I had a conversation with three of my favorite Millennials yesterday. What began as a chat about youth group dynamics ended up on the subject of gay marriage. They had met a girl who couldn’t consider Christianity because “the church is against gay marriage” and therefore the church “hates gays.” They talked about how in the movies and in real life, those who support traditional marriage are called mean names like “bigot” and “homophobe.”
Another friend of mine, a public high school freshman, was in his history class when the teacher showed the video “Same Love” in an effort to prevent bullying. Then the teacher made the statement that “All Christians hate gay people.” Bravely, he raised his hand and said “I’m a Christian, and there are three gay couples on my street and I don’t hate them.”
And then there is the famed video of 100 students walking out of a national journalism conference as anti-bullying activist Dan Savage began cursing and attacking the bible and those who stand upon it. He called those who chose to quietly leave “pansy assed.”
Name calling? Intimidation? Degrading someone because they disagree with you? Hmmm, there’s a name for that I think. Oh yeah, it’s called bullying.
I know you have heard about bullying. There are special days and authorized curriculum denouncing bullying in your school. And you are into it. Because you love your gay friends and you love your gay family members. And if you are a Christian, you should love and serve them better than anyone else, even if you disagree with what they think (that’s called tolerance).
Young friends, I know that the message “If you don’t support gay marriage, you hate gay people” is ubiquitous in our culture. Hollywood, politicians, activists, or educators- they may think it’s impossible to love traditional marriage and your gay friends. But they’re wrong. No one else writes your story. What they say doesn’t have to define you. You define you.
And trust me, no matter how much you love your gay friends, if you choose to stand for traditional marriage, people will call you names- I guarantee it.
But just because someone calls you “bigot,” doesn’t make it true.