It's unbelievable that when a pastor in Jamaica was charged with raping a 15-year-old girl, religious groups and others in authority rallied behind him, asking the community to forgive him.
But when a gay man or transgender woman is beaten or killed for absolutely no other reason than being themselves, instead of showing them the same compassion offered to this pastor, they are ridiculed and cast into the deepest part of hell by the same men and women who claim to follow the teachings of a man named Jesus Christ.
This is just one example of the hatred and hypocrisy that continues to turn many away from Christianity and if you don't believe me just look at all the empty chairs in your church now and compare it to 20 years ago.
As I watched the saga surrounding Kim Burrell's homophobic sermon unfold over the last week, I made several attempts to speak about it and could not. Why? Because I was afraid of what might have come out of my big lesbian mouth. I was too furious to write and I wanted this piece to reflect the ideals of my rainbow family.
What happened in both Jamaica and the U.S. not only shows the hatred that exists in the hearts of many Christians across the world, but it once again shows where the root of many of the world's problems exist -- in the church.
Waking up each day to throw hate into the universe whenever we don't understand something is not only ignorant but "ungodly."
For as long as I can remember, people have been fighting and killing each other in the name of "God." For as long as I have been gay -- since my mother pushed me out of her vagina -- Christianity has kept many of us in the closet and in a state of unhappiness for fear of being discriminated against. And I always wondered as a child why the church promoted such hatred for human beings, when I was taught that the church represents God who is a God of love. It has never made sense to me.
I am now 30 years old and homophobes like Kim -- Christian or not -- remind me of why I left the church after years of being an active member and a baptized Christian. People like Kim also bring back painful memories of all the shame we've had to endure from those who continue to use the church and the bible to justify their homophobic attacks against the LGBTQ community.
Waking up each day to throw hate into the universe whenever we don't understand something is not only ignorant but "ungodly." And let's be honest, the world is filled with millions of "fornicators," "adulterers," "liars" and "thieves" who even hold positions in churches and we don't really see this kind of public harassment towards them.
Furthermore, why do we continue to make the bedroom activities of queer folks our business when that has no impact on other people's lives? Have you ever heard of a homosexual constantly trying to peep through a heterosexual's bedroom window or harassing them for simply being human? Didn't think so, so let's give that a rest for goodness sake.
Hate has only caused destruction no matter how small it may seem.
We should also note that trying to change a homosexual is like trying to scrub the black off my skin. It's really pointless if you ask me, because being queer is not only human (in case some of us forgot), but colourful and beautiful and in that is a whole ton of love. So how about we stop policing penises and vaginas and start embracing these good people for who they are?
And while we're at it, how about we accept the fact that we live in a diverse world with individual norms that we may not share but can live with? You won't die from being around a gay man, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person. I promise you that. I've been black all my life and my skin colour has yet to rub off on anyone, so don't you worry my brothers and sisters.
What is happening to Kim, the church and society on a whole is actually doing more harm than good and I think if we were to really sit and ask ourselves why we treat our fellow human beings this way, there would be no answer that justifies this kind of hatred. So why not choose love instead? Hate has only caused destruction no matter how small it may seem. Love, on the other hand, has given so many of us hope and peace and this world needs more of that.
The beauty about love is that once you allow it to take over your entire being, differences between you and others become less important and you begin to see the good in the people who often dedicate their lives to fighting for human rights; for your rights and mine.
So for 2017, let us leave the judging to God and put an end to the hypocrisy. Kick hate to the curb and let love win. I know my rainbow family would agree. After all, our theme is #LoveWins.
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