Columnist, and founder of the It Gets Better project, Dan Savage had this to say to a moderate Christian who wrote him criticizing his critique of Christianity and its role in the death of gay youth who had committed suicide:
A question: Do you “support” atheist marriage? Interfaith marriage? Divorce and remarriage? All are legal, all go against Christian and/or traditional ideas about marriage, and yet there’s no “Christian” movement to deny marriage rights to atheists or people marrying outside their respective faiths or people divorcing and remarrying. Why the hell not?
It should be noted that the It Gets Better project was partially inspired by the suicide of an Indiana teenager.
Dan Savage is right and that is why I struggle with the Methodist Church’s statement that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
At the end of the day, such doctrine enforces the notion that straight people are “better or more worthy” than gay people. Christians should do everything possible to prevent violence against social outcasts and those marginalized and pushed out of the mainstream. And yet, our own statements help create a climate of fear and hatred, statements like “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
Next time a kid in Indiana kills himself after being relentlessly bullied for being gay or being perceived as gay, lets remember that us United Methodists might have some blood on our hands.