I came across an interesting article on Fox News yesterday that had Elton John saying that organized religion spawns hatred towards the gay community.
Elton John: I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people
Elton John’s solution is to ban religion completely. Although I can’t relate to his frustration, I can see where he’s coming from.
From a Christian perspective, the Bible labels those who engage in homosexual acts as homosexuals (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB). However, within the same verse, Paul is condemning the greedy, alcoholics, adulterers, fornicators, and several other groups. I don’t believe that being a homosexual is a larger sin than any of those already mentioned. Homosexuality is a title given to a person that commits homosexual acts, just like an alcoholic is a label given to someone who is addicted to alcohol.
I don’t feel that the Christian religion promotes hatred towards gay people. If anything, people have taken several verses out of context and have acted out negatively towards the gay community. Ideally, Christians should welcome gay people and see being gay as a side-effect of a sinful, fallen world.
On the other hand, I can see why Elton John might think that religions are condemning gays rather harshly. In the Bible, homosexuality is a sin. Some gay people don’t see it as a sin; they might see it as something they were born with and have no control over. In recent times, the gay community has gathered strength and started having parades and being more vocal about the gay lifestyle. As a result of homosexuality becoming increasingly public, religion has started to be more vocal towards gays in general.
Taking the above verse (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), homosexuality is given as an example of unbelieving behavior (along with adultery and other sins). However, homosexuals have made their sexual beliefs more public by having Gay Pride Parades and other public displays. I seriously doubt a bunch of adulterers or alcoholics would get together and start having parades in order to feel more accepted. If there was an “Adulterers’ Pride Parade”, I anticipate that organized religion would condemn that group as harsh, if not harsher, than that of the gay community.
The fact that gays are becoming more accepted (and more public) in society is probably the reason that religion is started to get more vocal in its contempt against the gay community.
Religions shouldn’t “hate” gays, but I certainly don’t see organized religion ever accepting homosexual acts as acceptable behavior.