This isn’t just a Utah phenomenon. I’ve lived outside of this place. I’ve worked outside of this place. It was just as bad in Denver. It was just as bad in California. I see it on blogs. I hear it on television shows and radio programs. I hear it around my own family’s dinner table from time to time. Usually said so passively, so sneakily, and so “righteously.”

From Christians.

From Buddhists.

From Hindus.

From Muslims.

From Jews.

“God hates fags.” “God hates addicts.” “God hates people who shop at Salvation Army.” “God hates people that aren’t just like me.”

People may not be holding up picket signs and marching around in front of television cameras but… come on. Why is it that so many incredible people who have certain struggles, problems, or their own beliefs of what is right and wrong feel so hated? Why do they feel so judged? Why do they feel so… loathed? What undeniable truth must we all eventually admit to ourselves when such is the case?

Now, I’m not religious. I’m also not gay. But I’ll tell you right now that I’ve sought out religion. I’ve looked for what I believe truth to be. For years I studied, trying to find “it”. Every major religion had good selling points. Every major religion, if I rewound far enough, had some pretty incredible base teachings from some pretty incredible individuals.

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Check this out, and feel free to correct me if I get this wrong…

According to Christians, Jesus taught a couple of interesting things. First, “love one another.” Second, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (“Her” being a woman who cheated on her man.)

According to Buddhists, Buddha taught a couple of thought-provoking things. First, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” Second, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

According to Hindus, a couple of fascinating teachings come to mind. First, “Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all.” (Krishna) Second, “Love means giving selflessly, excluding none and including all.” (Rama)

According to Muslims, Muhammad taught a couple interesting things as well. First, “A true Muslim is the one who does not defame or abuse others; but the truly righteous becomes a refuge for humankind, their lives and their properties.” Second, “Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first.”

According to Judaism, their scriptures teach a couple remarkable things. First, “Love your neighbor like yourself.” Second, “Examine the contents, not the bottle.”

The greatest spiritual leaders in history have all preached love for others as the basis for all happiness, and never did they accompany such mandates with a list of unlovable actions or deeds. They never said, love everybody except for the gays. Love everybody except for the homeless. Love everybody except for the drug users. Love everybody except for the gang members, or those covered in ink, or the spouse abusers. They didn’t tell us it was okay to love everybody with the exception of the “trailer trash,” those living in poverty, or the illegal immigrants. They didn’t tell us it was okay to love everybody except for our ex-lovers, our lovers’ ex lovers, or our ex-lovers’ lovers. The mandate was pretty damn clear, wasn’t it?

Love others.

Period.

So if this is the founding directive of all the major religions… why is it that sometimes the most “Christlike” people are they who have no religion at all?

Let me repeat that.

Why is it that sometimes the most Christlike people are they who have no religion at all?

I have known a lot of people in my life, and I can tell you this… Some of the ones who understood love better than anyone else were those who the rest of the world had long before measured as lost or gone. Some of the people who were able to look at the dirtiest, the poorest, the gays, the straights, the drug users, those in recovery, the basest of sinners, and those who were just… plain… different…

They were able to look at them all and only see strength. Beauty. Potential. Hope.

And if we boil it down, isn’t that what love actually is?

Don’t get me wrong. I know a lot of incredible Christians, too. I know some incredible Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus and Jews.  I know a lot of amazing people, devout in their various religions, who truly love the people around them.

I also know some atheist, agnostic, or religionless people who are absolutely hateful of believers. They loathe their religious counterparts. They love only those who believe (or don’t believe) the same things they do.

In truth, having a religion doesn’t make a person love or not love others. It doesn’t make a person accept or not accept others. It doesn’t make a person befriend or not befriend others.

Being without a religion doesn’t make somebody do or be any of that either.

No, what makes somebody love, accept, and befriend their fellow man is letting go of a need to be better than others.

Nothing else.

I know there are many here who believe that living a homosexual life is a sin.

Okay.

But, what does that have to do with love?

I repeat… what does that have to do with love?

Come on. Don’t we understand? Don’t we get it? To put our arm around someone who is gay, someone who has an addiction, somebody who lives a different lifestyle, someone who is not what we think they should be… doing that has nothing to do with enabling them or accepting what they do as okay by us. It has nothing to do with encouraging them in their practice of what you or I might feel or believe is wrong vs right.

It has everything to do with being a good human being. A good person. A good friend.

That’s all.

To put our arm around somebody who is different. Why is that so hard?

I’m not here to say homosexuality is a sin or isn’t a sin. To be honest, I don’t give a rip. I don’t care. I’m not here to debate whether or not it’s natural or genetic. Again, I… don’t… care. Those debates hold no encumbrance for me.

What I care about is the need so many of us have to shun and loathe others. The need so many of us have to feel better or superior to others. The need some of us have to declare ourselves right and “perfect” all the freaking time and any chance we have.

And for some of us, these are very real needs.

But I will tell you this. All it really is… All any of it really is… is bullying.

Sneaky, hurtful, duplicitous, bullying.

Well, guess what.

There are things we all do or believe that other people consider “sinful.” There are things we all do or believe that other people consider “wrong.” There are things we all do or believe that other people would be disgusted or angered by.

“Yes, but I have the truth!” most people will adamantly declare.

Okay.

Whether you do or not…

CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than half a million daily subscribers as of 2015. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!
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25256 comments
Tim Roberson
Tim Roberson

Opinions on marriage will always vary. Moreso when you mix in relgion. Good thing we have a separation of church and state huh.....

Devon Love Mau
Devon Love Mau

Because men and women have set a great example of marriage, right!

Devon Love Mau
Devon Love Mau

Great post quickly backed up by a Christian who will hide behind a book to her death as she is right.

N Dom W
N Dom W

As a non-gay queer, as someone who has struggled with organized religion AND atheism


Thank you so much. God bless you.

Best wishes to Jacob.

Melissa Seif Rogers
Melissa Seif Rogers

Jacob has my love and I'm glad he has at least one true friend in you, Dan. Sometimes that's enough and when it's not he has a friend right here. Xoxoxo.

Bill Pelini
Bill Pelini

Carol Baker-Murray - at this point, what's being done is that Bible verses are being slung around, and all that is being proven is that the bible says many things, but all the people on here self-identifying as Christian and followers of the word of the Bible are only hypocrites who pick and choose what they want to follow and what applies to them. Since you and others keep on repeating the parts of the Bible that you ALLEDGE decry homosexuality (after numerous and differing translations over thousands of years), I will repeat over and over: the bible in clear words states that God hates divorce, and that the person who divorces and remarries then is committing adultery and is an adulterer. God, we are told, did not seem to think homosexuality was important enough - despite the obsession some Christians seem to have with it - to mention it on these, but the ONLY thing we know that the Bible says God actually wrote with his fiery finger onto the stone tablets were those commandments, among which is "Thou shalt not commit adultery". It is a fact that the divorce rate and remarriage of self-identified Christians is just as high as anyone else. Not only do I not see any self-identified Christians calling for the laws of the United States and the individual states to stop supporting this sin by making remarriage or divorce illegal, or adultery a criminal offence, but I see that you and every other person quoting bible verse and scripture ignoring most of the sins that apply to yourselves, while attempting to judge others - and I haven't even touched on fornication yet. I think what you aren't comprehending is that people are tired of being judged, bullied and controlled by hypocrites who empower themselves to interpret and apply the bible as they like. And by the Bible you follow, you propse to instruct men which is forbidden from a woman and you are lying, which is also sin, and we all know that lying results in even more wickedness. You prove the reason why it is dangerous and destructive to allow rule by religion - someone is always appointing themselves as interpreter and judge while exempting themselves from all kinds of laws and restrictions. Go on qouting what the bible's limited sections may or may not have said regarding homosexuality - for every verse you throw out, 100 can be pointed out that you commit sin against by not following it, and even if I'm the only person on this planet who will stand up and say it I will continue to say: you don't get to appoint yourself interpreter and judge of sin and you don't get to tell me what rights I have in this United States of America.

Paula Huffman Reed
Paula Huffman Reed

Dirk Neill I've preached this exact same thing and I am a very outspoken believer in God and love. But you are right, we cannot constitutionally deny freedoms. Great job posting it without shame!!'Paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence WE ARE ALL EQUAL AND HAVE INALIENABLE RIGHTS....everyone needs to get over themselves and just let people love and live. With peace of course. I'm not meaning lawlessness or anarchy. They have their own soul and lives to answer for. Tell of God's mercy, stand by your beliefs and let God do his job. Lord knows I don't have permission or time to do it for him. Lastly, most all of the original laws originated from God's laws. So really, if we wanted to trace the "big ones" back, it would all trace to religion of some sort. We have always had a touch of religion in our "state." Therefore we can never truly be separate.

Carol Baker-Murray
Carol Baker-Murray

This in in answer to Marie Kueny: The Bible consistently tells us that homosexual activity is a sin (Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Romans 1:26-27 teaches specifically that homosexuality is a result of denying and disobeying God. When people continue in sin and unbelief, God “gives them over” to even more wicked and depraved sin in order to show them the futility and hopelessness of life apart from God. 1 Corinthians 6:9 proclaims that homosexual “offenders” will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Tinalarsen
Tinalarsen

The bible wasn't even interpreted correctly.. 

Carrieo924
Carrieo924

I absolutely love your blog, but this one really hit home. I try really hard to always let my actions be lead by kindness but recently there have been a couple people that have been hurting someone I care about, mentally and emotionally. This post has helped me to make them more human in my mind, so thank you so much 


Dorothee Moethe
Dorothee Moethe

its not a chosen lifestyle. did you choose hetero? is your marriage and family a lifestyle for you?

Dorothee Moethe
Dorothee Moethe

im not hateful. i find you highly entertaining in your ridiculousness.

Kathryn Palmer Howard
Kathryn Palmer Howard

GOD has already won the battle. The final score is already on the score board. The wickedness and deception of this mortal life is something we all must endure until our time on earth is done, but our choice to endure with faith and loving kindness will make all the difference while we are here.

David Carter
David Carter

We enlightened Europeans just don't understand the fussOr the need for magic and superstition among supposedly intelligent and advanced civilisationsGrow up America the world is leaving you behind

Tinalarsen
Tinalarsen

lol... Yes, European's are so enlightened... Good stuff... Thanks..

Paul Cottingham
Paul Cottingham

Lisa Roose "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I read that somewhere, look it up. All snark aside, if it wasn't for Gods grace, we would all be hosed. Not just Gay folks.

LeighJefcoatMollet
LeighJefcoatMollet

Thank you for your heartfelt, humane and very touching article.  I am a Christian.  Meaning...I believe that the bible is the inspired Word of God, and that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ to be crucified and die for the sins of ALL humans.  I believe that Christ conquered death, ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of the One True God.  With that being stated, I believe that Christians accept a major task to be missionaries of the promise of salvation through faith in Christ.  I believe that the disconnect between those of Faith and others is that if we are to "love others", we are to love in TRUTH.  Not in disingenuous acceptance of whatever makes them "happy" at this moment.  Am I to "love" someone into eternal destruction by not sharing the Gospel to support their temporal existence in this life?  Christ came to save the sinner, but will return to judge those that have hardened their hearts to his love and gift of eternal salvation.  I Pray that all will come to the Life giving Knowledge of Salvation by Grace and Faith in Christ.    

Kaatje Murakami
Kaatje Murakami

@LeighJefcoatMollet We have heard the 'gospel' millions of times. My soul is MY responsibility and NOT yours. My spirituality is none of your business. Why cant you leave others alone? 

KristinLaurandeau
KristinLaurandeau

@LeighJefcoatMollet Leigh on the one hand you thank the writer for his "heartfelt, humane and very touching article" and then with the other you take that away by saying his acceptance is "a disingenuous" acceptance of others for who they are, so thank you for your comment on this article as you very poignantly highlighted EXACTLY what the writer was trying to get across. 

You are more than welcome to whatever your belief system is, but to call someone else's belief system and acceptance disingenuous because it does not fit in with yours is rather sad and may I say "unchristianlike"- good luck in your Christianity teachings and beliefs (whichever of the 35+ Christian churches it may be from)  I wish you well.

LeighJefcoatMollet
LeighJefcoatMollet

@KristinLaurandeau

My sincerest apology for any misunderstanding read into my comment.  As stated above, I was not claiming that the author of the article was expressing "disingenuous love", but the support of "non-believers" claiming "live and let live, love and let love" without regard to the eternal ramifications.  For non- believers, my beliefs are inconsequential.  For some believes, my views may be inconsequential.  One thing we all have in common is the passion for our beliefs.  I hope to not personally attack or demonize anyone for theirs.  I want to share my belief as I feel that I am called to do, to God's glory.

KristinLaurandeau
KristinLaurandeau

this is one of the best articles I have read in a long time, well said!


Patty Lyons
Patty Lyons

It's hard enough to find a soul mate, someone you can really love and want to spend your life with. I'm a love failure and it's the biggest disappointment of my life. I'm not gay but consenting adults should have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit , as long as they're not hurting themselves or others.

Jason Edward Jones
Jason Edward Jones

Lisa Parsons marriage was never a protected RIGHT, neither was dignity. I don't want to argue with you about the legality of their decision. I highly suggest your read the constitution cover to cover a few times though.

Connie Crew
Connie Crew

Thank you Dirk, as a Christian I agree and believe the same.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

It won't. Churches have always had the right to refuse to marry people.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

Ninth Amendment + 14th Amendment = they didn't do what you claim

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

They didn't make a law, they affirmed that the Constitution included gays and lesbians and that the state laws against them marrying were a violation of that.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

Sodom was destroyed because they treated poor people horribly and had no charity. Sounds like a certain political group in a number of countries.Ezekiel 16:49 KJV: Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. ISV: Look! This was the sin of your sister Sodom and her daughters: Pride, too much food, undisturbed peace, and failure to help the poor and needy.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

Whoever told you you have any right to "allow" or not other adults to do anything? You have no right to decide what other consenting adults do in their lives. Treating competent adults as infants who need you to make their choices is absolutely NOT in any way, shape or form loving.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

No, it's distracting people from the TPP, which contains provisions that would allow corporations to get rid of consumer protection laws in all the countries which sign that are "'damaging" to the company, like say...GMO labeling or even GMO bans. http://www.exposethetpp.org/TPPImpactsYou.html

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

How can god be love and hate anything? That makes no sense. But then, Christians seem to be very good at holding completely opposing ideas at the same time. I'd have to turn off my brain to manage that trick.

davidacobb
davidacobb

An extremely well written post. The only thing I don't agree with is the idea that by showing love to someone else, we can learn to love ourselves more. For each and everyone of us, it starts with us, with me. To be able to truly love another in spite of their differences or beliefs, we first have to love ourselves. It's not easy and all of the good books say we should love each other and they tell us why, but they don't tell us how. It has been said, that which we dislike in others is only a reflection of what we don't like about ourselves. I don't know if that is true, but I do know that once I learned to love myself, because of my faults rather than in spite of them, I found a way to truly love my fellow man.


Thank You for sharing.

David

Ono
Ono

@davidacobb That is what I believe too. From my own experience, learning to love myself, my imperfections, and stay on a path of healing helps me love others more than I ever thought I was capable of. Once you experience this, it truly is eye-opening. Doesn't make me perfect, but it sure helps the heart let go of a lot of needless garbage.

Lisa Parsons
Lisa Parsons

The next big fight SHOULD be for adoptee rights. I fear though (and see articles it's already happening) that instead of standing up for adoptee rights, gay couples just want the right to discriminate against adoptees the same way straight people do.Adoptees are legally discriminated against. They are the only citizens who have no automatic right to their own birth certificate. The only people whose birth certificates contain lies. Birth certificates should be a legal record of biological parentage, not ownership papers, which is what the adoption and surrogacy industries have turned them into.Every birth certificate should be a factual record of the biological origins of the person the record belongs to. Hint: It doesn't belong to adoptive parents. Since our culture has long since insisted that the birth certificate include legal parents, instead of erasing the biological parents and replacing them with legal parents, why can we not have both?No more secrecy, no more closed adoptions, no more anonymous donors. No more "amended" birth certificates. Every child has the right to know their biological origins. Change birth certificates to include genetic father, genetic mother, surrogate (if different from mother), legal parent 1, legal parent 2.At the same time, unseal the records for every adult adoptee, in every state. It's long past time to give adoptees their civil rights back.I truly hope that everyone who fought for equality for gays will join together to fight for equality for adoptees. Many are dying of old age never knowing who they come from. The discrimination against adoptees is also a violation of the 14th amendment.

Tinalarsen
Tinalarsen

But that is not what this is about.. By posting this, which I didn't even read, because people that are adopted unless they are gay, could get married up until a few days ago.. You are taking away from everyone that fought for gay rights.. 

BeccaMatousek
BeccaMatousek

This post is amazing! I am so glad you did write it! It holds true for mental illness also. I suffer from severe depression/anxiety and was just diagnosed with PTSD and I have experienced some of the same things your friend has. People have just disappeared from my life. It is a bit different because it is hard to handle the swings the moods takes when life is REALLY throwing curve balls, and it has been doing that a LOT the last year and a half, it is really hard for ME to handle them. That is why I need a support system so badly and most just ghosted on me. I am about the lowest I have ever been and I have very few people I can trust to talk to and it is very hard! I can't imagine being hated because of who I love. I know what it's like to be hated because of a disease that causes the chemicals in my brain to be out of whack and even with meds and therapy it is almost impossible to control when life has me pinned down and is drowning me. Some people think I should pray more or just think happy thoughts and it will make it better.....that is the exact same problem as hating someone for one of the other reasons listed. You can't fix mental illness by praying it away or thinking happy thoughts. If you could I would have been cured decades ago. Thanks for letting me get it all out. Hopefully someone else knows what I mean also or is helped by what is said.

Ronni
Ronni

@BeccaMatousek 

I'm right there with you, but hadn't really admitted it to myself until reading this blog and your comment.  I've been sick for almost two years now.  When I worked, I had plenty of friends.  Once I had to quit because of my health, they are all gone.  I'm from an area that when a person is sick/hospitalized/death, people bring them meals, etc.  The ladies group from my church sent me $20 for my hubby to go grab us supper on his way home from work.  I've had one person bring us supper.  Don't misunderstand, I've NEVER expected anyone to cook and bring us anything, it just hurts that no one did.  I'm a Christian and agree with this blog.  I also pray.  I, too, have been told to think happy thoughts; get up and get over it...if only they could walk in my shoes for two days.  I don't know you and I don't have to...please know that I'll pray for you.

Ronni
Ronni

@BeccaMatousek 

I'm right there with you, but hadn't really admitted it to myself until reading this blog and your comment.  I've been sick for almost two years now.  When I worked, I had plenty of friends.  Once I had to quit because of my health, they are all gone.  I'm from an area that when a person is sick/hospitalized/death, people bring them meals, etc.  The ladies group from my church sent me $20 for my hubby to go grab us supper on his way home from work.  I've had one person bring us supper.  Don't misunderstand, I've NEVER expected anyone to cook and bring us anything, it just hurts that no one did.  I'm a Christian and agree with this blog.  I also pray.  I, too, have been told to think happy thoughts; get up and get over it...if only they could walk in my shoes for two days.  I don't know you and I don't have to...please know that I'll pray for you.

di2218
di2218

Dan thank you for this post, i shared it on facebook, i came across it via another friend, I'm glad i read it. I try really hard to teach my children kindness not just for our fellow humans but to animals and all living or non living creatures or things. to me its important to show kindness, i was shown kindness when i was at my lowest and it had a remarkable impact on me that i want to pass on more kindness

Carrie Shulfer
Carrie Shulfer

It'll be interesting to see if the divorce rate goes down. Clearly straight marriages aren't doing too well :-)

Andrew Peter
Andrew Peter

I'd like to meet someone that is ready to take me for whom I am and I take her for whom she is. someone that will make me realize that without her, my life is not complete and who will bring out the good dreams I have being dreaming since the day i was born. someone that will know what i want when i laugh and what i don't want when i'm angry. in one world, i'm really looking for the love of my life, someone to love with all my heart and she love me with all her heart.