By Tommy Gagliano
For centuries, religion has been used as an excuse to be hateful towards homosexuals. A lot of religions, including most sects of the Abrahamic religions, prohibit homosexual behavior, and describe them as sinful. For Christianity specifically, the most commonly cited Bible verses about homosexuality are Leviticus 18 and 20 in the Old Testament, which state that “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22) and “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13) While it is not necessarily a problem to disapprove of homosexuality for religious or other reasons, using the Bible as an excuse to be hateful towards homosexuals is hypocritical and wrong.
It is true that engaging in homosexual behavior is a sin according to the Bible. However, so is lying, jealousy, selfishness, saying “oh my God,” masturbating, watching porn, having sex before marriage, getting divorced, and working on Sunday. Everyone is guilty of at least some of these sins, and the overwhelming majority of people sin everyday. There aren’t any people that use Christianity as an excuse to hate and discriminate against people that have been divorced, or that have said the phrase “oh my God,” even though both are sins. So why do some Christians use religion as an excuse to treat homosexuals poorly? If you believe in the Bible, and believe that homosexuality is wrong because of what the Bible says about it in Leviticus and elsewhere, then let me direct your attention towards another Bible verses. “…for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If you are a Christian, and you hate gay people because they are sinners, you are a hypocrite, because you are a sinner as well.
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (John 4:20) Being hateful to anyone, for any reason, goes against one of the primary messages of the Bible – to love thy neighbor. Regardless of the sins others are guilty of, it is still our job as children of God to treat them with love and respect. In more cliche terms, “love the sinner, hate the sin.” Just because you disagree with someone’s actions or behavior, for religious or other reasons, it does not permit you to demonize them.
To those that feel superior to homosexuals, or feel that they are entitled to be homophobic because the Bible says gay sex is bad, I have a fun exercise for you to try. Think about all of the sins I listed above. Think about all of them that you are guilty of. Have you ever watched porn? Worked on a Sunday? Been jealous of someone else? Then think about your friends, family members, and other people you love. What sins are they guilty of? After bringing all of these sins to mind, and how frequently they are committed, can you still justify your attitude towards homosexuals just because their sins are different than yours?
To clarify my personal opinions before I conclude, I do not believe there is anything wrong with homosexuality. I am Catholic, but there are parts of the Bible I do not agree with. However, I acknowledge that many Christians do believe that homosexuality is sinful, because of what the Bible says about it. Even though I disagree, I can understand and accept that point of view, up until it results in hateful or discriminatory behavior towards a specific group of people. I also acknowledge that the majority of Christians, especially young Christians, are not homophobic. However, there are still a fair amount of people that use Christianity to justify their homophobia. Those people are not only hypocrites, but are also going against the message of the Bible by treating gay people in a negative way.