This is the first blog in my “All the Words in Red” series where we take a look at what Jesus said and apply that to 21st century problems.
When I was a kid growing up in rural South Carolina, we had a saying, “Thank God for Mississippi.” The reason we said this: even though South Carolina ranked 49th in every metric, from school performance to poverty and teen pregnancies, at least we weren’t last.
Mississippi could always be counted on to do worse.
Well, this week the state did just that. They passed the country’s most anti-gay legislation, entitled the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act.”
The act specifically targets three groups:
- Same sex couples;
- People who have sex outside of marriage; and
- The transgender community.
The law protects the following beliefs:
- Marriage should be the union of a man and a woman;
- Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and
- Gender is an immutable biological trait determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.
The law is the broadest of its kind to date. If you claim one of the beliefs in A, B or C, then you don’t have to provide services to any of the people targeted in 1, 2 or 3.
Here’s the situation in Mississippi. You come into my bakery and tell me you want a wedding cake. I don’t care if you’re an alcoholic and beat up your fiancé on a daily basis. I don’t care if you’re a serial-killer-rapist-child-molester. What other sins you might have committed? I don’t care. I’ll still bake a cake for your wedding. But if you happen to love someone of the same gender, then you are an abomination as a person, and I don’t want to have anything to do with you.
I’m not sure how we came to the point where our sexuality became our defining characteristic.
When did being gay become a super sin?
Could someone show me a passage in the Bible where Jesus said to discriminate against people who you think are sinners? I recall that Jesus said just the opposite:
In Luke, Chapter 6, Jesus preaches about how Christians are to treat people. He has two main messages: 1. Love your Enemies; 2. Don’t judge.
Simple message. Christians should not judge people because of their sexual orientation. You might disagree with how someone is living his/her life, but that doesn’t give you the right to judge. And according to Christ, you’re not supposed to treat those people differently. In fact, you’re supposed to go above and beyond and treat them even better! That’s right. Treat someone better because they’re gay. That’s showing the true love of Christ.
I’m not just frustrated with the behavior of my fellow Christians, but I have to call out people in the LGBT community as well. We need to ratchet down the invective speech. Just because someone doesn’t believe that it’s ok to be gay, they’re not necessarily bigots and haters. I’m pretty sure my own mother isn’t 100% ok with my being gay because of her faith, but as a Southern lady, she treats me and my husband with respect and love.
We need to stop polarizing every issue so that everyone has to pick one side or the other. I disagree with the expression “there are two sides to every issue.” There are a thousand sides to every issue. Let’s stop building walls and start sharing common ground.