To my fellow Christians…
I have read somewhere recently that the City of Orlando wants to make a memorial of the nightclub where 49 gay men and women were massacred by a lone gunman. I felt a series of conflicting thoughts and ideas at this news and I have decided to write this message as a result.
The first emotion I felt was apprehension. It was not the fear of a Christian hearing that a memorial was being made to an idea that conflicted with his religious principles. It was the fear that others who claimed to also be Christians would try to resist the city’s decision. I feared that there would be protests made by those who believed they were doing the right thing, but who were only making a mockery of the Christian faith.
This led me to an important realization. I realized that, despite Christianity’s view of homosexuality, we need the Orlando Night Club Memorial to be made. Not necessarily because of our interpretations of scripture concerning this issue, but because we have forgotten several seemingly unrelated aspects of it. We as a religion have sought to forget our own status as sinners even though the central theme of our beliefs is that we are all born in a broken way. We strive to forget that deep down we are all born with some inherent imperfection that causes us to act sinfully. And to this end, we have targeted a group of individuals who have had the misfortune of being born with certain traits that many believe are a symptom of sin. Traits that can be easily categorized and grouped together so that we who do not share those traits can say, “We are holier than thou by this badge.” The greatest irony I see here is the fact that even if these traits are sinful, they are still no more than one symptom of the inherently sinful nature we all share as human beings.
Assuming that we are right in labeling homosexuality a sin, we as Christians have committed a crime against nature by using our own mortal authority to declare one sin to be a cardinal flaw. We have allowed the notion that to be born a certain way is to be condemned, to be placed beyond the hope of salvation. We have forgotten the actions of the ancient Pharisees who used their scripture to place themselves above their fellow men on a false pedestal. In emulating these ancient men, it was the Christians of the world who introduced the idea that mankind has the authority to change the gravity of a sin. We used that idea to falsely condemn thousands of men and women long before they sought to use the same idea to alleviate the undue burdens we placed upon them.
We as Christians sought to rid the world of sin by standing behind the same generation of psychologists and scientists who brought us the lobotomy. We allowed countless victims to be subjected to cruel and ineffective treatments and tortures. We ostracized those who dared to speak out against their poor treatment. We attempted to achieve that which God himself has chosen not to do. We attempted to cure an aspect of the sinful nature we all share, and in so doing we have committed a crime of disdain and vanity against God himself.
We as Christians need the Orlando Night Club Memorial to stand testament to the inevitable end of the prideful path we started on. We need it to stand testament to the horrific suffering we have caused to others. We need to not simply stand by and let it be built either. We need to fight for it to be built, to fight against those who still cling to our old follies. To fight against those who seek to tear down anything with a remote connection to homosexuality even as our religion is undermined by those who seek to change scripture once again and remove a sin.
We need a monument built to the sky with our sins plastered upon its face so that we may all unite to face the pride at the root of our actions. Only then can we truly face those who seek to use that same pride simply to undo the hurts we have truly caused. And at long last, we need the Orlando Memorial to bear testament to our ability as Christians to reach across the divide that we so painfully inflicted. We should do so not to try and bring those we have harmed back under our thumbs, but to love and serve a facet of the world that has long needed aid and for the most part continues to be unanswered.