I won’t call you a bigot simply because you think homosexuality is wrong for theological reasons. While I totally disagree with your interpretation and application of God’s Word on this topic, I certainly respect your right to disagree with me.
Being a traditionalist Christian on this issue does not make you a hate-filled bigot. And frankly, we will never be able to have civil and productive discussion about the issue from a theological perspective as long as we simply dismiss each other out-of-hand as either bigoted fundamentalists or heretical liberals.
I can respect your theological opinion and expect that you will respect mine. And together, we will sharpen each other as we journey together.
However, I will call you out on your bigotry…
- When you use your particular Biblical interpretation to deny me and others their civil rights.
- When you oppose simple laws to outlaw employment and housing discrimination against LGBT people.
- When you demonize and insult and attack and dismiss LGBT people.
- When you stand by in silence when we are attached, ridiculed, bullied and beaten.
- When you pass along lies about me and other LGBT people based on made up science and pseudo-psychology.
- When you deny me full participation and membership in your faith community based on orientation, not any kind of behavior.
- When you use phrases like “gay lifestyle”, “gay agenda” and other code words meant to create fear and anger.
- When you are silent when people scapegoat the LGBT community for everything from hurricanes and natural disasters to the demise of the family unit and marriage, to the economic collapse.
- When you stand by as LGBT youth kill themselves in shocking numbers.
- When you routinely use “gay” or “fag” or “dyke” as an insult or punchline to a joke.
We won’t always agree about how to interpret and apply specific passages of the Bible, nor will we always agree on issues of social ethics and social policy. But we should be able to agree that we can always respect each other, listen to each other, and — as followers of Jesus — love each other.