Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

More Thoughts On the Heart

Posted on: June 24, 2008

In the summer I teach government. At the urging of a student I watched the movie Bobby. It was a such an inspiring film; hearing RFK say good things about our country. As a class we had previously watched a documentary about Watergate–and when Bobby died we got Nixon. At the end of the Bobby there is audio of his speech from April 5, 1968 (the day after Dr. King’s death). The speech was called “The Mindless Menace of Violence”. Here is the quote that struck me:

…When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered….

As I’ve gone through my mail from people who’ve read my book And You Invited Me In, I’ve found that there’s a cry coming from the heart of people who are GLBT. It’s the cry of a broken heart. I know God has heard it, but many of us straight, conservative Christians have not. There is a common theme among those letters I’ve received. Words that come from the soul of GLBT brothers and sisters who cling to their faith in God and love for their conservative family. Here’s an example:

My life is pretty hopeless, I’m gay and I’m an abomination to God…I fear I will lose my family if they ever find out, and it would be more than I could bear. I’ve tried every way to change.

This is a person in deep pain. However, many times our conservative leaders make us believe that GLBT family and friends make a choice to live this life. It is as if they wake up one day and decide they want to hurt everyone in their life. Does this note sound like a person trying to cause hurt and pain? 

Our church leaders use words like “choice” or “political agenda” or “they will molest our children” to drive us to action against “them”, and before long we become afraid of them. Isn’t that what Bobby Kennedy spoke of in his speech? Through the hardness of our conservative beliefs haven’t we disenfranchised this group of people and made it an “us against them”?

I’m very disturbed today by a news item where a well-known evangelical leader said that a certain politician should not be quoting Leviticus because he “should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament.”

I’m only taking one statement from a long interview, but how can this same minister then use Leviticus to say that homosexuality is an abomination? The word “abomination” makes love more difficult. This concept of “abomination” or “love the sinner and hate the sin” is retoric for placing chains around another human and making them feel unloved, abandoned…and when the ones on earth who are in charge of giving God’s love to another fail to do it THEN people don’t see Jesus. And we lose.

We know what we lost when we got Nixon. We’ve had nothing but lack of trust in our government for 35 years. What happens when someone loses trust in God? What happens when the GLBT person keeps hearing our crazy coined phrase of “love the sinner”? Because of those ideas and phrases we lose our family or friend, and they lose hold of God.

In I John 4:18 it says “there is no fear in love.” We must live our life where people don’t fear that our love is based on conditions. It is what Jesus was all about.

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