An Open Letter To All Those Who Call Me An Intolerant Bigot

Dear Friends,

It’s been a pretty big brouhaha (I’ve always loved that word) lately, hasn’t it? First, NBA player Jason Collins openly admits that he is gay. Then, ESPN analyst Chris Broussard raises questions about the rightness/wrongness of being gay. Then all fury erupted. Now, Christians, and anyone else who questions the morality of homosexuality, are being accused of “intolerance”, “bigotry”, “closed-mindedness”, and other similar things.

And I get it, I really do. It takes a lot of courage for a professional athlete to admit that he is a homosexual. And then us hoity-toity Christians swoop in, raining on everyone’s parade. If I wasn’t a Christian, I’d probably be mad too. Christians are always ruining everyone’s party, or so it seems.

But see, here’s the thing: the reality is, you probably shouldn’t be calling me a bigot, you should be calling Jesus a bigot. Or I suppose you could call us both bigots. What I mean is, the only reason I oppose homosexuality is because of what Jesus says in the Bible. If it were up to me, I’d agree with the Beatles that all you need is love. Or, as Sheryl Crow put it, if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. I want everyone to be happy, to find love, and to be able to find meaningful relationships in life.

But ultimately it’s not up to me. As a Christian, I have given my life completely over to Jesus, which means all my opinions, ideas, desires, and dreams are submitted to him. He is the king, I am not. His word is final, his rule is complete. I can’t make Jesus fit me, I must fit him. I can’t make Jesus fit my opinions, I must make my opinions fit Jesus. The reason I oppose homosexuality is rooted solely in what Jesus says in the Bible (I am counting all of the New Testament as being the words of Jesus). The New Testament makes it clear that homosexuality is a sin. It’s not worse than any other sin, but it is a sin nonetheless.

Therefore, please don’t interpret my opposition to homosexuality as personal opposition to you. I have no vendetta against you, and carry no grudge toward you. I love you, and want you to experience God’s absolute best. I want to be friends with you, hang out with you, barbecue together. My opinion about homosexuality springs out of my allegiance to Jesus. My allegiance to Jesus takes highest precedent in my life, and informs everything I think and do.

So am I an intolerant bigot? I guess that depends on what you mean by “bigot”. Do I think certain things are objectively right and wrong? Yes. Jesus defines what is right and wrong, and my opinion must line up with his. Does that mean I hate those who do wrong things? No, absolutely not. In fact, I actively “tolerate” ?and respect those who hold different opinions than me, which is the true meaning of tolerance. When you call me a bigot you are implying that I actively hate you, which is far from the truth!

Ultimately, I want to be like Jesus. The Bible describes him as being full of grace and truth. On the one hand, he was gracious, loving, and respectful to those who did what was morally wrong. He spent many hours hanging around those who were despised by the religious leaders of the day. His love for people was not based on their righteousness. On the other hand, he lovingly spoke the truth to those who did what was wrong. He called people to submit their lives totally to him.

So if you’re going to call me a bigot, you must also call Jesus a bigot. But please don’t call Jesus a bigot. Bigotry implies venom and hatred, which is the opposite of Jesus. He loves you far more than you can possibly imagine.

Note: I’ve left comments open for now, but I don’t want this to turn into dogfight. As soon as that happens I’ll turn off the comments.

Second Note: I hope you can tell from the tone of this post that I obviously disassociate myself from the folks in the photo…

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Stephen Altrogge

I'm a husband, dad, writer, & Mixed Martial Arts Salsa Dancing Champion. I created The Blazing Center. I've also written some books which people seem to like. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook

2 comments

  • Do you favor stoning prostitutes?

    You say your opposition to homosexuality is because of the bible.

    If that is the reason, then you must favor stoning prostitutes, and all of the many
    alarming things in the Bible that are socially, morally, and legally anathema today.

    If you don’t, you are merely using the Bible to justify your bigotry.

    Besides, the Bible was written by Priests, not by “god” in one fell swoop.
    It was a series of books handed down since ancient times, many books of which
    were not included ( such as the Gospel Of Thomas) and the bible’s current form
    was created during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Many of the stories in
    the Old Testament appear over and over again in many other religions, sanscrit writings, etc.,
    they are ancient lore handed down through the millenia.

  • Oscar, please re-read what you wrote. I’m sure you didn’t mean what you said. First of all, there were no prostitutes stoned in the New Testament. Had you read John chapter 8 before you wrote your post you would have known that Jesus kept the adulterous woman (She wasn’t a prostitute either.) from being stoned. Jesus was the only reason why she wasn’t stoned. Second, I only know of two people who were stoned in the New Testament, Stephen and the apostle Paul. Both were stoned by ungodly people like you Oscar, not the other way around. Those are the facts. Now, can we discuss this issue intelligently and with less heat and more light?

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