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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sorry, Mr. Shore, you seem to have fundamentalism confused with social conservatism

Tell Me, Christian, That You Hear This Boy | JohnShore.com
Tell me that your belief system didn’t help but the hot tears on this kid’s cheeks. Tell me that the bullies who torment this kid aren’t in any way encouraged or empowered by your tacit approval of their actions. Tell me that the shame this kid feels about himself has nothing to do with the shame that you believe all gay people should feel for themselves.
I am not going to dispute that there are those who call themselves fundamentalists who tacitly, if not openly, condone such treatment suffered by the young man in the video.  What Mr. Shore fails to demonstrate, however, is how such approval is inherent to fundamentalism- or even to those who think that homosexuality is sinful.

Sorry, but as a fundamentalist, I refuse to fit your stereotype.  I do, however, call anyone who has sinned- including myself- to repent.  And it is up to each person to decide for himself or herself whether to do so or not.  Any attempt to coerce another person to do so, whether through physical violence, derogatory language, or other means, would result, at best, in false repentance.  If God does not force anyone, including me, to repent, then what right do I have to try to force someone else to?
Furthermore, we were all created human.  To treat another person as non-human, to try to dehumanize another person, to act or even feel like another person does not deserve to be treated like a human being is a lie and thus an affront to the Creator.  I feel nothing but moral repugnance for the treatment this young man has suffered.  Whatever sins another person has committed does not in any way abrogate a Christian's duty to treat him or her as a fellow human being.  To ignore such a duty is a sin and, if left unrepented of, is just as liable for judgment as any other sin.
"Tell me that the bullies who torment this kid aren’t in any way encouraged or empowered by your tacit approval of their actions."
Tacit approval?  How much more strongly do you want me to condemn such behavior?
"Tell me, please, how you love this kid."
I love this kid.  He is a fellow human being.  The same salvation that has been offered to me has been offered to him.  If he has not found it, I hope he does.

"Tell me how you understand his pain"
I don't claim that I can understand anyone else's pain.  As much as I might feel or have felt similar pain, each person's pain is their own.

"Tell me how when he cries, you cry."
When he cries, I cry.

"Tell me how you want to do everything in your power to make sure that no one, ever again, feels free to in any way victimize a young gay person."
No problem.  I want to do everything in my power to make sure that no one feels free in any way to victimize a young gay person ever again.

"Tell me that the shame this kid feels about himself has nothing to do with the shame that you believe all gay people should feel
for themselves."
Actually, I think it's the shame I believe all people- and I include myself here- should feel when they sin.  Then again, you seem to believe that the people who victimized this young man should feel shame that they did so.  If you do, why do you condemn others who also believe that those who sin should feel shame?  The only difference between you and them is what each side considers to be sinful.

"Tell me that your belief system didn’t help but the hot tears on this kid’s cheeks."
Let's turn this around and suppose that a fundamentalist reading what you wrote about him or her causes him or her to cry.  Would you agree with the accusation that you are somehow guilty for causing such tears or would you claim that it is not your fault that truth is sometimes painful?

"Tell me that you can’t comprehend the connection between your conviction that God finds homosexuals repulsive, and the fact that this kid finds himself so repulsive that he habitually cuts his own flesh."
Again, sin should be repulsive.  I am repulsed by my own sins, but that does not cause me to cut my own flesh.  Rather, it leads me to repentance.  Thus the problem would seem to be an improper response to the revulsion, although I am well aware that there are other factors that contribute to such behavior which you failed to mention in your question.
 Oddly enough, Mr. Shore makes the following statement three posts later which explains exactly why my sister doesn't feel threatened by my beliefs (emphasis added):
What fun we will have, imagining a world in which what a person believes is considered completely irrelevant compared to what they actually do.

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