Last evening I was watching the news and it rolled into Piers Morgan’s interview show. I don’t usually watch, but frankly was too lazy to turn the channel. He was speaking with Frank Rich, a journalist from back east. They were discussing an interview done with the GOP candidate Rick Santorum on the topic of gay marriage. Mr. Rich affirmed Pier’s labeling of Mr. Santorum’s views as bigoted. Mr. Rich went on to say that such a view “doesn’t play in America anymore…this country has turned the page on this issue.”
A few minutes later, on another news channel there was a discussion about Chaz Bono being a contestant on Dancing with the Stars (another program I do not watch). Apparently there has been a substantive backlash to his inclusion on that show. His mom was quick to come to her son’s defense:
“Lovelies! Chaz is Being Viciously Attacked on Blogs & Message boards about being on DWTS! This is Still America Right? It took guts 2 do it,” she wrote on Wednesday, Aug. 31. “”I support him no matter what he chooses 2 do! God! Will there always be haters! It took COURAGE 2 do dwts! TG Chaz has an Unlimited Supply.”
Within a span of twenty minutes, Christians who might take a position on gay marriage or transgender celebrities were labeled “haters” and “bigots.” And I took offense.
Now I understand that some who tweet and or comment on articles or blogs can and do write inappropriate, unkind things. And if they are Christians they should be ashamed of themselves. We should take positions that are consistent with God’s Word, but we MUST do so with love and compassion. There is a time and place for every dialogue. Believers should be the first folks to show discretion and bleed kindness while holding to the precepts in the Bible.
But just because we disagree about public policy associated with laws that are being passed or take an opinion about life styles being flaunted on television shouldn’t automatically label us haters and bigots.
The public square in America includes people of faith (and folks with no faith). That public square should accommodate divergent opinions on just about everything. And whether or not we agree, our thoughts should not be lumped into a common bucket with callous undifferentiating commentary. My thoughts are mine and I am not a hater, nor am I a bigot. I just disagree.
This week, let’s make sure we give the other folks in the public square no reason to lump us in with the “haters.” Let’s make sure we “speak the truth in love…” (Eph. 4:15) Speak the truth (that alone will often separate us from the crowd) but make sure and do it in LOVE. But at the same time, please notice that our disagreeing with someone doesn’t make us bigots!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel