Thursday, December 19, 2013

How to be a Christian and not be bigoted towards our LGBT brothers and sisters

I recently posted this as my status on facebook and a friend of mine requested that I also post it in my blog. So, here it is! 


Duck Dynasty. 


I am going to open a can of worms here because I honestly know that it is the right thing to do. 
Christian friends, there is a way to support marriage between a man and a woman that does not involved insulting and your LGBT friends and family. There is a difference between supporting your political beliefs, and making bigoted comments. Saying "I support marriage between a man and a woman" is not hateful. Comparing those who are gay and lesbian to bestiality is bigoted, and hurtful, and it will get you no where.

Let me explain. I'm currently pursuing my Doctorate in Psychology, and I'm doing research for the American psychological association. I'm currently working on two projects; the first of which studies the prejudice and microaggressions that LGBT populations face and how it affects their well-being, the second of which is something near and dear to my heart, which is about how to help LGB clients stay in their religion while struggling with their sexual identity. 

I have met hundreds of God's children who desperately want to stay in their religion but who are pushed out because of comments exactly like Robert's. There is a way to support marriage between a man and a woman without insulting someone who is gay or lesbian by comparing who they are to bestiality. 

This is a topic that I could literally go on for days about, but just please understand that through my research I have come to believe that as Christians we have a greater responsibility to be loving and accepting to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Insulting them, and thereby inadvertently pushing them away from God is just not the answer. 

I don't judge you for your beliefs - I completely understand them. I do, however, feel a moral obligation to comment on things that are anti-gay. Had Roberts simply said "I support marriage between a man and a woman", I would have thought "good for him!" And moved on. But because I have seen firsthand how comments like Roberts' can lead those who are LGBT to depression, anxiety and even suicide, and lead them away from God, not towards him, I feel a moral obligation to speak out against it.








***As a side note, I would like to clarify that I personally support marriage equality. But being an LGBT ally who does research specifically about LGBT populations and religion, I have had the unique opportunity to see how Christians unintentionally push away their brothers and sisters, and how many of those who are LGBT become hardened to religion. There is more common ground on both sides than we think, and it starts with speaking more kindly on this topic, and being aware of how what you say can affect others. 

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. spot on.
    (followed you from my friend Michael Davison's facebook page.)

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  3. Amber, I'm glad you added the footnote, but I just need to say that the moment you said it's not "hateful" to say, "I support marriage between a man and a woman," (which generally means the person *only* supports marriage between a man and a woman," you lost me. To me, that is very much like saying, "Don't be a racist! You can believe in segregation, but as long as you don't call people the n-word, you're not a racist."

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    1. I completely understand, and even agree with you Lorian. Being an LGBT ally means supporting equal rights. But I also think that many Christians will not support marriage equality in their lifetime, and if they can move towards compassion and understanding instead of being hateful, then that is a smaller step that can do a lot of good.

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    2. I understand your line of thought, but I don't believe it is helpful to tell people that discrimination isn't hateful. To say, well, if the best you can do is to be discriminatory, that's fine, so long as you smile at the person and tell them you love them while you discriminate against them. There's a huge, massive chunk of cognitive dissonance in that stance.

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