The Church’s Wasteful LGBTQ-Phobia

It seems nothing brings young, white, cisgender Evangelical guys together, quite like talking smack about “the gays.”

Yesterday I watched a group of such folks interacting on a friend’s timeline as they discussed the recent bathroom bills here in America. It’s become an all-too familiar sight: professed Christians falling all over themselves to ridicule Transgender men and women, to minimize their pain and abuse, and to do what far too many young, white Evangelical guys do: imagine themselves experts on Biology, simply because they’re read the first few chapters of the Book of Genesis.

I looked on as they massaged each other’s egos with insider religious language, as they patronizingly poo-poo’d the firsthand testimonies from LGBTQ men and men and women who tried to educate them, as they let fly with a barrage of know-it-all pontification about the inner workings of complete strangers. It was a microcosm of the Bible Belt Church’s sinful obsession with sexuality; the way homophobia and transphobia have become false idols they worship with unrivaled passion. They will do anything to hold onto to this inherited, antiquated fearful religion—even at the expense of the innocent human beings they fracture in the process.

Over the past two decades as a student pastor, I’ve sat with and listened to hundreds of LGBTQ young people, and I’ve had a front row seat to the violence the Church has manufactured: the depression, self-harm, and the isolation it breeds. As I watched these guys recklessly make bold public pronouncements about gender and orientation, I couldn’t help think about the people looking on; those too afraid or too hurt to respond. I thought about the people in their churches, about their family members and co-workers and neighbors. I wondered if they had any inkling of the harm they do to these people every single day—and I’m almost positive they don’t. 

So many white Evangelicals have existed so long in the bubble of their inherited privilege, they’ve come to believe they’re the baseline for humanity and the rightful moral policemen for the world; so self-assuredly telling other people what is true about them, instead of actually listening to them speak their truth. Once they decide they’ve figured God out (and that God looks and thinks and loves like them)—there’s no humility, no effort at compassion, and certainly no considering they might actually be wrong—they just bulldoze strangers with a theology of damnation, delivered with hubris and ridicule, and some condescending lip service about “truth in love.”

When it comes to gender identity and sexual orientation, I’m amazed how many Christians still rely on a literal handful of 4000-year old verses written in another language by authors they often can’t verify and know very little about—than millions of flesh and blood gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender men and women standing in front of them telling their stories. (Not to mention, Science.)

It’s all such a waste that such vast resources are expended by Christians continually fighting a battle that bears no redemptive fruit, that actually multiplies people’s marginalization, that generates unnecessary pain—and a war that Jesus isn’t asking them to wage in the first place.

Jesus did say that he came to bring help to the poor and oppressed; that those who loved him would care for the least, that they would be fierce lovers of people. Yet I don’t see a passion to be about these things, and that’s one of the most wasteful sins the Church is guilty of. If Evangelicals were just a fraction as burdened to stop poverty, hunger, systemic racism, or bigotry as they are about policing LGBTQ folk’s bedrooms, bathrooms, and body parts—we’d have very little poverty or hunger or racism or bigotry.

But I guess those other things encroach too much on these folk’s comfort, they’re more personally inconvenient, they’re far more taxing than simply dismissing a total stranger based on who and how they love and imagining they’re being righteous.

Every day I grieve the way Christianity is putting LGBTQ people through undue suffering, the callousness of the hearts of so many of those who claim Jesus, and the excuses we make for doing everything but what Jesus actually called us to do.

It’s all a terrible waste.


48 thoughts on “The Church’s Wasteful LGBTQ-Phobia

  1. Many truths here, but why the repetitive references to ‘white Evangelicals’?

    Come to Jamaica and see non-white Evangelicals putting 12 year olds out on the street because they might be gay. See non-white Evangelicals gang raping Lesbians to ‘cure’ them. See non-white Evangelicals stoning young gay men to death in the street. See non-white Evangelicals influence government policy and legislation, citing their beliefs as good reason to continue the criminalisation of ‘gay’ acts.

    Come and hear the rhetoric spewed from pulpits by some non-white pastors, and the non-white Evangelist vitriol directed at bold pastors who do speak for LGBTI rights.

    This is not a race issue. Please don’t distract from the Human Rights issue by trying to make it one.

    • Drew wrote, “Many truths here, but why the repetitive references to ‘white Evangelicals’?”

      The simplest answer is my supposition is that John chooses to address this problem to white evangelicals because those are the people he knows best.

      Drew also wrote, “This is not a race issue. Please don’t distract from the Human Rights issue by trying to make it one.”

      I agree that it is a Human Rights issue and that heinous stuff is going on all over the world. It horrifies me, what evil people are willing to do to other people, claiming the name of God as their justification for the evil they do.

      However, I have to disagree that addressing white evangelicals is distracting from the Human Rights issue because it is my belief that white evangelicals caused the Human Rights issue with all of those white evangelical missionaries who have gone and still go all over the world, teaching lies and stuff the Bible never says and teaching converts to be as homophobic as they, the white evangelicals.

  2. Hi all. Here is the status in Puerto Rico from confidential reports. People are starting to get fuel, water, and food from FEMA but not in sufficient quantities due to a lack of truck drivers and continued impassible debris on highways except state routes 52, 22, 2. Those state routes should be passable as of today or tomorrow. The ports of Miami and San Juan are open but the tower is damaged at the San Juan airport hampering flights in and out of San Juan.

    The situation continues to be dire. Most of those that are dependent on dialysis and continued medical treatment are not getting it and are not being evacuated because they cannot be reached. The military response from the locals is excellent but still lacking from stateside. FEMA is still overwhelmed but doing good work.

    The Trump administration is spinning this into a “good news” story while the mayor of San Juan says otherwise. I predict this story will play well with Trump’s base and will help his chances of re-election in 2020 because, well, those nice people carrying tiki torches.

    In other news, Roy Moore of Alabama should be a shoe-in for Senator, especially if he promises to work with Pence to establish something like the fictional Republic of Gideon described in “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

    This is all fantastic news for the Trump Republican Jesus followers. So…much…winning.

    • Robin, thank you for this information.

      Nearly one-half of USA citizens fail to understand that citizens of Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands are citizens of the USA.

      Therefore when Trump doesn’t give the order for the kind of aid they need in PR and the VI, he is condemning our fellow citizens to harm, homelessness, hunger, illness, injury, and even death.

      If we citizens of the USA do not shriek in outrage that our fellow citizens have been abandoned by this vile administration, then we demonstrate that we also lack compassion, empathy, fellow feeling, and sympathy and hve no right to claim the name of Christ as our own because we are feeling to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and provide the needy with what they require.

      Is the real reason we are failing in our duty to them the fact that most Puerto Ricans and many in the American Virgin Islands are not white?

      If you are as disgusted by the lack of action of this horrid buncha GOPs in DC, then join my Facebook group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff and join the outcry against the evil that justifies denying aid. Many readers of this blog have joined.

    • Of course it will. I can see the series of newspaper headlines now:

      Hurricane Devastates Puerto Rico!!!

      Trump Drags Feet on Aid To Puerto Rico

      PR: Hispanic Population Endures Untold Suffering and Death

      Trump Base Rejoices

  3. You seem to be lumping all Christians in the same basket with no mention of Islam Judaism Hinduism etc etc etc.. Jesus may not have wanted us to hate any type of person…which noone should..his commandment was to love all people but that doesn’t mean we condone the action when it is a sin. Im not talking about lgbt or any one group’s actions but all forms of immortality including heterosexual immortality of which there is plenty. You mark out Christianity like it is solely responsible for all lgbt problems. What kind of pastor are didn’t mention?

    • toni wrote, “You mark out Christianity like it is solely responsible for all lgbt problems. What kind of pastor are didn’t mention?”

      The kind of pastor who is wise enough to know he cannot take on the entire world but can only speak to the one he knows personally.

      White evangelicals have infiltrated the entire world as missionaries, peddling homophobia and in many cases, misogyny with them.

  4. Well stated John.
    The hypocrisy caused by their hubris amazing especially after Saint Augustine warned that it was deadliest of sins.
    Then there are those that quote scripture out of context, they try to make the Bible say what they want to believe instead of believing the teachings of Jesus.

  5. I’ve come to the conclusion that the actions of some of these condemning Christian folks is a lot like the online purchase of a table or other piece that needs to be put together.

    If I need a table, I order it and wait for it with anticipation. But perhaps I ordered it for someone else; then it’s not really my need and I’m not that excited. Or even worse, it’s for me, but an incidental, decorative piece- something that won’t be used.

    I need it; it arrives in a flat box. I take it out, unfold the accordioned, tedious instructions, and check the pieces. I can visualize it and the assembly is easy but I check the directions with loving care and interest. If not for me or only incidental, I may have pieces left over and it may be wobbly… I don’t care to such a degree.

    If it’s mine and assembled correctly then it’s an honor to my space. I use it, invite others around it, and am pleased.

    With all this hatred going on, and in large part by professing Christians… I have to wonder how badly they believed they needed their salvation. Perhaps they forgot.

    Salvation is half His plan. His commission to love, invite, and welcome all- comes with specific and sometimes tedious and difficult instructions. Instructions that we’d often like to skip over… and then we have a wobbly faith, a distorted vision, with suspect honor. And His gift becomes unappreciated, or for show, in our lives.

    I hope to always remember He rescued me to be free to love. To act like Him.

  6. All unrepentant homosexuals will definitely die and go straight to hell! I’m waiting for John’s posting praising Hugh Hefner, the pornographer, and how wonderful he was, etc. John, when is it coming out?

  7. These stats from the CDC proves John and his supporters wrong about homosexuality.

    From the CDC:

    •In 2014, gay and bisexual men made up an estimated 2% of the U.S. population, but accounted for 70% of new HIV infections.
    •More than 600,000 gay and bisexual men are living with HIV in the United States. Of those, 17.3% were unaware of their infection. Therefore, they may transmit the infection to others without knowing it. Another 500,000 sexually active gay and bisexual men are at high risk for HIV.
    •In 2014, there were 6,110 deaths among gay and bisexual men living with diagnosed HIV infection.

    In 2015:
    •Gay and bisexual men accounted for 82% (26,376) of new HIV diagnoses among all males aged 13 and older….
    •Gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24 accounted for 92% of new HIV diagnoses among all men in their age group….
    •Gay and bisexual men accounted for 55% (10,047) of people who received an AIDS diagnosis.

    •Most gay and bisexual men get HIV through having anal sex without condoms or medicines to prevent or treat HIV.
    •Gay and bisexual men are also at increased risk for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. [For example, according to a Sept. 2017 CDC report, “gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 81 percent (16,155) of male cases [of syphilis] where the sex of the sex partner is known in 2016 and over half of primary and secondary syphilis cases overall.”]

    In typically politically correct fashion, the politicized CDC here blames “homophobia, stigma, and discrimination” for these high rates. But elsewhere they acknowledge the problems that come from high numbers of sex partners over the life (the male libido untamed for lack of female partnership), including “concurrent” (i.e. polyamorous) sexual relationships. The male desire to penetrate, coupled with the lack of the appropriate receptacle in other men, undoubtedly also contributes.

    Men simply are not anatomically and psychologically designed for safe sex.

    • I believe that LGBT have every right (obviously) to live their lives how ever they see fit. [But I wouldn’t rhapsodize over the consequences of pansexualism like Pastor John does. ]

      Will Pastor John remember to warn young LGBT that they may be destined for HIV / AIDS, STDs, depression, addiction, shortened life span? Will he tell them the truth…?

      –81% of syphilis cases are gay men
      –20% of (gays) HIV infected are unaware of their infection
      –7,000 gays died last year of HIV/AIDS
      –10% of gays in America have HIV
      –26,000 gays per year are newly infected w HIV
      –modal range of # of partners: 100-500.
      –43% of gays have 500+ partners in lifetime
      –30% of gays have 1000+ partners in lifetime
      –57% of gays did not use condoms in their last sexual encounter
      –Gays have 5% fidelity rate, compared with %78 fidelity rate for heterosexuals.

      JP can romanticize it, but the numbers are not budging.

    • Naked Truth:

      Did John say anything that contradicted these statistics? If not, how is he “wrong”?

      Do you criticize with equal fervor people whose high stress lifestyle, poor diet, lack of exercise , or socioeconomic disadvantage, make them disproportionately likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, etc?

      If not, I don’t see how the statistics you quoted make a moral case against anyone.


    That being said,
    “When it comes to gender identity and sexual orientation, I’m amazed how many Christians still rely on a literal handful of 4000-year old verses written in another language by authors they often can’t verify and know very little about—than millions of flesh and blood gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender men and women standing in front of them telling their stories. (Not to mention, Science.)”

    I do not think the problem has ever been the scriptures, which are what I assume you’re referring to here. The problem has, and will always be the human heart that twists those scripture to say whatever they want it to say.

    My reason for loving the LGBTQ is grounded in scripture. My reason for not elevating the LGBTQ discussion out of proportion so much that it obscures the sin problem is grounded in scripture. The problem of the LGBTQ community, and by extension, man, is not LGBTQ actions, and the problem is not unique to them. The problem is SIN, which drives us away from God, and put us in opposition to him, in whatever form that separation and rebellion may take. My reason for calling ALL men, not just those of different sexualities to ‘come and taste that the Lord is good’ is grounded in scripture. When we see Him, we will be like Him. We will be ‘conformed to the image of the dear Son, so that He will be the first among many brothers.’ Until we see Him, we can never be that.

    We christians have fallen into the trap of making LGBTQ actions special. They are not.

    P.S, I realize I might have gone on a tangent, and I’m quite sorry I cannot express myself more succinctly.

    • So, I hate one of the expressions of separation from God in the LGBTQ community, namely LGBTQ acts, but ONLY because they interfere with drawing man closer to God. The same way I’d hate wife beating, because it misrepresents the relationship between Christ and the Church; same way I’d hate class exclusion because it misrepresents God (Job 36:5).
      Do I hate the sins of LGBTQ, and wife battery, and class exclusion? Absolutely with all of my heart. Do I hate the LGBTQ community, and the wife beater, and the class discriminator? Absolutely not. I love them, and hope to love them even more as Jesus helps me. I will not however, hesitate to point at the deliverance and healing and freedom to be found in Christ.

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