The meme began showing itself on my news feed on Facebook just a couple of days following the discriminatory law passed in Indiana this past week. The first time I saw it, while I understood the intent of my friends, there was at minimum a twinge of offense in the core of my being. The more it showed up the more uncomfortable I became with its message. I started to write about my thoughts yesterday and simply ran out of day, and this morning I had really not thought about it until a friend of mine posted a similar thought and has prompted me to ponder and process via my standard method of writing. Here is the meme I reference:
While there may be a well-intentioned point to this message, the underlying message in this particular quote and others is at best misinformed and at worst offensive. My reaction to this particular message is that in some way my lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer friends and colleagues are in the same category as thieves and prostitutes, i.e. in the language of many in the “church” sinful sinners. Being LGBTQ is not sinful, so, as well intentioned as this message may be, it is inaccurate and unjust.
The “religious freedom bill” that was passed and similar laws that exist in one way or another in many other states, including here in Kansas, are not about religious freedom, they are about discrimination and bigotry. The “religious freedom bill” that was passed and similar laws that exist in one way or another in many other states, including here in Kansas, are not about religious freedom, they are about legalizing discrimination against persons who are citizens of our state and nation, and this is a human and civil rights issue and certainly not a religious one. LGBTQ persons under our own rule of constitutional law, deserve to be treated with equality, respect, and the same civil rights I enjoy as a straight citizen of this state and nation.
As for me and my expression of the Christian faith, I believe Jesus would be appalled at such an over-reach of empire that continues its overreach in exacting religious bigotry and state sanctioned discrimination not because he ate regularly with sinners, but because he ate, welcomed, and loved human beings for who they are, valued and appreciated children of the divine.
Thanks to my friend Thomas Whit for the reminder to do a little ponderous writing this morning.
Peace and Light on Your Journey,