Child Abuse in the Name of Righteousness

I came across this seriously disturbing stat the other day: 40% of homeless youth are LGBT and rejection by their families is the leading cause. Now, of course not all of these rejections are from Christian homes – there are lots of parents who think something is wrong with homosexuality who aren’t led to that thinking by religious teaching. But a lot of them are from Christian homes. The last sentence packs quite a powerful punch:

Rather than protecting children, the anti-gay efforts led by conservative evangelical Christians may very well be causing the exact kinds of child abuse that they blame LGBT people for.

If you think homosexual activity is a sin, I consider that a valid albeit stretched interpretation of Scripture. I won’t argue with you there other than to say that if you haven’t actually looked into the issue and are just going on what you’ve always been taught, then please look into it and consider the other side.

But even if it is a sin, rejecting your children or anybody else for it doesn’t solve anything. Jesus taught us that the way we change people to love on them. It doesn’t work to exercise power over people using brute force to try to change them. Especially something that is biologically engrained in them, but it is true of anything. So now many of these young people are on the streets. Most of them are still LGBT – contrary to the goal, the parents didn’t scare it out of them. Many of them have rejected the so-called God of love in Christianity, and many of their friends have done the same in seeing how Christians treat their children. And not mentioned here, but I’m sure it is a lot harder on the parents, too. Many probably feel like they need to abuse their LGBT child as an act of righteousness, since they probably otherwise care a lot about their child.

When your version of Christianity encourages you to abuse your child, it is wrong. I won’t tiptoe around that. There’s no valid alternate interpretation in which you are permitted to hate anyone, let alone your children. And the irony expressed in that quote about Christians causing what they blame LGBT people for, which I feel is very true, should be enough to make you start to question just whether you really should be hating your children.

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.