Thursday, June 21, 2018

Love the sinner

TW for self-harm and homophobia.

You know what I keep seeing that makes me wish I liked to punch people?

There's this pervasive tendency for bigots to state their "position" on homosexuality and immediately follow it with excuses for it. These excuses often include the following:

  • "It's just my opinion."
  • "The Bible is very clear about this."
  • "It doesn't mean I don't love the person; I just don't agree with their lifestyle."
  • "It doesn't mean I don't respect the person; I just don't agree with their lifestyle."
  • "The Gay Agenda is destroying traditional families."
  • "The PC Police want me to see Gay Stuff all the time and I'm tired of their agenda."
  • "I'm not comfortable with it."
  • "I'm not gay; I don't want to be around gay people because they might hit on me."
  • "Homosexuality should be hidden away where I won't have to see it."
  • "It's not right that I'll have to explain this to my children."
  • "The Gays want men to pee in public bathrooms next to my daughter."
  • "I love the sinner, hate the sin."
Let's just first address the elephant in the room: Bigotry against gay people isn't Biblical. At all. Some interpretations of a couple Bible lines in some versions can come out like "men shouldn't lie with other men the way they do with women," but a) they're in parts of the Bible amidst multiple verses that the same people have no problem with now (you know you've never seen these anti-gay people protesting outside clothing stores that sell blended fabrics, all-you-can-eat restaurants that encourage the sin of gluttony, seafood places that serve shellfish, or businesses that are open on Sundays); and b) there's not a word about lesbians in there, and yet these folks have chosen to extend the concept to applying to women. This is their interpretation. This is their cultural message. It is not Biblical. It is what their modern church tells them about how a modern person should regard these relationships, despite that they are not taking public stances against (and voting against) situations their religion has just as much of a problem with. Many even use contraception and have sex in prohibited ways, but what's important to them is that they're straight. They can break the rules because the modern churches generally don't nose into heterosexual couples' private lives to make sure they're not committing sodomy.

In short, even if you're religious, being a bigot is not required by your God. The current culture in many churches is violently anti-gay, but they will be happy to tell you how much they love these sinners and how much they want them to turn away from sin.

You know, refusing to acknowledge that the "sin" of being gay is not an action and the hatred of said sin is hatred of an aspect of their supposed loved ones' identity.

Whenever I see people sanctimoniously jumping onto "it doesn't mean I don't LOVE the person! I still want the best for them! I still care for them! I'm not going to hurt them!" I always think "YEAH THAT'S NOT WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT RIGHT NOW, ASSHOLE."

I didn't ask you if you loved them. I didn't ask you if you were going to commit a hate crime. I asked you to accept that your supposed opinions about this are violence.

Sounds kind of dramatic, maybe. I guess it would, though, if to you, queer people are a concept that you don't really interact with--an idea that you treat as theoretical. You know, instead of breathing people who know they're different and who hear you hating their "sin" and converting it to the intense fundamental rejection it is.

If you "don't agree with my lifestyle" or "hate the sin" of my identity or love me "despite" some aspect of who I am, I know you don't understand what respect is, that you don't actually comprehend how much damage you're doing (or don't care!), and that you just plain aren't listening. It is deeply violent to reduce someone's attraction experiences to "a lifestyle" that you perceive them to be choosing. Your rejection can cause self-harm and suicide. Your rejection can contribute to people internalizing what you say and attaching it to WHO THEY ARE, not some simple behavior they can just stop doing. You don't actually know what love is if your reaction to "I'm gay" is "It would be better if you weren't, but I'll MAKE THIS ABOUT ME by claiming I'm godly enough to love you anyway."

Please don't talk about yourself here. YOUR POSITION on whether it's okay that someone's gay isn't important. Nobody needs to know how you feel about the sex acts you imagine they have or how uncomfortable you are with the idea that one of Them might hit on you. Nobody wants your interpretation of whether God approves of someone else's feelings. And if you really think you can say these things and still be fully supportive and loving toward someone who trusted you, all I can say is you probably need to do some soul searching to figure out how to love someone without coupling it with violence and intense rejection. If you are not queer you don't know anything about what it's like to be on the receiving end of that. If it isn't you you don't get to say it doesn't really hurt them or contribute to a poisonous master narrative that controls and limits their lives. 

If you love the supposed sinners in your life, stop finding opportunities to vocally judge them, stop ignoring the catastrophic damage you're doing, and stop being a giant hypocrite.

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