[Content note: Anti-gay bigotry and violence]
Last year, I wrote this post on how Christianity's anti-gay teachings and reputation were among the top reasons that young people are turning away from the religion.
I can't imagine that actions like these will help that image, actions in which a Christian teaching that gay people deserve to die is cited in a Salvation Army training manual and then, in an interview, that belief is actually confirmed as legit by an organization spokesman.
Truth Wins Out actually published the above-linked story about a year ago as well, but I guess I missed it back then. I think it's worth highlighting again on Internet, for the historical record.
See, it's pretty popular among some prominent folks who oppose marriage equality today to claim that American society is too pro-gay and that Christians are too oppressed in the United States. But, no equivalent "opposite" pro-gay organization in the US exists, in the real world, that deems it acceptable to teach that Christians should be put to death, or that claim that "god" says Christians should be put to death.
I think sometimes that many of us, LGBT people and allies, get inured to rhetoric like this, because it's actually not all that unusual to come across someone hiding behind their religion as cover for their hatred and, specifically, citing religious beliefs that claim that gay people should die.
Oh har har, it's just someone being a bigoted ass on Internet.
But no, these beliefs are real. And, they are put in the mouth of "god," and repeated by followers of the most powerful and prominent religion in the US.
And, holy shit, when I think about it enough, it's like wow, these people actually think gay people should die.
They. actually. think. gay people. should. die.
I should die. Because I'm gay. You, perhaps, should die. If you're gay too. And what's-his-face from the Salvation Army wants to sit and parse the precise language and issue a non-apology apology about it and people in the comments want to bicker over whether or not being gay is a choice or genetic while completely losing sight of the fact that they. think. gay. people. should. die.
That is a big deal. A really big fucking deal.
So, back to my point about Christians leaving the religion because of its well-deserved reputation of being anti-gay. What are Christian opponents of LGBT rights who disagree with these beliefs doing to disassociate themselves from, and marginalize, these other Christian beliefs?
Your silence, your passivity, and your belief that your religion automatically makes you a good person, does not protect you.
And, it is not uncharitable to say that.
Indeed, given that the elimination of gay people seems to be an explicit or implicit Christian doctrine for many Christians, it is a profound act of self-defense to Not Just Assume that All True Christians disagree with the Salvation Army's text.
[Spoiler Alert: I won't be donating to Salvation Army anytime soon.]