Christians, Rainbow Oreos, and Outrage

by Camille on July 6, 2012

I discovered a new blogger the other day called The Wayward Follower, and thus far,  I’ve greatly enjoyed reading his stuff. Anyway, he posted this video, and I wanted to share it with you.

If you’re like me, maybe you went straight to Google to give it a shot. And then you discovered the the video is edited. It actually removed half a dozen or so additional negative attributes that popped up after each letter.

As I thought of the many lonely, angry people, sitting in front of their computer screens asking Google why some “Christian” hurt them so deeply, I felt overwhelmed by sadness. So many words….Angry. Arrogant. Cruel. Close-minded. Defensive. Divided. Fake. Full of hate. Hypocritical. Homophobic. Hostile. Intolerant. Judgmental. Self-righteous. Stubborn. Unforgiving. Unlike Christ.

Not one of these words describes my Jesus, so if this is how the world see us, aren’t we kind of missing the point? Christians are called to be like Christ. Merciful. Kind. Loving. Forgiving. Compassionate. Trustworthy.

It’s true, not all Christians are described by the negative words, but it’s easy to see how we get that reputation. The Wayward Follower also posted about the recent rainbow Oreo incident.

Image Credit

He links to buzzfeed which compiled a list of some of the more hateful reactions.

I read them, and I wondered how many of these same people call themselves Christians. Certainly more than a few, since several used scripture to support their hateful words.

I especially liked this one:

Gees Kayley. Does that mean that all the infertile couples in America are sinning every time we have sex? I mean, my husband and I can love all day long, but we will likely still never “multiply fruitfuly.” (By the way, you’ve got a few spelling issues, dear.) Anyway, he’s going to be so bummed when I give him this news. What about my married friends who simply choose not to have children? Does God hate them too?

Then things get really ugly with responses like this one:

There are so many problems with this line of thinking, I don’t even know where to start. Mr Fjord, do you think God is a fan of hate? Of “smashing skulls in with a hammer?” I hope some government agency is investigating you for hate-crimes right now.

I read dozens of such posts, and I felt sad. horrified. embarrassed. sick.

Here’s the deal, y’all. I stopped viewing homosexuality as a sin a long time ago. As I run in some rather conservative circles at times, I know that’s going to make some of you really uncomfortable, disappointed, or angry. I’ve decided I’m okay with that. I’m comfortable being a Christian and seriously loving gay people.

I sense the sermon coming, but wait!  Rather than litter my in-box with your viewpoints and Leviticus verses, please know that as a moderately intelligent person, I didn’t come to this decision lightly. I read (and read and read) opinions on and interpretations of scripture. I prayed. I payed attention in Brain Psychology class. I developed close friendships with numerous gay people–many of whom are active Christians and most who knew they were gay from an extremely early age. And mostly, I decided that if I’m wrong, I’d rather be wrong about misinterpreting scripture than wrong about not loving and fully supporting the rights of a fellow human being.

And for those of you who believe that being gay is a sin: guess what? So is being judgmental. Materialistic. Greedy. Lustful. Jealous. Are you sure you’ve never gossiped? Lied? Cheated? Oh, and that bashing people in the skull thing? Definitely a sin. Bring on the hell fires!

In all seriousness, I respect your right to your own interpretations and beliefs if you feel you are legitimately following the teachings of Christ. We’ll have to agree to disagree. But when you hijack my Jesus as an attempt to justify your right to persecute, ostracize, or hate other humans, well buddy, that’s not okay with me. And honestly, I just don’t get the amount of energy going into protesting a cookie?!

If you want to be outraged, what about this? I went to PATH (Parents as Tender Healers) foster care orientation last week, and I heard about an 18-month-old whose mother put her in a tub with water so scalding hot that the baby girl has third-degree burns all over her body. I heard about a mother who visited her 10-year-old daughter and brought along the man who had molested the child. I heard how young, black males are the hardest to place and have little hope of getting adopted.  I saw profile after profile of lonely, hurt children desperately needing loving families.  According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, 408, 425 children were in foster care in 2010. Why not be outraged for them? Or the millions of motherless children in other parts of the world? Or the millions dying from malnutrition or lack of access to clean water?

For those of you that need some righteous indignation in your day, there are bigger issues than a cookie.

In a post called “moving on,” the Wayward Follower writes that he thinks it’s time for the church to move on from fighting about homosexuality as it’s only serving to alienate countless numbers of young believers who see the church as judgmental and full of bigots. He writes:

… the church has been guilty of a high-handed hypocrisy, creating a hierarchy of sin. and that’s done a tremendous amount of damage on both sides of the conversation. there are many who don’t share my same biblical ethic; yet i think there’s room for further discussion without continuing to fight a culture war that is only causing harm.

i believe it’s time for the church to move on from that fight….

the church has an opportunity and responsibility to enter into fresh dialogue with humility and respect to those on both sides of the aisle, committed anew to becoming known not for what we stand against, but being defined by the uniquely divine grace and love of christ.

So even though the Follower and I may share different viewpoints of sin, at least he’s attempting to start dialogue not fueled by hatred or condemnation. And I fully agree that it’s time for the church to MOVE ON. Because I love my church, but I don’t want anything to do with those words on Google. I’m more interested in how we become more like Jesus.

So to my gay friends, to any future gay sons or daughters, to any of you who have been rejected and hurt by your Christian “brothers,” know that this Christian loves you, and I believe Jesus loves you too….exactly the way you are.

 

Monika July 7, 2012 at 10:21 am

AMEN. Preach it, sister. I believe being gay is a sin. However, that said, I don’t care. God didn’t put me on the earth to judge other people. I have my hands full enough judging MYSELF and my own actions. When Jesus came to earth, he hung out with the blatant sinners like prostitutes. He didn’t hang with the “holier than thou” priests. Our “job” on this earth is to pattern ourselves after God, and that means loving people anyway even if we don’t agree with them. My man’s mother doesn’t agree with gay people either – yet she opened her home to a lesbian couple. I think that God appreciated those actions far more than if she’d told them that she thought they were sinning. (I think boycotting a cookie is silly too. I’ve actually been buying Oreos like crazy lately.)

Oh. I ADORE your comment to Kayley. There’s nothing that ruins a statement faster for me than horrid spelling and atrocious grammar.
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Heather July 28, 2012 at 5:21 am

Thank you so much for this. I personally needed it… I was raised Southern Baptist, along with my older siblings, one of which is now openly gay (& she’s been with her partner for 15 years & they have a wonderful son together….though I might be biased :P). I totally believed that “being gay” was “wrong” & sinful….until it affected my life & my family. I’ve learned a lot over the years, including how horribly hateful so many “Christians” can be, unfortunately.
I love this: “But when you hijack my Jesus as an attempt to justify your right to persecute, ostracize, or hate other humans, well buddy, that’s not okay with me.”
And also pointing out that there are SO many other “sins” and causes we could be concentrating on–like child abuse, hunger, helping others & not tearing them down.
BTW, I also just want to say that you have a beautiful, precious & loving family. So wonderful to see! I am a NICU nurse & my sister is a PICU respiratory therapist, so we both see first hand children who are abused (even before they are born), neglected, etc., but also many wonderful, loving families–be they adoptive or biological or anything else. 😀
Again–thank you. <3

Camille July 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Thank you for taking the time to comment! 🙂 I appreciate the support, and I wish you well. It takes a special person for your difficult job, and I pray that God sends you joy and strength. Thanks again!

Tacy August 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

You say, “Not one of these words describes my Jesus, so if this is how the world see us, aren’t we kind of missing the point? Christians are called to be like Christ. Merciful. Kind. Loving. Forgiving. Compassionate. Trustworthy.” I have experienced the presence of ” your Jesus and HE is just like your JESUS.

Tacy August 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Loved your comment about Kayle’s spelling issues, Teacher! Feel free to correct my paper!

Camille August 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Hah! Old habits die hard. I get itchy for a red pen now and then, but generally, I don’t call people out on-line. However, for individuals spouting that kind of hatred, I make exceptions. 😉

Randall March 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Beautiful family photos. I miss seeing you guys. You are right that many Christians fail to demonstrate the love of Jesus, and many Christians especially fail miserably when it comes to how they address the issue of homosexuality. I want to make three points. First, neither of the obnoxious pair you cite claimed to be a Christian, so why do you use them as representative of hateful, hurtful Christians? Second, you mention Leviticus, but what about the New Testament? There is no interpretation necessary for Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9 or 1 Timothy 1:9-10. All three passages are very clear. Third, it is, indeed, sad that many Christians — perhaps the majority — fail to acknowledge or accept that it is the lifestyle and/or behavior of a homosexual that is sin.

Camille March 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Randall,
Thanks. We wish we saw you more often as well. Between building a house, adopting another child, graduate school, the vet clinics, Ian, Herdest, and Miss Ellie, we don’t have a lot of free time. Whew!

I used those particular status updates as examples because the first references God and the Bible while the second calls for God to bless America. Since I assume a Muslim, Hindu, or atheist likely wouldn’t mention such things to support his opinion, I think it’s fair to assume these individuals come from some type of Christian background. Also, I’ve seen many church Web sites and heard many “Christians” express similar sentiments, so those messages were fairly representative of the type of person I was addressing.

When it comes to the Scriptures you’ve mentioned, I’ve found compelling arguments for each that suggest misinterpretation from a failure to account for context, time period, audience, author’s intent, etc. Translations over the years have also greatly influenced meaning. There are incredibly smart people who believe as you do. There are other incredibly smart people who’ve shaped my current beliefs. If that many incredibly smart people can interpret the same verses differently, I’m going to err on the side of love and support for my homosexual brothers and sisters. But even if you do believe homosexuality is a sin, why do Christians feel justified in denying gay people the right to marry? We allow liars and perjurers (also condemned in 1 Timothy) to marry. We don’t ban thieves, drunkards, adulterers, swindlers, or slanderers from the altar (1 Corinthians). Isn’t all sin supposed to be equal? If we’re going to start requiring people to be completely sinless before marriage then all will remain single.

I have many close friends that are homosexuals, and I have absolutely no problem with their behavior and/or lifestyle. Many are Christians with a devout faith, and their friendship has greatly enriched my life.

We’ll likely never agree on this issue, but I thank you for sharing your beliefs in any case. 🙂

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