It seems like a no-brainer that a religion founded on a commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” would be inclusive, but sadly, that’s just not the case.
The question of whether or not God supports the queer community is a divisive topic within the Church, which has historically condemned or marginalized individuals who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+, leading to genocide, suicide, and widespread abuse and harmful effects for those under the queer umbrella.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way, and actually…If you’re a Bible-believing Christian, you SHOULD be a 2SLGBTQIA+ ally.
1. That whole “Love thy neighbor” thing.
Christians are called to love and accept all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Bible states that “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Marginlizing people based on gender or sexual orientation goes against that commandment. It creates a toxic (and heavily patriarchal) hierarchy and labels anyone who doesn’t fit the hetero-normative narrative as a sinner.
2. Christians are called to value human life.
For a religion that claims to highly value and prioritize the protection of all life, many conservative Christian denominations regularly All individuals deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. But, by refusing to recognize the identity of queer folks, Christians attempt to devalue lives and label normal, healthy biology, as a ‘sinful choice. Valuing and protecting human life has to start with recognizing all people deserve love, respect, and acceptance. If it were, then we would not see churches and individuals refusing to fight for all aspects 2SLGBTQIA+ lives.
3. Christians are called to advocate for human rights.
The hate and oppression of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals denies them basic human rights that the church should be fighting to protect. What’s even worse is that God is given the credit for justifying the oppression, rather than recognizing the hate stems from culture, not the Bible. What the Bible does call for, is the church to care for and protect those marginalized by society. Not, be the ones pushing people to the margins by promoting harmful (and false) doctrines. While a handful of denominations have issued statements of support or taken action to support 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, the majority of the world’s Christians continue to lobby for legislation that eliminates basic human rights in areas like marriage, health insurance coverage, access to education, and protection from discrimination in the workplace.
If All Lives ACTUALLY MATTER, then Christians should include ALL under that umbrella.
4. Christians are called to follow Jesus’ example.
Jesus embraced individuals marginalized by society, including lepers, prostitutes, and tax collectors. Christian churches, non-profits, corporations, politicians, and celebrities are aggressively pushing 2SLGBTQIA people to the margins, yet they refuse to see their own hypocrisy. They are literally doing the things Jesus called the Pharisees and Sadducees out for in His time. Supporting those who spread hate and calling them holy, while vilifying those who embody love in their own way is a horrific abuse of Christian power.
5. Christians are called to honor the goodness of God’s creation.
Those who despise 2SLGBTQIA+ people often call their attractions, desires, and relationships ‘unnatural’, but the opposite is actually true. Scientists provide dozens of examples from the animal kingdom that don’t follow conservative Christianity’s hetero-normative framework. If we believe that the Christian God breathed Their sacred breath into humankind, then each of us represents that holiness and deserves to be treated with love and respect.
6. Christians are called to challenge harmful stereotypes.
Misinformation and ignorance fuel many negative stereotypes about 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals. Christians should be 2SLGBTQIA+ allies and challenge these stereotypes and promote understanding. When stereotypes and hateful rhetoric come from the pulpits or political podiums, it increases the power of those harmful ideas. White Christian Nationalism in particular, has leveraged powerful positions to give credibility to negative stereotypes and exclusionary belief systems.
7. Christians are called to stand against bullying.
2SLGBTQIA+ youth and adults are at a significantly higher risk for suicide because of the hate and abuse they face. Christians who value life should not be contributing to the rhetoric that increases that risk, but it happens all the time. Bullying isn’t just something that happens on the playground. Conversion therapy, deadnaming, anti-trans legislation, and hiding behind religious organization tax status to deny employment and education are just a few ways Christians leverage their faith to harm queer and trans people.
8. Christians are called to walk the walk and talk the talk.
If Christians believe that Jesus came for everyone and the church is for everyone, then a whole lotta churches need to take a hard look at their views on 2SLGBTQIA+ people. And not just in a ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ sorta way where people are welcome and then pressed to change who they are. All individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should be welcomed and included in our communities. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen an ‘all are welcome’ sign but then found out mid-service as they were praying against ‘liberals, gays, witches, and anyone who didn’t follow their code’ to repent of their ways.
Inclusion isn’t actually inclusion if you need people to leave who they are at the door.
If you want to know more about becoming a 2SLGBTQIA+ ally, here’s a list of some of my favorite people online who I’m always learning from:
Hungry for more? Here are a few popular faith deconstruction related posts you’ll find helpful:
Angela is a Faith Deconstruction Coach and host of The Deconstructing Faith Summit who helps people break free from toxic religious culture & empowers them to recover from #churchhurt. She has led online ministries for a decade, enjoys working with clients 1:1, in groups, and is a dynamic conference speaker. She’s a Lark’s Song Certified Life Coach who reaches thousands of people in 40+ countries each month on Facebook, IG, Twitter, Pinterest, and her blog.
She’s a firstborn, Enneagram 8, Gen Xer who loves to question everything. She holds a BA from Indiana Wesleyan and a Masters in Leadership from Wesley Seminary. Her graduate research project focused on leadership development and opportunities for Gen X women in the US church.
Angela and her unique online ministry are featured in Lyz Lenz’s 2019 book God Land: Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America. She has published articles in Hope for Women and HOPE is Now magazines. She has been featured in The New Republic, Publisher’s Today, and Religion News Service.
Her first book, Deconstructing Your Faith Without Losing Yourself, Will be published by Eerdmans in February 2023.
Angela is also a wife, mom to 5, and a proud resident of Marion, Indiana with her family when they’re not traveling the US in their RV.