Christians foretelling doom for me because I no longer believe is like someone insisting that any second now I’m going to be impaled by an invisible unicorn. “Any second! Well, just wait and see. Someday you’ll get a hole punched through your chest and you’ll wish you believed me.” I continue to live a normal life with no impalement and no reason to think there’s a vengeful invisible unicorn stalking me.
It’s been nearly seven months since I last wrote an article specifically about LGBT issues. The main reason is that for the past year I’ve been caught up in the fallout of leaving my childhood religion, which greatly overshadows my evil attraction to people of incorrect gender. But despite the rising acceptance of variations in gender identity and sexuality among some Christian groups, there are still plenty of people spreading vile opinions and publicizing their ignorance.
James Dobson of Focus on the Family recently included in his radio program some excerpts of a conversation he had with Franklin Graham, who said, “We have allowed the enemy to come into our churches. I was talking to some Christians and they were talking about how they invited these gay children to come into their home and to come into the church and that they were wanting to influence them. And I thought to myself, they’re not going to influence those kids, those kids are going to influence those parents’ children.” He then condemned Christians who show kindness to his enemies, and lamented that “immoral people…get into the churches and it begins to affect the others in the church and it is dangerous.”
For some reason he reminds me strongly of the Pharisee in Luke 18:11. He certainly doesn’t remind me of Jesus. If I recall correctly (and I do), the Jewish cult leader who Graham purports to follow said something about loving your enemies. And if Graham wants to keep all immoral people out of churches, how exactly does he expect to have a church in the first place? Doesn’t Christianity teach that all people are immoral? Or if he’s of the holiness doctrine persuasion, perhaps he wants churches to be homogeneous echo chambers for their members, rather than ministering to people who need help. Either way, this is a very strange thing to hear from the president of a Christian charity organization. Not unexpected…just strange.
Of course, he’s not actually concerned with immorality, or he would talk the same way about every other act that is prohibited by his holy scripture, which is supposedly the basis of his morals. No, this extra vitriol for certain types of sinners comes down to an unhealthy obsession with what other people do with their own genitals in the privacy of their own homes. I doubt he would have a problem with welcoming someone into his church who enjoys eating lobster or ham, yet his own bible uses the exact same word–toebah, usually translated “abomination”–in reference to both eating unclean animals and men having sex with men. What I want to know is why exactly the eternally unchanging Christian god said eating bacon and engaging in homosexual intercourse are both abominations, but then changed his mind about the bacon when Jesus died.
Progressive Christian blogger Benjamin Corey has some important words for people like Graham and Dobson: “Violent, fear-based teaching such as expressed by Franklin Graham is precisely why 40% of homeless children in the United States are LGBTQ. It’s also why 68% of them report their homelessness is due to family rejection because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, often by religious parents. For someone with millions of followers, these are dangerous, dangerous ideas.”
You’ve got to wonder what the hell they’re thinking when their enemy is a bunch of homeless kids who are significantly more likely to commit suicide because they’ve been demonized, kicked out of their homes and churches, physically beaten, and told they will suffer in hell for eternity because of an inherent trait they can’t change. Couldn’t Graham have picked his fight with people who actually cause harm, like fundamentalist Christian preachers who so often turn out to be child molesters or adulterers? Of course not, because he’s one of the people who causes harm, which means his enemies are the victims.
They also ignore the fact that their own people are producing gay children without any help from homosexual outsiders. Sorry Mr. Graham, gay children happen in protective Christian homes as much as anywhere else. Those homeless gay kids you want to keep away from churches are never going to influence a straight kid to turn gay. However, they might influence a silently suffering gay kid to reject your hateful opinions, which probably bothers you more than the idea of those kids suffering eternity in hell.
It’s obvious these men barely know what they’re talking about. Dobson himself made a hilarious statement about bisexuality: “You know what the B stands for? Bisexual. That’s orgies! That is lots of sex with lots of people!” Oh really? I seem to be missing out. In fact, even though I’m bisexual, I haven’t had sex with a single person, let alone participated in an orgy. Maybe Dobson knows some things he’s not telling us…maybe I should ask him where I can find these bisexual orgies. I bet they have invisible unicorns too, for those people who want to descend a bit farther down the slippery slope and try out zoophilia.