Image: Digital Grace
By Asher Patrick [Ed. note: Author name is a pseudonym]
As a practicing Christian and friend to the LGBTQ community, I’ve found myself on the receiving end of anger and resentment from both communities. It feels like a war between two opposing sides, but I see another side: humanity.
Christianity is supposed to be about love and togetherness as sons and daughters of God, not about turning against people using Jesus’ name as an excuse. But after the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year legalized gay marriage nationwide, leading voices in the faith community reacted in hateful ways.
Not long after the ruling, former Congresswoman Michelle Bachman explaine dher opposition on a Minneapolis radio show by saying that it was not that “some gays will get some rights. It’s that everyone else in our state will lose rights.”
It’s one of the most often repeated claims by people of faith who oppose the ruling, that somehow gay marriage strips them of their right to practice their faith.
In that same interview Bachman also asserted that legalizing gay marriage would lead to homosexuality being “taught” in school. I don’t see how allowing two consenting adults who are in love to marry equates with turning children gay.
How many of these so-called Christian leaders actually put their faith in practice at work? Former Texas Governor Rick Perry allegedly compared being gay to alcoholism, as if the way someone loves another person could be the same as a damaging disease.
The statements from Bachman and Perry do not reflect the compassion or brotherhood that is at the heart of their religion. Perry and Bachman need to remember that their faith and political following don’t give them license to promote hate.
On the other side of the debate are the pro-gay marriage supporters, many of whom have reacted by ridiculing an entire religion.
At some demonstrations, LGBTQ protestors have dressed up as Jesus and misrepresented other sacred imagery as a way of making their point. Everyone has freedom of speech in this country, but that doesn’t mean free speech is always respectful. These images are hard for Christians to see, including me.
There are other examples, like this LGBTQ couple blowing kisses at a man wearing an “Ask Me About Jesus” T-shirt at Toronto’s Pride Fest. In the image the man is clearly uncomfortable. How is this a display of pride that is meant to be inclusive?
The world needs more humanity, and this debate is no exception.
Allowing any two people who are in love to wed and live the rest of their lives out together is a beautiful thing. It’s about love and togetherness. What it is not is an invitation for an ongoing war of hate between Christians and LGBT allies alike.
Whether you love someone who shares your gender or you love to share the word of Jesus, or even both these things, everyone deserves love and acceptance for who they are.