As I work to continue my series on LGBTQ+ I realize that there is another issue that needs to be brought to bear before we dive into what should be the secular view of LGBTQ+ and what is the Biblical view.
Tolerance has been wrongly defined in our culture
Tolerance in our culture has been wrongly redefined. While tolerance is defined as “the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.”, this is not how our culture has begun to view tolerance on many issues especially LGBTQ+.
Tolerance by the above definition would mean that someone who does not agree with the LGBTQ+ lifestyle is welcome to hold that belief, but just be respect and not interfere with their freedoms to live that way. The view of tolerance on this issue today is that you must agree that the LBTQ+ lifestyle is acceptable and change your moral views no matter what your grounding is for those convictions.
Tolerance should be “agreeing to disagree”. Tolerance that is being demanded is “Agree to agree with me”.
LGBTQ+ on the offense
Now LGBQ+ has shifted from this tolerance means you must you agree with us, to a whole new step by going on the offense against those who disagree. Take the LGBTQ+ community in England which protested against the opening of Chick-fil-A in England because of the companies stance against the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. In essence the community is saying “either agree with us or you cannot have a business here.” another example comes from Beto O’Rourke who announced that as a Presidential hopeful he doesn’t believe churches should get a tax exempt status if they don’t agree with the LGBTQ+ lifestyle.
That’s not exactly tolerance. In fact it’s just the opposite. It’s forcing someone to believe what you do, which is the exact opposite of tolerance.
Keep in mind this isn’t LGBTQ+ communities fighting against organizations that are being intolerant toward them by refusing them a chicken sandwich or saying you can’t attend their churches. These are situations where one side is being tolerant despite disagreement with the other side and the other side telling them they must agree with them or face the consequences. This isn’t tolerance. It is intolerance. It is coercion. It’s forcing your beliefs on someone else. Twisting their arm and leveraging whatever you can to make someone believe as you do.
One Last Important thought
Granted I will be the first to admit that the church, especially some churches, have not always been tolerant of the LGBTQ+ community. In fact there has been numerous and unfortunately will probably still be many more times when the church is downright unloving to the LGBTQ+ community. Doing so isn’t Biblical. Jesus loved everyone no matter what lifestyle they were in, and we should do the same.
My point is this: often times the LGBTQ+ community sends off warning flares to the church that if they are going to speak into LGBTQ+ issues they better be tolerant of those who believe and live differently then them. My question in reply to this is: if the Church disagrees with them on these issues, will they give the church the same respect and tolerance as they demand from the church? Or will they be told them must change their religion if it doesn’t agree with what they believe? It’s been my experience on some occasions and in the way the movement seems to be moving, that they will force the church to believe what they do.
You cannot tell the church to be tolerant and then in the same breath tell them they must agree with your views. You cannot say “I am tolerant of you” while forcing the person to believe what you believe about the issue you say you are being tolerant of them about.
With your two examples, you’re muddling “tolerance” with social endorsement.
It’s within Chick-Fil-A’s right to open a restaurant in England, and it’s within the rights of the English citizens to eat there or not, and to protest or not. It would be intolerance if – say – people tried to make it illegal to have a business license because you don’t like gay people, or if they coerced you into “conversion therapy” to make you like gay people.
Same with tax breaks for churches – if they want to be against a whole contingent of American citizens – okay – but the American tax payer isn’t going to subsidize them.
If someone were making the same arguments as you are, except about being against interracial marriage, what would you say to them?
Well with Chick-fil-a that’s exactly what’s happening. They have been kicked out of the San Antonio airport because of their stance, not because they weren’t doing good business, the same thing happened with the mall in England. Rider University refused to give them a outlet on campus because of their LGBTQ stance.
As far as the tax exempt status are you saying that the American tax payer shouldn’t subsidize any organization or corporation they don’t approve of? If that’s the case you must be for defunding planned parenthood cause around half of the US doesn’t approve of them.
I also see religious organizations differently. I think Islam is wrong but I am perfectly fine with them getting a tax exempt status and I think they should get it, same with any other religion.
This article should give you some more info about Chick-fil-a.
As far as interracial marriage I would stand by what I’ve said. You can protest them but refusing to give them space or other things would not be ok. I think any business that has such racist views will simply shut down because everyone would refuse to do business with a company with such morally wrong stances.
I’ll keep it brief:
1) In all the cases you cited: a private organization decided not to make their available to Chick-fil-A because of the negative public attention around them. Not because they are Christian, or because of their race, but specifically because Chick-fil-A subsidizes groups that seek to undermine millions of American citizens (and presumably millions more around the world). I understand you feel it’s not fair – I’m sure LGBTQ families feel it’s not fair that millions of dollars are getting spent trying to tear their families apart. The difference is: when a family is torn apart, their lives are irrevocably damaged. When Chick-fil-A gets kicked out of a mall – that’s one less place they can sell chicken. Whatever potential jobs are lost can be replaced a lot easier than those families can be healed.
To quote you:
“I think any business that has such racist views will simply shut down because everyone would refuse to do business with a company with such morally wrong stances.”
That’s exactly what’s happening with Chick-fil-A right now. Not racism, but bigotry nonetheless.
And before you rush to argue, I would ask you to consider this: if confronted by a believer who wants to use the Bible to justify racism – how would you explain to them that they were wrong? (This isn’t a pure hypothetical, as I’m sure you know the Bible was used to justify racism and slavery for decades)
Will you be re-examining your stance on conversion therapy and anti-gay ministries, given that McKrae Game has come out so strongly against the ministry he helped pioneer? There’s an article in People magazine where he says:
“When I started truth ministry, I believed the gay community and the world was lying about homosexuality and this whole subject,” he told the outlet. “I felt like it was this big ruse and there was a lot of deceit. I was trying to tell the truth.”
“Now, I think its the complete opposite. I believe ex-gay ministry is a lie; conversion therapy is not just a lie, it’s very harmful,” he continued. “[Especially] when it takes it to the point of, ‘You need to change and here’s a curriculum, here’s how you do it, and you haven’t changed yet, keep at it, it’ll happen.’”
I didn’t reference McKrae Game in my blog nor did I use him as example in my blog. I think the things I mentioned in the blog about conversion show that there is positive experiences people have. Though I don’t believe that everyone can experience actual conversion which is something I see was not a philosophy adapted by his ministry. My view would be it’s possible for some people, but not everyone. As my blog points out there are tons of testimonies of people who received conversion therapy and view it as positive regardless of whether they felt that they had an actual conversion. Also, his ‘ministry’ said you would go to hell if you don’t experience that conversion, which I would also say isn’t Biblical.
So no that doesn’t change my views.
Would you be willing to change your view knowing there are testimonies of people who said it was positive for them?
Of course I am assuming you’re thinking it’s always wrong, and perhaps you don’t.
If the majority of people who underwent conversion therapy stayed converted, and reported being happy with the change, I’d change my mind. A minority of people reporting “positive” results doesn’t say much, because a small number of any group can convince themselves something is working when it isn’t (as was the case with McKrae Game). This is doubly true when the affection and support of their community rests on them not being gay anymore.
This is one of the reasons why I find people pushing conversion therapy as an option to be so damaging. It tells young people (and their families) that acceptance *can* be conditional, pending conversion.
That’s again where the way it is done needs to be promoted in a certain way of saying that even if conversion doesn’t happen they can be accepted.