What I Meant to Say

Wendy Babiak's Visions and Revisions


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The Heresy of Homophobia: Checkmate, Hatefreaks

All right, hatefreaks. You know who you are. Or maybe you don’t, but you’re the ones who voted for Prop 8 in California, and you’re the ones who just passed Amendment One in North Carolina. You’re the ones who don’t believe homosexuals are full human beings with full human rights. You think they’re an abomination. They give you the creeps.

You say it’s a violation of your religious freedom to protect kids from bullying if they’re perceived as gay or transgender. Because the Bible says you should feel that way, and you’ve got to share your religion, right? After all, there’s that bit in Leviticus, and all that stuff Paul said. But here’s the thing: those verses don’t actually say what you want them to say, or what you’ve been convinced they say by some homophobic preacher. Read this excellent exegesis (you do know what exegesis means, right? I mean, you study the Bible, right?) and you’ll discover that you (or your preachers) have been doing it wrong. And what’s more, by reading the Bible through your lens of fear and hate, you’re in fact committing a heresy, by saying that God does not love us all equally and want us to love each other. Worse, some of you actually project your hate on to God (I’m looking at you, Westboro Baptists) and say that God hates homosexuals. That’s blasphemy.

Listen, Jesus says clearly in the Gospels, when confronted by the pharisees, that the greatest commandments are these: To love God with everything we have, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We honor God by letting God’s love flow through us to everyone we meet. Is making laws that discriminate against our neighbors a loving act? Most definitely not, and doing so in the name of our faith, in the name of our God, is most certainly using God’s name in vain, a violation of the first of the Ten Commandments handed down by Moses (in addition to being a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution). And doing so causes very real harm. Here’s a heartbreaking video that will give you some idea of the results of this kind of discrimination. I dare you to watch it:

If your heart isn’t already shrunken to the size of a pea and as hard as a pebble from being steeped in hate, that should’ve made you cry. Or at least made you rethink your stance against marriage equality. See, LGBT folk are human beings, with emotions like anyone else’s, with the same need to love and be loved, the same need to plan for the future, the same desire to commit to a loving relationship. The same need to protect and provide for their families. And every right to do so.

Now maybe calling you a name like hatefreaks isn’t the best way to have a dialogue. But here’s the thing. I’m not going to call you Christians. Because what you’re doing isn’t Christian, and since I recently came back to my own Christian heritage, with a full-on conversion experience that I cannot deny, I’m not going to let you claim that title anymore, not when you’re not being a fountain for Christ’s love, not when you’re driving people away from Christianity with your hate, not when you’re bearing this bitter fruit. And hatefreak is an accurate appellation, because guess what? Hate for you has become a drug. I dare you to try living without it. Like any addict, you’re going to find it hard. But here’s another thing: Christ can help you with that. Get on your knees and pray.  Ask for forgiveness for your heresy of hate. Look into your own sins, get that beam out of your own eye, and quit casting stones at your brothers and sisters. Go forth and hate no more.