Good Christians Should Abuse Gays

By Sherrill Lawrence

The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.

-         William Shakespeare from The Merchant of Venice.

I am annoyed by people who comb the bible for scriptural passages that support their personal prejudices — in this case, homophobia.

Two of their favorites are found in the laws of Leviticus (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13) and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 17:1-24). Leviticus instructs on the proper way to make burnt offerings, lists animals we may or may not eat; instructs on how long a woman is “unclean” after giving birth; tells men how to trim their beards, plant crops, breed cattle, and so on.

I find it interesting that “Christians” pick two verses out of a couple hundred to justify their hatred. I say, if that one “law” is as legitimate now as it was then, then they all are. Not only should decent God-fearing people hate homosexuals, they should stone fortune tellers, adulterers, and children who swear at their parents — that is after trimming their beards just so and smashing the crockery that a lizard fell into.

And by the way, Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because they broke the laws of hospitality. The ancient Hebrews were supposed to feed, shelter, and protect strangers, even if they were of a different religion, and even if they were an enemy. The men of Sodom violated that law when they demanded that Lot send out his guests to be raped. Of course, it didn’t help Sodom any that Lot’s guests were angels.

Why do “Christians” root around in the Hebrew bible — aka the Old Testament — for rules of behavior anyway? The title Christian means “a follower of Christ’s teachings.”

In Matthew, Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself.” In Luke, a lawyer, looking for a loophole asked, “And who is my neighbor?” Then Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. Since Samaritans were the (insert favorite ethnic slur here) of His day, the story clearly means everyone is our neighbor whether we like them or not.

“Christians” looking for loopholes quote portions of three letters from Paul – yes, Paul — who never met Jesus or heard him speak and began his career hunting down early Christians, and who (among other questionable statements) said long hair is a disgrace to a man. Hear that Jesus? Get a haircut.

If you want Jesus’ opinion on the subject of homosexuality, read the Gospels. Jesus said “love” and “forgive” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Nowhere did he say, “Go beat a dyke to death.”

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych, women's psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State University. And I have blogged for Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos.

Posted on April 27, 2012, in feminism, LGBTQ and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. There are roughly 2.18 billion Christians on Earth, or 1/3 of the world’s population. With that many people affiliated with one organization, there are bound to be associates who abuse or incorrectly devise an alternate translation of what is written in the Bible. If someone actually went and beat a dyke to death, in the name of Christianity, than they were obviously misguided; but, just by the sheer number of people, statistics practically make such an event inevitable. Christian principles are found in tolerance, mercy, acceptance and to “act on Earth, as it is in Heaven”.

    If you’re going to take on religion, why would you choose Christianity, whose affiliates are 99.999% good, moral and continuously strive to be better?

    We certainly don’t hear about radical Christians the way we do with radical Islamic extremists. Christians have not waged a holy war, Jihad, against any group of people I know of. We don’t hear about, nightly, the latest Christian suicide bomber. I better stop there because if offer any more examples, I’ll be deemed a racist or anti-Semitic – even though it’s okay to target Christians.

    Also, you might want to reword your the part where you mention Christians should be God-fearing individuals (inaccurate statement – perhaps Catholics are taught such, but the many other denominations don’t fear God, as you put it). Also, I am a Christian, and I know many other Christians, who don’t believe that homosexuality is wrong, nor do I believe in stoning fortune tellers etc.

    Taking on an organization with 2.18 billion followers is pretty hard to sum up in a blog post. Your statements and assumptions are either entirely too broad, inaccurate or completely irrelevant to your topic, i.e. the length of Jesus’ hair.

    • Well, I think it’s obvious that not every single Christian is against gay rights and gay bash. Didn’t occur to me that this would need to be pointed out.  And see this post for that point:

      Christians for Gay Rights

      http://broadblogs.com/2011/09/09/christians-for-gay-rights/

      However, several Christians do gay bash and I know several of them. And the Christian church was involved in both The Inquisition and the terrorism of The Crusades. 

      This post is clearly a comment on those Christians who aren’t living their religion.

  2. There are many things that bother me about organized religion but this is an issue that is certainly towards the top of the list. It seems so arbitrary where the line is drawn between passages that are to be followed and others that are not. I have never understood the logic behind it being okay to only follow only some of the rules from a book that you yourself deem holy. I am not religious so perhaps there is something I am missing, but wouldn’t that be disrespecting the original beliefs and the people who came up with them? It seems very hypocritical to me that the word of the Bible is supposed to be “law” to believers and yet it’s perfectly fine to ignore certain parts that don’t fit with modern society.

  3. I love this post. Thank you.

  4. When I was growing up I was never forced into any type of religion. I never went to Church and with that being said I practically learned nothing about religion. My mom raised me with principals of how you should live; treat everyone with kindness, ect. As I got older the issue of gays and lesbians came more into light and I never really thought much of it because how i was raised. I don’t understand how people are taught so much hate, even more so if they follow a faith that tries to teach good principals. When it comes down to it, I don’t believe religion is the sole cause of people hating on gays. To me its much more of a scape goat when they can isolate small references that might prove their point.

  5. Yes I find it very interesting that some people call themselves good Christians while gay bashing. And whenever I take witness to this my thought is always the same too, which is didn’t Jesus say “Love Thy Neighbor”? There are so many ridiculous hypocritical errors in the Bible it’s insane to think so many supposed Christians cannot see this. I even watched a documentary a while ago about Christianity and it’s views on homosexuals and there was a very high ranking priest who basically dissects the Bible and what the words in it actually mean. And where ever it is exactly in the Bible that states, “A man should not lay with another man….it’s a sin….” and so forth doesn’t actually translate to “A man should not have sex with another man”, or that it’s a sin. This guy explained what it actually meant and of course I can’t remember nor can I remember the name of the actual documentary but the point is the Bible, and religion itself, is all about how certain individuals interpret it. And unfortunately there are a lot of ignorant and frightened people in society that still fear things they cannot understand.

  6. I am a Methodist and a follower of Christ’s teaching as represented in the four Gospels. I would never accuse all Christians of Gay bashing. I put the word “Christians” in quotes to indicate those individuals that don’t follow the Christian beliefs of love and forgiveness and use the bible to support their personal prejudices.

  7. Many people try to find a means to justify their beliefs. Religion happens to be the easiest to refer to due to, what I think, the “common” perspective that occurs among a group of people. Some religions have tangible proof and/or evidence of their beliefs, like the Bible or the Torah, so people tend to refer to those materials more often than naught. They pick and choose which beliefs to follow and then rely on that source to back it up when their beliefs are challenged. The problem that arises from this action is that other passages from that source might contradict what they believe in as well. The passages that go against their beliefs become ignored, so when those people get called out for ignoring the other passages they don’t know what to say.

    That is why I think people should just own up to their beliefs instead of trying to justify it by using some other reference. Religion doesn’t force us into believing what we believe, it is just material that influences us into following its teachings. We make our own decisions and therefore we make our own convictions.

  8. When this post was posted last week, I was a little hurt and in the mood of “here we go again.” Being that I am a Christian, I understand how many people become frustrated with those that call themselves “Christian” because (like the article says) it is about being a follower of Christ, yet some disregard the love and compassion Christ had for the non-Christians, or in his day the non-Jews.

    Yes, I agree the many Christians pick and choose which scriptures they want to follow, in order to justify their actions. However, their misdoings can only be justified by God because we as Chrisitians believe that God is the judge of all men, therefore we cannot hide anything from Him. The Word of God is not hypocritical, the person who is interpreting the Bible is hypocritical and tries to justify their righteousness.

    Jesus, says the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22.36-40). And if we as Christians cannot do that than we fail because Christ did not come to condemn the world (John 3.17) he came to save it. This ties into the part of judging others. We all have some sort of prejudices and stereotypes towards a group of people (Christians discriminate towards gays, and non-Christians discriminate towards Christians). We have all fall short of God’s glory, meaning that we all have sinned. So who am I to judge? My sin (lying, cheating, stealing…) is no greater than the sin (being gay) another person is committing. We are so quick to judge a person because they live a different lifestyle than we do. We all have skeletons in our closet and are afraid of them falling out when a person opens those doors.

    I agree with wcl1313 that it is very hard to sum up an entire group in one blog post. This view is very one sided, the author is only referring the the “Good Christians” that are mainstream like the West Boro Baptist Church. They are a good example of what this article is talking about, but she fails to recognize the Christians that are standing side-by-side with the LGBT community. I believe that the LGBT community deserves better and Christians should aide them especially since there are a lot in the world. I believe that there should be a bridge of communication and love towards these two groups, and this group in Chicago who went to a Pride Parade to do just that.

    http://naytinalbert.blogspot.com/2010/06/i-hugged-man-in-his-underwear-and-i-am.html

    http://www.themarinfoundation.org/

    And this is one of my missions in life, to bridge a gap with my identity as a Christian and those that identify themselves as LGBT, and hopefully reach out towards the people around me to do the same.

    • Hummm, I read her piece completely differently. The author actually is a Christian, herself, and seemed to me to be making a distinction between so-called “good Christians” of the West Boro Baptist ilk and actual good Christians who live Christ’s teachings as you describe them: Love as the greatest commandment… even as ye have done unto the least of these ye have done it unto me… the Golden Rule.

      And as I responded to wcl1313, I have written other posts that agree with your point:

      Christians for Gay Rights

      http://broadblogs.com/2011/09/09/christians-for-gay-rights/

      But thank you for your perspective and your work increasing love.

  9. I really don’t understand why people are homophobic. I don’t understand just because a book stated that two males or two females can’t get married means that they should looked down upon.

    I grow up in a semi-religious family, but I still support LGBT. In my eyes, God will love anyone. As pointed out in this article, God states that people should “love” and “forgive others.” Where does that concept go when dealing with people who are in love with the same sex? Why would God say to attack those that are different when all he wants is people to love each other and live in a life of happiness and peace?

  10. I come from a Christian family and when I was younger I used to talk bad about gay people. Back then I was very immature and didn’t realize how bad I was hurting the other people’s feelings. I have read about how some gay people commit suicide just because people were making fun of them. One of my cousins is gay and it took a very long time for her to tell the family. When I first found out it was kind of odd for me knowing that she was gay but after a while I realized people should be able to date whoever they want. Gay people should be allowed to be happy just like straight people.

  11. My past girlfriend and her family are Christians. I never knew how mean a Christian could be until she found out about our relationship. She called me all types of “bitches” and “sluts”, stalked my house, and told my mom that I was on drugs. WOAH. I was thought that God is suppose to love ALL and accept ALL. Religion is very confusing to me, and I’ll never get it. Which is why I will never believe that Christians are all good people.

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