Homophobia is Not Fear of Homosexuals
Homophobia is not a “fear” of homosexuality. Being homophobic means being anti-homosexual. In its worst form, homophobia can lead to direct acts of violence (both physical and verbal assaults) against gay people. Broadly speaking, any act or movement to discriminate or limit the equal rights of LGBTs (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders) is considered homophobic. Non-Christians believe we are homophobic and hostile towards gays and lesbians, or at a minimum that we are prejudiced against them.
Being homophobic means being anti-homosexual
Christian homophobia is shown when we treat gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, cross-dressers, transvestites, and transgendered peoples as immoral and most especially worse than us. They believe we treat homosexuals as wicked or “filthy”. Christian homophobia is also declared when Christians stand in direct opposition to gay marriage, which opposition is viewed as an attempt by a dominate majority (Christians) to control and limit the equal freedoms of a minority (LGBTs). Some misguided and absurdly uncompassionate Christians have gone so far as to claim that HIV-Aids is God’s punishment for their homosexuality.
Here are a few real stories that helps clarify their perspective on homophobic Christians:
From “artsyatheist” on thinkatheist.com
“The truth is that evangelical Christians believe that being gay is a “choice” and a “sin” is homophobic, and perpetuates a culture that wrongly discriminates and marginalizes.”
From “George K.” on thinkatheist.com
“I enjoy cross dressing, it makes me feel good about my appearance. It is my right, however the value of that right is severally damaged when I am constantly under question, and attack by members of various religious groups. I know better than to treat people (religious or otherwise) in such a crass and heartless manor. However many religious people, from my experience, do not know better. Are you personally familiar with what it feels like to have people follow you around shouting rude things, throwing empty coffee cups at you, or cornering you with the intention of goading you into a fight? I just want to live my life, my way.”
It’s clear from these stories and others that Christians don’t understand the significance of the homophobic stereotype. And this perception is not isolated to just homosexuals. Groups that support equal rights, rationalists and “free thinkers”, and atheists groups across the country hold this negative view of Christians.
These are incredibly tough issues that we need to take seriously.
These are incredibly tough issues that we need to take seriously. And although many non-Christians say the only solution is for us to abandon our beliefs and throw away our Bibles, I can tell you that wanting that or expecting that response from Christians is just not reasonable. It would be like suggesting to capitalist Americans that the only way to save capitalism is to throw away the constitution and adopt communism. Christianity without the Bible is not a viable alternative. So, although the challenge is large, we need to seek solutions that are inclusive of our faith and Biblical principles.
We must pray long and hard about God’s will in this situation and seek to truly “see” the homosexual person standing before us. They are JUST LIKE US, with the exception of their sexuality. Are heterosexuals sinful? yes. Are homosexuals sinful? yes. In OUR book, we are ALL sinners. And Jesus came to save ALL of us…not just the heterosexuals. So, since we aren’t going to be giving up our Bibles anytime soon, let’s learn from it here…
The Bible Speaks
God speaks to us about sexual immorality. In the Old Testament when Jews were under the Mosaic Law, some sins were punished by death and others were forgiven through a ritual sacrifice, cleansing, or an offering on the temple altar. In the New Testament, sexual immorality is also discussed as a sin along with many other sins committed by heterosexuals every day. As Christians, we should look to Jesus as our role model to guide us through this dilemma.
How would Jesus treat a homosexual? He would not condemn them. He would love them.
How would Jesus treat a homosexual?
Similar to how he treated every other person. He would certainly not endorse their behavior. But he would not condemn them. He would love them and reach out to them. And if they accepted Him as their savior, he would forgive them and tell them to go, and sin no more.
So, what more should we do than what Jesus would do himself? I say, let’s not endorse their behavior and let’s NOT condemn them. Instead, let’s reach out to them and seek to truly love them like Jesus Christ. Let’s help them to see that Jesus came not only to save us, but also to save them.
Is “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” Real?
And let’s face it, the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” isn’t perceived as very real or genuine. We must work very hard to truly LOVE the person, in spite of their sins…just as Jesus loves us who believe in Him in spite of OUR sins. This attitude must not just be a catchy phrase we put on a t-shirt. It MUST be real and heartfelt. WE must transform ourselves into the lovers of people Jesus Christ has called us to be.