How is that not casting stones?

I woke up on Wednesday to several of my Facebook friends vocally celebrating “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” and it made me furious. So, I decided I was going to be as vocal about my condemnation of the actions of these Christians as these Christians seemed to be about the actions (and beings) of LGBT people.

I don’t really want to spend any more time talking about why I don’t like Chick-fil-A Day. If you want to know my opinion, just check out my Twitter feed or Facebook page.

What I do want to talk about is one reaction I’ve gotten over and over and over again from Christians. Let me paraphrase:

“It’s a sin to act on homosexual desires, but just because I’m not afraid to admit that doesn’t mean I hate homosexuals. I sin too. I’m not perfect, so I have grace. However, it’s not loving to let people continue sinning and hurting themselves because we’re too afraid to speak out about their sin.”

Now Christians who said these things, I’m going to be as gentle as I can with you about this. You’ve been taught this stuff your whole life and many of you are afraid to think about it too deeply. You’re afraid your faith might fall apart if you do so you keep repeating the same tired phrases–”I sin too. I’m not perfect. I don’t hate homosexuals but I hate their sin.”

I get it. I was there.

But can you do be a favor, straight Christians? If you really love LGBT people, can you open your mind for a few minutes? Can you look at this from another perspective? Please?

Your faith probably won’t be destroyed. But parts of it that you thought were necessary might fall off, and you might realize that you can see Jesus a lot better without those parts anyway.

Let’s start with this idea that “homosexuality is a sin.” When I first left fundamentalism, it came as a shock for me to realize that this is not a universal belief. Even within Christianity, many people do not believe that it is wrong to love someone of the same gender.

Now, put your Bibles away for a second. I know what they say. But I urge anyone who truly loves LGBT people to ask an LGBT Christian how he/she interprets the Bible. I urge you to listen to them, and even if you continue to believe that homosexuality is a sin, I urge you to think about the fact that some people interpret the Bible differently than you.

And you interpret the Bible differently than some people.

I know people who believe that the Bible was clear that rock music, women praying without a headcovering, and using birth control (even as a married couple) is a grave sin. You can jump in and say, “Well if you’re interpreting the Bible THIS way…” You interpret the Bible differently than someone else, and you do so with the best intentions.

Why you refuse to consider LGBT Christians and allies who do the same thing?

Also, let’s talk about “I sin too.” Remember when Jesus said, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone?” You may be saying to yourself, “I’d never wish to throw stones at an LGBT person!” But when you cast your vote against marriage equality, how are you not doing the exact same thing?

Are you voting to make YOUR “sin” illegal? What if you could be denied marriage to a person you love just because you once had premarital sex with a different person? What if you could be fired from your job because your employer found out that sometimes you masturbate in the privacy of your own home? (note: I don’t believe these things are necessarily wrong, but they seem to be the staple “straight sins,” hence my using them as examples)

Would you vote for a bill that made it illegal to get a divorce? Get drunk? Argue with your siblings? Swear?

Then why vote to keep LGBT people from marrying? Why vote against bills that would keep them from losing their jobs just for being gay?

How is that not casting stones?

Someone, please tell me.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/diana.loveurneighbor Diana Margaret

    “Your faith probably won’t be destroyed. But parts of it that you thought were necessary might fall off, and you might realize that you can see Jesus a lot better without those parts anyway.”

    At theology group last night they were talking about this type of experience, where your faith that you thought was solid goes through a “de-conversion” experience. It was a cool conversation! Though, personally, I needed a bit more conversion in my life. It’s all about balance! :)

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      haha! me too. at this point I’ve deconverted enough. I think it’s time to rebuild.

      • http://www.facebook.com/diana.loveurneighbor Diana Margaret

        Amen to rebuilding! “The Artist’s Way” helped me to rebuild! I’d be happy to walk that road with you, my friend! :) I’ve been wanting to go through her other book, “Walking In This World” with someone for some time. Let me know if you’re interested and we can do it via video chat or something! :)

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

          I’m interested! that sounds fun!

          • http://www.facebook.com/diana.loveurneighbor Diana Margaret

            Awesome! Let’s do it! :)

    • http://davidkflowers.com David Flowers

      De-conversion is huge! BTW, just found your blog, which I reached from http://delemares.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/582/. Good stuff here! The post I’m putting up today on my blog is about my search for “my people,” and I feel like I have found a few of my people today, including here on this site! Thank you!

      Regarding de-conversion, yes, yes! The journey is about dying, and a point comes where we have to die even to our own understandings of God and the faith we grew up with. All of that, too, needs new wineskins, right? So scary, and confusing, and painful! I ache for people who are in that difficult stage 4 place where everything is coming unglued. De-converting is awful, but it’s the critical gateway into knowing a greater, more beautiful God. Totally worth it. Thanks for this site!

  • http://www.lifebeforethebucket.com Adrian W.

    It’s casting stones in every way. It’s refusing to turn the other cheek. It’s repaying evil with evil.

    It’s everything we’re supposedly against, and that makes me sick.

    (I wrote similar words today – some “closing thoughts,” if you will, about the CFA fiasco.)

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    • Fortuna Veritas

      Hell, in many cases it’s not even repaying evil with evil, it’s just visiting evil onto the innocent.

      …and encouraging the stupid, spiteful, vengeful, and wrathful to commit murder, thinking somehow that this is condoned by Jesus. It’s rather a shame that it’s been so vociferously denied so often that no one seems to be able to remember that as a consequence of the hate-machine.

  • http://emphaticasterisk.com Lindsey

    thank you.

  • http://soultwist.wordpress.com soultwist

    Reblogged this on soultwist and commented:
    Amazing and insightful! Thanks for the post!!

  • http://delemares.wordpress.com delemares

    I’ve posted on how I changed my mind about those bible passages about same-sex relations here: http://delemares.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/my-story-2-me-and-the-gay-debate-the-backstory-of-a-blog-3/
    As I’ve got older, I’ve become less and less certain about some things – but more and more certain that God is real and he loves us, ALL of us. My faith hasn’t fallen apart because I’ve revisited tradional interpretations of certain passages of the bible.

  • http://delemares.wordpress.com delemares
  • Karen Shepherd

    I’ve tried to understand this and can certainly see your heart, but I don’t understand how tis particular subect can be interpreted differently; when God says marriage is between a man and a woman and identifies sex oustisde this definition as sin, it doesn’t seem open to interpretation.
    Why I will stand for God’s interpretation of traditional marriage has much to do with my genuine desire to bring others closer to God, not encourage (cause them to stumble) by supporting something tht would encourasge a lifestyle that separated them eternally from God. Would a homosexual act do that? Of course not, but a life spent ignoring God’s clear words, could.
    Even Jesus confronted the woman at the well in kindness, but he did confrotn her and admonished her to change her life and stop sinning.
    From all research homosexuality is not inborn and can be changed. The people who ringed Chick fil-A in, and their employees, were not disrespectful, but were making a statement; God’s word remains the same. This has opened up long-overdue conversations about the elephant in the room. They may make us uncomfortable, but they’re still necessary.
    Marriage is “of this world,” our concern must be eternal.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      Start with this article by Walter Wink and remember that God never actually says that marriage is between a man and a woman. I hope you’re able to see this from another point of view, or at least recognize that MANY people ARE able to see this from another point of view and that your legislating their lives/relationships is not going to bring them closer to God:

      http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1265

  • http://thegiftofthought.blogspot.com Jim Ennis

    In all of the rhetoric over the Chick Fil A event I still see people missing the main issues on both sides. On the religious side it is not a matter of approving or disapproving, it is a matter of truly asking God. I have read numbers of posts which say that God never said this or God said that, but all of these posts seem to have one major presupposition that God no longer speaks. I have had a number of homosexual friends over the years, many of them co-workers and many were some of the most talented people I have ever known. I have also worked with people who had chemical addictions, people who actively engaged in promiscuous sexual activity and on and on. In each case I have been impressed in my quite time with God that my role is not to change them but to introduce them to one who can change them. In reality I don’t think that is possible with a club or a candy cane. I am who I am, and I must first respect them. The simple fact is i base my decisions about what is acceptable and unacceptable for me and others based on a combination of factors including what the Bible says (which I am troubled by the phrase “put your Bibles away for a …”). That reasoning is as sound as telling a doctor to put away his medical books for a second. If we are followers of Christ and believe the Bible to be His-tory then we cannot put it away. What I believe we can do is use it as a guide and then spend very deliberate time with Him one on one and seek His help as we seek to unpack it unchanging truths for our world (the world we actually have an impact in).

    From a more legalistic point of view I have a problem with the whole idea of “your opinion is wrong, mine is right”. I will admit that the “I sin too” phrase has been way overused but in reality marriage from a Biblical sense is a far cry from what we encounter today. The marriage feast of Cana was the open celebration that two people (in this case a man and a woman from all accounts) were starting their life together. It was not an issue of government sanctioning. The rabid opinions on both sides of this issue are so politically charged that people start allowing that energy to feed from any available source, which religion is a tremendous source of energy. Then we use that energy to condemn and hurt instead of start dialogue. In may opinion I would like to see an event where both sides go to a restaurant because they like the food and then sit and talk. Is my opinion right? Well if you ask me it is. Is your opinion right? Well if I ask you it is. Is God right? Always. So why would we condemn a difference of opinion simply to make ourselves feel better, which is the underlying tone of opinions i have read on both sides. The point that festers in me is that many on the side of the homosexual argument (who openly claim to be heterosexual themselves) condemn Dan Cathy for having an opinion and yet want they have one too. I once heart George Jenkins the founder of Publix say that “if two men agree about everything, one of them is not necessary”. Why can’t I have an opinion without someone telling me I am a hate monger while all the time they guilty of the same “sin”. I don’t agree with homosexuality for some very deep religious reasons and for some very practical ones (basic survival of the species depends on heterosexual relationships). That does not mean I hate someone of a different opinion. It does not mean I cannot have an coherent discussion with them about those differences. It means we are different on that issue, but then again Ford and Chevy have banked on us having differences for years.

    I am not preaching. I am saying instead of condemning lets really seek God’s counsel and have real, vibrant discussions without all the rhetoric and Oh yeah for the record lets please bring our Bibles.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      you don’t get to separate your opinions from reality. you don’t give to support a man who is taking away the rights of others in REAL LIFE and pretend that you are just having some intangible difference of opinion. Dan Cathy’s “difference of opinion” is having real effects on real people and you don’t get to pretend otherwise.

      let’s change the laws that are denying people their rights, stop the suicides and hate crimes, stop the job discrimination and end the epidemic of LGBT teens being kicked out of their homes by disapproving parents. Then you can open your Bible and we can differ in our opinions all you want.

      • http://thegiftofthought.blogspot.com Jim Ennis

        Wow! I am obviously a bit older than most bloggers and am a rookie in this arena so I am a bit overwhelmed by your response. As an American, moreover as a human being, I am of the opinion that choice is an unalienable right. You see, if I don’t have the right to choose then you don’t either, and I would die to protect your right to choose.
        As for Dan Cathy, you are obviously in possession of some very important information that I have never been privy to. I have had numerous encounters with the Cathy family and their foundation and I was not aware that he had taken such a hateful stand against the LGBT agenda. What I saw was his “opinion” that he supported the traditional Biblical position of marriage as between man and woman. Would you be so kind as to forward me your detailed information about how he has supposedly bashed homosexuals by saying that he supports a different opinion. What I have seen in the news on several occasions is his character being impeached because of his opinion, an opinion that he chooses to hold and cannot enforce on any other human being. What I do know is that numbers of children have been helped through his philanthropic ventures regardless of race or sexual preference.
        As for parents kicking children out of their homes, again I have never personally experienced this so, though I know it happens, I am not sure how Dan Cathy changing his opinion will stop that. I would say that those people need to have a healthy dialogue with someone as well and maybe the “redneck” side of me feels they should have a healthy butt kicking. Nevertheless, all of these issues are tremendous travesties, which the evangelical church has taken very seriously for years. The overwhelming number of AIDS hospices, teen shelters and civil rights movements have their roots in evangelical Christianity. I personally have worked for years in prisons, drug rehab centers and in years past with and AIDS hospice ran by two very dear Christians who cared for their son for the last two years of his battle with AIDS.
        I guess what I am trying to say is that being passionate is a great thing unless that passion turns to rage. I REALLY hear what you are saying, but do you really mean I have no right to separate my opinions from those of others. Isn’t differences of opinion what formed this great nation. Could it be that somewhere in those differences is a place where real change can start. I have never bashed a LGBT person and i would simply appreciate the same respect for those of a different opinion.

  • http://thegiftofthought.blogspot.com Jim Ennis

    Let me start by saying that I am intrigued by your posts and again that I would shed blood to allow you the right to have your opinion. However, it appears that you may be like some others I have talked to who are mad that Cathy has become successful and has been able to support groups that he chooses to. This anti-capitalism rhetoric is so worn out. I have read the huffington post articles and the others and again it is rhetoric. Please send me the actual information that shows where FCA and the other groups have been involved in hate crimes, not differences of opinion. If you can send me that information I will be glad to support your opinion. What is factual is that you cannot. Why? Quite simply because it does not exist. Now I will agree that a person who is a member of a group will from time to time make stupid statements (ie. the gay marriage makes me want to throw up), but if someone from a particular group acting stupid were grounds for censure then our whole country would be censured. Here is my opinion, and i am proud to say it is mine, let someone from the LGBT arena who is a millionaire donate all the money they want to the causes they find important and in like manner allow Evangelicals to do the same. Slow down for a minute and ask yourself do you really want to censure Dan Cathy, because to stifle his opinions is one step closer to yours being stifled. He is successful, I personally believe because of God’s blessing on his life. He is not a hate monger. The groups he has donated do are not hate mongers though they may have some less than thoughtful members, who appear in both camps. But all of that aside, you are saying that (and i quote) Dan Cathy’s opinions are having real effects on real people. I would say that is so. However, the effects I have experienced are positive. Please send me legitimate first person information about how Dan Cathy has personally had a negative effect. Not Huffington Post articles by ambiguous writers, but real first party testimonies and then lets have a legitimate conversation. I am intrigued by this whole line of thought and hope (genuinely) that if I have an opinion that is not honoring to God then He will change that. Likewise, as a skeptical CHRISTIAN I would hope you also would be willing to entertain the concept of change.Generalities are great, but seldom worth their salt.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon
    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      Also, funny that you call me anti-Capitalist because I choose to show my disregard for Chick-fil-A by refusing to spend my money there.

      I mean, I am anti-Capitalist. I’ll accept that label proudly. But this particular method of activism, the boycott, is free market capitalism at its finest.

  • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

    Aaand, questioning my Christianity gets you blocked!

  • http://www.facebook.com/diana.loveurneighbor Diana Margaret

    I support that decision whole-heartedly! I’ve been reading this whole back and forth thing and it’s been hurting my heart to read his (I’m just assuming it’s a white, upper class, male) posts.


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