June 17, 2019

Why Do They Hate LGBTQ+ People?

In the book of Leviticus alone, we learn about all sorts of things the Judeo-Christian "god" does not like and does not want us to do. The vast majority of these prohibitions are ignored today, and this has been the case for some time. So why do so many Christians make an exception when it comes to what Leviticus has to say about homosexual behavior? Why is this not ignored along with the prohibitions against tattoos, wearing garments made of mixed fibers, or the admonitions to kill children who curse their parents? Wouldn't everybody be better off if modern Christians could just agree that the alleged Jesus character abolished everything found in the Old Testament and move on?

I suspect that this is yet another case where some Christians are using their bibles in an attempt to justify pre-existing hate and bigotry rather than actually following it. Yes, their book makes it very clear that homosexuality is frowned upon. There's little doubt about that. All I'm saying is that it seems like most of the Christians who end up hating LGBTQ+ people started doing so long before they ever opened their bibles. It wasn't like they were tolerant people who decided to embrace hate after doing some reading.

So why do some Christians (and non-Christians) hate LGBTQ+ people? I'd guess there are many reasons and that some of them have fairly little to do with the contents of their bibles or other "holy" books. Some have been explicitly taught to hate. Some are probably reacting to the feelings of disgust they experience when they consider what it would be like to have sex with someone of the same sex. For some, it may have to do with an overwhelming desire to meddle in other people's sex lives, similar to what we see in the debate over reproductive rights and birth control. Just because religion is often part of how they try to justify their bigotry, doesn't necessarily mean it is the primary reason for their bigotry. I suspect some would still exist without religion.

I think there has been and will continue to be a backlash against the sort of Christian extremist hate we saw on display recently in Orlando at the "make American straight again" debacle. When Christian extremists do stuff like this, those of us who embrace the LGBTQ+ community become more determined to be more vocal about doing so. When Christian extremists attack LGBTQ+ pride, many of us respond by expressing our support for the pride events or even attending them. In much the same way Christian extremist attacks on the separation of church and state fuel secular activism, Christian extremist attacks on LGBTQ+ persons drive this sort of activism.

I do not wish hate on anybody, and I would certainly prefer if all this anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry would disappear. Since that seems unlikely to happen in the near future, I console myself with two thoughts. First, the more hate and bigotry spewed by Christian extremists, the more hastily young people will abandon Christianity. Second, the more hate and bigotry Christian extremists direct at specific groups, the more those of us who value humanism, tolerance, diversity, and the like will organize around these groups. We'll do this not just to defend them but also to embrace them. If the Christian extremists keep this up and we continue to call attention to what they are doing, we'll end up with fewer Christians and stronger and more active LGBTQ+ rights groups.