Though LGBTQ people are less likely to face open violence or diminished rights, their fight for equality is not completely over. Sadly, many people in the LGBTQ community find that they still face open discrimination and hatred, especially from conservative and religious people. The current presidential campaigns have often featured hateful anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from supposedly Christian politicians. After years of being disliked by Christians, LGBTQ people are finally fighting back for their right to practice a religion. The results are truly heartwarming, and more and more Christians are speaking out against hate.
A recent LGBTQ pride parade featured cheerful pamphlets that reassured people that it was possible to be both gay and Christian. The pamphlets were decorated with rainbow colored sheep that represented the LGBTQ rainbow and the Christian concept of being a sheep in God’s flock. Inside the pamphlet were Bible verses chosen to refute conservative Christian rhetoric. One example is the question, “Are you afraid that God will reject you?” followed by a quote from Jeremiah 1:5 that states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…I set you apart.”
The incredible pamphlet also tackles common conservative myths by explaining the true context behind Bible verses that supposedly support LGBTQ discrimination. For example, the pamphlet points out that an ancient tale of God destroying a city after the men tried to force themselves on two male travelers is speaking out against rape, not homosexuality. These types of ideas are gaining more and more traction in the Christian community. As historical knowledge about the sexual practices of the ancients becomes more clear, many Christians are realizing that most Bible verses that are used to justify LGBTQ discrimination are actually just mistranslated verses speaking out against rape, pedophilia, and violent relationships.
After briefly explaining that the Bible is not actually condemning homosexuality, the pamphlet goes on to preach a message of love and tolerance. It reassures people struggling with their sexuality that they can embrace who they are without losing the love and support of the Christian community. Instead of focusing on unjustifiable rules, the pamphlet encourages people to focus on the love, acceptance, and kindness that are the key tenets of Christian faith.
Though this type of pamphlet might be welcomed at a gay pride parade, many people assumed that it would be derided outside of the welcoming LGBTQ community. However, the response after the pamphlet was posted online is overwhelmingly positive. Christians have posted messages encouraging LGBTQ people who read the pamphlet to visit their church. People have mentioned that certain denominations, such as Episcopal and Methodist, are particularly likely to be supportive and welcoming.=
Hopefully, more and more people will realize that supporting gay rights is not mutually exclusive to the Christian faith. This pamphlet is an excellent step in the right direction. Though it is sad that years of mistranslated and misinterpreted Bible verses have been used to support hatred and violence, this sad past does not have to continue into the future. If the Christian church can focus more on the Biblical message of love, it may be possible to stop religious-sponsored LGBTQ discrimination and help people in the LGBTQ community to live more open and happy lives.