This morning I turned in the TV to check the news for a few minutes before leaving to run errands. I meant to spend five minutes and then be on my way, but as my TV turned on there was suddenly a preacher yelling at me about the dangers of being homosexual. He was quoting scripture alongside statistics on AIDS from the 1980’s and I sat there unable to look away as this obliviously angry man hurled insults through the TV. I was appalled at what I heard:
“Being homosexual is not only evil, it’s stupid. It’s as stupid as you can be and still breathe!”
At first all I could think was, why is he so angry? Why had he chosen this topic to be so upset about? Then I thought about the kind and intelligent people I know who are gay. The woman who’s a family counselor and passionate about the restoration of families. The man I went to school with, who instantly questioned our friendship the moment I told him I was a Christian. He’d been hurt by the church in the past. How would they feel if they heard this preacher?
Next, the preacher started explaining why every Christian should buy and read his book in order to better spread the love of Jesus.
I’m pretty sure Jesus never went around telling people they were stupid not to believe everything he said. No, instead Jesus proved his love by befriending the outcasts of society, healing the sick and bringing hope to the poor. The things Jesus got angry about were corruption and hypocrisy within the temple and people who hurt little children.
Why do some Christians hyper-focus on this subject of homosexuality? I don’t understand it. Why not focus on the things Jesus himself was concerned about, like poverty, disease and injustice? Why haven’t I heard a preacher getting angry about child molesters? That’s an issue many people I love have been affected by.
I know this is a sensitive subject, but what I think we as Christians all need to remember, regardless of our beliefs about homosexuality, is that Jesus died for all people. Jesus loves all people. Jesus’ brand of love was not ranting and shaming others, it was walking alongside broken, hurting people and giving them dignity. He allowed himself to be shamed in a public way, to be killed for the sake of every single human being.
Listen, if you’re gay and you’ve felt attacked by the church, I’m sorry. I apologize to everyone who’s been rejected and shamed in the name of God. Please, believe me when I say that’s not the true spirit of Jesus. Jesus loves you. Please, believe that not all Christians are ranting crazies. I hope you find a community of God-fearing, loving people who will open their doors to you. I promise they exist.