Sometimes, we need to critique ourselves.
A few days ago, I commented on my embarrassment and disgust with Christians on both sides of the Chick-fil-A debacle. I have no interest in backtracking those statements.
I still have no interest in leveraging my opinion over the opinions of others. There is a conversation that needs to take place between Christians about homosexuality and the complexities of sexual identity. My voice belongs as only one among many speaking with empathy and love in that conversation.
I also have no interest in siding with either polarity. I, like many others, inhabit the liminal spaces outside the public outcry. Their triumphalism flames into one other like a binary star, leaving the rest of us to try and escape their orbit.
What I did—and what the perpetrators of this debate continue to do—is lose sight of the trees for the forest. Certainly, there is the philosophical question of how our society responds to those we have long excluded and derided. But there are more important things than philosophy.
The real issue is how our society treats the people—the flesh and blood, mind and matter human beings—whose identity makes up the heart of our debates. They are the true outsiders. They are the children who attempt suicide at a rate of five times that of their their straight friends. They are the bullied and the harassed, who internalize fear and shame. They are the lepers and the wounded travelers, passed over by the religious and the right.
No question of theology should trump the human lives on the line. The pain and brokenness is real. We—all of us—need healing from the wounds caused by our own pride and tribalism. But the youth who struggle with their sexual identity are deeply wounded and in need of healing. We who beat them and rob them cannot continue passing by on the other side. Last week, I forgot that, and for that I am truly sorry.
So when it comes to triumphalist Christians, who choose to make their theology more pure than their love, I am still not with them. Instead, I will search for the healer who has already gone out to those beaten by the tire iron. If I could be with anyone, I’ll help him.