As a gay rights activist and Christian, it was really hard to watch the recent video of Dan Savage (founder of the pro-gay It Gets Better Project) speak to an auditorium of high schoolers who started walking out when he said some harsh things about the Bible. In fact, watching this video made me feel extremely anxious.
What I see in this video, particularly at 2:45, is a man who has been deeply wounded ("on the receiving end of beatings" were his exact words) by people who claim to follow the same religion that I do. Watch:
It seems to me that the real "pansy ass" in this situation is a media that is obsessed with manufacturing a Gay Vs. Christian "controversy." The adults play out this inane battle, using our kids as pawns by presenting them with a false choice: you can either be Christian OR you can accept and love LGBTQ folks — but you can't do both.
The Jesus that I — and many of my fellow Christians — follow wouldn't have walked out of that auditorium. He would have embraced Dan Savage and called him "Brother." It seems that neither Dan nor any of those kids have ever been introduced to that kind of Jesus, which is perhaps the saddest part of this whole story. Because that lack of perspective is precisely what keeps us all locked into this vicious circle of fear, hate, and discrimination.
Clearly Savage shouldn't have said "bullshit" in a high-school context or called the kids "pansy asses" no matter how badly he's been hurt himself. However, his resulting public apology was a perfect example of how to ask for grace — a truly Christian concept — which is something that we Christians could learn from.
It's high time that Christians follow Dan's example by publicly apologizing for the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual abuse we have caused our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. It's high time to start telling the truth that Biblical verses used to vilify homosexuality have been taken out of their historical context and simply aren't applicable to the modern-day reality of homosexual relationships. It’s high time the media starts amplifying the voices of moderate and liberal Christians who DO NOT believe that homosexuality is a sin and who welcome, honor, love, support, and respect the LGBTQ community just as they are.
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