Helping People Understand

Helping People Understand

This is a great article that attempts to help people — Christians — understand how their words are heard and felt by the gay community.  Thoughts?

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Well since you asked, I’ll tell you: I think Christianity is irrational. I think that it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization. There’s never been a country ever in history that has embraced Christianity and survived. If history is any guide, the same thing’s going to happen to us as happened to the Roman empire, the Papal States, Byzantium, and the Holy Roman Empire, just to name a few.  

But I’m not judging anyone. I’m speaking as a man who, as a human being, believe that all of us are flawed. I could stand at the top of the list and say that I need an overhaul of the heart more than anyone.

But I believe that freedom of speech and freedom of religion go hand-in-hand in America. I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been suppressed in Western civilization for 2,000 years‚ without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach “love” that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square.

I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect. I’ve been encouraged by the support of many friends (including Christian friends, incidentally).

The few facts – the very few facts – briefly mentioned above are both literally correct and easily rebuttable. Many of the opinions derived from those facts are both supportable and refutable. But the overarching conclusion is as ridiculous as it is commonplace among those who make the very same arguments with only a few judicious substitutions here and there.

Of course, I’m speaking of Kirk Cameron’s interview with Piers Morgan last week, which is very similar to views expressed by many others (including, in this example, by Pat Robertson last summer). I find it incredible that people like Cameron can say things like this and then act surprised when others are deeply offended.

Because here’s the thing: either the above statement is rightly offensive to self-respecting Christians or it isn’t. I’m willing to let Christians make the call on that, but if Christians agree that those sentiments are offensive and worth condemning, then those who are a part of the subset of Christians who agree with Cameron need to explain why Cameron’s statements aren’t offensive with at least a passing nod toward consistency.

They can’t of course, although I’m sure many will try. And if they do, I would recommend remaining firm, but also (most importantly) patient, because

…many of us know how heart-wrenching it is to watch those affected by Christianity, especially when they are our loved ones, as they struggle with their unwanted cognitive dissonance. Most Christian-identified people are so wrapped up in their Christian identity that it’s important for you to not allow that to be the central focus of your conversation or relationship with them.

Because with patience and kindness, you can become an instrument of healing and change. Let them know through your friendship that you see beyond their Christian identity; just as there is more to you than your struggles, attractions, and feelings. There are thousandstens of thousands, even perhaps even hundreds of thousands of former Christians who have found freedom after having been trapped in the Christian lifestyle. I’ve never met an ex-Black, but I know a lot of ex-Christians. People who are personally affected by these issues are free to determine their own identity, and can choose to pursue freedom and change, as evidenced by the many people who have successfully done so.

You see? There’s nothing offensive or patronizing at all in any of that, is there?

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