Six days ago, I posted I’m Christian, unless you’re gay. The response has been overwhelming (to say the least). Nearly half a million people have already read it. Nearly 2,000 comments have come in. It’s seen the greatest first-week traffic of any post I’ve ever shared here on SDL.
As I hit the “publish” button last Monday evening, I honestly feared it would be the end of Single Dad Laughing. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just really scary to attempt to write something that, if done incorrectly, could anger not just one part of the population but nearly every part of the population. That post covers some very hot ground. I think you’d agree.
But I also said in the beginning of that post that, in order to finally write it and publish it, I had to care more about the message than I did about any potential backlash. That was more of a pep talk I was giving myself in order to keep from hitting the “trash” link on yet another draft of it.
Anyway, I’ve read just about every single comment that has come through and I won’t lie… I was brought to tears several times by some of the things that were shared. I don’t think anybody could read through the comments without being at least somewhat changed. But what you all didn’t get to see were the hundreds of personal emails that I received in the wake of the post
Some were horrific. They testified of the need for the message beyond anything that I ever read in the comments. A couple were threatening and attacking. Others guaranteed that my passage to hell was assured. Thankfully, the vast majority were kind and encouraging and full of hope.
There have also been a handful that have been so powerful that they momentarily flipped my world upside down. There have been a handful that have melted me down into a puddle of emotion, unable to speak for fear I’d lose whatever was causing my heart to pound. Some of these were powerful in their beauty. Others in their ugliness.
I tried to read some of these aloud to the woman I’ve recently started dating. I couldn’t finish most of them. I couldn’t even start others.
I’ll be sharing a couple of less than beautiful responses first, and I only do so because I believe they will make the others that much more powerful. It’s the beautiful responses that are most important, and I want to share with you those responses that meant more than the world to me when I received them. To some degree, they’ve changed the very definition of who I am. They made me realize that no matter how anybody responds to this post, it’s already been worth it. I’ve shared two of these on the Facebook wall with you already, so forgive me for those that some of you might have seen already.
Each response on this post will be on its own page, mostly so that you can share links to individual responses on Facebook and Twitter if you like. The first two are among the responses I received that I feel prove the need for this message. The last five prove the power of living the message. The power of giving. And, the power of love even when we disagree with one another.
At the end of this post I have a challenge for you. I seriously hope you take me up on it.
I also hope you’ll share this post. I hope you’ll encourage everybody you know to come read it. These responses are a hundred times more powerful than anything I could ever write, I promise you that. You see, my original post was made of words and ideas. Hope. Encouragement. Love. What you will read today are all real-life examples of those words and ideas.
I realize that a lot of you received your own dose of backlash on the links you posted to the original post. Reposting it took serious guts for many of you. I hope the small amount of backlash you saw didn’t scare you from sharing the message but instead enforced the need for you to share the message all the more. That’s what it’s done for me, at least.
More than anything, I hope that these messages serve as all the proof you need that sometimes posting a link does a whole lot more than just putting text in front of a person’s face. Sometimes leaving a comment does a whole lot more than just saying what you want to say. Sometimes lives are changed. Sometimes families are changed. Sometimes communities are changed. And ultimately, sometimes, the world.
Click on page 2 below to read the first response.
Jesus was the son of God. He was to be considered the image of God. He showed love, compassion, and kindness to everyone he met. He helped people whom we considered sinners. My favorite scripture from the bible is, "He without sin among you, let him cast the first stone" (John 8:7). No one is perfect and no one deserves to be ridiculed for something they cannot change about themselves nor about expressing ones thoughts and opinions. It takes a lot of courage to stand up in society and be openly gay/bisexual/transgender. Ones choice in religious preference, sexual preference, cultural preference, etc., should ever determine the worthiness of getting to know an individual for whom they are. Our differences are what make us all unique individuals. People don't have to like other individuals choices but at least respect the differences in opinion. You don't have to accept them, just respect them This is when the golden rule and scriptures in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31 becomes beneficial, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". As Just Me quoted, "A new commandment I give to you: Love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34 & John 15:12). The hatred shown toward "sinners" does not reflect the image of God Christians have read and seen through Jesus time and time again.
Dan, keep up the good work and continue to change individuals lives. You may not be able to change the entire world, but you are able to make a difference within some lives. That is special and spectacular all in itself. Your challenge is working through the negativity about being gay and your thoughts and opinions on your experiences. Others face criticism and negativity about other things such as religious preference. Through your words you give others the strength to take one day at a time and "turn the other cheek" through each and every day.
I was raised Christian. Due to the focus on the negative interpretations of the bible, I began to search down other religious paths. I have spent years afraid to be truthful and honest with my mom whom is Christian. I feared I too would be disowned. Through reading your blog, I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay I found peace of mind and the courage I needed to be open, honest, and above all.... To be myself... Thank you for all you do and know you are cherished forever and always.
@MelissaAnneTobin Not to take away from the peaceful tone of your note, but if we could all stop referring to it as a "choice..." That's really the line we need to cross. People are who they are. They didn't choose to be straight or gay. They simply are. That will make the rest of the good you espouse easier for everyone. Cheers :)
It's always astonished me that this is even an issue. I grew up in a church that accepts everyone the way they are. We like to say "we don't care"- we don't care your race, your sexual preferences, your socioeconomic class... None of that. So having grown up in such a loving accepting environment I was shocked the first time I found out that there are "Christians" out there who really hate anything LGBTQIA. It's absolutely ridiculous. To all those "Christians" who will quote Leviticus, I'd like to point out John 13:34 AND John 15:12 (SO important Jesus said it TWICE) "a NEW commandment I give to you: love one another as I have loved you." I'll never understand why anyone thinks its any of their business concerning other people's sexual preferences. As a side note, I was reading the first response, which was a negative one and the spelling and grammatical errors that the person who wrote that made seriously damage his/her credibility. Even if you forgive the grammar and some typos, God should be capitalized, something they fail to do through the duration of that email, but that's me being nit-picky.
The point being, thank you for posting this because people need to hear it I think.
Thank you for these, and for your original article. It's sometimes hard to remember that my fellow Christians are not all driven by hate...
Thank you for posting both the negative and the positive responses. I think that it is important to show both sides. That being said, I couldn't even read the negative ones. Hate does not come naturally or easily to me. I am in general a very caring and level headed person and I try to avoid that kind of poison in my life. The sheer indignation and anger that I start to feel when reading letters of people using religion and "known" facts to hide behind as they hurl their hatred is quite overwhelming. The following positive reactions you posted made me tear up.
I know you have probably had many people thank you for writing this article and posting the reactions but let me add my voice to the multitude. I thank you for not only writing this article but for also being the kind of father who will always love and cherish his son, no matter what. Being the son of a pair of amazing and loving parents, I know exactly the kind of impact that it can have on you. The fact that your article is waking up other parents and helping them to become loving and accepting is going to have a trickle down effect for a really long time. The love of a parent or parental figure is so important in life, not just when you are growing up.
Keep up the good work and despite the fact I won't be reading them, keep posting the hater's comments. When you have someone spewing such hate and vitriol it allows those sitting on the fence to see what an ugly thing hatred and bigotry can be. This in turn can push them off the fence.
I would like for you to read Leviticus 20 completely and pay special attention to verse 13. In this verse is it stated that a man should not lay with a man as a man would do with a woman. Both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death, their blood will be on their own heads.
That is what God says about homosexuality, it is a sin, it's not a good thing. Also you can't be Christian and gay, you just can't because you then deny that part of the bible.
Back in that time the Leviticus were the ones having to keep a hand in these rules and actually punish the ones who were commiting a sin. Nowadays we don't have these people anymore because Jesus sacrificed himself and said: Go and do not Sin. We will all be judged infront of God one day and God almighty will be the one who will ask us: My son told you not to sin, why have you denied that request and why did you do it? What will your answer ben then? What will the answer of a Gay Christian be then? Knowing it is a Sin in God's eyes.
As it is stated in Leviticus: Laying with another Man, having sex with an animal or with your mother/sister/daughter-in-law it's a Sin. These rules were not made for nothing, they were made to be followed and to be a good Christian. Now you won't hear me say I do not Sin, I do Sin and if I do I beg God to forgive me for I have sinned.
One last thing: Could anyone please explain to me why we have gays and lesbians in the western countries and not in the 3rd world countries? Don't see those rambo bush people being gay now do you?
@Just someone Actually, you DO have homosexuality in primitive culture and always have, But lets discuss the Laws of Leviticus shall we, First of all... If you are Christian, then you believe Jesus to be the Christ, the fulfillment of the covenant, so what does that mean?Well a covenant is a contract, SO if Jesus is the fulfillment of the Leviticus contract, then it's restrictions and laws have served their purpose (thus allowing you to eat shrimp and pork and such). If we can assume that Jesus fulfilled that contract we can expect new rules maybe.. so we can look to the bible... does it give us any new rules after the arrival of Jesus? Why yes In Matthew You are told to Love god, and to love your neighbor as yourself... So we have precedent for the NEW laws of the post Leviticus era. Homosexuality does not get brought up again until Saul of Tarsus (the apostle Paul to y'all), Who A) never actually MET Jesus, and B) was in his previous life a Pharisee, after losing his Mentor, it's it not a stretch at all, to understand why he would fall back on the Laws of Leviticus... The next question would logically be "well no one contradicts him" the answer to this one is sad and one of the reasons i am no longer christian. During the first attempt to create a unified Bible, 2/3 of the biblical writing were not even considered because they were not written in Greek (which was the language that society considered the most "scholarly" at the time about 300AD) Who was the apostle who spent the most time among Greek speaking people? Why the apostle Paul of course. Biblical history is full of these troublesome happenings, If the bible were so definitely anti-homosexuality then it becomes very odd that the catholic church had liturgy for it, and were a pair of married male saints... I've spent a life time of studying spirit, and have been told by many priests and rabbi's that i have a clear understanding of biblical text, i am also a bit of a historian and you cannot look at the writings of ancient peoples without considering their society and the history between then and now. For instance, the phrase "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" is ludicrous ancient Hebrews did not have a concept of witch as we know it, the word used more accurately translates to Poisoner implying one who makes poisons for assassination and recreation ( equate them to a modern person running a meth lab), however how many people have been persecuted by that mistranslation ? Aside from ALL these facts is the simple fact that you don't get to judge others, Christ Says not to, so WHO is more important in your faith, the transcribers and the pharisees....or Christ?
btw I'm NOT a Christian, and I find this whole Banning of love cruel and heartless, which is very unlike the Jesus who's work i truly admire.... Maybe instead of looking to the punishments you truly ask yourself What WOULD Jesus do, because the only time i can remember him getting angry, was over greedy people turning the temple into a business....
@Stihltygre I couldn't have said it better myself!
Thank you so much for all the posts on this topic. I come from a similar christian background to you (not Mormon) however for years I have struggled to understand the conflicting messages within the Christian community. Being a strong minded and fiercely independent woman I have faced many of my own battles with the church's ideals of how I 'should be and behave', my future was always limited and set in a very narrow path I don't believe is what God has intended for me at all. He has made us exactly who we are for a reason!
Although I do still consider myself a christian I have spent years coming to terms with what I believe and why. I love God and I love his people (however long it may take at times!). I cannot fathom how it would be acceptable in any religion or culture to treat someone differently because of their sexual preference, appearance, race etc etc.
There is a lot of negativity toward all different sects however I agree that your message on love is the true core of all of these religions and has somehow been lost.
Thank you again for raising awareness and being a tool to reach out to the outcasts, the people in hiding or struggling with their own situations.
This was really refreshing and I really appreciate and enjoyed reading it. I look forward to more!
This has been beautiful and incredible--both the original post and the current one. I have become really cynical about religious people in general because so many of them are the kind of awful people who promote hate over love and violence over kindness. I'm still an atheist because I still believe that belief in the supernatural doesn't make sense, but I'm always happy to read about religious folks or theists who can promote love and kindness and friendship. The world is a better place because of you and because of all the brave people on pages 4-8. I love you.
Okay, since the beginning of my comment seems to get all the attention, let me rephrase it:
I don't think Christians should be gay. Simply because the bible tells us that men having sex with men and women with women is disgusting to God. And since God has always been the same, still is the same and in all eternity is going to be the same as always (Hebrews 13) it still is disgusting to Him.
But anyway, what you were supposed to get is: If people are gay (whether they choose to or not) doesn't matter to me. I do love everybody as a person no matter in what way they sin. I sin, too. And my comment wasn't meant to offend anybody. Sorry it did. It's just a problem I've always had: putting my thoughts into words. I got the introduction wrong, didn't I?
To respond to your comments: Yes, I do and don't do lots of things that modern people/Christians call outdated, but I don't care what people say. I just do what I understand is right according to the bible. You understand it different, do it different.
I have to tell everybody one thing: If yo are a real Christian, you cannot be gay - that's against the rules. God's rules. And if you are a Christian you HAVE to love everybody, just like God does. And He doesn't hate gays. He loves everybody in this world. He just hates the things people do. He didn't make us that way, because He doesn't want us to be that way. If He wanted us to be gay, He'd have made us gay. All of us.
As a Christian we are to love everybody - even our enemies. But we are to hate sin. It's just like with kids: you don't necessary like what they're doing, but you still love your kids. You don't have to like what gays do, but you still should love them as people.
I know plenty of people who use Christianity to judge others for anything, including being gay. Jesus had nothing whatsoever to say on the subject, but did say 'whosoever is without sin cast the first stone'. I am Christian and I don't care at all whether someone is gay or not. It's not a choice, or there would not be gays in states like Alabama. I prefer the Christian message of love and tolerance. If God whats to send people to hell for being gay, that's his job.
I have become a lot more tolerant and kind in the last 15 years (or at least willing to publicly say it and do it) and have been a much happier person for it.
Wow. Powerful stuff.
When I first read I'm Christian Unless You're Gay, it really impacted me as a lesbian who was once a devout and spiritual Christian. I wanted everyone to read it. I felt so wounded by the Christian Church that turned its back on me. Your post gave me hope that Christians might exist who believed in what was once so meaningful to me. About a year ago I somehow found a beautiful loving community at a UCC that welcomes gay people. After feeling banished from the Church for two decades, I found a home. Together we're working on feeding the hungry and the homeless, working for social justice, and creating a safe and loving space where all are welcome. Perhaps I would have found this community without the impact of your post, but I'm sure that it helped open my heart to give love a chance.
I just responded to the second nasty response email in my blog. Please have a read.
I have spent the last four decades trying to live up to my own personal philosophy "Save the world, one person at a time, through kindness." I fall down or fail sometimes and sometimes the deluge of ugly, hateful and negative responses from the world is disheartening and I get so tired I grind to a stop. Then someone I lent a hand to (or put an arm around) years ago tells me they wouldn't be alive if I hadn't been there, or that they would never have taken the chance that led to something fabulous, or that they believe I helped them find the strength to be a better, kinder person and I feel both elated and humbled. Each of these people really made the change in their life themselves but they needed someone to believe they could. And I get up again myself and go on, wearing my heart on my sleeve and believing that WE are the answer to our own problems. Love to you all, especially those trapped on either side of the walls of fear and anger. May you all forgive and be forgiven and go on to feel kindness.
Judge NOT lest ye be judged.
"Do not judge others, and you will not be judged."
That woman does NOT know her scripture. That just makes me sick.
I just read these stories today (November 14, 2012). Wow. So powerful, and so beautiful. Genuine stories like these really touch the heart. Thanks for sharing them with us.
That is AMAZING!!! I don't think there are any suitable words to describe just how wonderful it is that your article made such an impact. It did bring tears to my eyes to read those last positive stories. The first two were saddening in the not-so-touching kind of way. It's just...shocking to me to see that kind of negative attitude and kinda scary to realize I used to be like that. Not. Any. More. Throughout the years I've grown up and let go of those archaic and hateful ideals. People need to be loved and those who are gay cannot change the way they are. It's the way they are. It's not something they know is wrong on a deeper level, it's something that is a part of them and it's not wrong. It's what's right for them. It's how they were born and we should love and accept them as is instead of trying to change an intrinsic aspect of their personal self.
I just recently discovered your blog through a friend who posted "How I Screwed Up My Marriage" - which is an awesome entry, by the way. (Wish my husband would read it.)Thank you for writing, posting and reposting "...Unless You're Gay." I reposted the link in the hopes my husband will see it and read it. It's not likely. My daughter is 6 months clean from opiate addiction, but is living in a city relatively far away. Her whole life right now revolves around recovery, which, of course, means all of her friends are also in recovery. Almost all of them are from middle-class families, but my husband is exasperatingly judgmental, calling them, (and my daughter), "trash," "junkies," "thieves," and "freaks." (Most of them, including my daughter, are into piercings & tatoos). They are her support system, so I am grateful for them, and they're good kids who went down the wrong path - for whatever reason. I am ashamed to admit that, before this experience with my daughter, I was less than accepting myself of these individuals, but that's all changed. We are afraid, (i.e. unaccepting/disdainful/intolerant) of what we do not know. I know these kids now.I'm sorry. I'm rambling. I guess what I want to say is "thank you" for including EVERYONE in your tolerance post. I have never read an essay or editorial on tolerance that included addicts or "trash," and it is remarkably thoughtful of you to do so.I will continue to read and enjoy your blog.
Am I missing any posts/links?http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/im-christian-unless-youre-gay.htmlhttp://www.danoah.com/2011/11/powerful-responses-to-im-christian-unless-youre-gay-blog.htmlhttp://www.danoah.com/2011/11/few-more-powerful-responses-to-im-christian-unless-youre-gay.htmlhttp://www.danoah.com/2011/12/responses-video-to-the-im-christian-unless-youre-gay-post.htmlhttp://www.danoah.com/2011/12/the-most-amazing-response-yet-to-im-christian-unless-youre-gay.htmlhttp://www.danoah.com/2011/12/men-in-uniform-respond-to-the-post-im-christian-unless-youre-gay.htmlhttp://www.danoah.com/2012/01/my-daughter-home-at-last-response-to-im-christian-unless-youre-gay.htmlhttp://www.danoah.com/2012/04/a-teens-brave-response-to-im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html
Just found your blog today. Started with the cute baby photos and progressed through many posts until I got to to the "I'm Christian, Unless..." posts. Wow. As the mom of a gay son, I just have to say thank you. I go to a fairly conservative church, but live in a very liberal area. It makes me sad to think of the reactions my son will receive from others at our church (those closest to him know, but he only tells if directly asked). I just don't get how parents, friends, etc can cut someone out of their life for admitting that they are gay. S/He is the exact same person that they knew and loved the second before s/he says "I'm gay"! I can't imagine turning my back on my son. He's a really great guy. I can't stand the thought of never having contact with him again. It would be worse than him dying.
The "church" has done so much damage to so many people in the name of Christ!! The God I follow sent His Son for EVERYONE, loves EVERYONE, and holds out his arms to EVERYONE. None of us deserves that love, but it's given freely to all.
So, again, thank you. Thank you for starting this discussion. Thank you for your boldness, your willingness to be open about your own life, and for standing up what you believe!
I am not a regular reader, I got sent here by my loving wife who thought that your 16 ways to blow your marriage post was great reading (which it was, thanks). Then I followed the "other posts you might like", which brought me here and to your original "I'm Christian..." post.
Let me start by saying that I don't normally comment on blogs, but your post had me in tears. I'm one of those athiests that you wrote about, hate-filled when it comes to most religious people. I'm like the racist who says "I'm not racist because my gardner's black". Most of my hatred isn't directed directly at specific people, but rather to religion as a whole which I think has helped create the divisions and animosity that exists in the world today.
Then I read your post. Then I read the first responses you posted (which reinforced my hatred). Then I read more, and more.
While I am not going to say I'm reformed - I don't think that's really possible in a morning - I must say that you have done something that nobody has been able to do for me in a long, long time. You have given me hope. Hope that maybe one day humans will exist in a world that is free of hate. I realize that I am also to blame for some of this hatred, and I pledge to do my best to conquer it in the future.
I made it through 3 responses, and had to stop reading them. First, sodom and gomorrah was not simply destroyed because of alleged homosexuality. Furthermore, Lot offers his virgin daughters instead to sleep with these men out of wedlock. But, I guess for everyone's argument purposes, that is never mentioned. Second, there were things such as bestiality and gambling going on as well. Which, we know today, gambling is becoming more and more legalized across the country. It seems too often Christians use bits and pieces of the bible to argue their points, and leave out the rest. I feel for this 15 year old boy, and have more admiration for his mother than I could possibly explain. I'm 33 years old, in the military, and still have yet to approach this subject with my parents due to fear of their reaction. They are my family. It shouldn't be that way! Luckily, the government has fought half of my battle for me. At that young man's age, I was suicidal, and had no one to turn to, except God of course. I prayed for 3 years for Him to change me. When it didn't happen, I decided I would find love and be happy, and still live the best Christian life I can. You bigots posting the nonsense to Mr. Pearce, turn some of that anger toward yourselves, because God is going to judge you, too!
It just has to stop. This bullying because of your beliefs. They are not right when it forces a child to kill themselves. It is not right, at all. It is bullying to the point of murder. My attempt at stopping it is here http://toriabipolar.blogspot.ca/2012/04/bullied-teens.html
WOW. LOVE to all, especially #5. I am so glad for him to see a new light, and I will be REALLY glad when he moves out of his town to a neighbourhood/city where he is SAFE as he is. There is a beautiful, accepting world out there boy! xxx
All this arguing.The truth is the truth and all these words do little justice for what we are trying to express...thus we miscommunicate, separate "us" from "them", and try to make the case for why they are wrong. God is so all over this, very very clever creator, he is!The truth is written on my heart, like I can feel his hands around my heart ....especially when I am doing His work. There is no need to argue here folks. You are either expressing it or not, the resonance of truth people recognize and gravitate towards, because it is written in their heart as well. After reading this blog and many wonderful, beautiful expressions of this universal truth, im inspired and very happy to be on this roller coaster ride called life with all of you :)
I love my children. The day I realized I was pregnant with my 1st child, I embraced the knowledge that I would become a mother with trepidation. Over the months, both before and after he was born, I came to worry about his future. Would I be good enough as a parent? What would happen to him? What if he was born with some health problems? What if ... what if ... I'm responsible for this child's well-being. Feeding and clothing and providing for him. What if I lose my job, or my husband? What if ...
Let's back up. What am I responsible for? What can I do that no one else can do for them?
I am responsible for teaching my children to be men who are capable of loving others, of loving themselves, and finding some way to contribute to the world. Really, that is all that matters. What else could truly matter? So what if they don't have a "good job", meet the "right people", become famous, finish high school?
Are they capable of loving others? - if I teach them that, I will be able to look in the mirror and know that I have been a Good Mother.
I have told my children "I love you, I will always love you, and no matter what - nothing, absolutely nothing you ever do could make me stop loving you. I will always love you." My six year old son had a look of wonder on his face when he heard this. I will never forget it. I never want to forget it. He asked, "really?" "Yes, really" I answered.
What if one of them is gay? I don't think it's a sin; but I would worry about how others would treat them. I would worry more if he was incapable of expressing his love, regardless of whether he's straight. If I ever hear him say "I hate [that person] because [some reason]" I would cry. I would have failed as a mother.
I love my children.
I will love your children, if I meet them. Every single human being on the face of the earth inherently deserves my love, has the right to ask for my love, and above all has the god-given right to expect to receive my love. I wish there were more ways for me to show that love to you. I wish it was easier to do.
If you cannot bring yourself to love me, I would hope that you could at least treat me with respect and courtesy. If we can do that, love will at least have fertile ground in which to flourish.
For those who believe the Bible is to be taken verbatim, I would remind them Matthew's gospel quotes Jesus, "For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Nowhere does he say, "For I was hated, and you hated me too".
I believe that when I die, my soul will be judged by God, who will ask me "So, what have you done with the life I gave you?" My sins - for I have committed them to my ever-lasting shame - will be there. And I hope, for my immortal soul, that I will be able to answer, "I taught people how to love".
Teach others to love. You're doing a great job.
The responses to your post have left me in tears, well the majority of them anyway. Although your post was very powerful, I cannot believe how much it has affected people and changed their lives for the better. You truly are a fantastic person. I have been, and will continue to, encourage my friends and family to read your post and pass it on.
Dear hater, the quote is: "Judge NOT lest ye be judged." I don't know where you bought your Bible, but if I were you, I'd return it b/c you're completely missing the point.
Dear angry person passionately upset at the people represented in SDL's articles or the comments that follow them,
Dear sad person who feels heartsick at the stories SDL has been revealing,
Dear straight person,
Dear gay person,
Dear lesbian person,
Dear asexual person,
Dear bisexual person,
Dear runaway who's been beaten, or in fear of your life, or just feels like nobody cares,
Dear pregnant teen who's afraid to reveal her mistake to her parents,
Dear popular person who basks in the attention,
Dear popular person who just wants to escape,
Dear outcast person who wants attention,
Dear person hiding in fear from a world that might reject you,
I want you to know that I love you. I care about you. I don't know you. I don't need to. And I don't need to justify or qualify my love for you or anybody else. And if you don't want me to love you, you don't really have a choice. My love for you comes without reservation, and with sincerely withheld judgement.
Whether you're black, white, Latino, of Asian descent or whatever doesn't matter. Whether you're male, female, a eunuch, or a hermaphrodite, and whether you were born that way or not, doesn't matter. Whether you're straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual doesn't matter. Whether you care that I love you or not doesn't matter. Whether you're Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Moslem, Taoist, atheist, Deist, Theist, agnostic, Odinist, Rosicrucian, any of the various Occult traditions, or what have you, doesn't matter.
I will still love you whether you treat people with honest, open compassion or with disdain. I will continue to love you if you make a mistake or take a misstep. I will continue to love you if you are successful in life, love or any endeavor you attempt. I will continue to love you when you are happy, or sad, or angry, or indifferent. I will continue to love you even if you hate me or the things that I do.
And what's more, I will still love you no matter what you do and I will never tell you otherwise. If you want to know where I think you've made a mistake, it won't make me love you more, but it will show that you care about what I think. And when you do that, I will be more than happy to tell you. And if you want to go through your life on your own without asking me my opinion, I won't stop you or tell you you're wrong, because I love you that much.
That's what love is all about. And I will still love you even if you don't understand why or how. I will still love you, even if you don't understand any of this.
Because you deserve it.
I'm a Presbyterian Pastor and I have to say that not only can Homosexuals be Christians, but you can bet that would be who Christ would be seeking out if he was reincarnated today. If he can talk to Jews, Gentiles, prostitutes and even tax-collectors--he would talk to homosexuals--why? Not because they are sinful, but because Christ always ministered to the marginalized, the outcasts, etc. (Lepers were the point and case AIDS ex, everyone assumed they were sick bc of their sins). I don't envy those who are trying to convert others or pass out judgement about the state of others souls--I wouldn't take on one of those jobs much less both. In fact I tend to leave those jobs up to my boss, he's management, after all, I'm only in customer service.Anyone who wants those jobs are just asking for heartache.
In closing I want to say this. If I sin, I pray that my sin is to be too welcoming, and to have the door too wide open. Never do I want to stand before God and defend why I didn't let someone into my community, family, church, faith or life because I kept the opening too narrow. I would rather explain why I let everyone in rather than defend why I kept one person out.
Rev. Katy Stenta
A righteous person loves the sinner but hates the sin. Showing love to someone can lead them to a right relationship with God. Let us not forget that homosexuality is a sin and that sin separates us from God but if we repent (turn away/stop the sin) we are given forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
Thanks for this post. It made me cry. Cry for those who think Satan made you write such lovely words. Cry for the ones whos lives you've touched by your words. Yes, the ripple effect is huge. And all because you, yes you, were brave enough to find the truth in your heart to speak it. We need more tellers of truth to come out of the closet. Yes, I've shared the blog posts on my blog. Not many read them but oh well a few do. So they'll hopefully spread the word out there.
I hope that you'll continue to help to spread the "love" message.
My spiritual gift of discernment detector is going off on this one. Romans 14. No Christian should be guilted for recoiling from percieved sin or having discernment in whether they let that sin seep into their family. There are too many verses to list on how to guard yourself from sinful, worldly behaviors. As addressed in Romans...other Christians having concerns about eating meat or holding a certain day as holy is to be respected & honored.. Romans clearly commands do not cause your fellow Christian to stumble by your eating meat.. So we should not disrespect Christian's consciences who place limitations in partaking in associations others may see as harmless. We are not Christ, we instead aspire to his loving-kindness.. Including on how to have compassion for unrepentant, repetitive sinners of any type. However, if any fall short of any aspect of Christ, we should have full compassion for their faith-stage..and in no way condemning them as a "fake" Christian. Being a Christian is far more fundamental than outward behavior & only God can separate the wheat from the chaff. Using verses meant for Christian-Christian relations for how to handle Christian-Non-Christian relations is a misapplication.. Do not attack your fellow Christians for the sake of the world's preferences. Don't attack sinners. Abide in love and solidarity. The enemy comes to kill, steal & destroy. He is the tempter of all individuals with proclivity to any sexual sin. His lies are in this debate, mindfully remember..even Satan used Scripture while tempting Jesus in the desert.
This was absolutely amazing, thank you so much. Best thing I've read in a while. I live in a pretty safe area, and I've grown up with a lot of gay friends and although the only kind of harassment they've ever received has been very subtle, I have always tried to stick with them and defend them, because nothing is worse than being cast out for being who you are. Thank you so much for your amazing post, which I read as well. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Even if you make a few people as happy as they seemed in those messages, it will have been so worth it. Thank you!!!!!! <3
i am SO glad i'm atheist, just makes it so much easier to love all people whether they're male, female or transgendered
I feel I must respond to such an article that has such a polarizing effect on people. I begin by boldly declaring that I am a born again believer and full heartedly believe in the truth of God's Word (the Bible). I acknowledge the standard of holiness that is impossible for any person to stand up against whether one is a liar, a thief, a homosexual, an adulterer, a murderer, or an idolator. Scripture was not given to man to condemn the world. Scripture even teaches that Jesus did not come to the world to condemn it but to save it (John 3:17). God does not make commands to make us recognize our depravity or the insurmountable sin in our lives. The whole point of the Gospel is to preach that in spite of all sin no matter what background one comes from, they can find healing and love from a Savior who bore their sin on the cross. This is the message of Christ to show love to a world that rejects Him, scorns Him, and cries out for His agonizing death. The truth that all churches and Christians should be teaching and demonstrating with their lives is one of love and grace.
The Scriptures also teach those who believe and follow Christ are to live as lights in the world not condemning sinners for their behavior, but demonstrating compassion, love, and forgiveness toward them just as Christ loves and has forgiven us. How then does a Christian respond when they aware of a person's sinful behavior? Do we call them out and threaten condemnation? This is what the Pharisees did in John's Gospel (John 8:1-11). Religious leaders sought for Jesus to pass judgment on an adulterous woman, having caught her in the act and dragging her before Jesus for sentencing (humiliating her before the crowds). They recognized the holy standard that God demands, and that her sin required punishment. Yet, Jesus does not acquiesce to the Pharisees demands, at least not as they were expecting. Jesus does not deny the woman's guilt, but He instead lays down the challenge that whoever is without sin be first in condemning her. The men realized their own guilt and leave. We as Christians are called to demonstrate this same love and compassion to others. We must show love at all costs to a broken world that is confused and hurting seeking to resolve that pain with so many things that do not satisfy.
Homosexuality is no different than any other sinful behavior, and it is time for the Church to realize and for the bigots in the pews to start reading the Bible rather than beating people with it. I have known many amazing people who were homosexuals, their sin makes them no less human or deserving of love than anyone else. Christ shows us this when He does not condemn the woman. Christ accepts the woman for who she is. but we must recognize showing love and acceptance is not tolerance. For the story does not conclude just yet as Christ tells the woman one final thing. You see Jesus tells the woman that He does not condemn her, but neither does he approve of her lifestyle; He tells her to go and sin no more. Jesus shows unconditional love for the woman in spite of her sin, but He also does not overlook the fact that she needs to leave such a lifestyle behind.
Sin is always a choice. No matter what it is, be it an addiction, a sexual preference, an emotion outburst, etc. all sins are a choice for people. Jesus loves every person heterosexual or homosexual (even bisexual and asexual), but He does calls us to leave our sin behind if we choose to follow Him. This battle never comes easy, because despite what many of these other people have been saying in there responses, the truth is the "natural" thing is to sin. It's a part of our ingrained nature as humans who have fallen. We tend to choose darkness over light, which is why grace is a gift from God, because we of ourselves could never earn nor would we ever even try if faced with just the choice of right and wrong. What makes the difference is love, in that God loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8), while we were rebellious enemies of God and His commands He loved us enough to endure the greatest suffering and die for us. My hope is for the church to represent this same love of Christ who more often condemned the religious leaders than the sinners. God has given us a Gospel of love and a call to move forward as best we can in holiness leaving behind our sin. This is the type of attitude the Bible teachers Christians to exhibit to peoples of all backgrounds no matter the differences. I hope my comments reveal the sincerity from which I speak in love and indignation over the way Christians are poorly portraying the Savior Jesus Christ. I pray my words accurately reflect what is taught in Scripture and gladly welcome any responses.
I grew up in a rigid, strict "christian" house where physical and sexual abuse was rampant. But, it was my fault (the abuse) cause I was Jezebel reincarnated. . . Lol, I was over 30 before I realized, Pentecostals didn't believe in reincarnation. God was quite comfy with my anger - kept hanging around and Loved me. Sent me angels all my life, during the worst periods - all of whom were named Johnson. . . just so I'd figure it out one day I'm sure :)
Anyway, thank you. I try not to witness or even invite folk to church on the principal - if they cannot see my God in the way in me and in the way I live my life (and so, desire Him in theirs), what good are mere words or invitations.
You have added to my ability to talk with others about religion and God. . .
Better late than never I suppose. Today I stumbled across these articles after finding the Teens Brave response... article. Of course I ended up reading the original article, and then all of these responses. Needless to say I was moved. I am a 26 yr/o gay male. Childhood was no picnic, having learned as an adult that I had already been identified as gay by the adults around me at the age of 2 before I even had a concept of anything sexual or gender specifically oriented. Some tried to discipline the characteristics out of me, leading to terrible abuse and psychological harm. Once out of the closet at the age of 15 life at school got better (strangely, since that's where the worst homophobia was) but life at home stayed the same. The B.S. stopped when I was 17. Since then I have gone out on my own as a starving artist waiting tables. I have the love of my life, my family more or less accepts me (With a few lingering stereotypings and some rare relatives who were too "Christian" to love or think for themselves). However I still hold the anger and frustrations of my past. I realized after reading all of these articles that I was, as I had always suspected, a hypocrite. I always feel so superior in my thinking to others. I'm always quick to passive agressively insult others and then pass the insult off as jokes, actually so well that they laugh along with me. Anyone who doesn't agree with my ideology (Total freedom for all, everywhere, with no political or economic, or RELIGIOUS superiority over the people, respect for the earth and it's preservation, and full equal representation in the law for all etc. etc.) I imediately dismiss as stupid or backwards, fascist or weak minded. I don't even get along with a lot of other gay people because I write many of them off as bad representations of the community. But the truth is that I'm a bad representation of the community. I"m selfish and arrogant and lazy. Theres a younger gay guy at work. Instead of being kind to him at his first serving job, I've been whispering around about getting rid of him and gossiping over petty things. Things that when I look to myslef I do as well. Recently he told me he liked me as a co-worker, that I was deep and intelligent and that I was, honest....
This was the part where I broke down and cried. While writing this I realized how horrible I was really being. How cruel and judgemental and conniving I had become. Always so quick to talk about how I'm above the drama, and realizing I am the drama. It is all about feeling better than others. It is about ego. So long in my life was I pushed down and called names and torn apart and spat on, that I strove to never be below anyone again. But now if others are to be below me, how can i treat them the way I was treated? I swore I would never abuse another person. I always held true to that physically. But now I realize the emotional and psychological bullying I have commited all in the attempts to be the dominant one in a situation, to be the smartest, the loudest, the best.
Never in a million years did I think a "Love gay people/all people" article would make me feel so terrible about myself for the way I had been. All the times I've railed on facebook and in conversations about the sick thinking of the elite, the synarchy working to destroy others due to insantiy and a lust for power an control. But in my everyday life I strive to dominate and control and subvert. I can construct many justifications, but they are just constructs, not truths.
I'm no better than the enemy I percieve.
Since I haven't cried in years I am going to assume that this experience will leave a lasting impression in my concious mind. I've got a lot of ammends to make and new paths to forge. It will be difficult; unconditional love is not always a warm fuzzy feeling, but then again nutritious veigtables don't taste like candy either, and you NEED both. I hope that made sense lol.
I reposted your article on my facebook page, and i was sure to put a discaimer about the title. Honestly in the past I have said some awful things about christians and christianity, I knew that friends who had seen my behavior in the past would have thought the article to be along the same lines. Something else I will have to make ammends for. Though I feel my persecution stems from religion still, I cannot react with further presecution. Here's to change. To Love.
Wow, all I can say is thank you. thank you for writing this and sharing it. I'm tearing up in the middle of my school cafeteria right now after reading those comments. I shared the original post on my facebook page a few hours ago and have already received a good deal of feedback, some good and some bad.
I am gay and have had my own uphill battle to fight both before and after I came out. I have had to rebuild my relationship with my parents from the ground up, had to deal with the loss of friends that were near and dear to my heart and to this day feel like i have to lie to everyone i meet because they might leave me too if they knew i was gay.
I really hope this message continues to spread as fast as it has so far. Every single person around the world needs to see this and act on it with love.
thank you for helping my world look a little brighter and for reminding me that love is always the answer.
lol. People are selectively using the words of the writers of the bible to their own ends. If it was all taken as law then all women would be in real trouble: Deuteronomy 22:5: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."
Ummm... I don't remember "Thou shalt not be gay" being one of the ten commandments. All haters should be dragged into the street and shot! (lol)