Tuesday, April 30, 2013

If You're Gay, You Can't Be a Christian

Jennifer LeClaire, Editor of Charisma Magazine, recently wrote a low-key piece about NBA player, Jason Collins and his announcement that he was gay, in an interview with Sports Illustrated.

I don't really take issue with her approach.  She goes out of her way to praise him for his talents and heap admiration on his head for what she considers an integral member of any basketball team.  I also don't take issue with most of her beliefs.  She comes from a brand of Christianity that states that homosexuality is a sin and thus must be repented of.  Plenty of people believe this and still treat gay people very well.

What I DO have issue with is twofold.

1. Jennifer LeClaire is not saying that homosexuality is a sin.  She is actually saying that the fact that Jason Collins is a homosexual determines his genuine faith status.  Essentially, he is not a true Christian since he is gay.

2. Jennifer LeClaire refuses to believe that someone can be happy, or be without envy, fear, misery, living a lie, suicidal thoughts, etc. without Jesus Christ, whatever that means.  (Yes, I know what it means in jargon-speak, but what does it really mean?!)

Let's look at my first issue:

The Bible clearly states that only the god of it knows the heart.  Here, LeClaire is armchair umpiring from the cheap seats, acting as if she were that god, determining from afar, the spiritual condition (as if there was such a thing) of an individual, simply because he says that he is gay.  There is no room for his words that he follows the teachings of Jesus to be true.  In LeClaire's world, she gets to raise her index finger, wiggle it back and forth and yell, "Nuh uh!!!!".

No, according to LeClaire, a clear litmus test to being a Christian at all is the pure and unadulterated rejection of homosexuality.  The minute you claim homosexuality, it makes no difference how many children you save from abusive homes, tying millstones around their parent's necks and throwing them into the sea, it makes no difference how many poor and widowed you feed, clothe, and house, it makes no difference what you say the condition of your heart is, it makes absolutely not a lick of difference what your personal faith is to you.

Nay nay!  LeClaire knows!  You are cut off from Jesus Christ because you committed the cardinal sin above all cardinal sins - you gay, baby!  Nevermind that Christianity used to treat divorce like homosexuality and now embraces it, opting for support groups and coffee, rather than outright declarations of impending hell fire.  Nevermind that the Christian church used to...well...you get the point.  Let's move on to my second issue.

I'm an atheist.  Yes.  You know that.  I grew up in uber-fundamentalist Christianity.  The Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips, homeschooling, singing from a hymnal, rock music is of the devil, Jesus will heal you of all mental issues kind - under an abusive and mentally impaired, single Mama.  But I'm now an atheist.

And guess what!?  I'm happy.  I have envy at times, but I don't see it as a sin.  That's a stupid rule anyway.  I'm not fearful.  I fear my kids getting run over by a car and I fear my wife never wanting to make love to me again.  But again, having no fear is unrealistic and also a stupid rule.  I'm not miserable.  I am not living a lie.  I have no suicidal thoughts.

And I don't "have Jesus".

LeClaire, and many other Christians, have no idea how to deal with people who are happy with who they are - without Jesus.  They resort to that finger waving again, yelling, "Nuh uh!  You're deceived!  You just THINK you're happy!  But really....JESUS!!!!!"

But no.  I'm happy.  And I know some miserable Christians who would be the first to tell me that Jesus brings them happiness - living a lie.

This brings me to LeClaire's worst offense in this article.  She says that Collins' sigh of relief and freedom he feels from shedding his burden is a big lie.  According to LeClaire, he can't possibly be feeling anything remotely genuine because he doesn't follow her creed and fit her profile for the perfect, non-gay, Christian.

Finally, I will make an attempt at armchair umping.

Jason Collins is happy!!!!!  He says so himself.  And I think I'm satisfied with his declaration of mirthiness.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh. Charisma Magazine is one of the more bizarre Christian websites I've seen, with their homphobia and superstition on full display.

    The assumption that Christianity and LGBTQ status are mutually exclusive and diametrically opposed seems to be a common mindset among fundamentalist Christians. (Exodus International, I'm looking at you.) The existence of LGBTQ Christians and queer theology doesn't even phase them!