To The Christian Who Hates The LGBTQ Community, Homosexuality Is Just One Sin

To The Christian Who Hates The LGBTQ Community, Homosexuality Is Just One Sin

While I stand with you in my disagreement against the sin that is being committed by the LGBTQ community, I stand against those who utilize their disagreements to fuel a malicious mindset.
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Prior to reading this article, I would like to make it as clear as possible to you, the reader, that my goal in writing this is not to support or promote homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender reassignment. I am writing this to bring forward a flaw within the Church in regards to how we address the LGBTQ community. Thank you for taking the time to read. - Sam

On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This ruling polarized the nation, sending any and all into a political, religious, and moral battle.

Those within the Christian community did not hold back from speaking out against the new law that directly contradicted their beliefs. For some, this landmark case served as an opportunity to voice not only opinions but hatred. Hatred towards not only homosexuals but all within the LGBTQ community.

As I stated at the beginning of this article, I do not support homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender reassignment. However, I will stand firmly in my belief that it is our job as the Church to love the LGBTQ community to the best of our ability, regardless of our disagreement with their sexual orientation or identification.

Homosexuality is a sin. But guess what, so is pornography addiction, fornication, adultery, and a multitude of other sexual temptations that Christians face on a daily basis. While I stand with you in my disagreement against the sin that is being committed by the LGBTQ community, I stand against those who utilize their disagreements to fuel a malicious mindset towards the people within this community.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” - John 8:7

We were all born sinners. There’s a wide variety of sin that plagues mankind today. All of humanity struggles with lying, cheating, stealing, cursing, idolatry, and many more sins. Homosexuality is one sin. In the same way that I struggle with idolizing my education or sports, a gay man or woman struggles with feeling inevitably attracted to the same sex.

The issue within the Church comes from the fact that we, as the Body of Christ, have made it our own moral duty to rank or classify sins as better or worse than others. Typically, we consider sins that are more rare to be inherently worse such as murder, pedophilia, adultery, and yes, homosexuality.

However, the narrative we ought to follow is given to us in the word of God.

Matthew 6:14-15 says “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Beloved, who are we to judge and condemn? For we are called to forgive and love as Christ did.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8

We are all children of God, and whether you like it or not, that makes the lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, or queer people in your midst. Not only your peers but your brothers and sisters.

1 John 4:20 proclaims that “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

Many Christians claim to know and practice this, yet they continue to slander, berate, and condemn those within the LGBTQ community simply because their sin is different.

I cannot stand with a man who is homophobic but remains content to lust after other women in his own relationship. I cannot stand with a woman who despises transgenders, yet complacent in her battle with pornography. We must put an end to holding others to a standard greater than what we hold ourselves to.

I challenge you to be the Christian who actually seeks these people out. Not simply to save them or shove bible knowledge down their throats, but to love and care for them. Not to belittle them, but to speak life and encouragement over them.

Your words either hurt or they heal. Whether you like it or not, your words carry weight and have the power to evoke a multitude of emotions.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:37 that “for by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.”

Let’s be justified by our words, beloved.

Let’s choose to be the hands and feet of Jesus that love these people for exactly who they are, in the same that Christ chose to love you.

Cover Image Credit: Cole Hutson

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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