The opportunity for straight Christians
December 16, 2013 By
The Not All Like That (NALT) Christians Project caused a handful of gay Christians to complain that the project was too divisive.
This made a handful of straight Christians decide not to make a NALT video. Their idea was that any gay Christian thinking NALT was too divisive was reason enough for them not to go wading into, as one straight Christian said to me, “those very tricky waters.” Another straight Christian put it to me this way: “Ultimately, this issue belongs to gay people. If gay Christians think that NALT is ‘too divisive to the body of Christ,’ who am I, a straight person, to contradict them?”
So I thought I’d take a moment to address this.
It’s only natural for a few gay Christians to have a problem with NALT—or with any straight person vigorously advocating for the full inclusion of LGBT people into all aspects of Christianity. Many gay Christians coming out, or in any way asserting the validity of their sexual orientation, are in very real danger of losing or seriously damaging some of their most precious relationships. Their parents might reject them. Their family might reject them. Their friends might reject them. Their pastor might reject them. Their whole church might reject them.
Their lives might crumble.
Gay Christians may or may not be worried about the “the body of the church” being divided. But a great many of them are legitimately worried about their entire lives being fractured into a million pieces. So of course their instinct is to tread with caution. Rushing, or on this issue at all appearing militant, could have disastrous consequences for them.
That particular concern is not mine at all. It can’t be. I’m straight. Save the approbation of the occasional fundy blog troll, fighting for gay rights costs me nothing.
Being a straight Christian makes me morally obliged to combat the evil of Christian anti-gay bigotry. It does so because standing up against bullies is always the right thing to do, because Jesus calls us to defend the unjustly persecuted, and because it sickens me that the religion which bears the name of Christ has been for so long so radically perverted by anti-gay Christians.
I understand that some gay Christians might want to take the LGBT-Christianity debate slowly. But that’s no excuse for me to do the same. When you’re being bullied, picked on, denigrated, and maligned, you want people to unequivocally stand up for you, to defend you, to help right the wrong being done to you. You might not be ideally situated to mount a defense of yourself, of course. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want others stepping up to defend you.
If people in the majority don’t defend people in the minority who are being persecuted, no justice is possible. That’s never changed. It never will.
What we all want to do is make sure that we personally are on the right side of history.
For years I heard from straight Christians who desired a national platform from which they could proclaim their unqualified affirmation of LGBT people. As a result I, along with some friends, created the NALT platform.
Doing that was my job.
If you’re a straight, LGBT-affirming Christian, consider your obligation to make a NALT video. If for some reason you’d rather not (and, frankly, personal vanity and/or an unwillingness to learn the simple steps it takes to make a video doesn’t count), then please consider doing something real and active and visible to champion the cause of gay people.
If you’re a straight Christian, you’ve got the power. God is watching how you use it. And, perhaps even more importantly, so are all the gay people yearning for a time when they don’t need defending at all.