I will never forget the morning of 911. The previous night, my wife and I had flown American Airlines from Boston Logan to Houston with our 10 month old daughter. In other words, it could have been us.
At the time, a trail of notable evangelical TV personalities laid the blame for the 911 attacks on LGBT+ people. Yesterday, on the eleventh anniversary of 911, I was sad to see a dramatic uptick in similar rhetoric among Facebook friends. Abortion was a common theme as well.
Below are thoughts that crossed my mind as I processed these status updates:
(1) These Facebook commentaries never mentioned “evangelical” divorce and internet porn as two of the gravest moral challenges facing our nation. We work so hard to prove that gay people are not born that way, yet we rarely make the connection that a nurture-based cause flows from “our” family breakdowns.
(2) 18% of American abortions involve individuals who identify as born-again or evangelical. Since only 1% are due to rape/incest and another 6% due to the health of mothers, “we” can immediately reduce the abortion rate by 10% (about 100,000 babies). Let our culture of life be reflected as an unconditional love that persuades young girls that we will help them if they become pregnant.
(3) I counseled a young gay teen this week whose own father despises him. How can any teen with SSA even think about surrendering sexuality to “a god” who is best reflected to him as a hateful parent? I am not judging this father – I am simply suggesting that our teens need a safe place to talk about their experience. Will we be trustworthy or will they seek primary support from others?
Jerry Falwell was one of the first voices to initially blame gay people for the 911 attacks. However, only hours after thinking it over, he told CNN: “I would never blame any human being except the
terrorists, and if I left that impression with gays or lesbians or
anyone else, I apologize.”
To Facebook Friends: If you have found it convenient to blame gay people for the painful memory of 911, you too can take it back. You too can apologize. If God has in any way removed his protection from our nation, it is more likely to do with the majority sins of greed, materialism, divorce, adultery, porn use, and an intellectualism that often writes God (and his purposes) out of the human script of our daily lives.
Take, for example, Ezekiel 16:49 – “Now
this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were
arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and
needy.” This prophet challenges our simplistic and prejudiced understanding of God’s judgment. It always seems to be for others, or so we think.
A day like 911 is not the time to blame others, but to take responsibility for our own failure to follow and reflect God. If we are truly concerned about others repenting, let us lead the way. Repentance can start today…with you and me.
As we enter repentance, we begin to understand the challenges many gay people face. It is quite difficult and lonely to let go of the only life one has ever known. People who lose their lives in order to enter eternal life will need friendship and support. Thus, let us ponder the importance of hospitality and invite a gay loved one, friend or neighbor to dine at our table.
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