I’m not so sure a yes or no answer will suffice.
I’m actually quite sure that it won’t.
This is such sad and unfortunate response, though I wish I could say that it was a rare one.
I will often get a (sometimes quite colorful) variation on this theme, from professed religious folk on my blog comments, especially when an impasse is reached and they find that I will not likely be moved from my position: “Dude, you must be a fag!” (You know—sweet, loving, Jesus kind of stuff, like that).
Apparently to some Christians, the only logical explanation for a person of faith speaking on behalf of the “homosexual” community, is that they themselves must also be so: a sort of, covert queer self-preservation.
It never occurs to those people that we don’t need totally commonality to align ourselves with other human beings; in order to champion their humanity and uphold their dignity.
I feel incredibly sorry for followers of Jesus like Ralph, who are so filled with hate and bigotry, that they would even feel the need to ask such a question of another human being. It shows that their hearts have become so hardened, their need to discriminate so great, that they cannot fathom any other option, than some alternative narrative to justify that person supporting LGBT people; as if total affinity is ever a prerequisite for loving someone unconditionally.
That’s now how this all works, friends.
That isn’t how Jesus ever did it.
He was a sinless Savior who took up for sinners. He was Divinity, lobbying with his life for Humanity.
True compassion, transcends barrier and label and classification and designation.
It’s bigger than any convenient compartment we like to place people within.
Those whose faith is outgrowing their religion get this well.
They are becoming The Church that they’ve been waiting all their lives to see.
They know that real love is border-less. It’s boundless.
Real love is God-sized.
This love, is what I hope guides my ministry and shapes my agenda:
I believe women should be treated equally with men. I am not secretly a woman.
I believe black people are as God-reflecting and worthy of respect and decency as white people. I am not a closeted person of color.
I believe Muslims are not any more evil or capable of violence than Christians. I am not concealing a hidden Islamic agenda.
I believe people outside of America matter to God as much as Americans do. I do not secretly hate America.
It’s a tragic thing, when rather than prayerfully examining their own mistreatment of any group of people, a Christian would more quickly seek to undermine the integrity and motivation of someone supporting that group— that we would waste more energy on a stranger’s character assassination, than our own self-examination.
I’m not sure what a “simple yes” to Ralph’s question would do for him; whether it would allow my voice less resonance, my position, less respectability. Perhaps it would let him off the hook in considering anything I had to say. It’s a moral escape clause, of sorts.
Apparently a “queer person” speaking on their behalf doesn’t carry any real weight, so it would be convenient for him if I were.
Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t concern himself with such caveats and conditions, and he doesn’t seek a way around our sacred and most pressing calling, which he himself clarifies so well:
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40
This is how love works.
We don’t just love those who look like we do, vote the way we do, love the way we do, come from where we come from, pray the way we pray.
Love doesn’t just care for “its own kind”.
In fact, the heart of one who really loves with the extravagant love of God, recognizes that those who breathe and bleed, are its kind.
To all the Ralph’s out there looking for loopholes to avoid loving people, or to justify hatred toward another group, or to categorize and trivialize those whose opinions differ from their own: Do better.
Are you willing to really love those who are different than yourself? A simple yes or no will suffice.