The Bible Is Offensive
by Amy Hall
Maybe we in the West were so steeped in Christianity for so long that its words ceased to be shocking and became merely familiar words. However it happened, somewhere along the way we forgot something very important: the Bible is offensive.
In his article titled “When You Defend Phil Robertson, Here’s What You’re Really Defending,” Josh Barro has this to say about the controversy over Phil Robertson’s GQ interview:
3. Robertson hates gay people. Robertson in [a speech at a church in] 2010: “Women with women, men with men, they committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions. They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil.”
This last one [#3] is key. My inbox is full of “love the sinner, hate the sin” defenses of Robertson’s 2013 remarks. But Robertson doesn’t love gay people. He thinks they’re, well, “full of murder.” His views on gays are hateful, inasmuch as they are full of hate.
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Barro sees this quote from Robertson as being the key bit of evidence that he hates gay people. The only problem is that this quote didn’t originally come from Robertson, it’s from Romans 1:26-30, and the passage is far worse than Barro thinks, because the “they” referred to in the second half of the quote isn’t who he thinks it is.
If this chapter—and the words of murder, envy, and strife—were only about gay people, then most of us could just rest easy, express some righteous indignation on behalf of “the other guy,” and then walk away without feeling personally confronted or facing any nagging fear of our own condemnation.
But the passage is much worse than that…