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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Christians should accept gays

    Out of all the things that bother me, intolerance is undoubtedly the one that sends me over the edge. Close-mindedness is up there as well, but the two often go hand in hand.
    The subject of homosexuality has been exhausted by liberals and conservatives alike to the point that it’s barely interesting, but every once in a while something pops up in the news that catches my attention and leaves me positively livid.
    The Day of Truth.
    Such a name seems like it wishes to have us either gaping in awe or shaking our knees in terror. Such a powerful name surely has a powerful message to go along with it. Boy, does it.
    In 1996, the Day of Silence was first observed by a small group of gay rights supporters. Participants went throughout the day without speaking, symbolizing the isolation of gay students and the harassment and persecution that students witnessed toward gays at their schools. When someone asked why they weren’t speaking, they handed out cards explaining their cause.
    Because of the rapid, widespread growth in observance, in 2001 the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) began sponsoring this day April 10.
    This is the largest single student-led action toward creating safer schools in history. More than 100,000 students participate in this day and wish to convey a message of unity and tolerance.
    I read the testimonials on the Day of Silence official Web site. There were students represented from nearly every state-except some Southern ones like Alabama, Louisiana and yes, Mississippi. Tolerance is spreading elsewhere, leading to better relationships between people and ultimately a better world. Why not here?
    This is the Bible Belt, and anything not completely in conjunction with biblical teachings is immediately targeted for punishment and persecution by supposedly well-meaning Christians.
    This is where the Day of Truth comes in.
    The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), an Arizona-based group, heard about the Day of Silence and were outraged. They claim the Day of Silence is a misnomer because the real truth is being silenced, and they’re taking measures to combat it.
    ADF has dubbed April 14 the Day of Truth, a day on which participants wear T-shirts and hand out cards like the Day of Silence participants. What has me fuming is what the cards say.
    “I am speaking the Truth to break the Silence. I believe in equal treatment for all, and not special rights for a few. I believe in loving my neighbor, but part of that love means not condoning detrimental personal and social behavior. I believe that by boldly proclaiming the Truth, hurts will be halted, hearts will be healed and lives will be saved.”
    Let’s look at this sentence by sentence.
    “I believe in equal treatment for all, and not special rights for a few.”
    Last time I checked, the Golden Rule states to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Are gays and gay rights advocates condemning straight people? No, they’re simply seeking acceptance and tolerance. But for some reason it’s okay for some Christians to condemn gays. Somehow this is equal treatment? If Christians really sought equal treatment, they would treat gays with respect and tolerance.
    “I believe in loving my neighbor, but part of that love means not condoning detrimental personal and social behavior.”
    The word “detrimental” is what stands out to me. The only people who find gay behavior detrimental are those who condemn it. Detrimental means “causing damage or harm,” but gays are doing no damage or harm to anyone. Ultimately, Christians condemn homosexuality because it makes them uncomfortable; it’s “unnatural,” “immoral” or “unChristian.”
    “I believe that by boldly proclaiming the Truth, hurts will be halted, hearts will be healed and lives will be saved.”
    The only hearts that need healing are the hearts that can’t love everyone inside and out. Gays are content with their sexual orientation and lives, or they would be if people would stop persecuting them. Just like followers of other religions, gays aren’t seeking to be converted. But some Christians aren’t satisfied until everyone is the same. What makes them so uncomfortable with accepting that someone is different from them?
    It’s called diversity, and it’s a beautiful thing to be celebrated, not eliminated. If everyone was the same, what would Christians do? Who would they have to pick on? The members of ADF would be left without a cause if they succeeded.
    Mike Johnson, an ADF attorney, says the Day of Truth is meant to be “peaceful and respectful.” Condemning someone’s lifestyle, which isn’t harmful or damaging in the first place, is neither peaceful nor respectful. It is downright insulting.
    Johnson also said, “You can call it sinful or destructive-ultimately it’s both.” How homosexuality is destructive is beyond me. What does it destroy? Johnson would likely answer that it destroys the sanctity of marriage and God’s love or something along those lines.
    I know gay people. I have seen gay couples who are as in love as any straight couple I’ve seen, and I believe it’s just as real. I believe wherever there is love, God is there. I do not believe God would condemn love, regardless of who shares it.
    Love is love. And it is absolutely not a straight person’s place to tell two gay people that what they share is not love. Most evidence of love in today’s world is so twisted anyway. None is more sacred than the other. Real, honest love is a blessing, no matter who shares it.
    Johnson also says of the Day of Silence/Truth controversy, “The public school is part of the free market of ideas-if the other side is going to advance their point of view, it’s only fair for the Christian perspective to present their view, too.”
    How delusional can someone get? The gays and gay rights advocates aren’t championing gayness over straightness. They aren’t telling straight people that they’re going to hell for being straight. They’re asking for acceptance and tolerance.
    It’s pompous for any Christian to suggest that they’ve been persecuted for being straight, so they feel the need to shout all the injustices they’ve suffered. Give me a break.
    Perhaps one day people like Johnson will realize the only ones losing sleep over the unholiness of homosexuality are themselves, and maybe they will find something worth spending their time on.
    It is devastating to me to think that these Christians are putting so much effort into saving gay people. Their energy could be going toward people who actually need saving. All the time and money spent promoting the Day of Truth could be used to help the homeless or another worthwhile cause.
    Or better yet, these particular Christians should take a look at themselves. If everyone sought to better their own lives rather than bettering other people’s lives, the world would immediately become a better place.
    Christians need to learn to reach out with their hearts and stop beating people with their Bibles. If a gay person is happy and content with his life, everyone else should be OK with that. Not only OK, but happy for the person. That is acceptance.
    People are quick to condemn what they don’t understand.

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    Christians should accept gays