I try to ensure that any message I give empowers. Sometimes that message is borrowed, stolen, or plagiarized always with attribution. I stole this one from my activist friend Professor Cody Pogue.
Cody is always looking for a deeper meaning for issues in our politics. And that intersects with a passion of his as well religion. This story he posted on his Facebook wall recently should be not only enlightening but affirming to many.
I read a story about a teenage girl who was part of the youth group at her church. She liked other girls and had no interest in guys, but every week the youth pastor talked about how being gay was a sin. He said gays were an abomination. He said gays were evil. She tried her best to change herself. She prayed. She did everything she could, but she couldn't change.
After years of depression, one day she grabbed her Bible and tore out every verse that condemned homosexuality (all 5 or 6 of them) and threw those pages into the fireplace. She felt a little more free as she watched them burn. Then she tore out the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Tears filled her eyes and her body trembled as she clutched those pages close to her heart. Everyone else in the world had condemned her, but Jesus was the one person who never condemned her. She held the pages about Jesus tightly against her chest as she threw the rest of the book into the fire and watched it burn.
I don't want to get into a debate about the theology of that story, but I think it is powerful. If anyone is interested in a good book, check out "Shameless: A Sexual Reformation" by Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber.
I don't know about you, but every time I hear those who are always finding a reason to hate on someone else, I will be passing along this message. So if you have anyone in your sphere of influence that proclivity to hate or disparage the lifestyles or just "the being" of others, share this post with them.