A Christian Comes OutNational Coming Out Day was last Sunday, October 11th. I'm (obviously) already out, and even though I was looking for something to do to celebrate, I ended up not doing much.
A friend of mine, however, decided to take advantage of the day and come out to everyone he knows. On Facebook. Wow. So, at 12:01 am on October 11th he updated his Facebook status to say, "...wants his friends to know the real me: the real me who likes guys. yep, its true. I'm gay. :)"
This friend of mine has been struggling with his sexuality for a few years, is a Christian, has gone to Christian counseling to help deal with his attractions to the same sex, and as a result, has a mix of friends--conservative Christian, gay, and those somewhere in between. So, the coming out process hasn't been that easy for him. While a lot of people can depend on most of their friends to be there for him, he wasn't sure that was going to be the case with all of his.
After a couple of days of getting emails with just a "?' as the content, my friend decided to write a lengthy note on Facebook to describe where he was coming from. The note was very clear and thorough as to his motivations, and in it he thanks his friends that have been supportive, asks those that disagree from refrain from using the, "I'll love you but..." lines he had already seen, and then goes on to describe why he came out.
He talks about not wanting to hide his orientation and attractions anymore, not letting some friends into his whole life while others are in the dark. He discusses his attempts to change his own orientation through counseling and therapy, and discusses his views on his own salvation in light of his coming out. Most importantly, though, he talks about his struggle with coming to terms with being gay and how he dealt with depression and thoughts of suicide. This wasn't a decision he came to lightly.
I'm proud of him. I know how hard it is to come out, and its especially hard when you have friends from such varied backgrounds. Unfortunately, not everyone was as proud, and a rather heated discussion followed. Here's a few excerpts from those people that disagreed (all of whom referred to themselves as Christian):
"[You have] taken God's name, thrown it to the ground, and pissed on it."
"In as much as you do that [fall to homosexuality], you flaunt it and Christ's sacrifice as meaningless to you. I do not know how long this flaunting can go on before you are beyond reach."--and that was one of the nicer ones. Nothing like doubting salvation to win points.
"my heart is breaking for you...for that delightful, engaging, talented, and intelligent young man who has chosen a path to self-destruction."
"Do not listen to those who approve of this; their words are poison and their advice deadly. White-washed tombs is a compliment to them."
And my favorite of all--"Mark, you must unfriend the young and impressionable in your friend list. You may choose this, but it's wrong to expose kids to it."
Here's a new one (added after the original entry). Notice the use of the word "homo" at the end. Classy: "Second, America is the land of the free and home of the brave. I have just as much right to hate, dislike, make fun of, put down, support, encourage, or agree with something or someone just as you have the right to be a homo."
So there you have it. The responses of "loving" Christians to someone that just came out. And to someone that had already talked about how hard it was, and even talked about how terribly depressed he had been for years dealing with this. This is how they responded to someone in need.
A commenter on another blog asked me the other day why Christians always get blamed for being anti-gay when other religions have similar views. Maybe this is the answer. In fact, in a comment chain that went on for over 50 comments, only two people that disagreed with my friend's coming out did so with love and compassion. Pretty unbelievable.
Maybe examples like this will show those Christians that think homosexuality is wrong why their message isn't often falling on friendly ears.