Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Elton John: Gay Lover's Suicide was from Christian Guilt

When it comes to homosexuality, Christians (and other conservative religious groups) like to claim that they aren't bigoted, and that their "Hate the sin, love the sinner" teachings are loving and kind. The latest tragic news out of London shows the real truth: this Christian philosophy is cruel and heartless.

Yesterday singer Elton John revealed that a former lover's suicide was caused by guilt over his homosexuality. His lover couldn't reconcile his gay lifestyle with the teachings of the Christian Church, and threw himself under a lorry. This is a story that is tragically repeated, over and over, around the world. And for every suicide, there are probably a thousand tortured men who live depressed lives, and a million angry men who feel needless guilt but manage to reject the Christian's unnatural and unhealthy attitude.

Christians need to face the reality. They hurt people. Everyone has the right to believe whatever they want, but Christians need to stop pretending that their beliefs cause no harm. Do they really believe you can "hate the sin" without making the "sinner" feel terribly hurt, rejected, and guilty?

I think I'd have more respect for the Christians if they were like radical Muslims, who believe the death penalty is appropriate for gays. It's a horrible belief, but at least these radical Muslims are honest. Christians who espouse "hate the sin, love the sinner" are only fooling themselves.

Christianity fails when it comes to homosexuality. According to Christians, all sin is a personal choice – God made us good, we've fallen from grace, and now we have to choose whether to yield to sin or not. The trouble is, there are mountains of scientific evidence that homosexuality is mostly genetic. That leaves only one option for a Christian gay person: to abandon intimacy completely. What a horribly cruel fate!

That in turn means Christians must believe homosexuality is a personal choice, or their entire theology of personal responsibility, sin and redemption comes crashing down.

But there is an alternative. They could simply reject the idea that homosexuality is sinful at all. They could accept that love is love, and that it is wondrous and beautiful any time any two people find love.

The Christian "hate the sinner" philosophy should be rejected by all moral people. It is a corrupt teaching, leftover bigotry that should have been discarded hundreds of years ago along with racism, sexism and polygamy. It divides families, hurts people, and causes depression and suicide.

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