“Go and Do Likewise” — Christians Must Stop Oppressing the LGBT Community

Franklin Graham has been acting badly for several years. When his dad, Billy became ill, the lid appears to have popped off of Franklin’s Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 11.33.13 AMextreme anti-gay views. He started becoming more vocal. He used his father’s reputation to bolster his views. Franklin propped Billy up in a chair and published letters about North Carolina’s Amendment One and chicken sandwiches.

Franklin Graham is hell-bent on demonizing the gay community. He is not alone. The irony of Franklin become the public face of Christian hate/love is astounding.

Franklin Graham is the head of Samaritan’s Purse, a major Christian relief organization. The organization is based on the story of the good Samaritan in Luke 10.

A traveller, going from Jerusalem to Jericho, is robbed, beaten, stripped and left for dead at the side of the road. A priest passed him by. A Levite passed him by. They did not touch the traveller or come to his aid. Believing him to be dead, he would have been ritually unclean to the priest and Levite.

“But a Samaritan,” traditionally despised by Jews, stopped, and took care of the traveller. The Samaritan bandaged the injured man, gave him wine, put him on his own donkey, and took him to an inn where they cared for him. The Samaritan paid the costs and promised to pay any additional costs on his next pass through.

Jesus told this story in a parable. The Jews were accustomed to hearing about Samaritans in a negative light. Hearing about a Samaritan doing good must have been shocking to the Jews.

Jesus then reminded the crowd that the “expert in the law” is the one who shows mercy. First, we are called to love God, then our neighbor.

Even the stranger.

Even the one most unlike us.

Even the one we culturally despise.

Jesus told the crowd, “Go and do likewise.”

“Go and do likewise.” is the mission statement of Samaritan’s purse.

Now, listen to this  five-minute interview with Franklin Graham. President of Samaritan’s Purse.

Okay, that is frightening and trending in segments of the conservative church.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 11.38.40 AMIn researching for my book “Walking the Bridgeless Canyon”, a clear pattern of LGBT oppression emerged along a timeline since the 1930s in America:

  • From the 1930s to 1973 the psychoanalytic community created “the homosexual is broken”  narrative.
  • From the late 1940s to the late 1960s, the government joined in with lumped on fear and paranoia.
  • From 1975 until about 2004, the conservative political right united with the religious right to rally voters under the banner of fear of gays. Gays were out to destroy country, family, and marriage.

One by one, the oppressors of the gay and trans* community have walked away. Medical professionals knows homosexuality isScreen Shot 2014-03-30 at 11.34.04 AM an orientation, and not a mental illness. Legislative sexual orientation discrimination is on its way out. (Most) conservative politicians are finding out that targeting the LGBT community and their supporters is stupid.

That leaves the hardcore religious conservative army to carry on the “battle.” Of all the forms of oppression against the LGBT community, this one is the worst. People with Bibles have become the oppressors. For the most part, the rest of the troops have moved on.

Evangelicals are a tough crowd. I am one and have been one for over 30 years. We are sure we know what God Himself says. We don’t just know the Word of God, we know the words of God. We know the heart of God too.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 11.38.03 AMFew Evangelicals and conservative Christians can quote the verses used to formulate the modern Christian homosexual sexual ideology that we are convinced has existed since the writings of Moses and Paul, 3400 years and 2000 years ago, respectively. Far fewer know the context, audience and message of those verses. Almost without exception, they have not invested any time studying the passages of interest in Hebrew and Greek . If they did, they would know that the Bible says nothing, absolutely nothing about exclusively same-sex attracted people. It has much to say, however, about sexual excesses, exploitive and abusive sex.

Messages filled with fear, ignorance, and lies about the gay and trans* community are strengthening from people like Franklin Graham. Christian should be very concerned. We have no other groups to blame for the ongoing oppression. We’ve been left alone still carrying the bloodied standard.

So, here we are at a critical point of conservative Christianity in America.

Jesus stood over the woman laying in the dirt. She had been accused of adultery. Her accusers were ready to stone her to death. One by one theyScreen Shot 2014-03-30 at 11.41.27 AM left.

One by one the accusers of the LGBT community have left.

Except the Evangelical and conservative religious communities. Rocks in hand, they are standing alone, believing they are protecting country, family, marriage, and God Himself. Be careful. In the space between the deadly blows and a community unjustly oppressed for almost 75 years is Jesus.

With transman, Mateo

With transman, Mateo

Put the rocks down. Go meet gay people. Go to church with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender fellow Christians. Have a meal with them. Listen. Serve.

“Go and do likewise.” Luke 10

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