Christians claim to love and accept all of God’s children — that is, unless he or she is a part of the LGBTQ community.
Spectrum, an LGBTQ student organization at the University, protested peacefully across from Christ the King Catholic Church in response to the Rev. Phillip Bochanski’s talk, “Welcoming and Accompanying our Brothers & Sisters with Same-Sex Attraction.”
At the event, the reverend defined different types of love and expressed how LGBTQ people should be embraced. Bochanski said the inclinations of homosexuality aren’t a sin, but acting on those desires is wrong in God’s eyes. He highlighted the importance of having faith in God and living for God.
Bochanski advised his audience, some of whom were students, to reach out to nearby chapters of Courage International. This organization, of which Bochanski is the executive director, condemns homosexuals from acting on same-sex attraction and advises gay people to remain celibate.
Bochanski’s message, like most pastors who acknowledge the LGBTQ community, is contradictory. LGBTQ Christians, who want to be accepted by God and the Church family, often leave a place of worship feeling alienated, misunderstood or guilty. Some stray from their religion because they don’t feel worthy enough for God or are exhausted from the frequent criticism.
“When God wants us to follow him, it often involves great sacrifices, and it feels really hard to let go of things that are so close to who we are. But whenever he asks us to make a great sacrifice, it’s because he knows us and loves us,” Bochanski said.
Bochanski emphasized the importance of Christians opening their arms to LGBTQ people, but negates the concepts of love by encouraging LGBTQ Christians to chase chastity. Gay people shouldn’t have to choose between their faith and who they love because the two are intertwined. If they sacrifice true identity for faith, then LGBTQ Christians are pleasing homophobes, not God.
“We love them,” said elementary education junior Maggie Hoover, who attended the talk. “We don’t want it to be a shameful thing.”
Shame is inevitable when gay people are constantly told something is wrong with them because God, someone they love deeply, is disappointed in their inclinations.
Christians need to stop “saving” gays and instead, reflect on the way they are approaching the LGBTQ community. It’s manipulative when Christians tell gay people they accept and love them but always maim their sexuality, using God as the weapon.
Christ the King is a well-respected church on campus, but LGBTQ Christians deserve a place where they can serve God and not feel isolated. It should be possible for students to meet in one of the University’s buildings and learn more about God without being attacked or called sinful.
I’m tired of people using religion as the reason they judge the LGBTQ community when, in reality, they’re just uncomfortable seeing two people of the same sex showing affection to each other.
I respect Christians who don’t support same-sex attraction, but pinning responsibility for their hate speech on LGBTQ Christians is hypocritical. No one is free of sin, so why judge?
Jasmine Edmonson is a 20-year-old mass communication sophomore from Denham Springs, Louisiana.