I’m really tired of writing about this stuff, I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but because I don’t want to cut tons of people out of my life I keep seeing things pop up on Facebook that frustrate me. Here then, is my stock response that I think I will just turn into copypasta or linkspam. I’m tired of debating people but I feel like I’m derelict in my duty to let things go unchallenged because I’m not the only one reading those words. So here is my list of things that I wish that straight Christians of the unaccepting variety would get through their heads.
- Stop telling us to read Wesley Hill’s Washed and Waiting. I’m sure that Wesley Hill is a lovely person, and I’m glad that reading his book made it so that you were finally capable of seeing gay people as human beings and not subhuman garbage, but Wesley Hill doesn’t say anything that every queer person hasn’t heard and considered a million times already. Reading his book is not going to change the minds of anyone who doesn’t already agree with him. Further, the only emotion I can feel towards Wesley Hill is pity. I feel sorry for the guy that he hates himself so much that the only way that he can find a way to imagine that God loves him is by imagining the things he hates about himself to be given to him by God as a way to show the church how to live through brokenness. That’s a horribly depressing way to live. Actually, that’s an understatement, it’s a soul-suckingly, crushingly depressing way to live and one I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. And while we’re at it, if you’re going to recommend reading Wesley Hill, at least have the decency to read the books that we suggest to you.
- Enough with the passive-aggressive Facebook posts. If you don’t have the courage/spine/balls/guts to say what you think directly to the queer people in your life, cut it out with the passive-aggressive posts and photos about how gay people are destroying western civilization/harming children/destroying marriage/broken/[any other negative thing about LGBT people you may post]. If this is really what you think about me and you consider yourself to be my friend, then you know what? Say it to me. Don’t go posting things that your other little church friends “like” and feel good about yourself having done something for righteousness and the kingdom when you’re too much of a coward to say it to an actual LGBT person. You know we see it, you know it’s hurtful to us (and if you don’t know it’s hurtful, it’s time to work on developing empathy), but you’re too chicken to do anything other than click, “share."
- Think for a second about how you’re making our families feel. Every queer person has family, and their family didn’t ask to have a queer kid any more than that kid asked to be queer, and when you run your mouth in real life or on the Internet about how it’s their terrible childhoods that turn people gay, or when you post anti-gay political stuff, you’re hurting them too.
- If you really, truly believe that attraction to the same sex is a choice, and not because you’re unthinkingly repeating something you’ve been told, congratulations, you’re probably bi. I’m serious here. If you "chose” to be straight or if you can consider situations where you could wake up and “choose” to be attracted to the same sex, then you’re not 100% straight. Straight people don’t choose their attractions to the opposite sex any more than gay people choose their attractions to the same sex. If you can choose, then I hate to break it to you but you’re not straight. You may be mostly straight, but if you have the capacity to be attracted to the same sex and have chosen to ignore that and focus on the opposite sex, you’re not completely straight. That doesn’t mean you need to bust out the rainbow flags and go marching in parades, it doesn’t mean you need to go start hooking up with people of the same sex, heck, it doesn’t mean you need to do anything different than you’re doing now (other than that you need to be a decent, non-bigoted human being). What it does mean is that you need to understand that what you’ve been doing is projecting your own capacity to choose onto other people.
- Do not use me as your “gay friend” to defend your bigotry. Don’t ever pull the, “it’s okay that I don’t want gays to marry/adopt/be protected from workplace discrimination, I have a gay friend,” card. That’s not okay. I may consider you a friend, but I most assuredly do not approve of your beliefs and I do not approve of you using me to excuse those beliefs. In fact, if you use the “I have a gay friend” card to excuse your efforts to deny people like me rights or to excuse your bigoted language, then you aren’t my friend. Friends don’t use their friends like that.
- The Bible isn’t so cut and dried as you’re making it out to be. Christians can’t even agree on whether drinking alcohol is moral, much less any number of other things like divorce, but you pretend that homosexuality is the one and only issue that is non-debatable. That’s bunk.
- Yes, gay people can be Christians. Stop with the false dichotomy. The only divide is on the side of Christians who drive gay people out of the church and tell parents to reject their children.
And with that, I’m going to go live my life. If you’re really interested in understanding, I’ve got plenty of books and resources I can recommend. Also, PFLAG is good, if you really want to understand.