Letter to the editor: Listen before you label

by Kate Kjeldgaard freshman communications 

“This spring, a family friend moved into our downstairs apartment. I was 17. I remember asking my mom if our friend was gay before she arrived; I was right. I shared a bathroom with this friend for six months. She taught my brothers, ate at my table and became part of my family.

I had never had a real gay friend before. But now there was a girl I loved very much, living with my family, who was gay. I also saw how my friend forced herself to hide her homosexuality from my younger brothers for their sake and to the outside world for her sake.

It bothered me to see someone I loved so dearly hide one of the biggest parts of her life. She was fed negative love from dear friends back home, loved by few and rejected by many.

This woman, who was 27 years old, challenged my faith because she had one of her own. Through late-night conversations about Christ, gay living and theological topics, I learned that there are no political or sexual identities that can define us under the blood of Jesus Christ.

Still, I struggled. Was she choosing this homosexuality? Was she born with this “condition”? Was she walking in sin if she was practicing homosexuality, but if she was abstaining then was she sinless? One thing I knew this friend needed: love.

Most Christians know what the Bible says about people who are actively pursuing homosexual relations. But, before you are quick to judge people, like I did, recall what Scripture says, in turn, about adulterers, and slanderers, and liars. For none of them shall inhabit the kingdom of heaven.

I hate that Christians talk about homosexuals like they are lepers, something to turn away from. I hate that Christians use the word “gay” like it is an adjective to describe femininity. I hate that Christians judge homosexuals just by the way they walk or talk or dress. I hate that homosexuals are welcomed into the body of believers with words, but in practicality we do not invite them into our homes or lives. I hate that these things I hate about Christians could be said about me, judgmental yet unaware and unaffected.

Most of the time, loving people is not black and white. Life is messy; love is messier, but everyone needs love.

Before you make a real opinion about homosexuality and Christianity, meet a real person who is living the gay life, and live life alongside them. Do not preach at them, tell them they are living in sin or be so removed from their life that you do not relate to their pain. Have your own opinion, but realize the greater tragedy in life is to have missed the chance to love. Live with a gay person, point them to the truth when necessary, but always love, for each one of them is fighting a hard battle.

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