This week, a couple of articles cropped up in my feed describing recent hatred and violence against LGBT people. In both cases, the hatred was motivated by faith–Islam in one case and Christianity in another.
Before you clutch your pearls and cry “outlier,” Christian readers, know that this is not an isolated problem. Nearly every week, I see another headline, another person using their faith to justify awful behavior toward LGBT people.
This is going to sound a little harsh, but I am tired of people getting hurt and killed because of your “faith.” I took 15 hours of Bible in college–at many colleges, this would be called a “minor,” though my school didn’t have those designations. Nowhere in scripture are Christians called upon to wreak violence and pain upon people with whom they do not agree. It’s simply not in the Bible, anywhere. But the violence goes on.
St. Augustine made a point. Scripture “teaches nothing but charity, and we must not leave an interpretation of Scripture until we have found a compassionate interpretation of it.” In other words, if your explanation of Biblical meaning includes anything that promotes anything less than complete love for all of humanity, you are doing it wrong. Full stop.
Many rank-and-file Christians are probably, as they read this, quite horrified that I would lump them in with the awful humans who perpetrate and encourage the murder and violence against LGBT folk that rages all around the world. And they should be! But that’s really too darn bad. Pay attention:
You enable them. You pay them. You encourage preachers and pastors and popes and each other. If a preacher on television is advocating violence and hatred, don’t watch their program. If a minister in your church is speaking violence against LGBT people, fire them and find another. If your fellow parishioner is speaking out advocating unequal treatment or threats, don’t have anything to do with them. And tell them why. Any officer, of any church, from the Pope down to the lowliest usher in a country church, should know that their behavior is wrong and unacceptable, by their immediate removal from their office. Their interpretation of Scripture is illegitimate, and in violation of God’s commands, and you should not tolerate them in a leadership position!
For me, this has become a rather black-and-white issue, with the hatred and abuse that I myself have been subjected to at the hands of “Christians.” Either you’re working to reform your faith, and making it what it is supposed to be–and you are therefore doing something about those elements in your faith that are advocating against LGBT people–or you’re allowing it to continue by your inaction, and therefore supporting it.
So, which is it? You’ve sat in the non-existent “middle ground” for too long, Christians. Get off your tails and do something, before someone you love gets hurt or killed by a “Christian.”