Why does everyone know what “coming out of the closet” means? It’s such a cultural phenomenon for people to expose the long-kept secrets of their homosexuality or gender preferences that we have an entire unrelated phrase devoted to it that almost everybody understands. It really begs the questions, “Why do people feel like they needed to keep this a secret?” and “Why do they describe feelings of liberation when they’re vocal about it?”
What if “coming out” means that your roommate no longer feels comfortable living with you? What if you are afraid that people will judge you as morally bankrupt or disgusting? What if you’re afraid that you will lose relationships with friends, family, employers, and (if applicable) churches? Coming out would be terrifying. Naturally, it’s easy to imagine the sigh of relief of the LGBT person who has come out without their world imploding around them.
Who Discriminates Against LGBT People and How?
I find it difficult to believe that so many people would have this fear if it were unwarranted. For this reason I have come up with a list of what I consider to be legitimate discriminations against LGBT people and who is discriminating.
- Blame Shifting – Perpetrators include: The Catholic Church, the Religious Right. While the Catholic Church is buried in the quagmire of pedophilia, sexual abuse, and cover-up from within the priesthood, it really takes a lot of bigotry to blame homosexuals. Equally bigoted are leaders of the Religious Right/TBN crowd who would blame the 9/11 attacks on God’s wrath against the nation that tolerates homosexuality. Meanwhile their own folks are investigated for fraud and getting caught in adultery.
- Genuine Homophobia – Cowards include: Miscellaneous fearful. While often “homophobia” is used pejoratively against anyone with a less than favorable opinion of homosexuality, there are many who are genuinely fearful of LGBT people. It seems rather irrational to be literally afraid of people on the basis of homosexuality but, then again, I suppose that’s what a phobia is.
- Unintentional Condescension – Holier-than-thou include: Repentant bloggers, concerned friends. This one is subtle. It happens when Christians, desiring to be loving, urge people to repent and receive forgiveness when they discover their homosexuality, but can’t prevent themselves from talking down to them in the process. It tends to happen with that acquaintance that you haven’t talked to in a while, but think that the news of their “coming out” is the perfect time to confront them about it. Of course, plenty of other friends whom you know a lot better are openly unrepentant of a variety of other sins but unworthy of your loving exhortation. Hypocrite.
- Cavalier Mockery – Scoffers include: Middle schoolers, people trying to ruin any chance of relating to LGBT friends. “Man that movie was GAY!” ‘Nuff said.
But Homosexuality is a Sin…
So as a Christian who is politically conservative, why did I write this post? Have I lapsed in my belief that homosexuality is a sin? No. I want to call us all to repentance and the forgiveness of sins. But before I continue I want to acknowledge one final type of discrimination against LGBT people. It’s from an unlikely source: Liberal churches. In these churches, LGBT people are denied the good news that all other sinners can otherwise hear and believe for salvation: repentance and the forgiveness of sins purchased by the shedding of Jesus’ innocent blood and secured in his resurrection from the dead. We all need, it, so why withhold it from one group? Is that not discrimination?
Jesus had one major stump speech, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It applies to every person on the planet including the LGBT community and any who discriminate against it. Jesus has lived a life of obedience on your behalf and died on your behalf that you may have everlasting life, the forgiveness of sins, and victory over the power of sin to conform you to Satan’s will. Confess you sins and find them forgiven in Jesus. Experience the deep love of God, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us – the godly for the ungodly. Praise God!