Here is the answer in a nutshell: four Americans were murdered, it was a terrorist attack, everyone knew it, and they covered it up as a spontaneous protest. They did not respond to the call for help for more security to keep it from happening. It was two months before Obama’s second term election, no time for truth when you want the American people to think terrorism has been dealt with. We now have enough whistle-blowers to know the truth.
There have been threats against various people in the FBI in an effort to keep their mouths shut, and now Gregory Hicks, Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. in Libya, is giving us the truth. If we all remember the Nixon cover up of Watergate, and his following impeachment, this sounds similar. It wasn’t so much Nixon’s involvement as it was the cover up that got him impeached.
Though I realize this wasn’t entirely intentional neglect, more like terrible judgement, the continuing cover up and lies from the Obama administration is sad. It’s the same as a child getting “caught” and continuing to talk and lie to convince themselves and others of their innocence. Here is Jay Carney giving us a great example of that. Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice were accusing some stupid YouTube video for being responsible for the murders of these Americans when the real terrorist suspects were running around free. Our country deserves and demands better than that!
Some people in this administration, including the head of it, need to lose their jobs and feel the consequences of not defending the very people they are paid to keep safe and then covering their failure.
If we are a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” we need to hold our politicians accountable for their actions, or lack thereof, while in office. This is not a “further your career game” but a serious job of protecting innocent lives.
By Jane Pinkerton
Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty of first degree murder of three of the four babies. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the case of the woman he gave an overdose of Demerol to.
Planned Parenthood took to Twitter and extended sympathy for the woman, with no mention of the babies. This was the organization’s “compassionate” tweet:
A just verdict. The jury has rightly convicted
#Gosnell for his appalling crimes, ensuring no woman is victimized by him ever again.
Of course, they can’t extend sympathy for the babies because then they would be admitting that they are babies, not fetuses, and in doing so they would be granting “personhood” to the babies and thus aligning with mainstream thought (including Roe v. Wade) that states a baby at 24 weeks gestation is viable. Now, I believe most pro-choice people agree with Roe v. Wade on this point. They don’t want a baby murdered when it could live on it’s own outside the womb and the vast majority of them were cheering alongside the pro-lifers when they caught wind of Gosnell’s conviction. I think most everyone agrees that what he did was unconscionable. Which is why I believe Planned Parenthood should drop the agenda and admit, like the jury has, that these were babies who were murdered. If they care for women like they claim to, they would be able to do that.
I am thankful for local Pennsylvania reporter, JD Mullane, who covered the Gosnell trial on Twitter, detail by detail. If you are on Twitter, you should follow him (@jdmullane). And thank him while you are at it! Mullane said that he spoke with another pro-choice reporter at the trial who has changed his stance to pro-life.
This from Mullane — The state of Pennsylvania has a pro-choice Republican governor who has allowed all 22 of the state’s abortion clinics go 17 years without an inspection.
Now you tell me that there aren’t any more Gosnells and that his is an isolated case. Go ahead and tell me that more “unfettered” access to abortion is going to keep the Gosnells away from women and babies. And yes, please tell me again how legal abortion keeps women safe from “back-alley” abortions with rusty coat hangers (overdoses on Demerol anyone?) and all of that. After all, since abortion is now legal, women shouldn’t be risking unsafe and illegal abortions, correct? Something comes to mind about safe, legal and rare? Oh nevermind. You know, just throw something in there about how compassionate Planned Parenthood is, that should cover it.
Just a warning: I might roll my eyes, and I will definitely conclude that you are out of touch with reality and that you hate logic. Abortion kills human life. Period. It can’t be sanitized. And women deserve better than that. Whether we have had abortions ourselves or not, we don’t want to be deceived by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry any more!
You know what, as a pro-life woman, I am tired of the guilt trips about women. Of course I feel for women who don’t want to be pregnant. Of course my heart aches for women who feel they don’t have another option. But pregnancy is not cancer! It doesn’t just “happen” to a woman! We all have hard times and it’s never acceptable to murder someone else because we find ourselves in an unwanted circumstance. Rape and incest account for 1% of abortions, so don’t throw the R&I thing at me. And I am not talking about women like Beatriz who will die unless they get an abortion and will face jail time if they do. Seriously, pro-choice friends?? I am talking about women getting abortions simply because they don’t want to be pregnant. THIS is where we live here in the US. It’s where Planned Parenthood makes the big bucks. It must stop.
By Steph Nelson
Abby Johnson’s relationship with Planned Parenthood began as a volunteer. She progressed from volunteer to abortion clinic director within eight years. Abby writes a beautiful story of her slow metamorphosis from the pro-choice side to the pro-life side. But her story is about so much more than that. Along the way she learns to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to her, she gets to see that this issue is more than just “pro-choice vs. pro-life.” Let me start at the beginning and I will try not to give too much away because I highly recommend that everyone, no matter what your view on abortion, read this book. I checked it out at my local library.
Abby was attracted to Planned Parenthood because of its emphasis in 2001 on lowering the amount of abortions performed through contraceptives and family planning counseling. She felt at home with PP’s mission to serve women who might not otherwise have access to quality healthcare. She is a certified counselor and as such, knows the value of being a listening ear to women in desperate circumstances. Abby was all-in for PP’s mission to serve women and she was decidedly pro-choice except that she didn’t approve of late-term abortions, favoring adoption in those cases. Once she is employed by PP, her pro-life church rejects her request for membership and she is deeply hurt. She and her husband then take up with a pro-choice Episcopalian church, which works out great until Abby becomes pro-life, at which point she is rejected by the pro-choice church.
After a few years at PP, Abby notices among other things, a slight shift in the way that PP runs their company. PP is trying to open a mega-clinic in the metro area of Abby’s state where they will begin performing late-term abortions. She is told, in essence, that her clinic’s quota for contraceptive care has been lowered while its quota for abortion has been elevated since abortion brings in more money. Abby protests this, stating that she believed PP’s mission was to lower the amount of abortions performed, thus making abortion rare. She points out the inconsistency of that with increasing abortions and performing late-term abortions. For this she is formally reprimanded for disagreeing with her supervisor. She is told to open her clinic for abortions every day of the week instead of only on Saturday, which had been the clinic’s previous practice. Shortly after this corporate meeting, Abby is randomly asked to assist an ultrasound-guided abortion in her clinic where she holds the ultrasound wand as the abortionist sucks a tiny fetus (Abby notes that she saw a spine, arms, legs, hands, feet, etc.) from the womb. She describes how the baby tried to get away but eventually was “crumpled up” and disappeared as the abortion doctor quipped, “Beam me up, Scotty!”
The rest of the book is her journey to let go of the idea that abortion is healthcare since she sees firsthand over the course of eight years that it is not. She is hesitant to join the pro-life movement and thinks at first that she can just leave PP but not exactly be pro-life. That proves very difficult for her and I will leave you to find out why.
I loved this book for a lot of reasons. The main one is that it showed that it’s possible for someone to change their views when confronted with reality and fact. Abby says that the Holy Spirit was setting everything up so that she could plainly see what Planned Parenthood actually stands for and what abortion actually is. The book highlights how the politics of abortion play into church life, and she also has interesting insight into the pro-life movement as one who watched it grow while she was still a PP clinic director. She notes the blurriness of lines between victim and attacker, pointing to her own experience as everything from the victim of the pro-life movement to the role of being responsible for hundreds of fetal deaths. She had thought the women were the sole victims in abortion, but later sees the unborn as a victim as well.
I also appreciated how Abby is very forgiving of PP and her co-workers. Even as she tells her story from the other side of the fence, she makes it clear that she gave PP and the pro-choice side every benefit of the doubt. And she is quite gracious as she recounts the story and her friendships, stating repeatedly her confidence that there are pro-choice people who truly believe PP is doing good, and that abortion is “the only option” for some women, and they don’t all want to just kill babies. It would be easy for Abby to leave PP and slander them, especially after what PP does to her toward the end. (I will leave you with that suspense). But she is resolute in her view that there are well-meaning people in each camp, and there are also mean-spirited people in each camp.
This book gave me hope that eventually Planned Parenthood’s motives will see the light of day and they will no longer be the darling of “women’s healthcare.” Abby was brave to change her view and I can only hope to hear many more stories like hers.
Women deserve better than abortion.
By Steph Nelson
I find there is a trend that I keep seeing. It’s not all that bad, but I wonder where these styles came from. I am twenty-two and I am interested in fashion in an average way. This blog is a worldview blog and I think our worldview reflects how we dress just as much as it affects everything else in our life. However, I am wondering lately about low v-necks, skinny jeans and colored pants. Not to mention when a guy styles his hair more than I do, I get a little uncomfortable and wonder if I am not enough of a girl or he’s not enough of a guy. I am not even saying that I dislike these trends, but I do wonder where they came from and why they are here.
Some people think social roles are wrong or bad. However, I think that if you were born a girl, then darling, embrace the girl in you to the best of your ability. Personally, I would rather play in the mud than go to a ball in a big dress. But then again, I understand that I was made by God a certain way and so I also enjoy curling my hair, wearing women’s clothing and generally being feminine. Girls are supposed to attract, be pretty and have some sort of softness to them. (And yes, be intelligent, be able to hold a job, and be strong in their own way… etc. I am not just a damsel, but being saved by a boy sounds fun to me too!)
But men? They were made to protect, provide and work hard. I live in Idaho, where I am not surprised to see cowboys here and there. My grandpa was a milk truck driver and so I came across farmers growing up. To be honest, as a girl and in a very pure Christian sense, I appreciate when a man has a bit of muscle going on. He doesn’t have to be Hercules, but it’s nice to know that he is walking around a bit stronger than me and can outwork me in a physical sense. (And yes, he’s intelligent and can be kind too, etc.) When I get married I’ll be looking for masculinity, because I want to be the feminine one in our relationship. Girls want to feel safe, protected and provided for – those things take strength!
It seems to me nobody really stands up and claps for the cowboy anymore. Nor do we cheer on the hunter very much or admire the quiet hard worker guy, and we don’t encourage the father. (Just look at all our sitcoms on T.V.). We do cheer on the the ultra-sensitive musician (or the metro sexual worship leader) and we think the graphic designer guy is super cool. We young twenty-somethings check out the dude with the neat necklaces that hang just above his deep v-neck shirt and our eyes travel down to his colored pants and his canvas Toms and say, “Oh… so that’s where we are going? That’s the future?” (If the paragraph you just read bothers you then click this link)
To be honest? All those tight clothes are what women are supposed to wear… right? And even I’m careful about how tight my clothes are to honor the men around me. Now, now, I don’t want to bash the way the guys my age dress and I am not even totally against it.
Me? I just wrote a post to chew on.
What do you think about young men’s fashion these days?
Some time has passed since the Gosnell story broke the news. Even more time has passed since the Gosnell trial began. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you can read about the murder, scissors, feet, and blood here.
You can read about how conservatives took to Twitter and called the mainstream media out on its non-existent coverage of such a horrific story and subsequent murder trial. I was a part of the #Gosnell tweet fest and I won’t lie: it felt a little bit like what I imagine it might have felt like to dump cargos of Tea into the Boston harbor. Except tweeting is legal and so far hasn’t led to a war. Now, before you dismiss the #Gosnell media revolution, let’s realize that it’s possible that we, through mediums like Twitter, might be the new watchdog of the watchdog (media). Especially if the media continues to insist on such strong liberal bias.
The Gosnell story hit me in the gut – like really hard. I confess that I cry at the drop of a hat where abortion is concerned. The babies. The mother! The BABIES! The MOTHER! I go back and forth in a blubbering mess, unable to decide who I cry more for. But this? I had to step away from the computer to get a hold of myself. Anyone who has had a baby knows that feeling of instantly personalizing it (or maybe that’s just a woman thing?) But when I see a baby corpse laying in a tray, it’s my baby. I see my Jonny usually, because he’s my most recent baby. Maybe I am weird.
But maybe I am on to something.
These are our babies. Our fellow Americans at the very least. And as much as the pro-choice movement wants to demagogue about it, saying that if only abortion were legal under any and all circumstances to every woman with just the snap of her finger, there would be no Gosnells. Yeah, not buying it. Why? Well because at the end of the day, the abortion procedure will still stop a life. Even if it’s sanitary and hush-hush. And we are talking late second and third trimester lives where Gosnell is concerned. The horrifying thing about abortion is that it is murder. More access to it doesn’t make it less gory.
And where does Obama stand on Gosnell? Well, he won’t say. But we have only to look at policy and history to know. Obama supports partial birth abortions (WAY different than what Gosnell was doing, of course, because the partially birthed and aborted baby isn’t totally out of the birth canal.) <inject sarcasm.> It doesn’t stop there, either. Obama opposed Born Alive Infant Acts which would protect a baby who survives a failed abortion. Nope, we can’t have that, Obama and his progressive cohorts want unwanted babies dead. We at The Civic Arena have, at great length, shown arguments in favor of abortion to be illogical and at times, silly.
Yet, here we are still. Logic doesn’t seem to matter to the abortion supporter. What matters is our “right” to terminate life growing in the womb. Doug Wilson gives this analogy:
“It is as though some horrible event happened in Canada that caused a stream of refugees to head for our border, and someone with very precise legal reasoning skills developed the schizophrenic policy of shooting the refugees on their side of the border, but demanding the ultimate in medical care for them if they managed to make it across the border alive…Gosnell’s problem is not with what he was doing, which countless progressives have defended with their special kind of passionate malice, but with where he was doing it.”
America, it’s time to stop covering our eyes and humming a loud tune to deafen the sound of aborted babies screaming for help. And thanks to Gosnell, we now know that they do actually scream.
I am ending on an unnerving note. But I think it’s appropriate if we are a little bit unnerved by this. It’s horrific. I hope it continues to be exposed for the terror that it is.
”Obama says abortion should be safe, legal and rare. Unfortunately, it’s only legal.” - Alveda King
“We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children.”
“So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”
The conservative community responded negatively to the ad, and many of us have heard the “touche” remarks of Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh. Harris-Perry made what I consider to be a thoughtful response to the criticism.
In this statement, she clarifies her meaning:
“Those of you who were alarmed by the ad can relax, I have no designs on taking your children. Please keep your kids! I venture to say that anyone and everyone should know full well that my message in that ad was a call to see ourselves as connected to a larger whole. I don’t want your kids, but I want them to live in safe neighborhoods. I want them to learn in enriching and dynamic classrooms. I want them to be healthy and well and free from fear.”
She, along with other liberal folks, are totally confused about what could be bothersome to a conservative regarding her statement. Conservatives and liberals agree that every adult should take caring notice of the children of our nation and invest in them. Many on both sides of the political spectrum see the clear value of our children and many understand that the future of our nation depends on the spiritual, intellectual, and physical fitness of our children. Agreed.
The differences emerge when both sides offer solutions to issues that face children. Two separate worldviews come into play. One worldview suggests a solution that requires more programs, better education, more awareness, a sense of responsibility for all of humanity. This worldview truly believes that knowledge is power and it is their moral responsibility to educate — at any cost — children that might not otherwise receive this type of education. (The education being courses in their worldview and value system, not just ABC’s and 123′s). This specific education will ensure that the playing field will be equal, and everyone will get along.
The second worldview suggests that maybe this issue goes a little deeper and has more to do with the decay of our morality over the years and less with our current situation. This worldview recommends a return to Biblical morality, honest and genuine concern for individuals, and it values the free choice of each individual. Perhaps every child will not be parented equally, but this worldview doesn’t believe it’s the responsibility of everyone else to ensure that all things are fair. In fact, it holds that fairness is an illusion. Respect is shown for humanity in attempts to help the less fortunate with whatever extra each person has, but there is no pressure to be or do something by coercion or force. Children should be taught (usually by parents) how to handle difficulty in life because there is no historical proof that more education equals a trouble-free world.
This will always boil down to a war between worldviews. If two people of opposing worldviews both sincerely adore children, they would still find plenty to fight about.
But I can answer Harris-Perry as to why her comments made conservatives so mad. Because she said that we need to “break through” the idea that “kids belongs to their parents.” And she used that wording repeatedly. Now, if her intention is just to make a safe and healthy world for kids, please tell me why would she use that wording? This was not an off-hand comment to a reporter, this was a TV spot that she was doing. Clearly rehearsed and well-thought out. Those words were chosen.
That’s why Worldview #2 got mad at Worldview #1 this time.
Learning in “dynamic classrooms,” and being healthy and well doesn’t make fear go away. We can make public education available earlier, better, and include more fruits and veggies. But nothing, and I mean nothing can replace a parent’s role in their child’s development. Parents not Programs prepare children for life, for a global economy and for just being a great parent themselves someday. That is, if we believe that humans are individually and intrinsically valuable. But if we believe they are just another cog in the great machine, then perhaps we might be easily tricked into thinking they don’t need parents as much as they need a good education.
What is your take on this latest grenade in the worldview war?
By Steph Nelson
I completely disagree with him.
He hates America, I adore America. He violently attacks Christianity, I sweetly offer it to anyone who is willing to listen. He’s into the darkest things, I wait for the morning so I can dance under the light of day. He’s water and I am oil.
So then, how do we have the best weekly conversations about religion?
I’ve done it. I’ve shoved the gospel down someone’s throat. I have pushed my political viewpoints right in front of someone and arrogantly said, “Take it or leave it.” But then, I realized this was not the way to do it! Sharing the gospel is not about holding up a sign and saying, “You’ll go to HELL if you don’t believe!” (Which, to be bluntly honest, is what I do believe). However, that’s not really attractive and even I call that person crazy.
However, personally speaking, the most success I have had with the gospel is when I’ve prayed for someone and when I’ve showed them I really care. To be really specific, I’ve had the best times of seeing someone convert to Christianity after a church service when the music played and they’d heard the pastor preach and they were there at church to seek God in some way anyway. Softly I have asked dozens of times, “Do you want me to go with you down to the people who can lead you into Christianity? It just takes one prayer to begin and then we can talk about what God is doing in you after that….” I’ve had so many people nod and I’ve taken their hand and led them to Christ. In those instances, I was not pushy and I just held open my own hands and asked.
I’ve also had many conversations about politics that were successful too. The million dollar answer to that one is: Humility! Humility. Humility. Humility. To sit there patiently and listen to what they have to say (not sitting there waiting for them to finish so I could refute quickly). Another great way is to ask a question, “What do you say to the argument that a pencil can’t write a sentence, the person does, just like a gun cannot shoot someone, a person does? Do you think maybe focusing on gun education and improving good citizenship in our schools might be better than banning all the guns in the world?” Then calmly listening to their answer.
Do you have tactics to arguments?
What has worked? What hasn’t?
Why do you discuss religion and politics?
Why don’t you?
By JJ Day
By Amy Vassar
Responsibility. I think that’s one of the weightiest words I ponder as a parent. What can I do to teach my children responsibility? How can I prepare them to take ownership of their lives and their decisions? What is the best way to help them transition from the authority of Dad and Mom to the authority of God, as a person with a free will but a solid moral compass? Oh man. Ask yourself those questions once a day and you’ll see an increase in your prayer life!
As a college instructor, I see every day the disservice that has been done to many young people in terms of their view of responsibility. When did it become normal to turn assignments in late and expect to get credit for them? At what point did the shift occur that makes students assume they won’t be held responsible for instructions that they overlooked? Now, this is certainly not true of every student in my classes, but it is a pervasive attitude that seems to be increasing all the time.
As a mom, then, I am on a mission. I want my children to be prepared to take responsibility in their daily habits, their studies, their jobs, and their relationships. To accomplish this, in addition to the constant prayer I alluded to earlier, I am working on three basic lessons with them.
1. Embrace things that are hard. “Just because something is hard does NOT mean that it should not be done or that you should not be held responsible for it.” I’m pretty sure there are nights that I say this in my sleep, because of how often I say it to my oldest child. But of course this cuts both ways; in order to teach my children to embrace difficult tasks, I must do likewise. My goal is to never let “It’s too hard” be an acceptable excuse in our home. God created the human mind and will to be capable of incredible things, but unless you’re occasionally pushed to your limits, you won’t know how far you can go. This can take the form of practical tasks like cleaning and organizing a closet or packing in a load of firewood, or even physical activities like doing a set number of jumping jacks or sit-ups.
2. Find the information you need. Sometimes in life we aren’t given all the necessary information for a task. Marriages and children don’t come with instruction manuals. When you start a new job, there are usually numerous little parts of your job that you have to figure out on your own. To prepare our children for this reality, it’s important to sometimes leave out some details and require them to track those down. For small children, this could be done with little tasks like telling them to put away two things that are on the floor, one of which they don’t know what to do with. The process of learning to ask questions is so important!
3. If you can do it, and you know it needs to be done, then it’s your job. Sorry, I know that phrase doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Likewise, it can be a tricky one to implement and enforce. But while we are big proponents of designated chores in our house (another way to teach responsibility!), I’m not a fan of the “my chores, no more” attitude that can sometimes develop. So if my 4-year-old walks past a piece of trash three times without picking it up, he’ll have some explaining to do. If my 5-year-old knows it’s time to set the table, she is expected to be in there helping get it done. In this way, we are all taking responsibility for the smooth functioning of the household.
In closing, I certainly don’t have this all mastered, and I am not as consistent yet with enforcing these things as I want to be, but I hope they help stir up some ideas for you. Now go inspire your children with responsibility! There’s a generation out there waiting for its leaders.
Amy is a wife, mother, teacher, and photographer. She has been married to her husband Paul for 8 years. Paul is a small business owner and together they home school their 3 children, who are currently in 8th grade, kindergarten, and preschool.
Amy holds a B.A. in Spanish and an M.A. in Teaching from the College of Idaho, and she is in the process of earning an M.A. in Spanish from New Mexico State University. She is a member of the Spanish faculty at College of Western Idaho, where she formerly served as program head of Modern Language and currently serves on several committees aimed at improving the quality of online and hybrid courses. She is also a freelance photographer, specializing in family and senior portraiture.
Amy is passionate about education and about missions. Her goal in homeschooling is to raise up confident, responsible individuals who know how to learn, how to work hard, and how to pour themselves into whatever mission field God calls them to, whether at home or in other lands.
I recently read a book called The Cross in the Closet. It is about a bigoted, obnoxious, conservative Christian, young-adult man who decides to “go in the closet” and pretend to be gay for a year in an attempt to overcome his bigotry. He even leads his family to believe that he is gay and he immerses himself into the LGBT community. It is the author’s personal journey from religious bigot to….well, I don’t know what. He’s opposed to any labels.
I had great hopes for this book. The premise fascinated me. The author’s attempt to walk in someone else’s shoes for a year, regardless of personal loss, was noble.
However, I must confess, when a friend first referred the book to me, my first thought was, “Great, another Christian-bashing book. Can’t wait to read it!” (Yes, you detect sarcasm.) My friend assured me it wasn’t, but our views of Christian-bashing are clearly different because I found it to be just that. It’s too bad too, because the author has a great message to share. If only he could have done it without alienating his target audience.
I won’t review the book directly because I’m not sure I would recommend it – and there are plenty of reviews already on amazon. I think it would offend most conservative Christians (because of his harsh stereotypes and eventual deviation from traditional theology), but I don’t necessarily think it would appeal to homosexuals either.
So you are probably wondering why I am even writing about it. I’m not so sure myself. The book has been bugging me, camping in the back of my mind and constantly pestering me.
It was an eye opener for me. Not about the homosexual community, which is not unfamiliar to me. But rather, about Christians. He is intensely harsh towards conservative Christians as he projects his once-bigoted self onto every other conservative, fundamentalist Christian. In fact, towards the end of the book he confesses to exchanging one form of bigotry (towards LGBTs) for another (towards conservative Christians).
Before the experiment, he was horrible to the LGBT community. Mocking them. Throwing condemning Bible verses in their face. Treating them like they had a contagious disease. Believing that God hates them. He showed no love, compassion, empathy or understanding. He said repeatedly that he was taught to be this way and seems to conclude that this reflects all conservative Christians and is a direct result of their theology.
The way traditional Christianity is represented in this book is not the Christianity that I know. It is not consistent with the Bible. It is not a representation of the Christians in my life. I hate Christian stereotypes. I hate the way the media portrays us. I hate the assumptions my non-Christian friends make about me. I feel like I am always fighting against these, always coming to the defense of Christianity. And I honestly don’t understand it.
I now realize this is because I project my views and experiences with Christianity on to everyone else, much like the author of this book. But I don’t see judgmental bigots.
I see a loving family.
I see grace, compassion, and forgiveness.
I see broken lives made whole.
I see relationships restored.
I see service and sacrifice.
I see loyal friendships where people lay their lives down for one another.
I see a Savior, who died for ALL of our sins.
I see hope, for anyone who asks.
Is it possible that these same people – who have richly experienced the grace of God in their own lives – are egging the cars of homosexuals? It is possible that they are spewing hate to their gay and lesbian acquaintances? Is it true that they elevate these behaviors to a level of sin that God cannot forgive? Do they ostracize the LGBT community, treating them as if they have a contagious disease?
I don’t know. I hope with all my heart that it isn’t true. But clearly there are professing Christians who do these things, and it breaks my heart. This is not the message of the gospel. This is not behavior that reflects biblical Christianity.
We don’t have to reject the Bible to embrace our homosexual neighbor. We don’t have to deny the gospel to sit in their living room and hear their stories. We don’t have to compromise our beliefs to have a homosexual couple over for dinner and to be their friend.
We don’t have to agree with people to love them. We don’t have to convince them to agree with us. We obviously haven’t taken the time to understand or to show we care. We’ve failed to demonstrate the love of Christ.
They see us as the enemy, apparently because that is what we have been to them.
Do we label them perverted, disgusting, untouchable?
Do we judge them?
Do we throw our stones, and revel in our self-righteousness?
Do we fail to understand the burdens they bear?
Could it be that the only message they hear from us is “Homosexuality is an abomination!?”
Could it be that all they see of Christianity is our fight against gay marriage?
Regardless of how we answer these questions, this is how many view us. My heart breaks. My heart breaks for the pain we cause, when we should be messengers of hope. We should reflect the love of Christ.
In the same way that those in the LGBT community don’t want to be labeled and want to be treated as individuals, I hope people will do the same for me. I hope they can stop rejecting all conservative Christians because of the idiocy of a few (or perhaps many, sadly) and give us a chance to bridge the gap.
Today I want to link a letter that Naghmeh, Pastor Saeed Abedini’s wife received this week. If you remember, Saeed is being held in prison in Iran and abused for his Christian faith. I will let him speak for himself:
Read Pastor Saeed’s heartfelt letter here.
By Stephanie Nelson