It May Cost You Friends

Doing the right thing may cost people friends. That has always been the case. Particularly in view of my post earlier today, expressing the wish that more Christians would stand up for the marginalized and practice courageously inclusive love, instead of standing against science or engaging in other such distractions, I felt the need to comment on the image that I’ve seen a few times on Facebook, in which people have said that it may cost them friends, but they stand for marriage equality. And so I made this in response:

It sometimes costs people friends to side with the marginalized. When that happens, it can be saddening. But to stand up for the rights of others to be treated fairly – rather than to try to utilize the power of the state, or bullying, or anything else to impose your views on others by direct or indirect force – is to be closer to the example of Jesus than many in our time who claim to represent him.

  • orpagan

    Shamelessly stealing this for Facebook posting…. (:-)…

  • http://www.facebook.com/christina.presley Christina Ann Presley

    I was assaulted on my face book for the equal sign picture. I was unfortunately ignorant to how volatile some of my Christians can be. I was called a blasphemer and told I was a bad pastors wife.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I’m so sorry to hear that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/optimistic.chad Optimistic Chad

        but she is a “bad pastor’s” wife.

    • http://www.facebook.com/vicki.dalton.908 Vicki Vinson Dalton

      That’s so unfortunate…

  • http://profiles.google.com/nonesuch42 Jessica Harmon

    I get this. Really. I post stuff publicly on the internet in other places, but facebook is different for some reason. Maybe it’s because there are a bunch of grownups there who still think I’m a kid (I sometimes think that too). But my reason for not changing my profile/cover photos is that I don’t want people to close off communication. I was defriended by a few during election season, and I don’t really care about not seeing pictures of my second cousins anymore, but I do care about whether the channels are open for dialogue, or at the very least turn-taking monologues. I read what my conservative facebook friends post so that I better understand what/how they think. I hope they read what I post. Sometimes we comment. Usually it’s civil. No one changes opinions, but I think we understand each other better. I don’t want to do something that would provoke people into cutting off these lines of communication.

  • angievandemerwe

    It has become very perplexing to call myself “Christian”, because so many think that what they view “Christian” to mean “should” be mine. Because I don’t particularly care for mythologizing history that has posed and been used in my life as Reality, I have come to almost hate both “myth makers” and “literalists”. Both are strikingly similar and deceptive, when they claim particularization of “faith”. Therefore, if I were a “Christian” I would almost “hate” my “brother” and the attempt at the Church to limit, define, and “frame my life”….. I don’t like universals applied to particularities, as they can be manipulative.

    As to “marriage equality”, why is it anyone’s business how people express their commitment/love? Why would anyone deny a couple ready to make vows to one another equality in the eyes of the law? It has served as an educational experience for me to follow this issue.

    I have seen a post on FB about how you don’t have to agree with a lifestyle to love someone or to compromise your convictions. While this can be true, it cannot be practically applied by Christians, because those that have such convictions are convinced that God hates homosexuality. Yet, they will claim that “God loves the sinner, but hates the sin”! Fine, I just think they fool themselves, as they really want to convert another’s opinion about what they define to be “sin”. Sin language is hyperventilating over the natural human condition. Isn’t it best to order the natural order like we have under our Constitution?

    One person posted on her FB Wall, that she didn’t find that posts on controversial subjects would do anything to change her or anyone else’s mind about these issues.and she made a comment in her comment section that anyone who posted anything that would cause a debate or question would be deleted. Close mindedness is the characteristic of most Christians, They have to be, because they have the “answers and the truth” about life and how it is to be lived. It seems to be unrealistic as most all Christians have the same problems as anyone else in the world, whether they believe they have the answer or not.

    What Christianity really is is a belief system that is affirmed and upheld within ‘the community of faith”. And Christians associate in Churches as a support system. Since humans are social beings, Churches grow. Yet, any social organization could meet similar needs in people.

    Christendom is the whole history of the Church and how the Church has made an impact on the world. Christendom is the institutionalization of the Church which has had much influence in America.

  • http://www.facebook.com/victorcalvin.hoe Victor Calvin Hoe

    I have been reading about how the chinese were treated from the 1850′s to 1960′s in USA and Canada. They decided that our culture is ‘strange and un american’ They did their best to die-enfranchise us; not knowing anything about us then as a exploited workforce anbd as an object of scorn. At least LGBT speak the same english and are not ostrised until they are outed.
    I believe strong for the rights of others that is ‘understood’ is ours/their’s.

  • Johnny English

    Worth remembering, that the majority of Christians don’t live in America! Me included. It is fascinating to watch American Christians arguing on this and other social mediums about the finer points of ‘sin’ with a conviction that the rest of the world is actually interested! I don’t think Jesus cares much for fruitless arguments, that provide no real momentum to real justice. Equal rights are a socio-political issue that in the west, we are obsessed with. James, I agree with you that as Christians, we should be on the side of the marginalised, the poor, the oppressed, the prisoner, the unloved, the unlovely, et al. As Christians, we should expect to be ‘unfriended’ for standing up to the baying mob crying out for the stoning of the sinner. It would be a whole lot more impressive, if the argument was about who was going to be first to put his hand in his pocket to save a muslim child from starvation. Now that’s something the rest of the world would be impressed with!

  • Eric

    If you lose someone over this, you’re not losing a friend, you’re relieving yourself of a problem.


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