Get on over to atheocracy and read this:
This is how Christians attempt to insulate themselves from attacks on this issue. They say, “We don’t hate the people who are gay; we just, ya know, hate their gayness.” Of course, whether or not I even used the word “hate” in my post is irrelevant (I didn’t, for the record) because that’s the only way they know how to justify their bigotry: “We don’t hate them. We love everybody! We’re just like Jesus! Of course, we don’t want to treat gays equally in the law books, but we still don’t hate them.”
It’s the same thing Americans often used to say about blacks: “We don’t hate blacks. But everyone knows they’re just an inferior race, and we can’t allow them to have the same rights as white people.” The bigotry is much the same today as it was 60, 80, 100 years ago; it has just shifted.
This is a sticky point, but one that deserves going over carefully. There is a compelling argument for the logic behind both sides of the question here. Namely, can Christians oppose homosexuality while avoiding hatred? Its clear avoiding bigotry is impossible. Believing homosexuals are somehow less than equal under the law is indefensible. No, sorry, your religion is wrong about that point.
But is hatred involved? And is the question itself even a practical one?
It’s a meaningless distinction when you’re fighting to deny them marriage rights and treat them as if they’re second-class citizens of some sort. When people who “love” you do that, I’d be scared to see what you guys would do if you, in fact, did hate them.
I think it remains a very practical question, in spite of the excellent point above. Because it delves into a larger issue: Non Christians. jwhaws mentions that homosexuality is perceived as a sin, and hence, laws may be made to turn homosexuals into second class citizens. On the more extreme side of things, homosexuals are killed. This same perception of sin, and the resulting range of reactions, is at work on abortion clinics. It is also floating beneath a very sheer polite surface where words like interfaith dialogue pop up every now and again. The reason I want to know to what degree actual hatred is at play, is that it would be a sharp indicator of the extent to which the current range of acting out against gay people, might extend to any non Christians. Especially if this country is turned at bible-point into a Christian nation. There is a long and bloody history of religious conflict to give us hints. But what could give us insight is to know: Do Christians hate gay people?
My suspicion is that if it is not hate, then it is something psychologically similar to hate. Viewing people as inferior, sinful, and responsible for God’s acts of retribution can’t help but lead to a strong dislike. Hating the sin and not the sinner is a worthy goal, but one that is so very difficult to attain in practice. I think when most people hate the sin, they hate the sinner. And I think that we are dealing with a group of people who hate homosexuals, but do their best not to identify that strong emotion as a negative one.
Denying the reality of one’s negative emotions, rather than taking constructive steps to overcome it, can bring a deadly violence on the world.
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