Sunday, 3 November 2013

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

One book isn't enough to understand
the universe, other people, or yourself.
This post is in response to a thoughtless comment made at a party I attended a few nights ago. It was originally written as a cogent long-form argument, but it was tired and preachy. So here's the abridged and snarky (and still preachy) version!

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What was that you said? Love the sinner, hate the sin? Really?

I know we were talking about homosexuality and the great love you have for "those people" and the way you would show your love for them. Denying them civil rights and dignities must make your heart fuzzier than a peach.

You know the "sin" of homosexuality isn't a choice, it's part of the person, it is who they are, an attribute they were born with. Hating the sin is actually hating the sinner. The two are inextricable.

And I don't think love means what you think it does.

Denying a person the right to marry the person they love is not loving the sinner. 

Telling a person they can't adopt because they are gay is not loving the sinner.

Lobbying to ban homosexuals from working with children is not loving the sinner. 

Claiming that God prefers to watch hetero sex over gay sex is not loving the sinner.

Believing that homosexuals are abominations is not loving the sinner.

"Loving the sinner" sounds disingenuous to me. If you are doing something harmful to a person, it doesn't matter if you love or hate them. What matters is that you are seeking to harm them.

I like how you drew a very neat circle around yourself and started  throwing rocks at the people outside. At least it comes from a good place, a place of love.

Jesus said to look after your own sin, not other people's. Seeing the sins of others is the proverbial plank in your own eye.

Let's try some words instead of love. Let's see how these fit the template "____ the sinner.":
  • demean
  • punish
  • ostracise
  • degrade
  • disenfranchise
  • humiliate
But we can encompass them all with love.

What is sin anyway? It's a made up absurdity and you have to buy in to for it to have any power. Just like kids playing tag, they must buy into the idea of someone being "it" before the rules of the game demand conformance. You had to jump through quite a few hoops before you came to the conclusion that gay love is a sin.

Sin is useful for setting people apart as righteous or unrighteous, with the lowly sinners being lesser-people, defective, damaged and in need of redemption.

Maybe even in need of your love.

I'm sorry, but I don't buy it. You can keep your sin and your love. I wouldn't want to be beaten down with your largess.

You can say that you are loving the sinner a million times over but that won't ever make it come true. Hopefully one day you will learn the real meaning of love.

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