Letter: Demonization or compassion?

Published: 5/22/2022 7:02:10 AM
Modified: 5/22/2022 7:00:15 AM

Recently, conservative Christians have renewed the culture war against LGBTQ+ people, thus confirming Blaise Pascal’s words, “[People] never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” Some examples: the Biblical justification for slavery, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, and Germany’s Christian anti-Semitism. Despite centuries of demonization, persecution, and shaming, LGBTQ+ people claim their full humanity as natural part of God’s diverse creation. They, too, are God’s children. As Pete Buttigieg said to Mike Pence, “Your quarrel, sir, is with my Creator.”

Conservative interpretation of relevant Biblical scripture is not universally accepted. My wife and I belong to an Open & Affirming United Church of Christ congregation, which disputes this narrow, literal view. We believe in an inclusive God. “Battling the ‘homosexual agenda,’ the hardline religious right has made a series of incendiary claims. But they’re not true” (Southern Poverty Law Center). Read “Ten Anti-Gay Myths Debunked” at the SPLC’s website. There are currently 130 anti-trans bills in state legislatures. Given this environment, trans youth are being driven to despair by harassment and shaming. Gender dysphoria is real, and gender-affirming care is not child abuse. Why aren’t parents allowed to make decisions about their children and pediatricians to give science-based advice? “All people, regardless of orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.” (Harvey Milk) Accordingly, we need to trade in ‘fear of the Other’ for Christian compassion.

Allan MacDonald

New London


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