The Gay Samaritan

A North Carolina pastor sternly warned against the danger of “butch” daughters, while advising dads to beat the gay out of their sons, literally:

The second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up! Give him a good punch.

Another pastor from the same state who, “Ain’t gonna vote for no homosexual-lover” has a plan to put queer folk behind an electric fence until they die out — all to keep them from reproducing any more gays and lesbians.

Hmmmm, aren’t gays and lesbians usually born to straight parents?

Meanwhile, a toddler sings, “Ain’t No Homo Gonna Make It To Heaven” to wild applause from his Indiana congregation.

No surprise, then, that gays are persistently tormented and too often commit suicide. In fact, suicide rates are highest in conservative “values voters” states where hatred is preached over the bully pulpit.

Pastor and gay activist Mel White, founded Soulforce to resist religion-based oppression. He asks:

What other source of homophobia is there but six verses in the Bible? When Bible literalists preach that LGBT people are going to hell they become Christian terrorists. They use fear as their weapon, like all terrorists.

Against this, the story of the Good Samaritan rings ironic.

The parable tells of a man who is beaten, robbed, and left for dead. Religious leaders pass him by, but finally a Samaritan comes to his aid.

The moral is generally said to be “aid one another” or “judge people by their hearts and works, not by their religious rank.”

But why would a Master Teacher like Jesus construct a story relaying the obvious?

Jesus’ parables more often shocked audiences into thinking in entirely new ways. Keep in mind that Jesus constantly urged his hearers to see the worth and dignity of all, no matter how loathed — including Samaritans, who were despised. So consider this perspective which I’ve altered from a blog post written by a pro-gay rights Mormon (!!)

Imagine Jesus telling a story that forces you to think the unthinkable — to string together words that simply do not belong together: “good” and “[insert epithet of choice].” If we want to understand how Jesus’ words invaded and overthrew the pious and staid beliefs of his hearers, we might imagine him telling a Christian congregation in North Carolina or Indiana the parable of the Good Gay Man who stopped to help a victim near death after a Catholic Bishop, a Rabbi, and a Christian Pastor first passed him by.

The moral of the Good Samaritan? Love gays, and anyone else whose humanity is not fully appreciated.

Related Posts
Christians for Gay Rights
Good Christians Should Abuse Gays
Gay Marriage Protects Marriage

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social 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. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on October 5, 2017, in LGBT+ and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. I enjoyed reading this blog about the real message behind the Good Samaritan. Coming from a catholic family, I remember my mom telling us this story and telling us the importance to always be good to others. The preacher’s message offers a clear message of the opposite of what it is to be a Good Samaritan, on the contrary one should always try to aid others no matter their background for one never knows when one will need the help. This message is specially important in today’s world with all the violence and hatred that hurt our society; there must be a way to rentinrodice the idea of the Good Samaritan and urge the world to reconcile. Although this ideal is based of a bible story, at the base the importance is that we must set the example for others and aid ones neighbor.

  2. Growing up just south of Manchester, England, I attended Catholic schools from the age of 8 through to 16. One of my best friends came out to me when I was 15, and I respected his bravery despite attending the Catholic school. I say this because 12+ years ago, a lovely man who was a colleague of my then singing teacher, had attended the same Catholic school as me. However, when he came out to the school, after being bullied by many different people, the school told him that they could not support him in any way because he was gay and it was a Catholic school. Thankfully since then, there has been a widespread movement to accept and understand LGBT+ rights, and to treat them as equals. My uncle is gay, and he and his partner had been engaged several years before gay marriage was legalized, and they were so happy to live their lives outside of their family community. My maternal grandmother was incredibly homophobic whilst growing up, as she was a devout Catholic. However, when my Uncle came out, she was very accepting and her perspective shifted to see gays as people and accept their place in society.

  3. I doubt this is common.

  4. Geawna Hernandez

    As a fellow Christian/Catholic myself, I will never be able to understand why other Christians are so horrible towards the LGBTQ community. Some can say that loving the same sex is wrong and that it is stated in the bible. However, does it not say to be kind to others? Does it not say to love one another as Jesus loves?

    I graduated from a Christian high school and we were always taught to be kind to everyone. Although I did have some classmates who don’t support the LGBTQ community, I NEVER knew of someone personally who would ever say that we should “beat the gay out of someone.” As people of God, shouldn’t we be the most loving and accepting? I mean I know for a fact that I am far from perfect. I know that I do things that the Bible frowns upon. I know many Christians that do not follow every single commandment. So how can we judge someone for loving another person when we are not nearly close to perfect?

    When we teach kids cruelness like such, we create a world with more hate.

  5. I’m disgusted by the first quote and by the song the young toddler was singing. This saddens me as I recently lost a “gay” nephew. All he wanted was to be accepted. He yearned for the love and support from others. Not only from family but from friends and the surrounding community. I know we have come a long way and people are more open-minded and accepting of the LBGT community. However, I feel that if people were educated about the LBGT community, more and more people would understand and welcome their decisions.

    The sex of a person consists of body parts/reproduction and gender is a social classification. We have to understand that a person’s sex does not change from birth, but their gender can. Those that don’t accept them need to take a step back and realize that sometimes it isn’t a choice but rather a way of life. I grew up in a Christian church and was taught that marriage should be between a man and a woman. After taking a sociology, psychology, and a women’s studies class I now have a different perspective. It has given me the knowledge to understand what they may be experiencing and that we should always look at these situations with the “looking-glass self”. This will give others another perspective on how to look and view others around us.

  6. Sad that there are still people out in the world who not only accept that our sexuality, gender, and race doesn’t mean anything that we are all still equal, we are all still people. Not only do they not accept it but they put all their time and energy into spreading the hate and trying to convince others that being gay is a problem. Why is it a problem why do you care so much what other people choose to do with their life? scratch that its not a choice its who they are. But I guess being a homophobe is who these pastors are. They are no better than anyone because they serve the lord. They go against Gods believes the moment they spread hate in our world and to our people. People like that is why I am so skeptical about going to church, i believe in god but I don’t know if the pastors in there are really who they are supposed to be. How do I know that they are really good people who just want to spread the story and the love of the lord or judgmental homophobes or pedophiles in disguise. It scares me to put my trust in the church only to find out it stands against the things I believe in.

  7. The connection between homophobia and Christianity never ceases to confuse and amaze me the more I learn that the bible really says the opposite. It makes me wonder if I’d have been more religious had I not been exposed to so much homophobia from the churches. I remember when I was in high school a classmate and I were talking about religion and he said to me that it would be better for gay people to be “Cured” of their gayness to get into heaven than for them to go to hell where they would be accepted for what they were and it would “fester”. I remember thinking that he’d honestly made hell sound better than heaven in that one argument. It’s annoying when talking to someone about Christianity and they twist their interpretations to fit what they’re arguing for and then act like that is the only valid interpretation of the text there is.

  8. Honestly when first reading the first sentences i laughed but then was shocked that a priest that leads the church would ever say something like that. I myself am a christian and have never in my life been to a church where i have heard so much hate against the LGBT group. I’ve seen people out on the streets in the downtown area preaching about god and then bringing up the LGBT and saying how they are accepting of them but that they must repent for their sin or else they go to hell and in some other cases i see those people hating on LGBT, saying that they shouldn’t exist so on. I am happy that in the bay area where i grew up, people are a lot more accepting. Even as a christian i believe that people that are in the LGBT group shouldn’t be hated on like this, love gods all his children. As it mentions in the bible “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8:. Love isn’t just between a men or women, its all type of love and love is not judged and shouldn’t be judged. I don’t believe that violence is the answer to anything, especially when the pastor says “hit the gay out of them”, we are who we are. A Lot of cultures have been more open to the LGBT communities however there is still anti-gay and that’s do to the way people are raced in their homes and their religion and culture. It’s sad to see that there are still people like this who think it’s okay to say and do these things and the worst part that it’s coming from a pastor, a person who is suppose to be a man of god. I myself sometimes feel like i can’t be open about having friends who are Lesbian or Gay or Bi or Transgender, just because half of my family is very religious. In regards to all of this, i can not quite understand why people still have hate towards the LGBT communities, i was raised in a place where its open and accepting about pretty much everything.

  9. I think it’s outrageous that there are still people out there who don’t support the LGBT community. They’re still human begins who have different preferences on who they like. Love is love and nobody shouldn’t be punished for who they are. We have gone a long way in history to get to where we are today and it’s crazy to know there are a lot of homophobic people out there in the world. So, if your son is gay or your daughter is lesbian? Love them the way you did before you knew they weren’t straight because they need the support of their loved ones because it’s really hard for anyone to come out the closet knowing there could be anyone in their family who don’t support LGBT. What can you do? You love who you love! Let them embrace it!

  10. I don’t understand how someone who is speaking the word of God could be so hateful. How could someone who has so much influence on people say these types of things to about human beings? What I see is a few amount of groups or communities of their own preaching hate in this time and age.They are such a small part that will always cause problems for the LGBTTQ+ community solely because of the people who live in states who aren’t as open. Like it’s stated in the article there is a higher number of gay people who commit suicide because of the way they are treated. It also begs the question of why would you ever want to come out if you lived in one of these states if you had to deal with stuff like this? I guess growing up in such an open state you never really understand why they can’t let go of this belief that being gay or lesbian is the worst sin of all.

  11. MirandaCaitlin23

    I think its unbelievable that we still have people filled with such hatred in our word today. The idea that someone could be torn down and beaten both physically and mentally for who they are sexually attracted to, makes me sick to my stomach. Growing up in a unitarian church, I was always taught to love my neighbor and look past the top layer of their person. I was raised in a healthy family who was accepting of everyone, and I genuinely think thats a huge reason I’m not filled with so much hate.

  12. The story of people of faith being against LGBTQ+ communities is as old as time. People of faith, especially Christianity have always turned their back on this community because they believe it to be one of the greatest sins as so said in the Bible. But for some of us, we know that Jesus did teach for people to love one another and not to be quick to judgement. Certain cultures and religions will continue to be anti-gay but there are people who have come a long way from what they were taught to believe to what they believe now. People have become more and more accepting over the years the more the LGBTQ+ issues are brought to light in mainstream media.
    However, in some African countries, their culture is worth more than faith. They follow their beliefs and laws of the society and therefore cannot change their minds on the issue because it is what their ancestors believed and in turn so do they. A lot of kids will never speak of their sexuality and will do their best to hide it for fear of being outcast from their community and in some cases, arrested, raped and imprisoned. It is still a belief that being gay is a lifestyle choice and that people can be fixed.
    So where as awareness on the matter is getting better in the States like California, it is still a non starter in some African countries and also some Arab countries too. And this shows just how far we as the human race have to go in terms of acceptance.

  13. I was in awe reading this article. The way a conservative pastor expresses his hate for the innocent by encouraging others to “hit the gay out of them” shows how close minded people, LEADERS, can be. It baffles me that a pastor who is supposed to show maturity in leading people evokes hatred and violence. For the boy, singing “aint no hommo gunna go to heaven” still leaves an unsettling thought. In the Bible it clearly states that if one were to hit you on the cheek you turn the other cheek, forgive him and walk away. Jesus was preaching lessons of forgiveness and how there is no need for violence in any circumstance, even when you seem to be the one being hit. I also think the good samaritan is a way of saying love everyone even your considered enemies. In this way I think the pastor is not only encouraging physical violence but summoning emotional abuse. Today we should have learned by now, after all the wars, revolutions and protests that there is no good in violence. People should be able to embrace who they are without fear or shame. Whether it is the color of their skin or whom they chose to be intimate with we as humans should embrace the diversity not diminish it.

  14. It’s astonishing to hear so much hatred and bigotry towards the LGBT community from people who constantly insist on the value of loving one another as thy neighbor. Atrocities committed by these groups who are so resistant to accept those who are different from them that a pastor would advise a father to beat his own son for being gay or people struggling to be themselves in a “value voter” state would be driven to suicide continue to shock me living in the Bay Area all my life, where the LGBT community can generally find a home. Like we are isolated from these fervently religious groups in Indiana and North Carolina and their beliefs, they are isolated from us. While the media helps to spread awareness of the LGBT community nationally, the cultural differences between states keep us incredibly divided.

  15. It shocks me to no end how persecuted gay, lesbian, trangender, and busexuals are. People think beating someone will act as some sort of cure for homosexuality? I personally know the bible story of the good samaritan. It’s sad that noone would help the beaten man on the side of the road. The samaritan’s kindess is an act we can all learn to follow. As a christian woman who supports equal rights for the LGBTQ community, this article appalled me. I like where they talked about recognizing ‘the worth and dignity of all’. If we could all just learn to help those in need, or make friends with someone unlike ourselves, this planet would thrive.

    • The world is gradually moving — in fits and starts — toward recognizing the dignity and worth of all. Sad that some seek to put others down to bring themselves up (though really when you have that attitude you’re still very much down.)

  16. good one…. there are fanatics every where!!!

  17. The statement on Soulforce equating the homophobia spread by religious literalists to terrorism is an apt description for the phenomenon. Although some would argue that calling homophobic preachers terrorists is going too far, the fact that they help spread and enhance hate and terror leaves no other term to describe their actions. In the post above, when the North Carolina preacher promoted the idea of nothing less than a concentration camp for homosexual individuals, it became clear that the problem with the hate-filled part of America wasn’t a religious problem rather an issue of conflicting values. In the field anthropology, there is much emphasis on the fact that many civilizations aren’t as different as we tend to think because despite different traditions many of the underlying values are the same. With regards to the anti-homosexual movement in the US, the opposite is true. Despite similar traditions such as a predominant Christian society that has the basis of its belief in the Bible, many different values exist; how else would there be Christians who also follow the Bible’s teaching and yet lie on completely opposing sides of the gay movement? Setting a similar religion aside, the difference between pro-gay Christians and anti-gay Christians resides in an appreciation for the value of human life. Anti-gay religious zealots preach values of difference of worth between humans, some deserving of humanity and those that don’t deserve anything but ostracism and death. Religious people that harbor values of acceptance and compassion accept that every human has a claim to humanity and a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not only do the latter group’s values seem more in tune with the teachings of Christianity founder, Jesus Christ, but also better encompass national ideals as old as this nation itself. It is high time that the US returned to its founding principles and accepted diversity of tradition and unity of values.

    • Yep. Jesus: Do unto others as ye would have done unto you… even as ye have done unto the least of these ye have done it unto me… love is the greatest commandment.

  18. Christopher J.

    Throughout history, people have picked specific passages in the bible to enforce, and specific passages to overlook. This hypocrisy has protected the patriarchy in households and society. As this post illustrates, those who preach their religion neglected to help a person in need, yet, in Hebrews 6:10 of The King James Version of the Holy Bible it says, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” The passage is telling those who are devout to their God to value, “work and labour of love,” which is saying they should should work towards loving and aiding others. Not only that, but also this excerpt is implying that no matter someone’s grievances with others, they should always project love in the name of their God. These spiritual leaders avoid servicing the man in need of assistance, going against the will of God. In the modern era, “value voters” are enacting the same hypocrisy through neglecting to accept gay and lesbians into society. The patriarchy is protected through “value voters” as a result of keeping women in houses to tend to ‘wifely duties’, like raising children, cooking, and cleaning. Through the suppression of LGBT acceptance, husbands and their wives who are “value voters” will continue believing and enforcing that there is one ‘man’ of a household and that gender stereotypes and roles must be upheld. Picking and choosing the passages of the bible to follow allow them to preach against ideas that will jeopardize the patriarchal structure of society, while going against teachings in the bible that are demonstrating working towards loving everyone.

    King James Bible Online. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Hebrews-6-10/.

    • Yeah, I know Christians who are FOR gay rights because the Bible says the greatest commandments are to love God and love your neighbor. Love > hate.

      • “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” – Leviticus 18:22 NIV

      • The Bible is contradictory in a number of places. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love — God and love your neighbor. Love > hate.

        Where two conflict, go with the greatest commandment.

        (Leviticus also says to kill gay people. Do you agree with that part of the scripture too? Or to kill sassy kids? To go into some community and kill all the people and take their stuff — and their virgins? …)

    • Patriarchy = Two Parent Homes, More Wealth, Social Stability, Higher Levels of Morality.

      Matriarchy = Single Parent Homes, Less Wealth, Social Instability, Lower Levels of Morality.

      You choose.

      • Nope. That doesn’t follow.

        Patriarchy = treating women unfairly, high levels of rape and battering… low levels of female self-esteem… I could go on

        Equality = healthy self-esteem and healthy relationships, higher levels of happiness. The happiest societies are the most egalitarian: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland… Iroquois before European contact… I could go on.

  19. The first sentence made me laugh, but only because of the stupidity of the pastor. People who preach hate of any sort are dangerous.

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