“They’re anti-Christian values and anti-family.” These are merely two accusations made about me and millions of other LGBT people by organizations such as the American Family Association (AFA), Liberty Counsel, Family Research Council (FRC), and Concerned Women for America (CWA). Those are just a few organizations which proselytize this message, unfortunately, there are many more.
When I was a kid, after I would be disciplined, my Dad would sit me on his lap and say, “Now, who loves you?” I would respond with, “Jesus.” That was his cue to say, “Yes, and who also loves you?” Which I responded to by saying, “You and Mom.” My Dad would then have me quote the fruits of the Spirit. “Azariah, what are the fruits of the Spirit?” “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness and temperance. Against such things there is no law.” We would then discuss why I was just disciplined and how I needed to go and apologize to everyone I wronged.
Galatians 5:22 says, “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, meekness (humility), faithfulness and temperance” are the fruits of the Spirit. Correct me if I’m wrong, but all of these, I believe, are the foundational values of Christianity. When you allow yourself to be transformed by the love of Christ, your words and actions will begin to produce these Christian values.
The mission of the Family Research Council is to “Defend Faith, Family and Freedom.” Everything they do, they do it in the name of Christ. They do it to bring back biblical principles into America’s society. So when people like Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council says, and I quote, “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States, than to import them into the United States.” How does this message of fear, hate and exclusion produce the fruits of the Spirit my Dad taught me about? Or should I say, how are Mr. Sprigg’s words and actions not anti-Christian values?
Another example would be the AFA. If motivating people with fear is a Christian value than the AFA should win the lifetime achievement award. Currently on their website, there is an article titled, “Obama’s new military: Gays showering with straights.” If this title wasn’t crafted to create fear, than I don’t know what was. Fear is all these organizations have to work with.
They claim to be about preserving Christian values in America and defending the family institution. However, they weren’t too worried about the fear and lies they planted within my own family’s heart about who I am, a gay man. How is planting the seeds of dissension in countless families preserving the family institution? How is instilling fear in countless people practicing Christian values?
If the AFA, CWA, FRC, etc. are concerned with saving the institution of families and promoting Christian values. If this was truly their hearts than they would be in the gay bars listening to the stories of people like my friend Jason whose family completely disowned him after he came out. They would be comforting Michael’s broken heart because his mother said she would never accept him. They would be visiting the 83-year-old lesbian woman who is living her last years alone because her partner passed away. They would be with “the least of these.” Meanwhile, they’re too busy raising millions, lobbying politicians and getting their face and messages on CNN.
I’m not writing this from a place of anger, rather, I’m writing in a place of frustration from what I see being pranced around as “Christianity.” If these multi-million dollar making non-profits truly reflected Christian values, there would be a much different perception of Christians today.
You don’t have to affirm LGBT people to be able to agree that the tactics these organizations and others like them use are indeed anti-Christian and anti-family. Lastly, if you want to get rid of gays and fight to deny us rights, go right ahead, but don’t do it in the name of Christ. Don’t preach about saving Christian values when you’re unable to practice them.