I see so much intolerance in the religious community. Things like this (see below) posted and openly spoken in the church.
Christians demand tolerance and acceptance when it comes to their beliefs. But in the same breath they will condemn others. I hear things like this often in the community I grew up in.
Full acceptance of Christian symbols, ideas, and beliefs are expected of the community by Christian’s. Any pushback or request to change is often condemned as “moving away from our values.” Even though those values, symbols, ideas, and beliefs are based off a single religion.
Often this is phrased in “the good old days” type of argument. “Well in my day we used to be able to ____ but woke culture took that from us.” A rose tinted view of the past is presented as ideal. Totally ignoring the hate and pain that may have occurred during those periods especially towards women and minority communities.
Often these periods were times of oppression for minority communities. With BIPOC people being subjected to racism, lynching, and Jim Crow laws. Women were subjected to spousal abuse and were unable to find a place to work or live due to the societal structure at the time. Often times these minorities were unable to bring these injustices to law enforcement, or law enforcement actively sided with the abuser. Overall these “good old days” were really not “good” for anyone other than the typical white male.
Things like gender roles get pushed into arguments about the “benefits” of traditionalism. With the argument that it was so much better when families had a man that worked and a women that stayed home to take care of the kids. I’ve seen and heard this from my family and organizations like focus on the family.
“Home is where a child learns who they are. Each of us is created uniquely by God. We have unique gifts, talents, and temperaments. Home is the place those are discovered and celebrated. Home is where we learn whose we are. We’re not designed to journey through life alone. God created us to have relationship with Him. The most effective place for us to learn that is not at church — it’s at home! Home serves as our base camp. It’s where we rest our head every night. It’s the place we find clean clothes and a warm meal. It’s a place of protection from the world and all that it demands…There is so much diversity in what goes on at home that an on-site manager is desperately needed. Someone needs to have the time and energy to invest in each member of the family as well as manage all the different facets of home. That’s the essence of the job description for Mom, the site manager.”The Value of Stay-at-Home Moms – Focus on the Family
Often those that don’t fit these stereo types are left on the margins of Christian communities. Or completely excluded if they stray too far from traditions.
I feel for those in the LGBTQ+ community. In this area the church tends to focus all their hate and judgement. All in the name of promoting “traditional” marriage. Any affirming view of LGBTQ+ people is often loudly denounced, and the LGBTQ+ community is often totally unwelcome within the evangelical church community.
The phrase “hate the sin and love the sinner” often gets thrown around in regards to the LGBTQ+ community. But this is far from acceptance, and LGBTQ+ people are often still judged for living their life. And expressly forbidden from acting on their “sinful” sexual desires.
“Many are indeed same-sex attracted, but live obediently within a Christian sexual ethic. It can be difficult, as it is for heterosexuals who are required to live in celibacy. Christianity requires that we each subjugate our sexual (and many other) desires to our faith commitment — and countless same-sex attracted believers do so willingly and joyfully.”10 Things Everyone Should Know About a Christian View of Homosexuality – Focus on the Family
This “middle ground” argument that the church “loves” the LGBTQ+ community but hates their “sinful” lifestyle is quite hypocritical to me. There are many arguments for a conservative view of scriptural that supports the LGBTQ+ community. But often those views are condemned as “heresy.”
I’ve since moved past a literal view of scripture, but my point is that there are counter arguments to the common narrative that the bible doesn’t support LGBTQ+ people. And if the church wanted to they could be affirming. Yes, I am aware there are affirming denominations, but they tend not to be the norm.
The evangelical church cannot keep condemning what they call “intolerance.” (AKA criticism of the church and acceptance of other beliefs.) While they themselves are still preaching and showing intolerance to others. If you want an example of this behavior look no further that the twitter post below.
“Because the LGBT agenda of normalizing homosexuality and transgenderism conflicts with Christianity (at least in its non-apostate forms), to “eliminate prejudice” requires anathematizing the beliefs of Bible-believing Christians. In the future the celebration of LGBT views will likely be compelled. But for now, every American is simply required to choose a side.”How LGBT Pride Month Became a Religious Holiday
The evangelical church makes constant attacks on LGBTQ+ people and celebrations of these people. And then feigns or cries persecution when they face criticism. Creating a culture that fears change, especially in regards to culture. This is not “intolerance” on the part of non-Christians, but intolerance on the part of evangelical Christians.
If the church wants to show they have moved past intolerance then they need to accept the LGBTQ+ community where they are. Not demanding that they change or act a certain way. Just show them compassion and love and demand nothing in return.
Minorities and BIPOC people need to be also welcomed. As it’s been shown that racism is alive and doing well in the American church. And it’s not just a “thing of the past” acknowledge the pain you’ve caused and let BIPOC people help you find a better way forward.
Women need to be given a voice, and not pushed to the side. I know I’ve mentioned sexual abuse before, but women who speak up within the church regarding sexual abuse need to be heard. Often these people are pushed to the side or completely ignored. A change needs to occur and women need to be included in leadership and management of the church.
The church can do so much better. And if it can’t then more and more people will leave. A history of sexual abuse and mistreatment of women, within the the church, were a big part of why me and my wife initially left. I know many other people have similar pains. If the church refuses to ignore their own injustices then it will slowly loose the “upcoming generations.”