Christianity and Discrimination

Christianity and Discrimination August 20, 2010

I love what the Catholic Church teaches on Sexuality, I have never found any teaching so compassionate and yet true to what I have found in the bible as well as Church History and the way human bodies have been fashioned. And yet, I know that the mentality of hate exists within the Catholic Church as well as the Protestant Church.

It frustrates me that despite the incredible teachings on paper there is still so much discrimination against fellow humans. Christians accuse homosexuals of turning a sin into an identity, but we do the very same thing when we mistreat them based on that sin. How come practically every other sin is “between you and God” but as soon as it is found out a person is gay their salvation is questioned? I want to say I believe in a bigger God than that, but to tell the truth I struggle to believe in God at all when I see the stuff that is said and done against fellow humans in His name.

Why do many Christians spend so much effort trying to scrape specks from other people’s eyes instead of focusing on their own relationship with God? How does someone live fully and serve God and others? When people reject others based on their struggles (real or perceived) they are saying that they are somehow better sinners. Or maybe they are saying that their sins are more private, and homosexuality is more visible, so therefore they are not welcome, accepted or affirmed. We even deny them compassion, instead we offer pity and patronizing “solutions” and self-righteousness. Love the Sinner hate the sin, should really be “Love the Sinner, avoid sin in YOUR OWN life”

The Catholic Church teaches:

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

Respect. Compassion. Sensitivity. What does that mean? And why is respect or compassion any different when that person is gay? The anti-gay movement is quick to label any and all support of human rights for homosexuals as “The Gay Agenda”. Supposedly “The Gay Agenda” is all about forcing everyone to see homosexuality as a good thing and forcing pastors to perform gay marriage ceremonies. “The Gay Agenda” is a lie. People with same-sex attraction are fighting to be able to have the same human rights as any of us, and the Church calls us to respect them and have compassion. Christians should not protest so loudly that homosexuality is not “normal”, homosexuality is human. We are all human, as Christians we just happen to follow a God who we believe created us with a bigger picture in mind.

Respect. Compassion. Sensitivity. When Matt Shepherd was murdered, it certainly wasn’t handled with sensitivity by the Baptist Preacher who showed up at the funeral with protesters bearing signs that said ” God hates fags” and “Matt Shepherd rots in Hell“. And although that preacher may be an extreme version of “Christianity”, I often heard Christians say things like “well, it’s bad that they killed him, but really he was asking for it by being gay”. This sounds an awful lot like the extremist Muslim regimes who would give a woman a beating for being found in a short skirt. Obviously by dressing a way that could be seen as revealing means that she was “asking” for sexual attention.

Respect. Compassion. Sensitivity. Are we being respectful when only 13 out of 50 states in the US have discrimination laws for sexual orientation and gender identity? Can you believe that in 37 states, employers can fire a transgender employee for NO OTHER REASON than they are transgender and the employer doesn’t like it. Regardless of lifestyle or job performance they can be fired for dressing in a manner different than the average. That is wrong.

In 29 states employers can fire a gay employee for NO OTHER REASON than they are gay and they don’t like it. Again, regardless of lifestyle or job performance, they can be fired for their sexual orientation. That is wrong.

Countless Government employees sleep around with co-workers and stay employed. A person with a great service record comes out as transgender, and gets fired. FOR NO OTHER REASON.

Christians can remain true to their religious beliefs without turning to political discrimination. Why are Christians not at the forefront of ending workplace discrimination through measures like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act?

Why are legal rights and religious beliefs so intermingled in our minds? We don’t have laws making adultery criminally prosecutable even though it is morally wrong. Divorce is legal in every country now, and the Catholic Church does not recognize it. The legal/civil right to be married has nothing to do with the Church. Almost every time the Church gets involved in politics, it goes badly. Society needs to grant legal rights with equality for all persons regardless of religious beliefs or affiliation. History has shown that when a religious community governs nation it creates automatic discrimination against all persons who do not agree with that community’s standards.

Respect, compassion, and sensitivity calls for Christians to support non-discriminatory policies towards homosexuals. Religion is a free choice. If either heterosexual persons or homosexual persons freely embrace the church, they do give the church a voice in their lives. But a country is not the church. When Christians campaign to make religious beliefs state policy they make it harder for anyone outside of their beliefs to give Christianity a sincere hearing. It cripples the church’s ability to embrace all sinners in need of grace including those who are already in the pews.

For further reading:

A different kind of demonstration at Gay pride

Emerging Mummy: 4 reasons why I am not against Gay Marriage

Elizabeth Esther: Why I regret voting yes on prop 8

Faith and Family: How to love a Homosexual

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