Bully Thy Neighbour?

Michigan has recently passed an anti-bullying law with the aim of addressing the issues of bullying in their schools.  The name of the law is Matt’s Safe School Law, in honour of Matt Epling who, after enduring relentless bullying because of his sexual orientation, committed suicide.  One might think that this new law would protect people like Matt Epling from enduring the kind of bullying that lead to his suicide, but tragically, the Republican members of the house insisted on a clause that allows people to  bully others if the bullying is inspired by “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction”.  This was put in place so that Christians might still be allowed to harass people who don’t conform to their religious views.  My question is this: Why do Christians want to bully homosexuals?

 anti-gay-bullying

Firstly I think it is important to address where in the Bible it says that homosexuality is wrong.  In Leviticus 20:13 is says: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”  Pretty grim stuff.  Of course some translations don’t say “shall surely be put to death”, but rather, “shall surely die”.  Please note that in this passage is says nothing or women lying with women, so apparently that much is ok.

 

But Leviticus is in the Old Testament, and as we know, not all of the Old Testament is followed to the letter.  Many of the laws of the Old Testament were in fact overturned by Jesus.  Leviticus says the swine is unclean (11:7) and that is it comes out of the water and doesn’t have scales or a fin (11:10), that we shall not eat it.  In the New Testament though (Acts 10:9-15) Peter is told that eating such foods is alright.  In Matthew 15:11 it reads: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth man.”  Clearly Jesus is going against Old Testament teachings here.  Is this the only instance in which Jesus goes against Old Testament teachings?  No.  In Deuteronomy (19:21) is reads: And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”  Is This was Jesus says?  No, in fact he draws on this very piece of scripture and disputes it.  In Matthew it says (5:38-39) “Ye have heard that it hath been said, AN EYE FOR AND EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”  Seems like the Old Testament teachings are thrown out the window in the New Testament.

One might argue that while some aspects of the Old Testament where revised in the New Testament, that the views on homosexuality were not.  To those people I would suggest reading Galatians 3:28, which reads as follows: “there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  It seems to me that the New Testament puts aside defining ourselves as either male or female, and encourages us to all love each other in Christ.  Some may agree with my interpretation of this scripture, some may not.  But as for bullying homosexuals, there is no scripture encouraging such behaviours.  In fact, there is scriptural evidence that is very much opposed to it.  For this I site Matthew once again (5:43-45):  “Ye have heard that it hath been said, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR, AND HATE THINE ENEMY.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heave: for he that maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”  God lets the sun shine on good and evil alike, and Jesus says to love your enemies.  Not to bully them, but love them.  If the scripture from Matthew is not enough, then I suggest reading John 13:35, which reads as follows:  “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have lone one to another.”  Love each other.  And if this is still not enough, I go back to Matthew 25:40, which reads:  “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  The Holy Spirit, it says, is in each of us.  There is a little piece of Jesus in everybody according to scripture, and so, when you bully a person, be it because they are Jewish, or Muslim, or homosexual, or for whatever reason, just remember that you are, according to scripture, also bullying that little piece of Jesus that is in everybody.  How you treat the least among, you have so to done unto Christ.

 

I’m not going to get into the rape, and incest, and polygamy.  I’m not going to get into the slave trading or the pimping out of one’s wife, or any of the other ridiculous things that appear in the Old Testament, and let us be honest, there is a host of things in the Old Testament that to not fit in with the words of Jesus.  What I am going to appeal to is to Christians, who believe that the Holy Spirit is in them, to stop and ask themselves: What would Jesus do?  If you truly believe that he says to bully people because of their sexual preference, then I believe you have read a different Bible than the one I read.

Jesus loves homosexuals.  So should you.

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

Comments

  1. I’m not sure why, but this seems to be a common theme in anti-bullying discussions involving homosexuals, and that is, it’s Christians doing all the bullying. There is no evidence for it, but actual evidence doesn’t seem to be important anymore. In grade school and high school there are bullies right? Of course. Are they all Christian? No. Probably very few if any. So whose bullying gays at school? If you mean “bullying” in that we express our beliefs in peaceful protests and exercising our rights to lobby and try to influence legislation then yes we are big bullies – but just like everyone else right?

    You are deliberately misusing and skewing the terms but in so doing – in stretching these definitions to cover all opposing opinions and beliefs and actions – everyone becomes guilty. Unless of course you mean that bullying and harassment should only apply to the actions and opinions of those you disagree with, like Christians. Well that’s unfortunate. It is neither logical nor fair.

    And as far as your mind boggling interpretation of the Bible – from which you have harvested only the useful bits – I would say there is a huge difference between the descriptive and the prescriptive elements in the Bible. Here is a good article by me on the subject: http://culturerev.com/2011/08/in-the-name-of-god/

    Lastly and most importantly, Christians don’t hate homosexuals, we are not taught to do so: We have no justification to hate or bully anyone. You are correct in your interpretation of Christ’s response – love, kindness, humility, selflessness. But even Christ did not excuse what he thought was wrong. The woman who committed adultery did not leave thinking adultery was acceptable even though Christ forgave her and protected her from the law that would have killed her. We don’t laws to kill anyone. But let’s be honest. Christians need laws and clauses to protect themselves because, whether you believe it or not, the homosexual agenda would happily close churches and outlaw religion.

  2. Chantel says:

    I highly doubts that homosexuals would try and outlaw religion–they dont care about what someone elses religion is–they just want to be treated with respect, honesty and dignity and fairness–the same thing that everyone should be treated with. i know many gay people and i have not once ever heard any of them say they would oulaw religionand close churches–that is a ridiculous assumption!

  3. Chantel, you’re right that many gay people just want to live a normal peaceful life. When I refer to religion finding itself in a hostile environment I am talking about laws that are passed to give gays more rights but the laws don’t really protect a church’s right to maintain its beliefs about who it marries,etc. That is a problem. It is not right. This is why equality and tolerance are farces. It’s rare to see two contrary beliefs coexisting and having equal status under the law. One usually gives way to other.

    Churches close when they are sued by gay activists and cannot pay or a pastor dragged before a Himan Rights Commission and ordered to not preach his beliefs. Religion is outlawed when gay rights trump religious rights. These thing are happening. It is not an assumption. Is there a way for both rights to coexist? So far I don’t see it.

Speak Your Mind

*

css.php