During these Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) hearings before the Supreme Court I keep hearing how much Christians hate gay people. This was news to me since I am a Christian and I don’t hate gay people.
I also go to church with over 1000 other Christians, and if any of them hate gay people, they sure haven’t told me.
Before moving to South Carolina I worked at or attended several churches in Texas; prior to that I spent a decade going to church in Florida. Guess what? No one hated gay people.
In fact, I don’t know any Christians who hate anybody. The very uniform of a believer is his love, and if a person does not show consistent love, then he is not actually a believer.
Are there non-believers who hate gay people and claim to be Christian? Of course. But that doesn’t represent Jesus or His church. Equating hateful sign-wavers with Christianity is like equating a kindergarten baseball team to the New York Yankees. They may claim to be playing the same sport, but everyone understands the difference.
In fact, the very way to tell a Christian from a non-Christian is on this issue: do they show love? Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another (John 13:35).” We don’t take people at their word, but by their actions.
The traditional Christian view is that homosexuality is wrong (which is biblical), but Christians are quick to remind that we “hate the sin but love the sinner.” This is not homophobia or “picking and choosing,” as I often hear, because Christians are also opposed to adultery, fornication, strip clubs, pornography, and sensual media, to name a few. When I preach a true love waits message to our teenagers, am I being heterophobic?
The people shouting the “Christians hate gays” lines are the ones picking and choosing. Did you know that Islam is opposed to homosexuality? Why is no one criticizing them? Buddha was opposed to homosexuality, so are Buddhists homophobic? The fact that Christianity is bearing the brunt proves that this is the oldest trick in the book: vilifying your opponent to gain sympathy support.
Once a person is branded as being a hateful bigot or a homophobe then the debate is over. People no longer focus on the objective arguments, and their sympathy is thrown in the corner of the victim of hate.
So please let me be a calm voice for Christianity and say that, no, we do not hate gays, or anyone else.