Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God – Jesus
Yesterday was the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. I did not know such a day existed until I saw a well-written article by Adrian Warnock on Twitter arguing for why Christians should support such a day:
I know of no Christian in the West who would advocate homosexual sex becoming illegal once more in our countries, still less that the punishment should be death. But we do not often hear Christians advocating for a change in the law in other countries so that homosexual behaviors should be legalized. Christians would do well to add their voices to campaigns for the repeal of such anti-homosexual legislation. We must speak out for true tolerance everywhere.
God loves everybody and teaches us to do the same. Even till today in more liberal and theoretically accepting societies like America and the UK, gay people are stigmatised, verbally abused, and even sometimes physically attacked because of their sexual orientation. Christians should stand up for them, and argue strongly for fair treatment for all. We must speak out for the persecuted, the oppressed, and for the minority. Imagine a day when the Church is known for its love for gay people.
Christian, when you think of gay people what is your immediate thought? Is it revulsion? Do you avoid them? Do you angrily denounce them? Then you are contributing to the notion our society now has that Christians hate gay people. It is no longer considered to be acceptable to be feel such animosity towards people who are of a different race, so why should it be acceptable to react in such a way towards those of a different orientation?
The way the Church has treated gay people historically has not been her finest hour. There is no doubt in my mind that Christians will one day look back on this previous approach with the same degree of shame and embarrassment currently felt over the Church’s history with slavery, racism, and apartheid.
I do not know whether Dr. Warnock supports gay marriage, though I am pretty sure he falls on the more conservative end of the theological spectrum and thus thinks marriage ought to be between a man and a woman only. That is why such an article is so impressive and important. Whether you think gay marriage ought to be blessed by churches or not, whether you think God approves of gay relationships or not, hopefully we can all agree that violence against anyone is simply wrong.
When it comes to morality and ethics, Christians disagree with non-Christians and with each other on a whole host of issues. Traditionally Christians have been against everything from divorce to greed to drunkeness. But we do not wish violence or pain on those who get divorce or who are greedy or getting drunk.
The rates of suicide by GLBT teens, the rates of violence against GLBT people throughout the world ought to sadden all of us. And we ought to speak out against it. So I may be a day late, but I agree with Dr. Warnock that Christians should join our voices to those speaking out against violence directed towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.