An individual attended the London Pridefest Parade with a sign that said:
“Homosexuality is sin Jesus saves from sin”
There was a small counter “protest” to mock his belief and I saw one message on Twitter stating that “Mr. Homophobe doesn’t understand.”
Are all Londoners who would agree with this man homophobic?
We need to be careful what we attempt to stomp out for some day we may cherish what we did not recognize as religious freedom and freedom of speech. Dissension has the ability to be a voice only when protected.
This man is some symptom for what he believes? Is a 70 year old man of faith a homophobe for using Biblical precepts? Does this man hate the LGBT…community or is he merely showing them his love? What if further into his faith there is no privilege for homosexuals post mortem? What if it tears at his heart to see people marching away from heaven?
What if the man does not hate but is in fact doing a duty of his faith? Some faiths include passing on God’s Word or a message of salvation. Is there something wrong with sharing faith? Maybe this man believes God loves homosexuals but that it is a sin. Maybe he has no intolerance himself but believes God does.
Maybe this person does not judge homosexuals but is hoping to save them from God’s. What if this person see’s a hole in the street you are about to parade into? Is it okay to point out the hole? I see a man not pointing to a hole but what to him is Holy. This man’s beliefs may have allowed him to endure or accomplish things he otherwise wouldn’t. Maybe the man hopes at least one other person finds the hope, peace, strength and or purpose that he has found within his beliefs.
Does every parade goer need to be a convert?
Why is this individual labelled and discounted? What if it is more spiritual than psychological? I think we are on dangerous ground when faith or belief is labelled as homophobic. Essentially Biblical interpretation becomes censored. It becomes unsafe or unacceptable to freely express any aspect of our beliefs and or non beliefs. Should we capsulate a portion of a belief system and label the individual? If this sign is homophobic we have labelled a number of Londoners as the same. What’s next…medicating them?
If a person believes the Bible is the Word of God and they are called to share their faith I don’t think any label needs to be applied to them. “Homophobe” is a stigmatized identity so we need to be careful who we affix it to. It seems sad that at an event such as Pridefest Parade someone was essentially stigmatized for their faith.
We should take care when trying to remove stigma from ourselves that we don’t place it on another’s head. I rather enjoy a city that differs in faiths, beliefs and thought and I don’t think that sign said much outside of love.
If I believe other things are a sin is it okay to share those beliefs? When Christ said something about offering the other cheek maybe He was also referring to resilience? Turning away is easier than finding some symptom in another’s world view or eternal view.
Calling this man a homophobe would make some members of the LGBT…community homophobes as well. What of the LGBTQ…individual that would find peace in continuing with or a conversion to a faith that commits to heterosexuality? Would you rather them not see such a sign? Can’t God’s messages be for anyone at any stage?
To label something as homophobic pushes a minority of thought into an area of stigmatization we are trying to stamp out. If we want out of swimming in stigma it does no good to pull someone in.
I have been in spaces where only two possibilities exist. It is just you and a box of space or you are part of a reality with possibilities beyond what are rationally explainable. When I lost my reference to self I was defined by my faith. It was what I thirsted for and what sustained me. Even in a jail or prison freedom of religious conscience is only secondary to safety and security.
If we seek acceptance for ourselves is it not a duty to do the same?