There seems to be continued debate over what constitutes liberty and discrimination as per the Arizona bill that was recently vetoed.
There are some genuinely complicated questions related to this issue that can be debated forever. However, I want to take this time to address some of my concerns absent any legal argument. I want to talk about the human element here.
Our country is predominantly Christian, as far as the religious element is concerned, so I want to address Christians specifically. I find myself perplexed and disheartened at the way many Christians conduct themselves as it relates to certain issues. The conservative movement, as a whole, seems to take a very distant and impersonal view of gay people. Whenever I hear a Christian talking about gay people, it usually is in emphasis of how they “disapprove of their lifestyle.” That seems to get far emphasized over compassion and understanding. The rhetoric is usually very dehumanized and depersonalized.
Here’s the way I see it: You don’t have to believe it’s right, but you should emphasize compassion over judgment. Millennials are one group of people who understand this. They are becoming very turned off by the way their churches/religious leaders are handling such issues. They are so turned off by it that they are leaving their churches in large numbers, all based upon churches’ “no-tolerance” view of gay people. I’m not saying all churches or all Christians take this approach, but personally I think there needs to be a major reassessment by many Christians on how to view these issues.
I’m in no way advocating that the church deny teaching any Scripture-based doctrine. All I’m advocating is for many Christians to display far more compassion and understanding. Maybe instead of judging people in the name of Christianity, perhaps try serving them in the name of Christianity. Stop being scared God will judge you for making them cakes or taking their wedding pictures. Be nice to them, listen to their stories, and get to know them.
The No. 1 barrier between gay people and God is not their homosexuality, but the lack of empathy and compassion they often receive from so-called Christians.