From A Christian To The Gay Community

The church is strongly in opposition to homosexuality but some are speaking out and saying, "we're sorry."

I recently saw a link for a site featuring 21 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity.  The first picture was of a group of Christians from Chicago who showed up at a gay pride parade and held signs that said, “I’m sorry for how the church has treated you”, “I’m sorry Christians judge you”, “I’m sorry Christians shun you” and “I used to be a bible-banging homophobe. Sorry!”  The second picture is of a gay man hugging one of the christians in gratitude.

These pictures touched my heart because as a Christian, I’ve wrestled with this issue. That’s because I’m surrounded by some who say that homosexuality is a sin and that we should speak out against it but everything in me says that’s not right. I love God fiercely, have devoted my life to him, read my bible, am immersed in my faith and am struggling to see how hatred and rejection is sononymous with God.  And It's very clear where the church stands on this issue. 

I have tiptoed around it and said nothing so as to not ruffle any feathers on either side of the fence but the more I read the bible and the more I pray about it, it’s becoming clear that what God has asked me to do is simple; love everyone.

Yes, I’ve read "those scriptures" and I know two things: the bible doesn’t lie and the bible is often misinterpreted.  It’s important to not only read but then pray for discernment.  In my case, I feel that the most overpowering rule of God, the rule that supersedes everything is the command to love one another. Anything that is not compatible with that rule is not of God.

Therefore, I want to make a public declaration that says: "We're sorry.  We've been wrong."  I think that more Christians should stand up like those from Chicago and others around the world, shout it out and let it be known to Christians and non-christians alike that many of us are deeply sorry for the way the lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and trans gender community has been treated by the church as a whole. 

We should stand at parades with our signs, apologize to family members and seek out ways to embrace the gay community as a way to bridge the line of hate that divides us.  It’s not okay for us to sit back and say nothing.  It’s a cowardly thing to do- to stand by and watch a group of people being persecuted and not take action. Maybe you're not the bully who is stealing the lunch money or punching someone in the face but you're just as guilty if you don't do anything about it.

So, if you are a gay man or woman and you’ve never heard it before, please know this: not all Christians are against you.  Some of us, including me, have been silent and by lack of action, have hurt you.  I’m deeply sorry. I don’t feel the same as the church. I’m not alone in these feelings and while many of my counterparts aren’t ready to speak out, I know they’d want you to know. 

We are sorry about those who have called you ugly names, beg forgiveness for those who have shunned you from churches.  We apologize for Christians who stand behind corporations that support the hatred against you.  We disagree with those who use the bible as a weapon to belittle and judge you.  We are ashamed of those who use their faith to build road blocks in the way of your basic human rights.

I know that doesn’t make it all okay.  It doesn’t do much to make the problem go away but I hope it moves us, even if the tiniest bit, in the right direction.  To those of you in the gay community, who at this moment may be feeling isolated and rejected, consider this letter a great, big, giant hug as well as a heartfelt apology from an unlikely source, a Christian. I want you to know that  I promise to do a better job of speaking up when what I hear is wrong and of standing next to you and holding your hand as you fight for your justice and respect.

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Carla MacKay August 03, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Beautiful, Alicia.
Mickey August 03, 2012 at 01:45 AM
My goodness- That is a lovely piece of writing. Well said Alicia- I am not gay, nor am I religious at all- but if there is a god, he most certainly is proud of you.
Jay Gatsby August 04, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Alicia, I have never met you, and I probably never will. However, my respect for you is profound. You've brightened my day and my week with these beautiful words.
Carver Glezen August 04, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Alicia - I want to thank you for such thoughtful words. It takes guts to put yourself out there as you did....well said.
Peter Jones October 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM
You assume that the group in the photo are Christians. Are they really? It looks staged for effect. No, we Christians haven't been wrong and we are not against people. Perhaps the delivery of the message has been harsh in some cases. The militant gay community has been doing a good job at bullying and demonizing Christians, too. Alicia since you're Bible reader, you know what God says [Romans 1] about homosexuality and sin. If people don't like it, take it up with God. God is against all sin...and we ALL sinners. That is why Christ went to the cross..for everyone! Who is really guilty of hate speech - those that say God is for homosexual practices or those that say God is against homosexual practices? God is either one or the other, He can't be both for it and against it. Yes, we are called to love everyone. But apologizing and saying we were wrong is not love...it's politically correct caving in to the whim of society.
Alicia Yost October 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Peter, I've read that scripture so many times and tried earnestly to hear from God in it. You're right in that he can't be both for or against something. That is biblical. But God didn't call me to judge. He called me to love. I'm apologizing not for our disagreement but for the hatred. Apologizing may look like caving but in fact, it's humbling. It's a humble thing to admit that we aren't God, that we don't know all the answers. Gay or straight, we are all brothers and sisters. Jesus is always clear about sin and the greatest of these is to love any God above him. Sometimes it's easy to worship the God of self-righteousness. When I look back through scripture, it's clear that God is against sin but it's not the sinner. He embraces the sinner. He hated the saducees who boldly claimed they knew everything and chose instead to spend his time with the lowest, the tax collector, the prostitute. He loves sinners! And I thank him for that because if he didn't, we would all be unworthy. Even if the Christian community believes that homosexuality is a sin, it's not okay for us to judge or to create a situation in which a gay person does not feel welcome in a church. Church is a place for sinner. And even if homosexuality is a sin, it's surely no different than my sin of pride.
Robin Hood October 22, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Peter, Christ did not go to the Cross for anyones sins. Think about in a context of reality. The Romans arrest you, do you really think they say "you will be put to death for all of the sins for people yet to be born forever"?????????? No, that makes no sense, bear in mind the Bible was assembled from the various Christian churches that were gaining in popularity by Roman Emporer Constantin in 325AD. They picked the stories and rewrote some to keep Rome together, it is based on Hebrew, Jesus was Jewish and followed the teachings of Moses and he was most definatley married to Mary. Constanin screwed the story all up for their own gains. To me Jesus was a Martin Luther King, he fought the Romans as some would fight the Corporates and Republicans today and helped the poor and disenfranchised, there is no way he would hang with the rich and GOP or fauxnews, he might council them as to the error of their ways much as he tried in his time. His final achievement in rebellion was to convince the Jewish tax collectors who worked for the Romans to stop collecting taxes on their own people, he was after all Jewish, this would be the move that set the Romans off, they didn't mind much until you messed with their money. All of their conquered lands were allowed to do as they wish as long as they paid taxes.....that sealed his fate.
Robin Hood October 22, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Jesus didn't die for our sins, he died trying to protect us from greed and corruption.
Darrell Lucas October 22, 2012 at 01:53 PM
I dont believe in god so to even have him/her/it in the conversation about real people with real world issues is a ridiculous conversation.
Jeremy Renninghoff October 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Mrs. Yost, I see some "if"s, implying homosexuality might or might not be a sin. If you actually read your Bible, you would know homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle and an affront to God's design. Secondly, at some point God does turn away from those who choose this path. Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. You're right in that we will not render final judgment on homosexuals or anyone for that matter. However, Christians have no reason to commune with or accept those who have outright rejected Christ. II Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
Pat McCann October 22, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Alicia - You have taken the first step to truth by taking a critical eye to the fundamental philosophy of your religion and found at least a part of it to be distasteful. Take the next step and truly look at it with full objectivity. When you begin to realize that you want to reject the misogyny, racism, child abuse, hatred of other belief systems, pro-war, and anti-intellectualism in addition to the homophobia, you'll find that there really isn't much left that hasn't been said before by ancient Asian, Greek, and dozens of other philosophies throughout history some long before the birth of Christianity and some long after. Compare your religion to other major religions. Think about what you find. Really think about it. You'll find that there exists a framework for real morality that is independent of dogma. If you find that you still need to believe in a god there are many other churches more tolerant and loving than the Christian variety. Try one. Try several. You'll find that your god won't condemn you for seeking the truth. Only your fellows steeped in the dogma of your church will.
jane October 22, 2012 at 06:22 PM
This is by far the best thing you've written. Of course- I agree 100% so it's easy for me to say how great it is. I too have a fundamental background- id sit in church and flinch at hateful words coming out in the name of Jesus- Things like what you said Things about single parent homes (I was a single mom Who sat there feeling so less than-) Wondering why our pastors don't breach against spousel abuse or rape with the same venom against homosexuality- and broken homes. I watched them spew vomit against those on welfare- as tey themselves lied about cash income to get huskey for their kids- You my dear are a better person than I- this is brave - because both sides are going to attack YOU- Some don't want the truth out- and it's been my observation that what you say is true- For those that believe in Jesus- there is more doctrine that supports loving- and letting God do the judging- and the holy spirit do the sanctifying- You are braced than I- I walked away from The church- cant sit in a place where I feel it doesn't line up-
jane October 22, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Braver- not braced
Alicia Yost October 22, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Jane, I understand. There is a big difference between religion and a relationship with Jesus.
Pro Death October 22, 2012 at 07:13 PM
How can homosexuality be a sin if you are born that way and we are all Gods creation?
jane October 22, 2012 at 07:19 PM
The article isn't about whether it's a sin- its about someone saying she's sorry for not speaking up against how the church bullies the homosexual. Period. It's comments from Both extreme sides that make it hard for those in the middle- to speak out- Pro
jane October 22, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Alicia- and yet that very sentence you said- its relationship- is used by some to control thiinking that doesn't line up- just my observation- Not saying you meant it that way
Stephanie October 22, 2012 at 07:39 PM
I think God would rather have Gay who love then straight that hate... Love and let live....
Pro Death October 22, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Sorry Jane I was commenting on Peter Jones comment not the article itself, I forgot to hit the reply button.
Pro Death October 22, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I actually agree with Darrell, but I guess some people need it in there lives.
Robin Hood October 22, 2012 at 09:17 PM
It would be interesting to see this article printed in the Walhalla SC Courier


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