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Fundamentalist beliefs on homosexuality cause immense harm - The Red and Black : Views

Fundamentalist beliefs on homosexuality cause immense harm

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Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013 7:00 am | Updated: 12:37 pm, Fri Mar 1, 2013.

As the dust settles from Louis Giglio’s decision to not pray at today’s presidential inauguration, an unfortunate concept seems to be seeping through the fundamentalist community around campus in regard to homosexuality: a bastardized version of “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

How comfortable. God doesn’t hate “fags,” like the Westboro Baptist Church says. God just hates the “fag” part of “fags.” Right?

You’ve got to be kidding me.

This… THIS… is what the church is settling for? That God hates a part of gay people that is genetically and environmentally determined? That God hates an unalterable part of someone?

Where is the Christ-like love in that? After all, aren’t we told in Matthew 7:17, “So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit?”

So, why don’t we examine the fruit of the modern “love the sinner, hate the sin” ideology?

In October, the American Family Association, a conservative, evangelical group, protested the Southern Poverty Law Center-sponsored Mix It Up at Lunch Day. The program was taking place at more than 2,500 schools across the country, and was designed to encourage students to sit with students they didn’t usually sit with at lunch. It was an especially encouraging day for special-needs children, who are often tragically neglected in lunchrooms across the country.

But like I said, the American Family Association emailed its members to protest the event. Why? Because they saw it as “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools.”

When evangelical families started to complain, hundreds of schools cancelled the program. Christians smote the gays. Special-needs children ate alone.

“The diseased tree bears bad fruit.”

In August 2007, a boy named James received this letter: "James: This is a difficult but necessary letter to write. I hope your telephone call was not to receive my blessing for the degrading of your lifestyle. I have fond memories of our times together, but that is all in the past. Don’t expect any further conversations with me. No communications at all. I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house. You’ve made your choice though wrong it may be. God did not intend for this unnatural lifestyle. If you choose not to attend my funeral, my friends and family will understand. Have a good birthday and good life. No present exchanges will be accepted. Goodbye, Dad."

This isn’t the only instance where this has occurred. When one of my ex-boyfriends was “outed” to his parents, his mother told him “I only love you because you’re my son.” He was subsequently forbidden from bringing any of his gay friends back home with him, and his parents want nothing to do with that part of his life.

“The diseased tree bears bad fruit.”

Additionally, according to a Columbia University study published in 2011, lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are five times as likely as straight kids to attempt to kill themselves. That’s 20 percent of gay young people aborting themselves from the planet.

The percentage is even higher in more conservative counties.

Many of these suicides and incidents of bullying are attributed to the stigmatization against homosexuality.

This is something Rick Warren, the pastor who gave the benediction at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, has recently commented on. In November, John Berman of CNN asked Warren, “Don’t you think some of our churches are responsible for some of the attitudes towards gays in America, the negative attitudes?”

Warren paused and then responded, “Probably, yeah. In fact, there are some people who are extremely violent or hateful. And hate is never of God. Never.”

When Warren said that, I flipped out. Finally, I thought. Finally, the church is going to start doing something. Fundamentalists are going to realize the stigmatization they have put on homosexuality is causing intense harm. It’s inflicting pain on people. It’s killing people.

“The diseased tree bears bad fruit.”

But alas, little has changed.

People are still parading their understanding of, “Love the sinner. Hate the sin.” But really, the bottom line is that their execution of living as Jesus did is just leading to hurting. Hurting and hating.

“And hate is never of God. Never.”

—Charles Hicks is a senior from Pembroke majoring in journalism and anthropology

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  • joechristian posted at 12:14 am on Wed, Jan 23, 2013.

    joechristian Posts: 4

    I will also say that as a Christian, I can completely agree that sexuality involves some sort of spectrum. Though of course I don't think it's limited to that.

  • joechristian posted at 12:13 am on Wed, Jan 23, 2013.

    joechristian Posts: 4

    I believe that there is no void. God is my starting point. Just saying.

    But I also know you will never believe me. I'm glad we can agree that Charles's reasoning is pretty shoddy in this article. Looking forward to better stuff from him though! I know from past articles that he has it in him.

  • jamesk48 posted at 5:30 pm on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    jamesk48 Posts: 1

    JoeChristian makes a good suggestion. It would be great if Charles wrote an article including scientific evidence that supports the assertion that homosexuality is an inherent sexual characteristic, just like heterosexuality. Based on my own research, I believe that sexuality is a spectrum, not a binary system. But most people will not do the research needed to come to their own conclusions. This newspaper would be a great medium, Charles, to convey some scientific evidence in support of your own beliefs. Unfortunately, certain language in the New Testament does condemn unrepentant "sodomites" and the like - whatever that may mean. Yes, there are many absurd laws in the Bible, but Christians believe the barbaric Old Testament laws no longer control and view the slightly less barbaric New Testament as binding law. Yes, it is unfortunate when Christian dogma leads to a father's rejecting his own child, but I don't know what can be done about it. You can appeal to pity at length, if you want, but it won't change the fact that what is written in the New Testament is binding law to Christians. I've heard everything from "God calls homosexuals to lives of celibacy" to "Homosexuality is a result of man's fall from grace, and must be corrected." To me, religion itself is absurd (and mostly results from an innate human fear of looking into the void and seeing nothing), but I can't control what other people believe...

  • joechristian posted at 9:15 pm on Mon, Jan 21, 2013.

    joechristian Posts: 4

    Kimbop makes a good point. If Charles wants to continue writing on this subject indefinitely, he needs to dedicate an article to expounding on the genetic evidence for homosexuality and the implications it might hold for human behavior as a whole. Because of course, all those naysayers will say, "well, if homosexuality is genetic, what about violence, love, rape, patience, murder and other human traits and behaviors? Are they solely genetic too? And if so, can the philosophical underpinnings of our judicial system possibly stand if we eventually determine that all human behavior is simply biological?" I'm not saying I would ask those questions, but they will be asked.

  • Kimbop posted at 8:55 pm on Mon, Jan 21, 2013.

    Kimbop Posts: 18

    Look up borderline personality disorder- they often have problems with their gender identity. Explains bisexuals and some gay people. There is no genetic determination of sexuality. No good study has ever shown that to be true.

  • johngeorge posted at 12:23 pm on Mon, Jan 21, 2013.

    johngeorge Posts: 1

    well it's like this; i agree with the american family on gays and gay rights! they are about 3% of the american population and that dosen't deserve rights! if this subject were on the national ballot, where it should be, gays would not stand a chance of ever marriage or rights what-so-ever! the feds are trying to take this through the back door to give them rights, but, when they do i'm going to file a billion dollar lawsuit against the feds for stealing our right to vote on this national matter! this is not up to the feds it's up to the american people!

  • joechristian posted at 11:22 am on Mon, Jan 21, 2013.

    joechristian Posts: 4

    Charles, I found this article to be very disjointed. You set out to defend the claim that "love the sin, hate the sinner" is evil because it ultimately produces hatred. Yet the examples you gave really sent this message: "love the sin and hate the sinner too". What if I grow up and my son comes to me telling me that he's gay. And what if I said, "[Kid's name], you know where I stand on this. I believe homosexuality to be a sin. Yet I also believe this to be a fallen world, so much so that we cannot stand before God apart from the saving work of Christ on the cross. Because we are justified through faith in Him and his perfect work, you can see that our acceptance before God really has nothing to do with how sinful we are. So you're welcome to stay home and act according to your own convictions. I can't make you be straight, so I won't try or punish you for it. Besides, even I as your dad have plenty of my own problems to figure out first."