Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.” Or think again.

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.” Why is this especially harmful for Queer people?

First, I just want to note that I am referring to the common use of the word “sin” here (wrong action disapproved of by God.) Personally, I like to define sin as “intentionally causing harm to self as others” (if I’m forced to use the word at all.)

With most “sins”, it is often a clear and obvious behaviour (or pattern of thoughts) that can be refrained from. Depending on who you speak to, these things can range from anything killing to stealing to smoking.

With most (but not all) “sins”, the behaviour can be separated from the individual, and when the behaviour is ceased, the person is often considered to have ceased sinning.

Being Queer isn’t like that. Queer or otherwise, our sexuality is an integral part of who we are. There are a diverse range of sexualities, but they usually form at least part of ones identity and CANNOT be changed by prayer, will, or therapy. Not engaging in an relationship, intimate or otherwise, doesn’t make a person “less gay.” A single or chaste heterosexual person is still heterosexual. A single or chaste Queer person is still Queer.

When people are told that their orientation is unnatural, against nature, sinful, or an abomination, they are being told (or hearing loud and clear) that THEY are wrong – inherently wrong, wrong to the core. If a queer person remains quiet about their orientation, people will often let their outward expressions of disapproval slide. But inside, the Queer person still suffers because they KNOW that they are still the same person. They KNOW that if they were to express their sexuality in accordance with how they were born, the condemnation would rain down.

This knowing and the shame and self-hatred that result are beyond damaging. Knowing your friends or family (or perfect strangers) potentially think you’re going to hell for loving the way you were created to love is an unpleasant knowledge, to put it mildly. This shame and self-hatred KILL.

When you are are condemning a person for how they were born, for something that they CANNOT change, they will ALWAYS feel that condemnation, regardless of how many times you tell them you love them or they’re still God’s child.

Know the impact of your words, or your beliefs, of your attitudes. Do your research regarding the cause of same-sex-attraction. Your beliefs may not change, but know the impact that they have.

My suggestion? If you know someone that is queer, single or otherwise, leave any possible judgement or opinion on their sexuality up to God. Judgement and their “salvation” is not your business or responsibility and will only serve to fracture relationships, drive the person away from family and community, and impact hugely in a damaging way on their health and well-being. Jesus did NOT teach us to judge.

Believe in God? Leave it to God. Don’t believe in God? Just leave it.

Know the impact of your words. Be careful with them.

Johansen X

 

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