This statement “love the sinner, hate the sin” – or some version of it shows up in my world every couple of days or so. Around the blogosphere and in homes, pubs and churches I’ve overheard more than a few toxic conversations between good people that sprout from this rancid soil.
Bless your hearts, I know y’all mean to be sweet. I get it that for many this is meant as a loving statement as you begin to wrestle with the complexities of being Christian and loving your LGBT neighbor. Heck for some this is truly a radical pronouncement, really I do get it – but…
By naming homosexuals alongside the depths of depravity included in this list you are simply wrong. My sins are many; failing to be fully present to my family, treating myself unkindly, abusing my privilege in the world by consuming beyond my fair share, walking past hurting and hungry people as I rush along with a grocery cart spilling over, failing to fulfill commitments to my church and community, holding onto hurts so that they turn fetid with resentment – just to name a few. The list of “sinners” surrounding homosexuals are labels based on behaviors that rob both the perpetrator and the victims of their humanity, of life. God’s gift of my sexuality is not equivalent to murder, abuse, life-depleting addiction, freedom-annihilating terrorism or the soul-stealing sexual slavery of prostitution.
Bless your heart, I know you think you are doing a good, Christian thing when you share this cute little picture but let me be exceptionally clear. Being gay (nor living into our createdness) is NOT equivalent to that which robs others of their humanity. Queerness is one of the many, complex gifts from God that gives me life and in fact enables me to share God’s love with others in a way that honors the divine spark that makes each of us a living, beautiful and broken image of our Creator.