Intolerance is Not Very Christian


Earlier in the week I read a post about a panel discussion at Liberty University that addressed ways Christian conservatives could more effectively combat the gay movement. One panel member, Ryan Sorba, believes that the root of the problem is the word “gay” itself. He believes that the word is no more than a ploy to create fundamental rights for those who chose to give into their fleeting, immoral desires. Instead of giving the gay community an identity by using the word “gay”, the community and their actions should be referred to as “anti Christian”, “same sex attraction or intercourse”, “sodomy,” and “unnatural vice”. (For more on this, see http://castrost.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/haters-gonna-hate/)

Ryan Sorba speaking to a crowd

Mr. Sorba’s comments are a shinning example of how people use their religion as an excuse and platform to promote their ignorant and intolerant beliefs. Be you an atheist or devout in your religion, you would never do anything that could be considered your one way ticket to Hell.  Despite what we may say and do, deep inside we all want God to love us. We all want to experience some kind of pleasant and peaceful afterlife when we die. What better way to get people to accept and promote your agenda than by exploiting these wants?

Mr.Sorba isn’t the only who has spoke out on a controversial issue by using the Bible. Slavers who participated in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade used the Bible to convince slaves and those who spoke out against it that it was the right thing to do. (After all, the Hebrews of Egypt were enslaved.)  They would often use verses such as slaves obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; not only while being watched and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart (Eph. 6:5-6) and tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in ever respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior (Titus 2:9-10). If this justification wouldn’t work, slavers and masters would use the Bible story of the Curse of Ham to convince slaves and those against slavery that blacks were inferior to whites and destined to be servants.

To help sway more supporters, those who are pro life use examples from the Bible to support their views. They use verses such as then the word of the LORD came to me saying “before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:4-5) and what then shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how shall I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb? (Job 31:14-15). If this isn’t convincing enough, pro lifers will say that women who have abortions are murderers and the punishment for murder is eternal damnation. They will say that the fetus is a blessing from God and He believes that you are ready to bring a child into this world.

I will not poke holes into any of these Bible supported arguments, although they are open to interpretation. The fact of the matter here is that Sorba’s exploitation of religion to support his views is nothing new. It’s part of the same song and dance that has been going on in America and around the world for centuries. It’s just another ploy to get people to support their way of thinking because people want to please God.

However, I don’t think a loving and accepting deity like God would be pleased with intolerance and being used as a ploy to spread it. If God has made us all in His image, if He made us all brothers and sisters, I don’t think He would approve of such intolerance towards each other. Christians claim to believe in charity, good will and kindness. Is it charitable to refuse a homeless a man dollar or food because you think it’s his fault? Is picketing the funerals of homosexuals and dead soldiers a sign of good will? Is calling a woman who had an abortion a murderer or calling a gay man a sodomizer kind?

What do you think about all this? Feel free to sound off.

4 thoughts on “Intolerance is Not Very Christian

  1. The problem here is that you’re looking at the extremists. Because you are right, none of these things you’re talking about convey love. And Christians need to and ought to do everything from love.

    However, there is some necessity, in love, to speak truth. However, love does not tear down, but builds up. So, as a Christian, I might not agree with the idea of abortion, I might not believe that homosexuality is sanctioned by God, but I will not treat people as less than human simply because they make choices that I do not believe are right. Sin is sin; all sin nailed Jesus to the cross, not just some sins. We are all sinners in need of redemption. And as we grow more and more like Christ, we will be transformed.

    I don’t think it’s right to use the Bible to manipulate, but I do think there are truths we can’t ignore. However, how we express those truths matters. Love must be the motivator.

    1. I agree that this post does mainly focus on the extremist point of view and it does goes both ways. Just as Christians should not be hateful/malicious to those with differing points of view, I believe the same should go for atheists and those of different faiths. Fair is fair after all.

      I also agree about speaking the truth. If you love someone you really shouldn’t be afraid to be honest and truthful. All sin is bad and we should work not to become better people. Like you said, it’s how we express the truth and love should be the motivator.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Thanks for the shout out!

    It’s sad to see a small sect of extremists hijack the conversation and steer it in a very un-Christian direction. I agree that these individuals are not representative of the religion as a whole, but unfortunately this seems to be the norm these days. It not only places an added burden on the rest of Christianity to stand up and denounce this hateful rhetoric (which they usually don’t), it takes the debate down a path that severely limits genuine conversation, leaving it up to people like you and me to speak up and call these people out!

    1. You’re very welcome! It was very well written. Thanks for reading and commenting as well.

      It just upsets me how often the Bible and religions are used to promote hate and intolerance and like you said, it’s becoming a normal every day thing. I think the true message of love that most religions emphasize is being lost in all this. You can’t get someone to believe that they can be loved and by a higher power if the people spreading its message are hateful and intolerant.

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