Are Christians our enemies?

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Hello all; Dave here.

I was reading The Friendly Atheist’s blog, specifically this post about exposing an anti-gay pastor for the bigot that he is:

http://friendlyatheist.com/2011/07/04/exposing-an-anti-gay-pastors-ministry/

Watch this video for context:

In it, someone on the stage repeatedly refers to “the lie of the enemy,” that is, those of us who say that homosexuality is O.K. Well, I have to say that I never really thought of myself as an enemy to Christians – more like a former Christian who realized I was being brainwashed and, fortunately, got myself out – but I’m starting to wonder if we should think twice about this label.

What is an enemy?

I love etymology, and the word “enemy” comes to us from Latin prefix in + amicus, -i (friend) – in other words, not a friend. It doesn’t sound quite so bad in this context, but consider Merriam-Webster’s Third New International Unabridged definition of the word as it stands in modern English:

one that seeks the injury, overthrow, or failure of a person or thing to which he is opposed : ADVERSARY, OPPONENT

“enemy.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (4 Jul. 2011).

That certainly seems to describe the relationship between Christians and LGBTQ allies like me, at least from their perspective.

The woman on stage then goes on to scream “The truth of God! The truth of God! The truth of God! The truth of God! The truth of God! The truth of God!” literally six times, as though screaming it loudly and repeatedly is some sort of rational argument in its favor.

I have news for you, Christians: Being gay is neither a choice nor a sin. If you have a rational, reasoned, evidence-based argument to the contrary, I’m all ears. But if “it’s true because I’m really loud!” is the best you’ve got, well… Frankly, I suppose we just may be enemies. I seek your failure in poisoning the minds of innocent people, young and old. I seek the overthrow of your bigotry. I positively do not seek your injury, but I do remember Matthew Shepard, and I’m sorry to say that, unfortunately, the same is not true the other way around.

Christians who are not bigots, where are you? Stand up against this. You should be ashamed of what your fellow Christians are saying and you should be out here telling them to stop making you look so evil. I don’t care what the Bible says about being gay; the Bible is an outdated, barbarian, immoral load of crap. The Bible also mandates the death penalty for working on Saturdays, cursing your parents, and premarital sex. It mandates the death of everyone in an entire town if one person there worships a different imaginary god.

I am fed up with this. My personality tends toward accomodationism, but I’m starting to realize more and more that in the face of this level of dogmatic bigotry, that may not actually be an option. “True” Christians already consider us their enemies; we have it on tape. Can more progress be made by calling a spade a spade and recognizing Christians for what they are?

Your thoughts and feedback are appreciated.

Regards,

Dave

Dave Muscato is Vice President of MU SASHA. He is a junior at Mizzou majoring in economics & anthropology and minoring in philosophy & Latin, and posts updates to the SASHA blog every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. His website is http://www.DaveMuscato.com.

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4 thoughts on “Are Christians our enemies?

  1. I love etymology :) I’m a big spelling bee dork, so the etymology made me smile. But the first time I watched that video, I cried. I’m straight, but just watching those kids and knowing the effects of that sort of psychological torment is horribly upsetting. Coming out is traumatic enough for most people – doing it in front of a man who’s telling you that you’re sinful and bad because of something perfectly natural and normal has to be absolutely scarring.

    I’ve been relatively accommodating for a while in the interests of keeping the peace (I recently moved home from college, and my family is Christian, whereas I am emphatically not), but it gets harder and harder to stay silent in the face of stuff like this.

  2. I say speak your peace if and as you want. If they bully you, then don’t be with them…leave, or bully them back. Or if they break a law, sue them. Otherwise let people believe and say whatever they want. / As far as homosexuality, I recently read an article by a gay writer and he said we need to stop saying it’s always NOT a choice that one is or isn’t gay. It isn’t ALL or ALWAYS biology. CHOICE should be honored, as well as BIOLOGY. To say it’s biological ‘cheapens’ our stance for choices and rights to CHOOSE.

    • First of all, great post Dave. I am ready to go read Greta Christina’s post about Atheists and Anger and do some atheist activism.

      However, I feel as though I should point out that homosexuality is NEVER a choice. This does not mean it is entirely biological. It could very well be caused by both environmental and biological factors. But no one every chooses who they are attracted to. The choice to follow through and have sex with someone of the same sex is a choice, but the attraction to them and therefore homosexuality, is in no way a choice. Just as a heterosexual does not choose to be attracted to the opposite sex. Just as someone with depression does not choose to be depressed. Just because it is not caused solely by your genetics does not mean it is something that you chose, and in my opinion, to say so helps enable the religious right to enact homophobic policies, even if you have no problem with homosexuality.

  3. I’d like to establish that even if it is not a choice, continually using this as an argument by itself is counter-productive. Regardless of its status as a choice, I do not believe being gay should be chastised. So while it might not be a choice that I’m gay, I’d prefer to point out the better argument: nobody is harmed by anyone being gay. It’s just another way people are. People like certain things and dislike certain things, but no difference in itself is grounds for hate.

    Of course, the fact it’s not a choice is a better argument against Christians who insist that their God does not want people to be gay, because it forces them to rationalize the fact he made people gay despite not wanting gay people. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful tool.

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