From: John Rupkey
Jesus taught us to love everyone. But if you are gay in Winona, expect many Christians to inflict hate on you. They claim that God considers the love you experience disordered.
Many priests and ministers who know better remain silent, valuing their own comfort over the hundreds of Winona lives their silence is attacking. They teach gay-rejecting Christians to thump the Bible and say, “We love the sinner but hate the sin.” This mantra has enabled atrocities for centuries. They “loved” the witches while they burned them at the stake and thumped Exodus 22:17: “You shall not let the sorceress live.”
In his sermon on the mountain, Jesus didn’t preach that loving your neighbor is just a nice idea. Jesus insisted that everyone be treated with understanding, respect, justice, compassion, and mercy. The militaristic Romans hated Jesus’ teachings about loving your enemies, turning the other cheek, and being a peacemaker. They killed his faithful followers.
Then, in 312, Constantine slaughtered his way into Rome. In 324 he became sole emperor of the Roman Empire. He needed a religion that supported the military and convinced its followers that the only moral sex is the kind that increased his legions. He convened the Council of Nicaea in 325. The Christian loyalty oath his church council produced focuses only on what you have to believe: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, etc.” Jesus’ teachings were reduced to quaint little sayings.
After Nicaea, you could be killed by Romans if you weren’t a Roman Christian.
On the mountain, Jesus made it clear where he stands: “Any man who desires to come to me will hear my words and put them into practice,” (Luke 6:47).
Using the “love the sinner” mantra to program self-hate into Winona’s gay kids is not love; it is hate. Only the spiritually blind can believe the absurdity that they can love a person while they program self-hate into that person.
But many faithful followers of Jesus also live in Winona, and as we evolve, their love can banish the hate.