Christians need to be more supportive of the Queer community

Ysabella Gonzalez, Reporter

Christians should be more supportive and accepting of the LGBTQ community. It’s a subject of debate between believers and non-believers alike as they debate the word of God and who is welcome into heaven, even a quick Google search reveals over 25 million results of people who are trying to find their own answer. As a believer of Christ, I believe that we should be more welcoming to those in the LGBTQ community, not damning them to hell. 

Christians, in a broader sense, have a tendency to damn others if they stray from their beliefs without trying to understand another person. This can result in a lot of tension between those who identify as religious and those that don’t. However, in recent years, there have been Christians honoring God’s inclusion of everyone. 

“They do a better job of recognizing Christ radical inclusion. Which is what I see when I read the Gospels,” Peter Carlson, associate professor of religion, said. “For that matter, when I read the entire scripture, from the Hebrew scriptures to the Christian scriptures, I see a constantly expanding covenant, meaning almost like a contractual relationship between God and humans, and it’s constantly expanding.”

Carlson continued to discuss the stories from Jesus. The Jews believed the Samaritans were lesser, only for Jesus to tell a story where the Samaritan is the hero and beloved of God in Luke 10:25-37 NKJV.

“Saint Paul is saying, ‘yes, God’s covenant is with the Jews, but look, now it’s expanding to non-Jews.’ And so, to me, to read the scriptures is to understand that God’s covenant with humankind is constantly growing. Every time you think someone is not included, that’s probably a sign that the problem is with you, not with God,” Carlson said. 

This lesson of inclusion is repeated in scripture several times, yet many Christians still find themselves wrestling with loving others as they are, not who they think they should be. Many Christians seem to forgo a very important verse, Matthew 22:39, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Even if a Christian sees the LGBTQ community as enemies or ‘evil,’ as included in Matthew 5:44, which states Christians are to love their enemies and do good to others, they are still to treat them well. Therefore, no matter how you view the LGBTQ community, as  Christians, we are to love them.

“When I read, for instance, in the Gospel of John, the writer attributes to Jesus the words, ‘And I, when I am lifted up, will lift all.’ All is a big word and most of us don’t want it, because most of us imagine that we can point out people that we think aren’t deserving of God’s love,” Carlson said. 

I’m not saying that Christians need to bend over backward and go against their own beliefs, but that they should acknowledge that we need to be more supportive of others. We aren’t always going to agree with others, especially when there are so many different versions of Christianity and the Bible, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be there for other communities. 

“Honestly, just listening, not assuming that the way you were raised is automatically the answer,” senior Al Nascimento, vice president of People Respecting Individuality, Diversity, and Equality Club, said. “Not assuming that the one translation of the book you follow is the only one that exists because, honestly, it is such an old book.” 

Yet, through all the translations, God’s love stayed consistent. Not just for his believers, but for those that were on the margins and struggling, no matter their beliefs. 

“Jesus was always talking to all the wrong people. He talked with women alone in an age when that was utterly unacceptable, he hung out with illiterate people, he hung out with the sick, he hung out with the tax collectors, he hung out with prostitutes,” Carlson said. “This is the thing, we look at Jesus, the people he was criticizing were the people who were in religious power… He was like, ‘you think you’re a gatekeeper for God, and God doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your gates. ‘Cause God already tore down all the walls.’”

It is not the Christian’s job to be the judge, jury and executioner. Our job as Christians is to love unto others and be there for others who can’t stand for themselves, not to make the world more dangerous for others.

“To me, that’s what it means to be Christian, is to stand on the side of people who are most constantly under attack. So I’m standing on the side of women in a patriarchal world. I’m standing on the side of people of color in a white supremacist world. I’m standing on the side of queer people in a heterosexist world,” Carlson said.

Who are we to say others are going to hell and shut them out? Jesus himself had said in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to Me; and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” As Christians believe, are we not all the children of God?

“None of us are looking for special rights. We are looking for the right to exist as human beings, not have our lives in danger, and for access to the same things that straight people have, including, I would argue, access to the Church,” Carlson said.

Christians should be more supportive of the LGBTQ community, for others, and for our own faithful lives. At the center of the Lord’s teachings are faith, grace and love. If the Lord has been kind enough to extend that to his believers, then why can’t we extend it to one another?