Silent No More: Denouncing “Christian” Voices Of Hate

When I read that President Museveni had signed the hateful anti-LGBTQ law in Uganda, the first words that came to mind were from the opening song in "Les Misérables." It's called "Work Song." Prisoners in a work camp are expressing their hope and their despair. One sings, "I've done no wrong, sweet Jesus hear my prayer." Another prisoner responds, "Look down, look down, sweet Jesus doesn't care."

LGBTQ people in Uganda could not be blamed for thinking that Jesus doesn't care. 

LGBTQ people in Georgia, Arizona and several other states could not be blamed for thinking that Jesus doesn't care. Women in United States could not be blamed for thinking that Jesus doesn't care.

For in the name of religion, and more specifically in the name of Christianity, LGBTQ people and women are being targeted for violence and discrimination. The West has cultivated, funded, and even exported a distorted view of Christianity that denies the central tenet of our faith. And it must stop. We must stop it.

Our faith rests on the belief that God loves humanity so very much that God became human. And the incarnation did not end with Jesus' death on the cross. We proclaim a resurrected Jesus, a living faith. And if we Christians believe that, if we believe that Jesus is alive among and in us who are the body of Christ, then we must live as the body of Christ. That is the reality of the incarnation.

God took on a human body, a body that included sexuality, for sexuality is at the very core of what it means to be human.

From the moment we are born until the moment we die, we are sexual beings. When we try to separate sexuality and our Christian faith, we deny that Jesus was just as human as we are, and we deny the reality of the incarnation.

Hear Jesus' words: "Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me." And, "Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me" (Matthew 25:40, 45).

We must speak out when twisted versions of our faith are used to justify laws that promote violence, discrimination, and misogyny based on our misunderstanding and fear of human sexuality. Whatever we do to each other, we do to Jesus, so we must not be afraid to say boldly, "This is not what it means to be a Christian."

Being a Christian does not mean funding homophobic leaders and laws that lead to the death of our siblings around the world. 

You may NOT claim that your Christian faith calls you to imprison people because they are lesbian or gay. You may NOT claim that your Christian faith calls you to support the criminalization of speaking positively about homosexuality. You may NOT claim that. It is a lie.

Being a Christian does not mean claiming that "religious freedom" is violated when businesses and employees are required to comply with anti-discrimination laws. You may NOT claim that your Christian faith calls you to refuse service to a lesbian or a gay man, any more than you may claim that your Christian faith calls you to refuse service to an African American woman or a Jewish man.

You may NOT claim that your Christian faith calls you to discriminate. It is a lie.

Being a Christian does not mean claiming that your religious freedom is violated because you must provide insurance that includes basic health care for women. You may NOT claim that your Christian faith calls you to deny access to birth control for others. You may NOT claim that your Christian faith gives you the right to tell your employees what choices they may make about their healthcare. You may NOT claim that your Christian faith calls you to label women who want to enjoy their sexuality as sluts or worse. You may NOT claim that. It is a lie.

Those of us who know a different way of being Christian are culpable in the promulgation of hate in the name of Jesus. We, and I will confess here, I, have allowed our voices to be co-opted by voices of hate.  I have overlooked and ignored my fellow children of God who are far from me in distance or class. I have worried that my words will be hard to hear. I have worried that I will offend. I have worried that my words will be ignored because I identify as queer. I have enjoyed the privilege of living in a place and with the means to be largely insulated from the effects of discrimination. I have, in many cases, been silent. I have been politic.

And while I have been silent, my siblings in Uganda, Nigeria, and Russia are being imprisoned and killed.

While I have been silent, the names of 200 'homosexuals' have been published in Ugandan tabloids. While I have been politic, queer teenagers around the country are hearing that they are not worthy to be served by local businesses. They are hearing sermons that call them abominations. And they are killing themselves. While I have been silent, women's sexuality is being debated, discussed, and exploited by others. Women are hearing that their sexuality is not their own, but that it belongs in the realm of advertising or politics.

I cannot be silent any longer. I am speaking out. My Christian faith demands it.

Comments (13)

It seems to me that most of the "Christian" bigots have no understanding of why Jesus chose a Samaritan to be the hero of the tale of the man fallen among thieves. Equally, I have yet to encounter a fundamentalist who realises that the stories of Pharisees are not about someone else, they are about *anyone* who follows the letter, rather than the spirit, of scripture. And that includes them.

In fact, most fundies seem to em to be very old testament. They quote extensively from it, and they don't seem to like the parable of the adulterous woman or Matt:7.

Thank you. I could never have spoken these words better and it was wonderful to finally get read and share them. God bless you.

It's about time that Christian's stand up against the "Christian" bullies in our society. I for one, have had enough!

The last 16 months have proved a real challenge to me in deciding where to place the feet of my faith As a pastor in the deepest Deep South, I am struggling with the realization that the bulk of my Christian life has been centered around the "thou shalt nots" and very little of it focused on that second greatest commandment concerning our neighbors. For three years, I could only focus on social justice in my sermons. My congregation convinced me through their misunderstanding that one could easily divorce justice from any natural underpinnings of scriptural purpose, that purpose being the love of God that we are to reflect when dealing with those in our midst who are wrapped in different-colored cloaks, theologies, worship practices, and belief systems. God Love can be very difficult to translate into our daily lives towards people we actually like (most of the time), much less towards those we find distasteful or who are counted among our downright enemies. I can say without hesitation that there are things I believe that you, Marie, don't and vice versa. The thing that I think we will both concur on is this: Christ did not die just for Marcia or just for Marie. Christ died for all. To marginalize anyone by excluding them from the pale of the love of God is an act not only of hate; it is an act of rebellion against God. I do not concede that God Love is easy. It isn't. It can require the demolition and reconstruction of all the chambers of our hearts, and we are not the Architect in charge of the project. And since I am so deeply fond of controlling at least my own life, I have a long way to go to reach the point where I'll help tear down the walls. Our brothers and sisters in Christ being persecuted for being "other" than what we are can't afford to wait for us to stand up for them any longer.

So, I will not be silent any longer. I will speak out with you. My Christian faith demands it.

Thank you for speaking out with clarity and courage, Marie. I am proud to know you, and glad to hear what you have to say. Blessings on you.

Thank you for say that which I cannot seem to help my Christian friends understand. I am pagan, and yet I often feel I understand the faith of Christians better than they do. Well-said.

Ditto! From an A-theist!

While I am not a Christian, I have watched with despair as the ugliest side of people rose up to claim Christian 'values' and preach hate, fear and anger. I thought at first it was just a southern redneck sorta thing, but then it was spreading all over. The hate was infecting people in all walks of life, all education levels, all over the country. There are so many reasons for this 'trickle down' nastiness, but one thing that concerned me: The Good Christian people were not speaking out against it. Where were they? Why didn't they stand up and say, NO!

So Marie, I thank you. I'm putting this on my page and sharing with everyone who will take a moment to read it, because it is A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF WRITING.

Further, I want to thank Marcia for her comment. It is important to stand for what is right and honest and loving, no matter who you are, no matter your beliefs. When we do that, we open the door and allow others to stand in their holy place also.

Anyone who wishes to address the President of Uganda, I found a link: http://statehouse.go.ug/ask-president

Sadly, the targeted conservative crowd will dismiss all the good in this as you just defending yourself as a queer. As an Atheist I really liked it, and pagans and liberal Christians are all chiming in too I notice, but it doesn't do much good to preach to the choir. Take that part out and I'd be much more likely to share it with my conservative friends, but as it is, I think they will just dismiss you as a hypocrite and or not a true Christian who can hear God's voice, as you are living "in sin." Too bad, but that's their mentality. . .I know, as I use to be one.

Follow after the things that make for peace the Book says.
Wonder why it's so hard to do by some.
This is what should be on the minds of everybody ---
Above all, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, because love covers over a multitude of sins………..1 Peter 4:8

As a Christian, I loved so much of this article, especially:

" 'Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me' (Matthew 25:40, 45)."

"Being a Christian does not mean funding homophobic leaders and laws that lead to the death of our siblings around the world."

"You may NOT claim that your Christian faith calls you to imprison people because they are lesbian or gay. You may NOT claim that your Christian faith calls you to support the criminalization of speaking positively about homosexuality. You may NOT claim that. It is a lie."

"You may NOT claim that your Christian faith calls you to discriminate. It is a lie."

An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague
who has been conducting a little homework on this.
And he actually ordered me dinner because I discovered it for him...
lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this matter here on your website.

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