Why Gays Deserve an Apology from Christians (me included!)

I read something that was completely heartbreaking today.  Before you continue, read it for yourself.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/27/clint-mccance-anti-gay-facebook_n_774656.html 

Now that you’ve read that, if you do nothing else, please read the last paragraph of this post and respond.  There is a call to action that is vitally important.

What is my response?  Words fail me.  There is a part of me that wants to go into a novel length tirade about this.  But mostly, I just want to cry.  And hug some people I love.  And tell them not to listen to voices like this.  I read something tonight that seemed to apply so perfectly to this very sad article.  It’s from an amazing workbook of a small group I used to attend.  It said “Judgments put people in a place where you don’t have to trust them, and thus they can’t hurt you…grace is when you see, and have a relationship with others’ hearts…” (meaning that even if you disagree with their actions, you give grace and love rather than judgement).

While we could easily take this inspirational and encouraging quote and apply it to the person who spoke these hateful things, ranting about how judgemental he is being, I somehow think that would make us just a little bit like him.  That’s the uglyness of when people sin against us – it brings out the sin inside of us.  So I’d rather not sit around and badmouth him, though it would be painfully easy to do that.  Sadly, I suspect that anyone who can speak such hateful things is more than likely a victim to their own pain.

Instead, I want to say, “I’m Sorry.”  I am so sorry!  (I wish you could see me right now as the tears are welling up in my eyes, so you would know my sincerity).  To my gay friends reading this right now, and to all of you in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, transgender) community who may or may not know me, I am deeply, truly, painfully sorry for the way that the Church and the way that “God’s people” have treated you.  I am so regretful for the picture that is being painted to you.  That is not the Jesus I know.  That is not the God I serve.  On behalf of Christians everywhere, I apologize for the pain that people like this have caused you.  It is wrong.  It is wrong.  It is wrong.  And I am so sorry.

Please forgive us.  Please give us a chance to show you a God who loves you, if you have not met him yet.  He is real.

Psalm 103:6,8
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.  The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Christians, especially straight Christians, I call on you now to speak words of life, love and encouragement to our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community.  Too often they hear voices like the one in that article.  Will you please join with me today in testifying that the God we serve is not full of hate, but full of love?  This community needs to hear that there are voices of God’s people around them who love and care.  Let’s make sure that voices like Clint McCance are not the only ones they remember.  Much love to you all!  Much, much, much love…deep and everlasting!

20 thoughts on “Why Gays Deserve an Apology from Christians (me included!)

  1. I wish there was a way to easily verbalize a response to this post. When I first got to this newest submission, I thought to myself that this was a nice gesture but I don't really need, or maybe even want, an apology from Christians; and to be honest, I think deep down a part of me wouldn't really believe it either. But, by the end of my reading, I was left feeling mildly devastated and somewhat teary-eyed.I've always told you and Daniel that you were both the type of people that really embodied the image and concept of what Christianity was really meant to represent. And, until now, I'm not sure I understood how truly applicable that statement was to the pair of you.To actually hear a message like this from somebody who I know really means it in every context – to hear the pain in your words and know you feel the same hurt and anguish and desperation as those of us who are GLBTQ – was a sucker punch of emotion.You are a pioneer for your community, as well as ours, and it's a breath of fresh air to know that someone else realizes that our communities are one in the same. You will always have my support in any way I can offer it.I'd attempt to offer a "thank you" in return on behalf of the GLBTQ community, but it would only be a meager expression of the gratitude we truly have for you and yours. Heidi, you are a light in the darkness and we're going to change the world.

  2. Greg (Shadowmere69) – You leave me speechless. I am so blessed and humbled to have your love, good faith, and confidence. You are a truly remarkable person and I am so blessed to know you! Much love!

  3. I wasn't sure if I am supposed to post here…or on today's post…but it's here. :)I am sorry that we have been bigots and that our eyes have been closed by the enemy. You are of sacred worth and you have a soul just like mine. To my brothers and sisters in the LGBT community…I am sorry. There are no other words that can express the heartbreak that has been caused by others. I know this isn't what Jesus would want. You have my love and my constant support.-Marilyn

  4. Many people are leaving their comments on my birthday blog…either way, it's great! Keep spreading the love everyone! Just wanted to make sure everyone who reads this post also sees their comments so I'm copying them below:Jackie Powell said…God merely said, "Love your neighbor." I don't remember the stipulation, "As long as they're not gay." Happy Birthday, Heidi!Lori said…I'm sorry that the Christian community has seen it as more important to judge then to love. I choose to look past differences in people and into their hearts. That's where relationships are built.tracy durham said…I may not understand all of the biological/social/psychological reasons behind the LGTB lifestyle, but this I know beyond a shadow of a doubt: God did not put these individuals on the earth to give Christians someone to abuse.I am a straight ally and I'm sorry.Anonymous said…I don't think being straight or gay or otherwise really matter because you're a person, and I'm a person. When you get right down to the quiet place, beyond where the words of the world reach us, we both know this to be true. My heart and your heart both beat and it is good. Life is too short to hate.Oh, and the God I pray to, could care less about our sexuality.The people that are so angry must be suffering. They are in fear. For some reason, things that are different make them crazy. Maybe because they hold on to those labels around them so tightly. They must be afraid of letting something unleash within them. I wish they didn't hurt.I leave you with a prayer/chant from the Buddhist religion for your birthday and every day…My heart is full of lovingkindness, I love myself. May I be happy, may I be peaceful, may I be liberated. May you be happy, may you be peaceful, may you be liberated. If we have hurt anyone, we ask for their forgiveness. If anyone has hurt us, we extend our forgiveness.May all beings everywhere be happy, may they be peaceful, may they be liberated.The world is good.Namaste, the light in me bows to the light in you. 🙂 DawnLeah said…I'm sorry that love wasn't my first response and that my judgment was what you met first. I'm sorry that love wasn't our first response and that our judgment was what you met first.Kate said…As a Christian who used to hope that the gay people I knew would never meet someone of their same sex that they could love, that they wouldn't be tempted to sin, I apologise to the LGBTQ community, both for my own idiocy and that of others of my faith. I swear, we are not all like I was. And some of us change.

  5. I echo everything that you've said, Heidi. I want to say that I'm sorry to the LGBT community for the hurtful and hateful things that have been said and done to you in the name of Christ. Truly, this is wrong and is not at all Christ-like. I pray that love, friendship and understanding is extended to the LGBT community from the Christian community and that healing would take place.Heidi, I want to say what an amazing person you are. I am always astounded by the way that you are able to speak truth in love. I am so proud and thankful to call you my best friend. Happy birthday!

  6. Dear fellow gays,I'd like to apologize on behalf of Christians. Their poor turns of rhyming phrases such as "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" hurt my brain with their sound lack of intelligence or literary value. I know it hurts your brains too. For all of those christians, who let their fear cloud their judgement so much that they can't think of anything to say that can't fit on a fortune cookie slip, I say, please apologize. Other christians who are not even gay allies are embarrassed for you. Find some new slogans. Make this world a better place.Furthermore, if Jesus is the only son of God, but we're all children in God's eyes, anybody who engages in a romantic relationship is indulging in lesbianism. Clearly, you guys have some things to work out.

  7. I am not sure I understand where you are coming from. Are you saying that God is okay with someone who is homosexual, or just that we should love homosexuals even though what they are doing is sinful?

  8. Anonymous – I'm saying that we should always treat each other with respect, even if we disagree with each other. Treating someone with kindness, respect, and dignity is different than agreeing with every belief he/she has. I don't think anyone should feel a need to compromise his/her convictions in this great debate. I only think we should agree to treat people who believe differently with God's love. I think the church (as a whole, not any one in particular) has not always shown the LGBT community God's love and compassion as we should.That's why I called on Christians to apologize – not for their personal convictions (whichever way that might manifest), because I think those are extremely important. But instead, to apologize for times when people have been treated without the dignity, care, kindness, and respect that so characterized Christ, even when he was dealing with people the rest of the world hated.

  9. As a rule, I don't talk about my personal convictions on the matter publicly, as I don't think it is helpful to building relationships of love and trust with both communities of people (LGBT and conservative Christians). My vision instead is to build a community where faith and sexuality can be discussed openly and in a non-threatening environment, where straights and gays, conservatives and liberals, can learn to share God's love with each other by listening to each other, loving one another, and learning from each other, even if in the end, they disagree. I want us to foster environments where teenagers and young adults struggling to come out, and struggling with issues of faith, can be engaged in friendships and conversation that will guide them, and help them to seek out and identify truth for their lives.I am not afraid to share my personal convictions with people, but only within loving and trusting relationships with them, once I have earned the right to share my perspective, and when they know that I will love them and care for them, whether we end up believing the same thing or not. So, if you're one of those people I already know personally, just give me a call and I'd be more than happy to talk to you about it.

  10. You have the right to write whatever you would like and reveal as much, or as little, as you choose.But it is rather confusing to me. If you do believe that homosexuality is sinful, wouldn't the "grace-filled" thing to do be to point out that sinful behavior in a loving way?And if it is not sinful, why not show where those Christians who believe that it is are misguided?To me, no meaningful dialogue can take place without first admitting what positions we presently hold.I mean, if I am a homosexual, and you won't tell me that you think that is sinful, then our relationship (even a virtual one) is built on a false foundation. Because based on what you have written, I am understanding you to say that it is fine to be gay and that God does not have a problem with it. But if you believe that it is wrong, isn't the loving thing to point me to the error of my ways so that I can be right with God?

  11. I'm sure your intentions are good, but how do you apologize for someone elses behavior? I have not done anything to hurt gay people so an apology from me seems meaningless. It would make as much sense for some gay people to apologize to straight people for offenses other gay people have caused.

  12. I appreciate your perspective and quite agree with you that it is beneficial (and necessary) to share our thoughts on the subject with each other. My only point is that it should occur within loving, trusting relationships, which I don't think I can possibly earn with every reader of this blog (thus, I don't speak on it publicly). I think loving relationship is the first step. Then dialogue, conversation, and respectfully challenging one another comes next. I'm just trying to do the first things first! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  13. Okay. But it sure doesn't help out a person like me who needs some answers and can't really speak to anyone personally or openly. There is a baptist church down the street where I might be able to go and ask the priest or minister or whatever hes called.

  14. In response to Anonymous "Okay. But it sure doesn't help out a person like me who needs some answers and can't really speak to anyone personally or openly. There is a baptist church down the street where I might be able to go and ask the priest or minister or whatever hes called."I would love to talk to you about it personally! Email me: heidimiller83@gmail.com.

  15. Well I talked to the pastor. He was very nice but seemed a little uncomfortable. The bottom line is that he showed me in the bible that being gay was not Gods will. He said God loved gays but that repentance is necessary to come to Jesus. He showed me the scripture in Romans that says that God looks on gays as being depraved. I think I understand.

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