Like all other non-heretical Christians, I regard this past weekend’s Gay Pride Parade as little more than a really sad exercise in self-deception: it was just a bunch of people sharing a common vice, looking to fool themselves and others into affirming the “right” to sin. Having an inclination towards sin – of any kind – should never be a source of pride, but of shame. Of course, pride itself is actually an even bigger sin, but such irony was obviously lost on those responsible for gay political agenda nomenclature. But I digress.The usual saying in these situations is “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” The problem with this is not that it isn’t true; indeed, this is precisely what Christian dogma requires.
The problem is that almost everyone who says it is lying.
After listening to many of my confreres on the front lines of the Christian culture wars, I get the distinct impression that they don’t really think of homosexual persons as anything other than contemptuous creatures undeserving of the heaven that (surely) awaits them. They may not support public stoning per se, but I’m not sure they’re really all that much against it either.
Hating the sin while loving the sinner simultaneously presents Christians with a great paradox: it is at once one of the most advanced challenges a Christian can face, while at the same time being so fundamental a tenet of faith that any advancement along the path of true, Christian life is impossible without it. To quote a pro-gay bumper sticker, “Hate is not a Christian value.” True, the misguided souls who espouse this propaganda equate any opposition to the gay agenda (gay marriage, adoption, etc.) with “hate”, but the statement nonetheless stands alone as being objectively true.
So how do we solve the problem of leading an honest, Christian life when faced daily with the in-your-face gay political agenda? Well, here are a few steps:
First of all, remember St. Paul’s admonishment to those wacky Ephesians: “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” People are not your enemy. Keep your eye on the ball; there’s a bigger picture here, and a cunning enemy.
Second, do not regard it as mere coincidence that you happen to share this temporal existence of yours with other people. No matter how annoying they are, through some kind of mysterious, divine plan you have been thrust together with them in this battle and daily struggle. Believe it or not, the goal here is not to try to thrust each other into the bowels of Hell, but to raise each other up at the end of this life. In other words, like it or not, that other person is in the same war you are, and on the same side, whether either of you believes it or not.
Third, don’t lie. You should not speak untruthfully, and neither should you speak uncharitably. If you are ever pressed into the debate, simply state that you affirm the beliefs of your faith and regret that so many people are being affirmed in a lifestyle that is ultimately harmful to them.
Fourth, be genuine in your own personal relationships. If you legitimately believe that every human being is made in the likeness of God, and is entitled to dignity and respect, then this will show naturally in your personal dealings with others. Even if your views are out of sync with theirs, more often then not they will react negatively to your views but not to you. Just because others trample their own dignity underfoot is no reason for the rest of us to pile on.
And if none of this works for you, don’t ask your self “What would Jesus do?”
As whom He had dinner with. (Hint – sinners).