Guest post from Myristic Mystic:
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard some “conservative” say, “hate the sin but love the sinner,” though over the last few years that seems to be less common, for some reason (perhaps it was judged to be a double-edged sword by the right wing think tanks). This is the kind of abstract statement that is highly problematic, because it can prompt unstable minds to do terrible things. And who concluded that one can love and hate at the same time, in the same context? This suggests a poor understanding of human psychology (if not a deliberate attempt to prompt atrocious behavior).
Did Jesus say, “hate the money-lending but love the moneylender?” No, in this kind of context (i.e., rich people) he said that few would be admitted to Heaven! And even if he didn’t mean this literally, an alternative way to understand it is that he didn’t think that people obsessed with money would be able to experience a life filled with positive emotions. If he did mean it in a supernatural sense, wouldn’t it be more or less the same from an emotional perspective? From what Jesus supposedly said, it doesn’t seem likely that materialistic behavior will be allowed in a literal Heaven (and I haven’t heard any Christian claim that any form of sex would be permitted). But why didn’t Jesus take a “let he who has never sinned cast the first stone” attitude towards the moneylenders?
The only socio-historical explanation that makes sense is that he saw that it had a corrupting influence on the overall population. That is, moneylenders were apparently viewed as “rich men” who led others to become money-obsessed. What kind of corrupting influence can gay people have on others (does anyone believe sexual orientation can be changed by seeing what one sees in a “gay area” of a major city, for example?), and if this was such an issue, why didn’t Jesus speak to it directly? It’s not like there was no “homosexuality” in the ancient world! Jesus did speak to dietary restrictions found in the “Old Testament,” telling his followers that it’s not what goes into your mouth that makes you “unclean:” but what comes out of it, again suggesting that a corrupting influence is what’s crucial.
Though some might not want to hear it, if one is being honest, there is no reason for Jesus not to have said, “it’s not what a man inserts into another man’s rectum that’s a sin but what a man might try to insert into another man’s mind that might be sinful [or unclean],” if he had been asked about Leviticus 20:13. Now if you are still reading this, I’d like to address exactly what people who say “hate the sin but love the sinner” mean in this context. If they just want to say that gay sex is a sin, nobody is stopping them in the USA, though it’s possible a boss could fire them, just as a boss can fire a person for being gay in many parts of this nation!
In any case, what exactly do such people want us to hate? Do they want us to visualize anal sex between two men and then experience powerful negative emotions? If not, what else could hating mean in this context? And would they think it’s a good idea to visualize a married, heterosexual couple having anal sex and then experience powerful negative emotions? And how do we hate a lesbian couple, or are we not supposed to, since that doesn’t seem precluded in the Old Testament? Perhaps they want us non-gay people to hate the sight of two men (or two women?) who appear to be in a romantic relationship, but then isn’t it possible doing so might itself be a sin, because we don’t know if they have ever engaged in sex acts with each other, let alone anal sex?
Would they like the idea of two men who want to be in a romantic relationship with each other simply abstaining from having anal sex? If so, would it be a good idea for them to wear a shirt that says something like, “the back door is off limits with us,” so that they don’t have any kind of hate directed towards them, even if it’s just the “sin” that is hated (if for no other reason than to possibly prevent an anti-gay version of Dylann Roof from killing them)? Jesus did say that it’s better not to get married, after all, so he might have approved of two men (or women) living together, especially in a society like ours (where there is overpopulation and no need to have ten or so children). “Hating the sin” doesn’t seem to make much sense in this context, though it does in the context of “banksters,” so one can only hope we will soon see people who think this is a helpful phrase use it that way instead.