"One-Way", All or Nothing Thinking can Damage Relationships

John Pavlovitz: “Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology On The LGBT Community”

"One-Way", All or Nothing Thinking can Damage Relationships

From John Pavlovitz:

Scores of people from all over the world have shared with me their devastating stories of exclusion and isolation, of unanswered prayers to change, of destructive conversion therapies, of repeated suicide attempts, and of being actively and passively driven from faith, by people of faith.

Church, this is the reality of our theology on homosexuality.

This is the cost of our religion to the LGBT community. More accurately, it’s the cost of our religion to LGBT human beings. This is the painful collateral damage that comes when we see principles and ignore people; when we refuse to give them the dignity they deserve.

The most common defense I’ve heard over the past 14 days from Christians who believe that being gay is both chosen and sinful, has been some variation of the supposedly well-meaning, “Well, we’re just loving people by being honest with them, by giving them ‘the Truth’. Telling people the truth is loving them.”

“It certainly doesn’t look like love to the sweet, 12-year old middle school girl in your church whose been repeatedly told she’s an abomination; that God already despises her.

It doesn’t look like love to the family of a transgender high school Junior, who can’t find a church family that will welcome them or include them or acknowledge them.

It doesn’t look like love to the devastated parents who have watched their son hang himself because he was assured by his Christian schoolmates that he’s better dead than gay.”

Read the Full Article: Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology on The LGBT Community 


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW, LLMSW



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I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I really appreciate the care and compassion to approach this subject and represent a marginalized part of the human family. I would like to share from my perspective couple of brief thoughts. the “christian” community as spoken of here fails in two major areas: Being a Christian means being a follower of Christ; who gave his life fora ALL; being christian does not fit with a pseudo theological-political perspective that is based on being judgmental and exclusive. I work with people; most of the time the people have challenges of some kind that need attention, support an help. I try to make decisions and evaluate myself on a standard of each person having value as a part of a whole human family. My greatest challenges are not from the people, but from me being judgmental an assigning different value to the people; and that is for any reason at all.

    • Yes Yes! Thank you so much for sharing your perspective! I always appreciate it when you stop by.

      My sharing of this post falls in to a couple of categories that I have on the blog. While Religion is what I would consider the main category for this post, I also listed this post under my allyhood category.

      For me, this was about challenging dominant narratives that support religious superiority, and supporting narratives that are about working for equity & reconciliation.

      We can’t get to reconciliation without first acknowledging the realities of the harm that is caused.

      I really appreciated this post because the message was coming from someone who identifies as a Christian, who shared a message that openly acknowledged and challenged some of the harmful behavior that can come from other people who may also identify themselves as being Christian as well.

      That couldn’t have been easy to do, but unfortunately sometimes the message is better received from someone within the group vs an outsider.

      One day I met a woman who, after finding out that I didn’t identify as being a Christian said “That’s ok. As a Christian I think that we’re a part of the same human family.” She gave me a hug, I thanked her, and I asked her to please talk to her other cousins out there who thought differently.

      To me, her message, the writer of this article’s message, and your message, were refreshing to hear, because they challenge dominant narratives that communicate that acceptance and acknowledgement comes with conditions.

      Keep spreading your message, keep talking to your other cousins out there.

      I think evaluating yourself on a standard of each person having value as a part of a whole human family as you’ve said is powerful enough to transcend any type of dogmatic psuedo theological-political framework, and can take us closer to actually living out the kind of principled lives that we say we want to live.

      Peace & Love

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