Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christophobia? Wrong answer, Mr. Warren

Egalia breaks down the latest Rick Warren blunder of suggesting that his detractors suffer from Christophobia. As she points out, "Warren doesn't explain how this fits with the undeniable fact that many of his harshest critics are also Christian."

Let me start by saying, "Right on!"

Yesterday I attended the requiem mass for Eddie Lightsey. It was a mixture of ancient liturgy and hymns you would hear at just about any Southern funeral--Amazing Grace, It is Well with my Soul, etc. The congregation gathered was a mixture of his gay and lesbian friends (some Christian, some Jewish, some of no particular faith tradition), his family, and members of his parish (straight and gay). It was the universal Church and the human family at its best.

Maybe it was the experience of Eddie's funeral that has made me more sensitive to the fact that Warren's efforts to produce a binary opposition between Christianity and the GLBT community are insulting and inaccurate. But it's an old line that he knows will get him somewhere with some audiences. I hear it all the time. I can't tell you how many reporters have interviewed me about a policy issue and asked, "What about the Churches?" And I remind them that those of us involved in the Christian faith take a variety of positions on issues.

The point is not to conflate the two. Religious diversity is as much a part of the GLBT community as any other segment of the community. If there seems to be more of a gap, perhaps that's because the loudest voices in American Christianity have been at the front of the line in opposing our rights. But Warren doesn't speak for Christianity and he doesn't have a broad enough constituency (millions of copies of poorly written books notwithstanding) to say that anyone who disagrees with him is Christophobic.

We're not afraid of Christ, Mr. Warren. We're afraid of the effects of your divisive rhetoric. You would do well to take a page from the president-elect by reaching out more and stop making up fear-based disorders.

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