Opinion: The LGBTQ Community Is Innocent and Shouldn't Have to Defend Themselves

Walter Rhein

Image by Walter Rhein

Sometimes people harbor stunning misconceptions about the way the world works. First of all, same-sex marriage is legal in the United States of America. That’s the law and everybody needs to respect the law.

We all must work together as a community to eliminate long-standing prejudice and bigotry. The simple reality is that the LGBTQ+ community has historically had to endure a lot of mistreatment.

Imagine living in a society where it was legally prohibited to marry the person you love. Imagine living in a society where you are constantly subjected to hatred and threats of violence just for being who you are.

That’s not a society that embraces love and tolerance. That’s a society that embraces hatred.

This is why we need to teach tolerance of the LGBTQ+ society in our public schools. Some human beings fall into that category and all human beings deserve to be treated with the same level of respect and dignity.

It’s inappropriate to bully children in classrooms because of their sexual orientation. I grew up in a community like this and it was terrible to watch children be treated like that.

When I was student teaching, I was stunned that modern kids feel comfortable coming out about their sexual orientation in school. They make no secret about it. When I was growing up that would have been a death sentence, it’s good to see how far we’ve come.

However, we still have a long way to go.

Even today, some groups spend an enormous amount of time and energy working to erode the legal protections for same-sex marriage. With all the problems confronting our society, I don’t understand why some groups pick this as a point of concern.

Who cares if consenting adults decide to join together in a union of enduring love? Why shouldn’t that bother anyone?

I recently received a comment where somebody said, “I feel that the LGBTQ+ community is hostile to the Christian community.” I found that to be a stunning statement.

First of all, I don’t believe there’s any evidence for it. The LGBTQ+ community isn’t laboring to prevent Christians from marrying the people they love. The LGBTQ+ community isn’t known for kicking children out of their homes when they learn they are Christian.

However, both of these examples represent the aggression that the Christian community shows against the LGBTQ+ community.

Christians often use very insulting language when it comes to same-sex marriage. They call it a “perversion.” Nobody calls Christianity a “perversion.” This is true even though many churches have been rocked by child abuse scandals.

Any conflict that exists between the Christian community and the LGBTQ+ community originates with the Christian community.

You can’t dedicate your life to oppressing and denouncing a certain group, then turn around and say, “It seems like that group doesn’t like us very much.” At some point, the Christian community has to look at itself in the mirror.

The simple reality in the United States is that we have a lot of children who are struggling. We have kids who live in poverty. We have kids who suffer from low self-esteem. The teen suicide rate is out of control.

None of this is helped when the Christian community comes stomping into the room and tells everyone that they are “sinners” and that they will “burn.” Come on. We need to embrace an attitude of love, tolerance, and kindness.

It’s stunning how often the Christian community likes to pretend it is the victim when in truth it’s the bully. A lot of this attitude stems from the belief that the religious community is beyond reproach.

However, the actions of the Christian community cause a lot of division and anxiety within our society.

The idea that some group thinks it has the authority to tell you who consenting adults may or may not marry is extremely offensive. It’s even more offensive when people are constantly harassed by religious groups.

Again, it’s a complete myth that any religious group is harassed. Nobody picks on kids at school because they are members of the Christian community. You are within your rights to choose whatever religious faith that you want.

The only problem comes when the Christian community tries to impose its will on the people around them. They try to force others to believe as they do. Then, when people object, the Christian community tries to act as if they are the ones who are being bullied.

That’s backward.

Imagine a person who believes his religion gives him the right to punch people in the face. So, he punches somebody in the face. The person who was assaulted says, “I object to you punching me in the face.”

The first person says, “You are so intolerant of my religion! What an awful person you are! Why must I always be persecuted for my beliefs?”

That situation is ridiculous, but unfortunately, it’s not too far removed from the behavior we see out of the Christian community.

The Christian community constantly attacks the LGBTQ+ community. They spread hate in sermons. They try to erode laws that protect those groups. They object to teaching tolerance in schools. Then they turn around and say, “I feel there is a lot of hostility from the LGBTQ+ community directed at Christians.”

Look in the mirror! If you dedicate your life to intolerance and hatred against a certain group, that group isn’t going to be your best friend. It is to the credit of the LGBTQ+ community that they do not engage in retaliatory behavior against the Christian community.

The LGBTQ+ community is willing to turn the other cheek. It’s too bad the Christian community only seems to know how to slap people in the face and then behave as if they were the ones who were struck.

Why is it controversial to say that we need to work towards a society of mutual acceptance? We already show acceptance of the Christian community in schools in a number of ways. We say "under God" in the pledge. We celebrate Christmas.

Why can't we also celebrate the LGBTQ+ community? They deserve the same rights as anyone else.

Comments / 357

Published by

Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

More from Walter Rhein

Comments / 0