Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner (AKA, Something Stupid Religious Homophobes Say)

I’m Asian. Do you know what would really suck? If someone came up to me and said, “Yeah, I think being Asian will cause you to go to hell and that you’re committing a sin that will send your soul to eternal damnation. But, I still like you as a person though!”

Good thing that’s never happened to me.

Oh wait. It has. Sort of.

Hypocrisy at its finest. Image via bp.blogspot.com.

Hypocrisy at its finest. Image via bp.blogspot.com.

I like to think that I know the intent of the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner.” It’s saying that people should forgive those who eat in excess or those who commit other sins that can be reformed – we have the right to be angry with the actions they’re taking, but we should still love the people and help them prosper and progress. Yes, you should hate the sick things sex addicts do, but should still love the sex addict as an individual and attempt to get him aid.

However, when it comes to homosexuality, this is a phrase that is often used by conservatives/religious people to try to mitigate the harshness of their hate. But when it comes to being gay, here’s the thing: homosexuality is not temporary. You can make it illegal, you can put a shotgun to a gay person’s head, you can try to shock the gay out straight out of them. None of that will work, because it’s something that cannot be changed. It’s an inherent part of an individual.

There’s a lot of effort being spent by those support and by those who oppose homosexuality on deciding whether people are born gay or whether it’s an acquired trait. From the AP Psychology course I’ve taken and from the research I’ve done in my free time, I lean on the side that we are born this way. No matter what, though, what’s wrong with loving someone? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I could go on and on about this, but essentially, you can’t pick and choose your sins. People’s religious beliefs should be tolerated, but not forced onto those who disagree with them.

I suppose what bothers me the most about this phrase is that it’s impossible to hate an inherent aspect of someone and still fully love them. Yes, being gay is just a part of me, albeit an important part. But just like being black is only a part of a person, how can you fully love someone for who they are if you hate such a central aspect of them? How can you love people, respect them as you would anyone else, if you dislike and detest a part of them that will never go away?

People use the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner” as a cop out. It’s as if they believe “oh, if I say that I just hate the sin, but I love the sinner, I’m still a good person.” That’s not enough. In the end, love is love. And if you hate something centered on love, something that has no adverse effects on anyone, you’re hating love in general.

Loving gay people is like flossing. If you don't do it, you'll die sooner. Okay, that's one of the worst analogies I've ever written...

Loving gay people is like flossing. If you don’t do it, you’ll die sooner. Okay, that’s one of the worst analogies I’ve ever written…

I hope you all are doing well, and as always I want to read your thoughts! As usual I’m doing homework, participating in school-related activities, finishing college apps, maybe trying to find a job soon? Until next time!


Filed under Society

6 responses to “Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner (AKA, Something Stupid Religious Homophobes Say)

  1. owihefkjl

    I’d like to help you try and understand the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner”

    Christians believe that EVERYONE is a sinner. EVERYONE has sinned, and will CONTINUE to sin. Saying that it’s impossible to hate the sin, but love the sinner is saying that it’s impossible to love anyone. I believe that most of the time homosexuality is uncontrollable, but so are many of the sins in the Christian faith. I understand your frustration, but it might be due to the fact that you have a poor understanding of what Christianity is. With that said, you shouldn’t blame the religious beliefs or make bold claims without knowing much about them. Again, blame the people, not the religion (Muslim terrorists, WBC, etc).

    It’s really disappointing when people misrepresent religion. Even Christians (Like those who wrote the sign in your picture), poorly depict what Christianity should be. Christians definitely have it wrong when they say that being homosexual is a ticket to hell. GAY CHRISTIANS DO EXIST. Lying is also a sin and in the Christian faith, all sins are weighted equally despite how society views them to be. I can easily say that I hate how people lie, but I accept/love them for who they are. I can love a person, but hate how he/she does drugs. It is NOT impossible to hate an aspect of a person and love them fully. Is sexual preference a central aspect of a person? From what I know, homosexuals will often argue that being gay is only one component of who you are. You wouldn’t want to be referred to as Thomas the gay kid (Or would you?).

    • Yes, you’re right – my understanding of Christianity is not as strong as it should be. And I definitely did not intend to make a broad assumption about all Christians in this post – I don’t blame the religion for all of the things gay go through, and of course there are gay Christians and Christians who support gays. Rather than assigning blame, I am just frustrated that people often use this phrase as a way to condemn homosexuality more than it should be condemned (… as it shouldn’t be condemned at all.)

      I’m curious as to how you interpret “loving someone fully.” If you mean it in a religious sense, then I secede, because as you’ve made clear I do not have the firmest grasp of Christianity. However, lying and doing drugs are both things that can be changed – they are things that are not a definite part of someone. Jill can stop smoking, and she would still be Jill. What I’m getting at is that black people and gays cannot just STOP being what they are (apologize for the caps, just for emphasis.) That’s what I mean when I say that being gay or being black is a central aspect of who people are.

      To answer your question, I have been referred to Thomas the gay kid, Thomas the fa*, and many other colorful titles. I wouldn’t say that I prefer it, but I wouldn’t say that it’s the worst thing in the world. It’s a part of who I am, and I’m not afraid of others associating me with it.

  2. owihefkjl

    Not even in the religious sense, but loving someone in general–probably the same sort of loving you have in mind. Okay, maybe my drug example was not so strong, and your example of smoking is way too simplistic as well. But can you say that you won’t lie again? What about lust? What about coveting what your neighbor has? I know and accept that I can’t “fix” or “stop” any of these things. Being gay is just something society will point out, but the argument will apply for ANY sin.

    Okay, so you’ve been referred to the titles you named, but I assume that they were all used in a discriminatory manner… Of course you don’t have to be afraid. And of course it’s a part of who you are. For me personally, I don’t want to be defined by my sexual preference, but my character as a whole.

    • Yes, however, lying, lusting over someone in an obsessive manner, and coveting what your neighbor has are all actually negative. Bad things happen because of those “sins” – however, homosexuality and being a certain ethnicity do not have any negative effects at all. Being straight or gay means you are romantically and physically attracted to a certain gender. Being a certain ethnicity means you belong to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.

      Yes, I see your point. What I’m saying is that being gay or black or demisexual or purple shouldn’t be construed as a sin by anyone, simply because it’s not.

      • owihefkjl

        Whether or not it is in an obsessive manner doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t even have to affect anyone to be a sin. More importantly, I’m no expert on Christianity, but I believe that the church has failed to understand/support homosexuals.

        What you’re saying here is analogous to saying “People shouldn’t have religions, simply because they’re not true”. You really need to stop boldly stating everything as factual.

        • I don’t intend to make what I say sound “factual.” Clearly what I am writing is my opinion – we are all biased and predisposed to perceive things in a certain way. Comments are encouraged and I enjoy it when people disagree and discuss my posts. Of course what I’m writing can be interpreted in different ways, which is why dissenting opinions are allowed.

          Forgive me if I fight for my beliefs boldy; I’m not one to shy away from what I think is right.

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