Today I want to write about something that has bothered me for the better part of a decade. I’ve carved out no fewer than a dozen drafts of this post, all strangely unalike, all ultimately failing to accomplish the job I’ve set out to do. Truth is, I’ve been trying to write it off and on for more than a year now, and the right words have been seemingly impossible to come by.
In the end, and in order to post it, I guess I had to care more about the message than I do about potential backlash. I’m not being facetious when I say that I hope I can get this message across without offending… well… everybody.
What I really hope is that this post will spark and encourage poignant and worthwhile discussion that will lead to some poignant and worthwhile changes in the lives of at least a few people who are hurting.
That being said, I believe some strong words need to be said today.
“God hates fags.” We’ve all seen the signs being waved high in the air by members of the Westboro Baptist church. On TV. In real life. It’s hard not to take notice.
Over the years, I’ve watched seemingly never-ending disgustingness and hatred spill across the media airwaves from those who belong to the organization. For those who don’t know much about that “church,” they have made a seedy name for themselves by doing drastic things like picketing beneath atrocious signs and hosting flagrant anti-gay protests at military funerals.
Almost every person of nearly every religion has no problem loathing and condemning the Westboro Baptist Church and its members, and perhaps with reason. They take freedom of speech far beyond what our founding fathers intended when they fought to give us that right, and they laugh at the rest of the world while they do.
But today I don’t want to talk about those idiots. I want to talk about you. And me.
And my friend who I’ll call Jacob.
Jacob is 27 years old, and guess what… he’s gay.
Not a lot of people know. He lives in a community where being gay is still very “frowned upon.”
I was talking to him on the phone a few weeks ago, telling him about my failed attempts to write this post. He was trying to hold his emotions in, but he eventually became tearful as we deliberated the very problem that this post attempts to discuss.
Before I go on, I feel I must say something one time. Today’s post is not about homosexuality. It’s not about Christians. It’s not about religion. It’s not about politics. It’s about something else altogether. Something greater. Something simpler.
It’s about love.
It’s about kindness.
It’s about friendship
And love, kindness, and friendship are three things that Jacob hasn’t felt in a long time.
I’m thankful he gave me permission to share our conversation with you. It went something like this.
“Jacob, I honestly don’t know how to write it,” I said. “I know what I want to get across, but I can never find the right words.”
“Dan, you need to write it. Don’t give up. I’m telling you, it needs to be said.”
I paused. “You don’t understand. It’s too heated a subject. It’s something people are very emotional and touchy about. I’d be lynched.”
My friend hesitated. “Dan, you are the only friend I have that knows I’m gay. The only freaking one,” he said.
“What do you mean? I know you’ve told other friends.”
That’s when his voice cracked. He began crying.
“Every single person I’ve told has ditched me. They just disappear. They stop calling. They remove me on Facebook. They’re just gone,” he said. “They can’t handle knowing and being friends with a gay person.”
I didn’t know what to say. So I didn’t say anything.
“You don’t know what it’s like, man. You don’t know what it’s like to live here and be gay. You don’t know what it’s like to have freaking nobody. You don’t know what it’s like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. And I’m so tired of people hating me for it. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t.”
How do you respond to that?
I wanted to tell him it was all in his head. I knew it wasn’t. I wanted to tell him it would get better and easier. The words would have been hollow and without conviction, and I knew it.
You see, I live in this community too. And I’ve heard the hate. I’ve heard the disgust. I’ve heard the disdain. I’ve heard the gossip. I’ve heard the distrust. I’ve heard the anger. I’ve heard it all, and I’ve heard it tucked and disguised neatly beneath a wrapper of self-righteousness and a blanket of “caring” or “religious” words. I’ve heard it more times than I care to number.
About gay people.
About people who dress differently.
About people who act differently.
About fat people.
About people with drug addictions.
About people who smoke.
About people with addictions to alcohol.
About people with eating disorders.
About people who fall away from their faiths.
About people who aren’t members of the dominant local religion.
About people who have non-traditional piercings.
About people who just look at you or me the wrong way.
I’ve heard it, and I’ve heard it over, and over, and over again.
Hell, in the past (and to some degree in the present) I participated in it. I propagated it. I smugly took part in it. I’ll admit that.
And I did so under the blanketing term “Christian.” I did so believing that my actions were somehow justified because of my beliefs at the time. I did so, actually believing that such appointments were done out of… love.
I am Christian and I support gay marriage o_O what? Yeah...I do. The bible says our GREATEST Commandment is love. It also says we will be judged just as harshly by our Maker as we have judged others. So, keeping that in mind...I choose to love and let others love. That is my place and God can judge from His thrown when the time comes bc that is NOT my job. Personally tho, I believe my God loves me unconditionally as long as I repent w sincerity...none are perfect, so why throw stones?
how else do you determine someones stupid other than by seeing what they say? you are very very stupid. lets not act like all opinions are fine. we dont tolerate racists either.
And breaking in young women so you can train them to be the way you want them to be. Because "values".
Regardless of how religious the founders were, the nation has unfolded into a highly pluralistic society. Time has progressed, needs have changed, ideas and new information have been presented and tried. We are able to adapt, and that doesn't mean all that is good perishes with the old order. The Ultimate Good remains no matter who is alive or dead. We can continue to protect the abused, regulate greed, punish deadly crimes, etc and not put a picture of Jesus on the Constitution. Those ideas may have started in religion, but it doesn't mean you have to follow a religion to follow those universal laws. Besides the fact it is nearly impossible to define a "Christian" government, even among Christians. So the idea that some simple ideal exists and that we could even meet it is absurd. I never understand why Christians think that if our founders were Christians, everyone has to be one or it's not "real America." Or that if they all read their Bibles, all of our leaders have to read their Bibles. I mean, it's simple history that the Native Americans were here first. Were they not the founding fathers? Why don't we keep with their traditions? It's because most of is are not native and we live in a modern society that needs different laws. They're not necessarily better or worse laws, they're just more fitting to present day society. How about, if it's just and protects the most common good, we keep it. And if it does not serve most of the citizenry, we change it. I mean, they got rid of the amendment that defended slavery because even though some jackasses justified slavery with the Bible, those with common decency recognized it to be an evil not worth keeping. Change is not always a terrible thing.
"I am not a bigot. I simply don't agree with marriage between people of different ethnicities. I'm not scared of black people, and I don't hate them either. I simply don't agree with the idea of a black person and a white person getting married, but no it doesn't harm me in any way...."See how ridiculous that sounds??
You know, Andrea, I usually pride myself on being kind and level headed. But when people post about my faith, belittle and generalize, and generally just post the same thing over and over and over again, without trying to see from other people's point of view, it's upsetting. If WE are going to turn anything around, it has to be together. All the stuff you said about yourself? Bingo, me too. I never considered myself progressive, just me. A gay loving, tatted, God loving person. When people say things like "apparently you didn't comprehend my post", that pretty much shuts down pleasant conversation. Just like people were doing with the original poster. I feel like I've been cordial and tactful. And the condescension just keeps coming. What is it that I'm saying that you guys are arguing with? Why am I supposed to keep my mouth shut and let people railroad over my beliefs? I originally posted because people were being nasty to Victoria. I guess I should have left it at that. Except maybe one day, just one person can stop and think that it's okay to love God, and Gays, and all kinds of fun stuff and still expect the same courtesy that everyone else demands. Kindness, tolerance, understanding. So I guess if you aren't hating all Christians, if you weren't belittling Victoria, if you were playing nice, then I wasn't talking to you either.
Also, in keeping with my newfound refusal to be diplomatic with homophobes (mostly I'm just tired) if you think homosexuality is a sin, you are a prick. At least about that.If you said "I'm not racist, but I don't think blacks and whites should marry" would you expect us to accept that?
Dan, as a Christian and reading your blog you have made some really good points and maybe other "christians" can learn something from your blog please humor me as I point them out. 1. Christians are to love their neighbor as themselves. But what is love? Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no recors of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trust and always perserves." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Christians if you are not showing this type of love please examine yourselves, repent and turn away. Unbelieves please understand that in our definition of love,speaking the gospel of Christ to you is showing you love but in the manner in which they speak it to you also matters. 2. Loving someone does not mean we agree with or tolaerate sin but the way in which "Christians" speak to nonbelievers matter. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpfulfor building others up according to their needs, that it may benifit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29 Christians how do you hope to speak the truth and lead people to Christ if you are being rude? Build them up and speak kindly and meekly. 3. Be slow to anger especially with those that disagree. "My dear brothers take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring forth the righteous life that GOD desires." James 1:19-20Christians remember that our GOD is mighty to save and just as HE saved you HE continues saving lives every day so speak HIS truth the same way HE preached on Mt Zion with kindness and love. If you claim to be "Christian" please seld examine yourself and repent if you have not acted Christ like lately abd ask for forgiveness.Unbelievers please understand that not all "Christians" hate people bases on the sin they live in, I do not agree with homosexuality and that is my right but I hate no one that is gay and I pray that GOD touches your lives as HE has touched mine; not because Im holier than you or superior than you (im not im a sinner as well) but because I was once on the path of destruction as you are now and just as GOD is my only hope HIS is your only hope as well.Thanks Dan for your time! ♡
I consider myself a Christian most days, Nicole King Duke. I'm also incredibly socially progressive. I love the gays, I have tattoos and non traditional piercings. My roommate is a guy I'm not related to.While there is some frustrating anti Christian rhetoric, it's not entirely unjustified. No, but all Christians are homophobes. But the ones that are tend to be the loudest.So try this: instead of being angry and defensive, be a light. Show the world that being a Christian doesn't mean being a bigot. We have a well earned PR nightmare on our hands. Let's turn that around, one by one.
Yes, there are all kinds of Christians...all kinds of people with different faith beliefs. There are. But when THEY--the ones who insist that EVERYONE follows their beliefs no matter what--those are the ones I'm talking about. Apparently you didn't read my post closely or comprehend what was written. When religious beliefs discriminate, oppress, and legislate faith-based beliefs and force everyone to follow those laws, then that's what I fight. Oppression by religion has been seen through out history--Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Witch Burnings, Closing of Planned Parenthood Clinics, Forcing the closure of other abortion clinics, forcing contraception and other medical decisions on us (Hobby Lobby Decision) and deciding what my insurance company will pay and not pay based on religious beliefs...I think you get the picture.
homophobia is a fear of homosexuals, we aren't screaming out homophobia and bigotry, we are just letting you know we have our beliefs and they happen to disagree with yours...
I'm Christian! I don't care if you're gay! I don't care if you get married! I don't care if you have a pet unicorn, we'll wait I'm actually pretty interested if you have a unicorn! I do care however, if you call me names because I don't believe what you believe! I don't understand how I'm the intolerant one when I have no problem with you doing you, but you call me hateful, untrue names because I'm doing me! How is that tolerance? How is that practicing what you preach? How is that constructive? So yes this does effect me because now instead if merely being attacked for my quiet opinions, now I have to sit back and watch as you behave like poor sports! You won! If you're happy I'm happy for you, truly! But let me be happy with my choices and beliefs!
Shall we all love and care for each other as we should.Everyone else can suck it and be scared of something that has no bearing on their life !Life is to short !
Christians have been going through these trials & tribulations for thousands of years; they have fought in per haps every major battle for 7000 years; & they will continue to fight in every one, up to & includein Armegeddon; Christians will continue to stand stand their watch as they did when God obliterated Soddom & Gomorrah; Christians didn't interfere in any way dureing that calamity , they defended the jews against Nazi Germany, they fought in Korea, Viet Nam ,Desert Storm, Iraq, Ahfghanistan, & are still fighting around the globe, as I speak ;in large numbers ; so to hear all this crap; love wins & Christians lose makes me laugh ! Christians have a far better record going forward & accomplishing their goals than any other group of people in the world, so go ahead & cluck, crow cheer & celebrate; because thats what people were doing just before the great flood; just before Rome was torched on & on True Christians do not cheer & glory in other people's suffering & demise; they have a lot more class than that ; because they serve some one way above all that; it's really to bad gays, lesbians, & homosexuals don't have some one to look up to like Christians; if you think Obama ; & the leaders of the liberal party are your hero's, then you are a lot more ignorant than I ever thought ! It's a long way from being over, be patient, because there is a lot more to come; & you won't like most of it .
Once again, you keep saying THEY as if all Christians are the same. That's exactly my point. It's no longer okay to have convictions based on faith. I don't care if you're an atheist. Don't care! But I'm not. And my faith is NOT built on hate and bigotry. Some people believe that tattoos are a sin. I don't. And they're not bigots because they do. Some people believe eating bacon, drinking alcohol, reading romance novels is a sin. I don't. They're not bigots. They have different beliefs. There are Christians EVERYWHERE saying that marriage is not something that the government should control. Its against the law for it to be against the law. So equality won! And yet the hatred for Christians continues. Just go read the comments on other posts here and tell me who the hateful and intolerant ones are.
It's the absolute need to tell people how you feel about it that is so very wrong. What makes your need to blab your beliefs more important than the feelings of the people hearing it?
I think the absolute sinful vanity of people who MUST TELL everyone that they don't believe in gay marriage is very telling. It IS hateful to deem someone elses' relationship less valuable or healthy as their own. It's even more hateful to feel the need to make sure everyone knows how they feel. How precious. I don't give a crap how people feel about gay marriage. People are fooling themselves if they think there is anything loving about bragging about what THEY believe and what THEY feel about someone else's life...and they are a POS if they agree with any legislation that denies anyone the rights they fully enjoy. No two ways about it.
My husband and I were denied to be married by a pastor bc we had both been previously married and divorced. He told us flat out, nope I will not perform the rites. His belief, his choice. Did it hurt? Yes, a bit. We went with the JOP to save any more heartache. My question is this though.. people say to keep gov out of marriage, but how about the benefits of filing taxes as a married couple. Should they amend that and take out those benefits? The child tax credit? How about divorces? Splitting up property? That would have to go through court, correct? These are just some thoughts I've had, please don't misunderstand them for hate or intolerance. Just legitimate questions for people that say to keep the gov out of marriage.
All this other side talk is junk. I'm a human your a human I prefer to sleep next to my wife you prefer to sleep next to your husband. Who cares really? Just now my children are protected if my wife or I die. I don't need someone telling me they think I'm in the wrong because of the Bible. I think your in the wrong for judging me. Let's move on there are bigger things to worry about. Like our kids killing each other in gangs, our kids going hungry and our fellow men and women who need help but we waste millions to argue about whose sins are worse and who should and should not Wed.
Love Wins? For those of us who believe in God's word; God is Love. God HATES Homosexuality. These are not my words....BUT the book of 2nd Timothy Chapter 2 vs 23 says:" Don't have anything to do with Stupid Arguments because they produce quarrels.
Well it is not the most defining moment in our countries history. I mean really .. Who cares what makes ya happy in the bedroom. So many more concerning issues. Who cares
Once someone told me, "Never judge a religion, based off a person." Now, although this kid was quite the, how do I put it nicely, lost soul at the time, I never forgot it. I am surrounded by an LDS community in Utah. People from other states are a little weirded out by the thought of stepping into a state I have grown to love. I have many LDS friends and some Christian friends who support same-sex marriage and relationships in general. A religion shouldn't be hated because there are plenty of bigots that come from that belief. I know so many accepting people who are religious. I am happy for this nation to finally transform into one where supporters will grow so big in number, the suicide rate of gay youth will go down because they will know they are cared about.
I love this blog post. And as I read the call to action, I thought about what "group" I have looked down on and felt "hateful" toward. I consider myself to be a pretty tolerant and "live and let live" person so I did have to think hard about it. And when I got to the group it was, I realized how hard taking this call to action can be. Odds are, most people would also say this is a group to look down on, a group not to love. A group not deserving of love. But then we'd be missing Dan's message -- the message that isn't just focused on the "group" in the news right now.
Thing is, I understand the message...but I don't think I can ever come close enough to "christ like" to ever tell a member of this "group" they have a friend in me or that I love them. Maybe it's because I don't believe they can change or that they have ever paid their dues or that they 'just made a mistake'.. I DO believe in 2nd chances....but not for this "group". I don't go out of my way to make them feel my hatred, but if someone I knew told me they belonged in this particular "group", I would disappear too.
This group that I hate is convicted child molesters. Those who have "done their time" but had to join the registry. I will have to say, I'm Christian unless you are a convicted child molester. I am not a strong enough Christian to forgive that, to be able to love or be friends with a person with that in their background.
I have always had tremendous respect for those families I've seen in the news who have stated they forgive the person who who committed a heinous crime against a loved one and stating they hope god has mercy on their soul. The families of the SC victims, the families of Boston bombing victim...and many others I've seen throughout the years.. They are truly christ like. I have a lot of work to do before I can get to where they are.
I believe if it was a family member and you saw them convicted do thier time. Go to therapy ask forgiveness of the family as a whole and you could honestly see change you would find it in your heart to love them and forgive. Now don't mix that with foolish to forget but to have peace in your heart. I said never too and I was able to find it.
Why don't we just abolish marriage all together if people are just going to have as many husbands and wives that they feel like?Pedophiles dont think its harm, they call it love.No one is upholding the constitution, we are loosing rights one after another. It might as well be used to wipe someones butts.Its a terrible world that our children have to grow up in. No rights. No morals. But hey there's love.
Now your simply spouting foolishness. First amendment protects my rights not to have my liberties taken away in the name of religion. Pedophilia is across the board any religion or non religion wrong.
Key there is that it doesn't matter if pedophiles don't "think" it's harm. It is. We've talked to the victims and it is.
2 adults getting married because they love each other isn't comparable. There is no victim in that.
Morality is about helping others and not harming others. When you compare me to a pedophile because I love someone of my own gender, that is harmful. That is cruel. It isn't moral. When I vow to spend the rest of my life with that person, help them and cherish for the rest of my life, that is good and right.
Your children are growing up in a better world than I did. Please raise them with to have open minds.
What an ignorant response! My father was Christian and he molested his children. He was also heterosexual.
Hate to disagree with you but in the 12-14th centuries, Catholic priests often performed marriage ceremonies for gay and lesbian people. :D History speaks.
CM Williams, you have articulated my exact feelings about being an Atheist in our current American political/religious atmosphere. Thank you.
if a poly union wants it to be legal WHY DO YOU CAREpedophilia is a different matter because it harms a child.the job of the judicial branch, of which SCOTUS is kinda the big deal.. is to interpret constitutional law. citizens of a state do not have any right to determine what is a constitutional right of every citizen of the nation. SCOTUS making this ruling is EXACTLY why they exist.
the Bible says homosexuality is an abomination....He loves the sinner not the sin itself....I believe waht the Bible says...not some court...
Bible says not to eat pork. Bible says you can stone someone to death. So do you follow both those too?