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November 04, 2014

Comments

Well said.

Another frustration is when anything different from a pro homosexual stance is labeled as "homophobia". That particular misnomer drives me crazy.

They have heard and repeated the propaganda so often that they have come to actually believe their own rhetoric. While accusing Christians of having an irrational fear ("homophobia") and hatred, they show that they are the ones with the irrational fear and hatred.

The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success. -- A. Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1925

I think you're right; the majority of Christians don't think they hate homosexuals. I wonder if we've been living that out well, however. I've never heard anyone at my church honestly say that they hate homosexuals. They seem to believe we should love our neighbor. And yet, I've seen the following:

- At a prayer meeting, I suggested praying for the homosexual community, including those in our church who might struggle. People were "uncomfortable praying for gay people" since they thought "no one at our church was gay”.

- When a young man later expressed his struggles with same-sex attraction, he was met with confusion and distance, as well as denial from some close friends who couldn't believe it since he "grew up in such a godly home".

- When I began reading Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill in an effort to better understand what my brothers and sisters were struggling with, people responded by uncomfortably wondering aloud whether I was gay.

Do my friends hate homosexuals? Probably not. But responding to homosexuality looks like posting videos of lectures against same-sex attraction and articles against same-sex marriage. They don't have a close homosexual friend, mainly because that would make them uncomfortable.

On the whole, it seems like we've treated the homosexual community as the "other" that we're against, the people with the sin above all sins, the group that makes us uncomfortable and scared. It doesn't seem like we've invited them in, treated them like family, and loved them with the gospel.

Why are we shocked that they think we hate them? If another group was speaking at colleges about the dangers of Christianity, campaigning for legislation that would make it illegal for us to marry in churches, what would you think? Would you think that they love you, or that they hate you?

I sometimes feel like gay people hate us fundies sometimes. There's a lot of unapologetic vitriol directed at us from them on the internet. Maybe we should start accusing them of fundiphobics.

I find myself correcting people "I'm not a homophobe, I'm not afraid of you or anything you represent. But then I'm not a homophile either."

fundphobia, I mean.

Remember at the Houston rally last weekend when t-shirts were handed out saying 'I reserve the right to refuse service to homosexuals.' Can you imagine the feeling an LGBT person has knowing that Christians are eager to parade the fact that they are so disgusted by them that they will refuse to serve them under any circumstances?

Do you remember when Pastor Charles Worley advocated for rounding up gay and lesbian citizens and interning them in concentration camps until they die out? Do you remember how a month before Pastor Sean Harris advocating beating children and snapping their wrists if they acted too effeminate? Remember how the evangelical Christian government of Uganda passed a bill in which ‘aggravated homosexuality’ (two or more offenses) was punishable by death? American Pastor Scott Lively was partially responsible for that bill, as he worked closely with Ugandan lawmakers concerning how to handle the homosexual menace in Uganda. The US Congress passed a resolution to denounce the bill, which was blocked by lobbying by the Christian group the Family Research Counsel, headed by Tony Perkins. They objected on the grounds that it portrayed homosexuality as a human right and that denouncing the murder of innocent gay people would make people think that ‘gay is okay.’

Now look at how Christians have fought against LGBT civil rights. The right to be employed without fear of being fired for orientation. The right to serve their nation with dignity and honour. 11,000 servicemen and women lost their jobs under DADT.

Let's step back to the 80′s, during the AIDS crises. It was a terrible time to be gay in America. HIV was a new, unknown disease that ravaged individuals and destroyed thousands of lives. And what was the Christian response? Christian hospitals refused to treat those with AIDS. The funerals of AIDS victims were picketed by Christian organisations (ever wonder where the Wesboro Baptist Church got their tactics from?). Hospitals and hospices that did treat AIDS victims were picketed as well. Federal aid to AIDS research and support was blocked by Christian organisations and politicians. Pastor Jerry Falwell told his flock that AIDS was God’s punishment on a nation that tolerated homosexuality. Hundreds of pastors followed suit. The Christian consensus was to 'let the gay plague take it's course.' Because, in the end, what’s a few more dead gays?

Should I take you through a tour of the internet, where the LGBT community is frequently called the vilest of names? How many times have you heard a Christian call gay men and women f-gs? How many times have you heard them referred to as abominations? How many times has someone mention in your hearing that the Bible issued the death penalty for gays and it’s a shame we don’t follow it so closely anymore?

You, the Christians of America, have labeled gays as less than human. F-gs. Abominations. Deviants. Your organisations, like the FRC and the AFA frequently refer to gays as potential pedophiles. You mock and slander them. You harass and despise them. You throw them out of your homes. Why do you think 40% of homeless youth are LGBT? You fight to deny them the opportunity to live life as they choose, demanding that they live life as you choose. You have beaten them on the streets in the name of your God. You have tortured them in camps designed to cure them, often with documented cases of electroshock therapy and ammonia aversion.

And you have killed them. The names are branded into any conversation about the Christian church’s relationship with the LGBT community. Charlie Howard. Rebecca Wight. Matthew Shepard. Marc Carson. And so many more. Men and women, killed by church-going, Christ-confessing Christians.

So, in summary, do you want to know why we don't believe you when you claim that you 'love' LGBT people? It's because all the evidence from your religion, your Church, and your brothers and sisters in Christ prove otherwise. Because your heinous actions towards LGBT people demonstrate the truth of your beliefs. Because you mocked them, tortured them, harrassed them, humiliated them, and hurt them, and now you claim that you love them.

You cannot hate an instrinsic part of an individual and claim that you do not hate the individual.

You cannot spiritually, emotionally, and physically abuse a group of people and expect them to believe that you love them.

Your lies have grown old and stale, and you're offended that no one believes them any more.

God is hated. That fundamental truth rang true in each of our lives at one point.

Homosexual sin reveals a hate for God. The same hate spoken of throughout the Bible that each sinner exhibits willfully and with abandon. It is, like every sin, a rejection of God's graceful love towards us by being disobedient, ignorantly or otherwise.

Homosexuality is an inconvenient act committed with difficulties and a need to look past filthy barriers physically set up by our Redeemer from creation. It is an act of sinfulness used by God at certain times in scripture to indicate the coming failure of a society or indicating judgment to be done. It is the loving God of the Bible who hates all sin using a particular evil we indulge in to indicate we have gone too far and there will be consequences.

This is the traditional fear Christians feel. Though no more acceptable than at any time in history (by God or His people) we do live in the era that Jesus says is the last days and we are to engage with fervent passion and love the lost - no matter who they are.

Christ first loved us and we are to emulate that no matter what we are dealing with. Satan brings people low - some of us more so than others. Sin leads to sin. The more we've done to show our innate hate towards God the more He shows us His willingness to save us from it.

We can't hate with that vileness of our own conduct fresh and readily at hand in our own lives. Our sins' sinfulness must keep us from hate simply because we see our own conduct in Christ's redemptive light. Praise God for that, preach the gospel with love and gratitude to all sinners and remember where we came from and at what cost to our Saviour.

Love our neighbors, love our enemies, does not indicate we should accept them as they are but that we should be willing to sacrifice their good graces towards us to please our Lord.

We have to state unequivocally what is so obviously stated in the Word. We should do so in love as Christ did to each sinner he encountered - which is to say everyone He encountered and everyone he continues to encounter. If it is impossible for us to do that, we are sinning and not sharing and living the gospel nor are we trusting in the strength of the Lord to overcome that deficiency.

How can the gospel be shared with someone we hate?

No persistence in sinful behavior is to be accepted or tolerated by Christians but love is to be shown and the love of Christ towards us is to be exemplified towards those who do so. We did, whatever it was we did, the same once, that is persisted in our intrinsic sinful behavior.

All sin is punishable by God for righteousness sake. We too were heading to Hell for eternity and now we are to, indeed should cherish the opportunity to, share this blessing of inestimable grace with others.

Broad acceptance of male & female homosexuality by a society is a way God informs us He has given us up to our willfulness and the painful consequences are the chaos and turmoil we are experiencing today in the USA. This has been a decay process that began in earnest at the beginning of last century. But we were never perfect in our Godliness. Its just that we have demolished foundations based on Godliness and now we see our edifices crumbling. And others are being established for decades to come.

Preach the gospel, speak it to one another, love our enemies as ourselves and do all for the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Grow now and take advantage of the Lord's strength. Walk as if the leader and humble oneself as the servant. Today we are branded as bigots and haters. Tomorrow we will be dealing with more than words. Our lack of love for our neighbors lost in sin has brought on us unfairness and persecution and most likely it won't improve soon.

That is a spur in the side of complacency. Fearfully reacting to change with hate won't solve anything and certainly will be missing the point. That point is that the church, the body of Christ, needs to mobilize, gathered around Him. In the US that will be a major shift in conduct for many of us.

We must decrease. He must increase. Praise His Holy Name.

Irish, I can understand why gay people in general think Christian in general hate them, but I agree with Alan insofar as it is hasty for a gay person to think an individual Christian hates them just because the Christian thinks homosexual sex is a sin.

We all consider certain acts to be immoral, and almost all of us readily admit that we are imperfect. If thinking a behavior is immoral entails that you hate the person who engages in the behavior, then logically, we all ought to hate each other since we all, from time to time, consider each other's behavior to be immoral. But that is absurd.

And it doesn't seem to matter how engrained the immorality is, even if it is a part of one's identity. Pity, not hate, is the appropriate response to a person whose immorality is so engrained that they consider it part of their identity. That is unless the immorality is vicious with the motive being to hurt people, but I don't think homosexuality is that kind of immorality.

I consider Christianity to be part of my identity, and it entails a certain point of view which many homosexuals consider immoral, namely that I think homosexual sex is immoral. Does that entail that all homosexuals must hate me? I sure hope not. I have at least one friend who is gay and one relative, and I don't hate either of them, and I doubt they hate me.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/11/04/straight_people_should_leave_homophobic_churches.html?wp_login_redirect=0

It can be worse than mere accusations of hatred. The above link is posted on a popular liberal site. This person blames psychological and emotional issues suffered by those that experience homosexual attractions on those that believe that homosexual acts are immoral. This even goes as far as suicide.

For those familiar with Ryan T Anderson. It is not uncommon to find accusations of him having "gay blood on his hands" on his twitter feed. Ryan T Anderson simply defends the view of marriage as the union of husband and wife...

It is one thing to be accused of hatred, it is another to be accused violence and effectively murder (i.e. causing someone else to commit suicide). I am not saying these views are yet mainstream, but it is at least concerning.

Ed Hettman, you do realize the filthy barrier you mention is regularly looked past by straight couples as well, yes?

Look at this statement:

"You cannot hate an intrinsic part of an individual and claim that you do not hate the individual."

That is patently false. If this were true then everyone would hate everyone. We would only love a perfect person. Do you think a mother loves her son, even though he might be a gangster with intrinsic hatred in his heart and kills people? A mother may still love her son in such a situation and desperately hope he changes. But even if he doesn't, she still loves him. This is complete nonsense.

I have yet to meet one Christian who picketed at a funeral or abused someone that killed themselves, or labeled them less than human (in any way shape or form not just towards homosexuals). I'm sure there are morons on the Internet that are mean but that isn't surprising (have seen a few moronic mean atheists lately online too with this sort of behavior).

Apparently, according to Irish atheist, he hates me as well, since Christianity is an intrinsic part of who I am (it sounds to me like he hates Christianity).

Never mind the fact that through his post Irish_Atheists confirms that objective moral values exist. Where did those morals come from I wonder?

"I’m told writing this post won’t matter. I can clarify until I’m blue in the face and nothing will change."

True. Being righteously indignant seems to be more important than being right. Many liberals have based their lives and self worth on fighting for the downtrodden, and it is a constant race for different groups to claim they a the biggest victims and hence the new cool group to be "helped". By claiming you are not a hater, you change the tone of the argument into something that many are not prepared to deal with. Their whole approach to topics is to attack the hate.

"I think you're right; the majority of Christians don't think they hate homosexuals"

The truth today is it doesn't matter if you think you are a bigot. All that matters is that others can find a reason to call you one. Once labelled, it is up to you to prove otherwise. Not actively promoting something enthusiastically enough is fast becoming a sign of hate.

That being said, I won't vouch for the exact number but I have heard it claimed that 10% of any group are jerks. I doubt that Christians are exempt from that rule.

"It is one thing to be accused of hatred, it is another to be accused violence and effectively murder (i.e. causing someone else to commit suicide)."

I'd like to see stats on the reasons for suicide. It would be interesting to see whom else I murdered without knowing it.

At the end of the day, I am a straight cis-gender middle class centrist male of European ancestry. I am an overpriviledged bigot regardless of anything else simply be by being in particular demographic, as defined by the tolerant folks who tell me not to stereotype.

Thank you for writing and posting this Alan. I think it's right in that it won't matter but to those of us who feel the same way you do and have experienced the same frustration in being labeled a bigot when we disagree with a behavior and don't want to see it sanctioned by society.

It seems that those that accuse Christians of hatred/bigotry for our moral beliefs on sexual acts see homosexuality as a special case. I expect that most would agree that one can be against stealing and not hate thieves, yet still believe that one cannot be against homosexual behavior and not hate those that engage in said behavior.

I wish I remember where, but somewhere else I saw the explanation that was something like this. We see homosexuality identity, homosexual desires, and homosexual behavior as ultimately distinct things. They see it all as one encompassing thing. We can accept that there are some that engage in homosexual behavior but are not homosexual. Some that have homosexual desires (i.e. same sex attraction) and are not homosexual, and even that someone could identify as homosexual and either choose celibacy or even marry someone of the opposite sex. (like this guy: http://gawker.com/5917022/im-a-gay-mormon-whos-been-happily-married-for-10-years).


They cannot see that...there way of seeing htis is like this homosexual behavior=homosexual desires=homosexual identity=human. If you are against any aspect of that you are against that human (i.e. you hate that person).


Again, this basic explanation is not something I came up with. It seems to make sense; though. Not sure what good it does. I would like to think the more reasonable among the "being opposed to homosexual behavior=hate" crowd might at least re-consider if they were presented with this. At the very least understand that within our view it is not hate even if they ultimately still see things the same way. Not going to hold my breath on that, though.

I don't understand equating homosexual desires and identity with homosexual behavior. I'm heterosexual, but I'm also celibate. I haven't engaged in heterosexual behavior in a very long time. If my sexual behavior were tied to my sexual identity/desire, I'd be a very confused individual.

As a straight guy, I can be attracted to women whether they are married to other men or not. But whether I pursue a relationship with a married woman or not is a behavior that I choose. So I can't equate behavior with desire. They are distinct things. While I may not be able to stop myself from being attracted to a married woman, and I can certainly choose not to pursue her on moral grounds without it harming my identity.

"I have family and friends who identify as gay and lesbian and I love each of them. They come over and spend time with me. There’s no malice. I’m not angry. They're always welcome in my home."

There's a fundamental error with Alan's post: civil is different than the Biblical definition of love. What Alan describes here is not necessarily love. In other words, Alan can have all the homosexual people over to his house that he wants, but that's not what constitutes love.

True love is defined as "love according to God's moral preference." It's agape. In this case, to simply be civil toward those engaged in intentional, disobedient sin without warning them of the consequences of sin and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ isn't love at all: that's actually hate.

True love has such a high thought for the things of Christ, and such a strong sense of duty for the betterment of others, that the risk of "offending" homosexuals by sharing the Gospel is not only a risk that's worth it, it's a risk that Christian MUST take.

The failure to agree is equated with hate. Respectful disagreement is ignored. Speaking to one's conscience is still to be tactful, but unflinching. If God declares homosexual acts are sin, disregarding this factoid would be inconsistent with conscience.

Consider Lot in warning his future sons-in-law of the approaching destruction of Sodom: So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fiances, “Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is about to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking. (Gen 19: 14). Lot's words weren't motivated by hatred. He was concerned for their safety. But the message was unpopular, even extreme. But authentic in its content for loving concern.

It's the missing of the point of this motivation that is lost on the LGBT community. What is human rights for some is moral decay for others. This is quite a paradigm shift for many. Recognizing the shift is important to prevent the rather lazy conclusion that hatred is afoot.

"I’m told writing this post won’t matter. I can clarify until I’m blue in the face and nothing will change. It doesn’t matter what Christians actually think or believe about homosexuality. It seems the world will still believe what it wants to believe no matter what anyone says."

I hate to say it, and I don't mean to discourage you, but sadly, you are correct.

"Let me first speak for myself. I can honestly say I don’t hate or feel animosity towards people who identify as gay or lesbian. Keep in mind that I’m, allegedly, one of those right-wing fundamentalist fanatics who say homosexual sex is sin. I travel around the country teaching about the Christian worldview and often address the topic of homosexuality. I’m the one the media refers to as “a Christian minister who serves up homophobia to congregations across the country.” If there’s any kind of person who is supposed to hate homosexuals, it’s me. I’m the activist."

And that's exactly their point. The fact that you do and say these things and have these convictions is, in itself, seen by them as "hate".

The ONLY thing homosexuals and their supporters will tolerate is a complete acceptance of their sinful lifestyle. And not just acceptance in a "live and let live" sort of way, where you agree to disagree. That's no longer acceptable to them. We're long past that.

Nowadays, anything short of wholehearted approval will NOT be acceptable to them. It does not matter how well we explain our view or how compassionate we try to be to homosexuals, if we do not bow to their bullying and celebrate this lifestyle, we are seen as "haters". And we are treated accordingly.

Homosexuals are at war with anyone who won't bow to their bullying, especially. Our mere existence convicts them of God's truth their lifestyle is a sinful one. They cannot bear that conviction. But they cannot attack God personally because He's not physically around to attack, and so they do the next best thing - attack us.

We need to see this as a war. Not that Christians are on the offensive against homosexuals, but that homosexuals are on the offensive against Christians.

"True love is defined as 'love according to God's moral preference.' It's agape. In this case, to simply be civil toward those engaged in intentional, disobedient sin without warning them of the consequences of sin and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ isn't love at all: that's actually hate."

Z, I generally agree, but would offer one comment: The opposite of love isn't hate; indifference is the opposite of love. Therefore, those who are indifferent to sin and disorder in the world, and especially those who are indifferent with those whom they love who are engaged in sinful and disordered behavior, are the ones who are ultimately unloving.

You're right, the risk of "offending" those who we love is a risk that a Christian MUST take, ever mindful that a loving approach minimizes the chance of offending. To be indifferent is to be unloving.

@ Sam Harper

"I don't understand equating homosexual desires and identity with homosexual behavior. I'm heterosexual, but I'm also celibate. I haven't engaged in heterosexual behavior in a very long time. If my sexual behavior were tied to my sexual identity/desire, I'd be a very confused individual.

As a straight guy, I can be attracted to women whether they are married to other men or not. But whether I pursue a relationship with a married woman or not is a behavior that I choose. So I can't equate behavior with desire. They are distinct things. While I may not be able to stop myself from being attracted to a married woman, and I can certainly choose not to pursue her on moral grounds without it harming my identity."

This is such an excellent point, and it touches on something very important.

For whatever reason, homosexuals have made their desires and behaviors the entire basis of their identity. That is why when we say something they perceive as negative about their desires/behaviors, they take it as a personal attack on themselves as human beings. That is why, "I disagree with your behavior" in their minds translates to, "I hate YOU, as a person."

I don't understand this. I don't understand why homosexuals base their entire identity on this one aspect of their lives. I've never seen this specific issue addressed anywhere. I'm not even sure how to go about searching information about it. But it's important, because it touches upon why homosexuals take ANY expression of disagreement or criticism as a personal attack upon them as persons.

Mo said: "I don't understand this. I don't understand why homosexuals base their entire identity on this one aspect of their lives."

Mo, homosexuality isn't just a hobby; asking someone to "stop" isn't the same as asking them to stop playing tennis. Like heterosexuals, homosexuals often have aspirations of meeting that "special someone" and spending the rest of their lives with that person. Essentially, you're asking them to live a life devoid of not just sex, but of loving romantic relationships. These are the sort of relationships that change someone's entire life. What would your reaction be to someone who wanted *you* to be alone for the rest of your life?

Turn about is fair play. A commentator writes:

"Remember at the Houston rally last weekend when t-shirts were handed out saying 'I reserve the right to refuse service to homosexuals."

But...

Remember that legal opinion in New Mexico where the judge handed down a ruling that said that the state reserves the right to coerce you to cooperate with a liturgical event that violates your conscience?

Hi Irish Atheist,

It sounds like you are trying to take away Alan’s hope. He provided a thoughtful explanation of his feelings towards homosexuals and you called him (along with many of us that visit this site) a liar, murderer, and someone that would throw his child out of his home.

Just curious, as an atheist, what does it mean to “spiritually” abuse someone?

RonH? ToNy? John Moore? I’ll keep a look out for your responses. If I’m taking the blame for comments made by Jerry Falwell, then the least that you can do is own up to Irish Atheist’s comment.

Hi Alan,

I made a video response to your article. You can watch it here:

http://youtu.be/bpZluotl1tA

Regards,

Noah

Noah Adam,

I took the time to view your video, and appreciate the reason you wished to respond via U-Tube over against a written response. Your concern of the forms of hatred of the LGBT community, overt (vicious use of insults and slurs, physical attacks) and covert (expressing opinions that would work to deprive a homosexual individual from securing his/her rights), can be considered, if the motive of hatred truly prompts an opponent (which you assert true in all instances, impossible to prove). But it is the tone in the video which makes me wish to ponder the wider implications of the myth of hatred.

The phrase "hatred of the LBGT community" is itself ambiguous, as it could be taken in a subjective sense or an objective one. You perceive the objective: the hatred which the LGBT receive (sad fact enough as is). But the video discloses also the subjective: the hatred the LGBT are capable of. And this from a person who states he "has no dog in the fight," a non-gay spokesman for the gay. I sensed this with the comment about Newt Gingrich (at which I noted a subtle snicker; probably is funny to some). You imagine the story of the obese Christian father fattened at the trough of Chick-fil-a, crumbling to a heart attack in his forty's leaving behind a son who turns atheist over the matter. I thought, why Chick-fil-a and not the usual suspect, McDonald's? Other than the Christian owner of the company and the company's quaint habit of closing on Sunday. You held some disdainful thoughts of the folks in the Midwest, as if their Bible-believing traits held them back. Isn't this covert hatred? It must certainly be, since in viewing you, I see no wild-eyed fanatic, but a sincere person who wishes all people to be treated fairly. No animosity there.

Now this could all be the logical fallacy of tu quoque, where the flaw is shifted to the other side, who is just as bad. It is a vicious avoiding of the true issue, and is no more than a trite "so's yo momma!" But I see a value in a fair extension, tu quoque sed tu sola (you too, but you alone). For example, in the recent election, the Democratic candidate accused the Republican governor or placing the state (Wisconsin, so I am Midwestern) lowest in the region for job creation. But what is never mentioned that this status was held by the previous Democratic administration. The flaw of one is the prime flaw of the other.

If this is the matter, then the situation can be reduced to "You hate us; we hate you." But we both know that this is not the case. Poor behavior is seen on both sides, from the murder of Matthew Shepard to the rampage on election night in California over the passing of Prop Eight). This understanding means vigilance on both sides. These two shall never agree, but hatred need not rear its ugly head. We view the matter as a child who does not get his/her way carrying on how her mom and dad doesn't love him/her. An immaturity of thought which needs further understanding. Why won't Christians bend on the issue of homosexuality as sin? It's not due to hatred, covert or otherwise.

Find that reason, and respect that reason. And to find that reason, there must be communication with tolerance for both sides.

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