Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Modern Cold War

My heart is breaks quite frequently over the spiritual apartheid between the GLBTQ community and Christians. While I could go into all the misconceptions Christians have about gays and lesbians and provide clarity on the issue, there is already a great book which goes to great lengths to talk about the great divide and where it comes from called Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin. I will instead make a few personal remarks and draw parallels to historical events from which I hope we, as followers of Christ, can objectively realize the gross injustices and stop the damages before things become irreparable.

The idea for this entry came about from a class discussion when the conversation had somehow deviated from the main subject of the text and children being raised with two male or two female parental figures came up. The class used the words "gay" and "lesbian" with the exception of my roommate who awkwardly coughed out the word, "homosexual". Don't get me wrong, I don't believe my roommate was trying to be awkward about it, but it definitely came out that way when everyone else simply used the terms gay and lesbian. It got me thinking about a time when I used to do the same thing. Ignorantly, I used to think that "homosexual" was the innocuous term for gays and lesbians. Little did I know that this term is the adopted label that anti-gay groups adopted and branded everyone who strayed from heterosexuality.

For me, I see the vast expanse that is the distance between Christians and the GLBTQ community like a cold war. On one side we have the McCarthy-like Christians who are ready to persecute anyone and everyone who even looks like a "faggot" as well as fellow Christians who aren't outspokenly bigoted are then labeled, "sympathizers". On the flip-side, we have angry gays and lesbians who equate Christianity with a fascist State that needs to be brought down. The problem is that there is so much fear and ignorance surrounding the issues that those somewhere in the middle without an opinion quickly get swept up in the propaganda of either polar opposite. It's a sad state of affairs, one that history records as a dark and tumultuous time. I would like to remind my Christian friends who may try to argue that America, in a way prevailed with Reagan and the Berlin Wall being torn down, that McCarthy was a paranoid alcoholic. He is not remembered as an American hero or a champion of American vigilance, but a crazy nut who drunk himself to death.

I cannot address gays and lesbians, because I have no real "in" connection to the community and therefore no real voice. I do have a voice to my fellow believers in Jesus. When did, "come just as you are" turn into, "come only if you agree with my doctrinal interpretation of Scripture and aren't gay"? Sure, the GLBTQ community has made some very hateful remarks of Christians and there have been some very nasty things said about us, but since when did the words, "love your enemies" and "pray for those who persecute you" turn into procedural precedent for discrimination and bigotry? It's true that not all of you, perhaps none of you who will read this are going to Pride this year and holding up signs that say, "God hates fags" or anything like that, but by being silent regarding the prejudice aren't you passively consenting to the perpetuation of hate? We can do better than this.

Believers in the calling of Christ, I love you all, but I love my gay friends too. I love my androgynous friends. I love my bisexual and pansexual friends. I love my friends who reject the gender binary system. I love every last one of you and I will not tolerate my God and the Word being used as a mechanism of hate, which is the polar opposite of what its true purpose is for.

Food for thought anyway...


1 comment:

  1. You know, when I said "homosexual," I simply did so for efficiency's sake. Most people in the class used two words, or more, and I used one. No negative connotations were intended, or even conceived of at the time, and I still find it somewhat doubtful that the word itself even HAS negative connotations.