ and His love, we are to love the person, but not the sin they practice. If that person is hungry or crying or in need of clothing and warmth, we do not turn them away. But if they want us to condone the wrong act they chose to commit, we are to pray in behalf of them and leave it to God.

Many Christians are in the "milk" of the Word and not the meat. For this, they do not understand how demonic spirits are working within those who commit these practices. If this anger people then it is evidence they do not know the true word of God. So, how can we hate the people when they know not what they do?

The next time you want to attack Christians (and WHY is this paper continuing to allow this?) then look at the responses the support the attack of Christians and see where the true hate comes from.

Anonymous
Thu Apr 5 2012 12:26
Homosexuality isn't a sin if there is no megalomaniacal jealous bigoted tyrant of a God to judge you. No amount of bronze-aged myth will make YHVH true, and homosexuality is a TRAIT, not a CHOICE. Heard of penguins, lions, giraffes, elk, dolphins, etc.? They're also born gay sometimes. It's a disservice to believers to not state the truth about their false gods, and intellectually negligent to your children to fill their heads with this hateful, self-defeating garbage.
Anonymous
Wed Apr 4 2012 02:27
Hi, with all due respect, and in no way am I trying to cause drama or anger anyone, I would like to mention a couple of things:

- Christianity isn't just about Jesus' teachings; it's grounded on the fact that God so desired to have relationships with everyone He created, that He sent Jesus to reconcile what had been broken. Christianity is the only belief system in which the savior/leader sacrificed Himself and rose from the dead, allowing individuals to approach God freely.

- It does matter if we consider homosexuality a sin. It should not affect how we respond to others; we should always respond in love. However, if we truly believe that those who are apart from God will be sent to Hell upon death, it isn't "love" if we don't reach out to them and share God's love, grace, and mercy with them. It's a disservice. It's like saying you love your child, but standing back as he waddles toward an 8ft deep hole; just because you're smiling, waving, pretending everything is okay, and saying nice things does not mean you're showing love. Loving that child would mean meeting him where he's at, and showing him where he's headed. I understand that there have been many inappropriate, disgusting responses to the topic of homosexuality, and my heart sincerely breaks for those who have had to endure wrong things done to them. I would encourage you to look at how Jesus responded to sinners and outcasts in an effort to understand how we believers are supposed to Biblically respond, rather than how many extremists have actually behaved in the spotlight. How Jesus approached individuals is love; what He sacrificed for the world is love. Christianity begins and ends with sacrifice; I'm sorry on behalf of those who haven't sacrificed their comfort zones to reach out to the unloved, the outcasts. However, I also believe there is a balance to be found between the world's idea of love, and Christ's model of love.





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