Thou Shalt Not Hate

Since writing my recent post about gay sex being sinful, I’ve had lots of responses on Google+ and this has helped me to get a better understanding of one type of reaction I sometimes get when I mention this issue.

There are people out there who hate gay people and who go around beating people up for being gay. (So far, not news to me. I’ve known enough gay people to be well aware of this stuff. I had friends back in Tel Aviv who spoke of the gay-bashers who would go deliberately looking for victims in the gay cruising areas and beat them up. So this is stuff I’ve known about for the whole of my adult life.)

From what I hear, it sounds like some of these gay-bashers in America use the concept of gay sex being sinful as an excuse for their behaviour. This is the bit that was news to me. I don’t think the thugs in Tel Aviv use that rationale. (If you can use the word “rationale” in the context of such irrational behaviour.)

Also, sadly no longer news to me but it still horrifies me whenever I hear about it and I hope I’ll always remain horrified by it: the Westboro Baptist Church syndrome – people who go around telling gay people that God hates them. Why? Where on earth do they get this from? They must have some bits in the Bible rubbed out, or do they just skip them? (No, I’m not looking for answers. I don’t think this is a rational thing.)

So when Americans who are aware of this stuff hear me say “I believe gay sex is a sin” they think of those people, they think of the haters. I’m saying the thing that those haters say. And even if they can understand that I don’t hate gay people, they can see me as feeding that hate machine, adding fuel to the fire, giving ammunition to the gay-bashers and the Westboro types.

And obviously if you’ve actually had a friend beaten up by these people, it would take superhuman strength not to react emotionally when you hear this.

So I feel it is my duty to add a kind of p.s. here, to use my virtual megaphone to say:

I don’t condone hate. I don’t believe God does. Jesus told us to love other people as we love ourselves. He told us to love even our enemies!

Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery. He said: let him who is without sin cast the first stone. The people of that time and place at least had the wisdom to recognise that they weren’t without sin, and left without stoning her. How dare you presume to be righteous enough to look down on others? The Bible says we have all sinned. It says if we say we have not sinned we deceive ourselves. But oh, it is so much easier to pick the speck out of other people’s eyes, right?

I could go on… but I think by now you either get the point or you are for some reason incapable of getting it. So I’m going to end with this very simple summary:

God loves everyone, and he expects us to love everyone too. He doesn’t allow us to hate people.

I wish this didn’t need saying.

5 thoughts on “Thou Shalt Not Hate

  1. A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today. As far as I can tell it says it all …

    “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” -Rick Warren

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    • Thank you, Riete, I’ve seen this quote before and I agree with what he says – though it doesn’t address the huge emotional pain which is behind some of this thinking, nor does it acknowledge the huge part people of the Westboro Baptist Church ilk have played in spreading the lie that God hates gay people. If all Christians were living out this principle, showing love and compassion to all, I think there’d be less of this feeling that if you say someone is living in sin then you must hate them. This is why I felt my post was necessary – to speak out against that.

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