Sunday, February 12, 2012

You Didn't See Anything

In the above video, you get some varied opinions about homosexuality by Christian Evangelicals.  Interestingly enough, they seem to vary along generational lines - the younger, the more accepting.

Greg Boyd brought up the Barna poll which shows that the number one item both Christians and non-Christians associate Christians with is an anti-gay stance.  Chuck Colson, feeling that Greg and Shane were giving away the farm, denied  anti-gay sentiments among Christians.  He says, "I have yet to hear a Christian bash a homosexual."

This is, to me, a rather incredulous statement.  I can't began to count the snide, condescending, hurtful, and judgmental comments I have heard Christians make about homosexuals to their faces and behind their backs.  I just read one this morning.  A friend of mine was being lectured by a Christian, using all of the usual arguments (eg. God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve).  The parting remark was "Gays make me sick".

So, how is it that Chuck never hears any of this?  It seems to me that one of two things must be happening.  He is either so defensive of Christianity that he interprets reality to suit his prejudices (he really doesn't see it), or his bar for what is considered "bashing" is really, really low.

In any case, he is a leader in the Christian community, and it is statements and perspectives like his that give permission to Christians all over the world to hold and perpetuate prejudiced and bigoted dialogue.

I know Christians who are quick to point out that "not all Christians are like that", but at some point, Christians have to start taking responsibility for their community. Obviously, there is something in the ethos that allows so much of this to fester. You don't find people who are ambivalent about ecology in Greenpeace... why do we find so many people ambivalent and hostile to love in Christianity?


Bruce Gerencser said...

Exclusivity and certainty breed arrogance and hostility.

After all, according to Romans 1, homosexuality is a sign of reprobation.

If Chuck isn't seeing it, he ain't looking.

Steve H. said...

I think you nailed the generational argument. I realized I am probably closest in age to Greg Boyd and he's the sentiment I most closely align with. Colson's view is a little old school (and I have no idea where he can say he's never heard a Christian bash a homosexual)

Did you notice the three generations of dress as well? Colson looks professional in a tie, Greg looks a little more casual but still has the sport coat...and Shane, well Shane will always look like someone your daughter will date to piss you off! :)

Jon said...

I listened to this last night Australian time and was thinking about it as I rode my bike this morning. I realised that Colson subtly changed the subject, or else subtly vilified gays, in his final comment. In reacting to the notion that evangelicals are anti-gay he points to his own first encounter with a woman dying of AIDS. Being a woman she is unlikely to have caught the disease in a same-sex encounter and most likely (in descending order) to have got it from sharing a needle, a heterosexual encounter with an infected man or a blood transfusion. It's good that Colson showed compassion for her and many like her, but not evidence that gay people are treated well. In fact, by making an automatic association between AIDS and homosexuality he is buying into the fallacy that AIDS is a "gay" disease, and all that goes with that.

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