By Craig Hardegree | 

Love the sinner; hate the sin. Perfect, right? An open-minded forward-thinking compassionate balance…it gives evangelicals a loophole to be compassionate and loving like Jesus taught, while reserving their God-given right and Bible-directed obligation to declare as abhorrently-filthy and aberrantly-unnatural, the very essence of who a person is.

“I love you, brother, but I hate who you are.”

“I love you, brother, but I would be as guilty as you if I didn’t warn you that the Bible says this is a detestable sin against God and if you don’t change who you are and get forgiveness, you will eternally burn in a soup of fire. But remember, I love you.”

People who fit neatly into all the contrived social boxes; people who naturally abide by the norms and expectations of society; people whose social and religious and political views line up with the majority of their community…all have a tendency to gloss-over nuanced offenses and subtle slights as being “no big deal.” Often they don’t even recognize the slight or offense.

But this sentiment and these statements are deeply offensive and profoundly damaging to a person’s soul and psyche. They stab hearts and shred feelings.

If you lack empathy, you won’t get this unless you are gay. But if you have to be gay to understand it, then you’re selfish and self-centered. And hard-hearted.

I don’t personally have a horse in this race. I’m not harping on this for my own personal self; I’m not on a personal quest seeking absolution or permission or acceptance; I’m not gay. I’m simply trying to get decent good-hearted evangelicals to understand the damage you are causing and the risks you are creating.

The complaint you lodge most often, is that I paint with too broad of a brush. “We’re not all like that,” you say. Well if you’re truly not, here’s what you can do to prove it:

Awake from your complicit silence. Speak out for gay people and against those who talk so ugly about gay people. Denounce evangelical preachers who say the Bible calls for the death penalty for homosexuality, even if they add a disclaimer saying they don’t personally support such.

And stop calling it a “sin.”

That’s patently ridiculous.

The same Levitical law that says man shall not lie with man, tells you to keep the Sabbath; yet, you weekly shake your fist in the face of Almighty God and openly defy his Word and wipe your filthy feet all over His Holy Sabbath. The same law says you are not to sow mingled seeds; yet, you spend hours each week maintaining a lush green lawn sown with rye and fescue and tall Kentucky bluegrass. The same law says you are to treat strangers and sojourners in your land exactly as you treat your citizens; yet, you clamor for a wall to the south and groan about giving basic necessities to sojourners and don’t give a rip if orphans drown adrift on the Aegean Sea because you blocked their safe harbor into God’s country.

And the same chapter of Leviticus that calls for the death penalty for homosexuality, also calls for the death penalty for adultery; yet, you create “ministerial restoration programs” to put only-sorry-they-got-caught adulterous preachers back into the pulpits months after they used their position as a “man of God” to seduce women whose defenses were down because they trusted God.

Either Leviticus applies in full, or it doesn’t apply at all.

Either start calling yourselves filthy putrid-before-God sinners who weekly desecrate the Sabbath or stop calling homosexuality a filthy aberration of nature.

Either obey Leviticus and treat God’s undocumented children as equal-to-citizens; or don’t obey Leviticus and don’t treat God’s gay children as sinners.

Either start preaching that all preachers who have ever engaged in adultery are worthy of death according to the Bible, or stop saying homosexuals are worthy of death according to the Bible, even if you add a disclaimer.

And quit saying, “I don’t say all of that; I merely say it’s a sin.”

You don’t have to say it. It’s well ingrained into society. When you call it a “sin,” you’re saying all of this.

When you call it a “sin,” you’re implicitly inviting deranged people to kill gay people.

If you complain about my broad brush, start proving my words don’t apply to you; if you claim your church preaches love for gay people, start putting into action all these loving sermons you’ve heard. If you say you are grieving over the deaths of gay people, start publicly showing solidarity, just as you did for victims in San Bernardino and Paris and Benghazi — it’s not too late; Benghazi was four years ago and you still publicly grieve and mourn their deaths.

End-Post-Craig-Hardegree

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