I can’t open my Twitter newsfeed or my Facebook page or, it seems, almost any other source of information, without seeing something new about a religious “Christian” extremist in the U.S. (especially those running for the GOP presidential nomination) who thinks his or her god condemns every LGBTQ individual on the face of the planet to hell.
Here are just a few recent examples.
Mike Huckabee says that as president, he would ignore Obergefell v. Hodges because, “there is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court power to make a law.” Of course, he’s ignoring the fact that this case did not, in fact, make a law. What SCOTUS did was what the Constitution says SCOTUS is supposed to do: interpret existing law and issue a ruling about how it’s applied across the country. It’s difficult to tell whether Huckabee is ignorant of the Constitution, is ignorant of what SCOTUS did, or is lying through his teeth. But it has to be one or more of those things.
Dr. Ben Carson puts gays in the same general category with bestiality and NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association, which promotes adult men having sex with young boys).
The Mormon Church has issued an updated policy on their attitude toward gays, which not only disallows marriage equality, but also ostracizes gays who live life as it comes naturally to them, and keeps their children on the outside of that august body until they are eighteen, move out of their parents’ home, and receive special approval to enter the church.
Extremist pastor Kevin Swanson is one of many in this camp who recommend putting gay people to death. He’s blamed every catastrophe from hurricanes to fires to floods on gays, he’s convinced the Girl Scouts are producing lesbians, and he likes the idea of a Rose Bowl float on which a gay person is stoned to death. Oh, yes, and he insists God gave HIV/AIDS to gays as a gift, so they could die slowly enough to repent. (If you can stand it, here’s a long list of his ridiculous rants.)
Swanson was a chief organizer of the National Religious Liberties Conference that met November 6 in Des Moines, Iowa, at which Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, and Ted Cruz spoke—yes, the same Ted Cruz who insists that as president, he would reverse marriage equality.
All these individuals, and others of their ilk, spew vitriol that they claim is supported by their scripture. Add to all this the Catholic Church’s position—that although homosexuality might not be a choice, participating in the lifestyle is, and it's a sin—and we complete the picture of a descent into madness.
Here’s what these extremists have taught me: Their god is not a god worth worshipping. Any god who would program someone’s biology so that they are unavoidably attracted to people of the same sex and then say to them, “I’ve made you something I can’t love; fix it,” isn’t a god worth worshipping. And that god is by no means the God of Love that Christians claim to worship.
Christians who would worship a God of Love need to heed their own prophet, who said clearly (Matthew 22:37-40) that Love rules above Law. This means that when Law (i.e., Thou Shalt and Thou Shalt Not) conflicts with Love, it loses every time.
No god worth worshipping would expect every LGBTQ individual to remain chaste as some kind of test. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a test here, but here’s the thing: It’s not a test for gays only. It’s a two-part test. Part One: Kevin Swanson, Mike Huckabee, et al, must learn to love even those individuals who make them uncomfortable, even those individuals who (they believe) are breaking the Law. Part Two: LGBTQ individuals must learn to love Kevin Swanson et al, when when they fail their test.
And, man, are these hateful and supposed-Christians failing their test. Wonder what their fate will be.