On Halloween, I can take my mask off. It gets so hot and sticky underneath those things. After smelling my own breath for a while, coming out from underneath a mask is like instant satisfaction.
When you use the slogan “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin,” you don’t realize what you're really saying to a sexual minority. I can’t take sexual orientation off like its a mask.
I am afraid Christians think they are saying something compassionate when they love me despite my orientation. It can seem like they are creating a loving place for me while protecting the Christian church from my “behavior.”
Behavior is what I choose. I can choose to walk to Trader Joe’s on my break. I can choose to play the piano. I can choose to make out with some guy. I get that.
Sexual orientation is something that we do not choose. I did not choose to like men before I saw them erotically. And I certainly did not predetermine to like them, somehow forcing myself to enjoy them, as though I have the will to choose how my eyes and body respond. No straight boy vowed that he would be visually stimulated by breasts, and then when he saw them for the first time [during puberty] liked them only because he told himself to like them. Preferences develop involuntarily.
I get that most Christians don’t feel comfortable with my orientation and the behaviors I choose (or don't choose) to associate with it. Fair enough.
But when you use the slogan, “Love the sinner, hate the sin” your talking about my entire being, not just my behavior. Using this slogan with a member of the LGBTQ community is exactly like saying, “Isaac I love you, but I hate that you have hazel eyes and a big smile.”
You cannot love a sexual minority and hate the way they experience excitement. You cannot love a gay person and hate the way they feel connected to the same gender. You cannot love a bisexual person and hate they way they feel special.
“Love the sinner, hate the sin” is a message that preaches judgment instead of unconditional love. How about we stop hating parts of one another and just love? Isn’t that enough?
“Love the sinner, hate the sin,” taught me to put a mask on: if I show up in my authenticity as a bisexual man I will be hated. And inevitably I would use the premise on myself- I would learn to hate who I am.
For far too long I lived underneath that mask- hot, sticky, smelling my own shaming breath, and detached from understanding unconditional love…the love that Christ came to teach.
I wasn’t born straight, but neither were you. There's no hate here. So on this Halloween, don’t mind me if I show up without a mask.
**This post is a summary of a chapter from Isaac's book. To learn more, subscribe. Excerpts will be available as downloads soon.