Monday, December 12, 2011

When the Churches Justify Their Hatred in the Name of God

Exactly one month today, I had written a post entitled, “The Messy Christian”. In short, it basically summed up my dislike for the people in the church who were so quick to judge, yet failed to look at the speck in their own eye. We’re there to pray to God, not to play God. Like I said in that post, I had grew apart from the church for a very long time and developed a much stronger relationship with God, however I was finding that lately, I feel more of a pull to go back. Each time I prepared to go, something made me think, “I can’t go back there.” I can definitely sit and ‘try’ to focus on what the speaker is saying, but what if the speaker is tearing down those who are homosexual? The last time I went to church, they had a service dedicated to gays and lesbians. In my head, I thought this was going to be a positive thing. ...It wasn’t. They basically tore us down. As the female minister described a scenario of sorts, I began to question my own self-worth. She said, “Remember when you were a child and came home from school smelling mom cooking something in the kitchen? Someone was home to greet you and let you know that you were loved. Every evening was the same thing, you knew for sure something was going to smell really good when you walked inside, and that your mother or father would always greet you, warm you up and serve you dinner. Picture heaven... You’d expect to be greeted and loved the same way, but because you’re a homosexual, the moment you walk into ‘heaven’s house’, you immediately smell the delicious aromas of food only to find a huge pot of soup simmering on the stove. No one’s there. Everyone has left you behind. This is what happens when you choose to be gay or lesbian. You'll be left behind.” --I’ll never forget that story.

Here’s what really gets me now that I think about it: there were adolescents and young adults sitting in the church listening to her intently. It seemed inappropriate because all I conjure up in my mind was that this woman who was ministering other young Christians was spreading “hate”, although she was trying to “save” them. But think about where the intolerance of homosexuality comes from. Think about who is teaching the intolerance. The church. They still teach this kind of stuff to children and people wonder why kids are so mean to their classmates. Maybe bullying can also stem from other areas of their life - but to think that churches in our own neighborhood are teaching about intolerance of this “abomination” seems to be a bit hateful to me. You don’t know what that child is going to do once they walk out of church with the imbedded thought that all homosexuals are going to hell. So, if homosexuals are “hell bound”, then it’s a free for all to bully them, some would think. It makes perfect sense. If adults are condoning the intolerance of homosexuals, then it’s “okay” to be mean to them or “rebuke” them as they would the devil. Years ago, interracial couples were not allowed to marry, nor were black couples for that matter. I read this from an article online that says, “In June 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. At the October Term, 1958, of the Circuit Court of Caroline County, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia's ban on interracial marriages. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that: 'Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.'"

Right there you can see how people placed God into the equation of intolerance. When people use God in order to hate, it sends a really strong message - a message stating how ignorant people of religion can be. Their religion isn’t of love and mercy - it’s a self-fulfilling prejudice that’s tolerated all in the name of whatever God they pray to, because it’s certainly not the same God I know. Christians of different sectors believe in many various things and feel that ‘this is okay’ or ‘this is wrong’ - some agree, some don’t at all. If we blame our prejudices on God, then what does that say about ourselves? Where did Jesus ever state that homosexuality was a sin - homosexuality in terms of two loving couples wanting to lovingly spend their lives together? People mix up promiscuity scriptures that reference to sexual natures but never a relationship or marital form. Where in the bible does “God” state that marrying someone of another race is a sin? It amazes me that people assume this is God’s judgment simply by the different countries we live in? If one lives over in Egypt, then it is sinful to marry someone in the United States? And my last question to all of those unhappy judgmental Christians is: why are you so focused on everybody else’s relationship and marriages when the only focus should be loving God and treating people as you would yourself? FYI: it’s the biggest commandment in the Bible.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com