A Letter to Someone I Love: Responding to Questions about Why I Believe What I Believe Concerning My LGBTQ Brothers and Sisters | [D]mergent
Dear _____, I appreciate the tone of your note, since I often get correspondence that appears much angrier. Let me see if I can address your concerns, if not in a persuasive—then perhaps in a clear manner.
a. You take issue with your opposition to LGBTQ inclusion being labeled “hate,” since you consider yourself to be a loving Christian, someone merely attempting to follow scripture faithfully. Some people may genuinely hate, but you don’t consider yourself to be one of them. You’re also worried that when some people use the word “love” they are twisting it out of shape, making it merely a synonym for “permissiveness.”
I hear you. With respect to the whole “hate” thing: If you don’t hate gay people—as I believe many people do not—it can’t help but be disconcerting to find yourself lumped in as an antagonist with people you don’t even recognize. That’s one reason I don’t use that kind of language. I think it’s possible to disagree on this issue in good faith without hate.
However, the people I work with have been systematically told by folks in the church that they are fundamentally flawed human beings—flawed in an especially appalling way that other people are not. I spoke with a teenager recently who’s family believed they were “loving the sinner, while hating the sin,” when the treatment they sent him to used shock therapy, beatings, and threats to make him “normal.”