Christianity,  Politics

Do Christians hate gay people? Robert George answers.

The following is an unpublished excerpt from Salvo magazine’s recent interview with Robert George of Princeton University.

SALVO: One conservative Christian recently wrote that in the battle for traditional marriage, “Christians too often chose intolerance over charity when it came to how they treated gays.” Have we, as Christians, demonstrated a lack of love for gay people?

Robert George: No, we’ve been falsely accused of showing a lack of charity and a lack of love because that was very convenient to the arguments of the other side, a very effective tool. In fact, the overwhelming majority of people of all faiths who’ve been involved in the protection of marriage have gone out of their way, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church goes out of its way, to proclaim the truth that all men and woman are precious. Human beings have a profound and inherent dignity, an equal dignity, as creatures made in the very image and likeness of the Divine Creator and Ruler of the Universe.

This has never been something hidden. It has been frequently affirmed and re-affirmed, yet there are those who wish to refuse to hear it because it’s politically useful to their cause to depict Christians as mean-spirited or bigoted or hostile to people just because they don’t like something about them. It’s a slander. And for us to pretend that the slander is true is itself a sin against the truth. I’m all for confessing error and wrongdoing where error and wrongdoing have been committed. But I see no point in confessing sins that one has not committed, especially when doing so is the precise objective of those who wish unfairly to tar people or a movement as bigoted or hostile.


  • Ian Shaw

    But wait, didn’t Justice Kennedy and the other justices of the USSC (minus Scalia) determine that any and all disagreement to homosexual marriage (and by extention homosexuality) must be driven by hate?

  • James Bradshaw

    Christians don’t “hate” gays.

    They will just boycott an organization that feeds hungry children if gay couples so much as drive the trucks the food is on. They just think that businesses should be free to fire gay men and women (despite legal protections being extended to folks for their *chosen* religious affiliation). They just think their relationships should be afforded no legal protections whatsoever. They shouldn’t teach children. They shouldn’t serve in the Armed Forces. They should be compared to murderers, pedophiles and cannibals. They’re responsible for 9/11, tsunamis, earthquakes and floods and every other social ill.

    If this is “love”, can we have a little less of it, please?

    • Meg Parry

      If you think that this is what I as a Christian believe than you sir are very incorrect. One of my very good friends is gay and I pray for him everyday because I know that he struggles with living the way he lives. Was I ever hateful or rude to him because of his sexual preference? No I was never, but do I still disagree with his lifestyle? Yes. I am sorry that in this world not everyone has a view on it the same way I do. I think that people that describe themselves as gay are in more need of love and care than a lot of people! I encourage you brother to pick up a Bible. Soon, please because even if you decide that it is not something you believe at least you will know what you’re arguing. I know this is the last thing you want to hear right now but James Bradshaw I will pray for you.

  • Chris Ryan

    Robby George must live on a different planet than I do. Maybe he hasn’t seen Westboro’s signs. Or Kansas’ attempts to enact Jim Crow for gays.

    • Jacky Kimes

      Chris, Anyone (including Westboro) can claim to be a Christian, but it doesn’t make them so (including Westboro). I can claim all day long to be an astronaut but until I exhibit the actions of an astronaut, no one will believe me.

  • Bill Hickman

    Why would an intelligent person like Mr. George make an overly broad statement like that? Of course gratuitous Christian-bashing is not helpful. But I think it’s just as unhelpful to categorically deny that Christians have ever displayed a dislike for gay people.

    • Adam

      Bill, you should look at the replies to the previous comment. Anyone can call him or herself a Christian, but that doesn’t make them one. The fact that nearly 80% of Americans claim to be Christian just proves this point. I doubt that even half of that 80% really are Christians (even though they think they are). So you can look at “churches” like Westboro Baptist and clearly see that they are not exhibiting the characteristics of Christ and therefore are probably not Christians. You can then look at the majority of “morally good” human beings who call themselves Christian, and it’s gets a little foggy. The fact is, going to church doesn’t make you a Christian and being a moral person doesn’t either. Unlike every other “religion” in the world that says “be good, then you will be accepted”, Christianity says you are accepted based on what Christ has already done. “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. (Mark 10:18). So what makes one a Christian is not how they act, although for sure the actions will follow. What makes one a Christian is accepting that we have nothing of our own that is good in God’s sight and we must receive what Jesus has done for us. So in the context of this whole situation, we are to love homosexuals for sure, but we can not deny what the bible says is a sin. Just like we can’t deny that premarital sex is a sin, and anger is a sin, and greed, lust, and a whole host of others.

      • Lauren Bertrand

        So you apply the “no true Scotsman” defense not only to exculpate yourself but to deny many other Christians their identities? Sorry, but, based on the vitriol so many Evangelicals reserve for one class of people–while almost completely letting wrath, premarital sex, greed, lust, gluttony, off the hook–would pretty safely indicate that Bill Hickman is right. Until you define gluttons or short-tempered people or adulterers exclusively by their sin, then it’s easy for politically moderate outsiders to interpret it as “hate”. I know, I know–all those other groups aren’t “trumpeting their sin”….well, maybe some of them are contrite, but many many more are not, and they continue to lust or overeat or rage, and we grant them the same rights accorded everyone else, or (in the case of the obese) we accommodate them. Yet they are all still human beings first, not lechers, or shrews, or fatsos. Only one group gets this special treatment. It’s an Evangelical obsession, manifested by the fact that this is the sixth(!!!) article on this blog about the topic in the last week.

        • Adam Ripka

          Are evangelicals obsessed with “hating” homosexuals or are they just trying to defend themselves against a culture who is trying to demonize them for calling a sin a sin? You made a really great point about others not “trumpeting” their sins. It would be extremely difficult to point out those other sin categories without them being trumpeted. For example, how do you know if someone has a lust problem unless they are telling you or you catch them? These are sins of the heart that are harder to “diagnose”. I truly believe it is the mainstream media that is focusing on the homosexuality issue and NOT evangelicals. Look around on some evangelical sites and you will see that there are tons of articles addressing all of the other sins you listed. They just don’t make the news because these have already been approved of in our society. Homosexuality is in the process of being approved, and in the future I’m sure we won’t see much about it. It just makes for really good stories that everyone is eating up right now. The mainstream media won’t point out any articles about greed, lust, wrath, etc. because they would be pointing the finger at what drives their business.

  • theoldadam

    We Christians ought love gay people. We have them in our pews and we love them. But we never, never ought to affirm their sin (say it is ok, make excuses for it, advocate it, etc.) as we ought never affirm any of our sin.

    We had a gay man on our church council. A regular reader of the Scriptures at Sunday worship. No problem at all. Then he approached the pastor and wanted the pastor to affirm his sin and to be allowed to be open about it in a positive way with the congregation.
    Our pastor told him that we could not do that and he’d have to look for another church if that’s what he really wanted.

    The pastor would have said the same thing to me if I wanted to affirm my laziness or gluttony or adulterous thoughts.

    Homosexuality is a particularly tough sin to live with, but it is sin nonetheless.

  • Chris applesmith

    Excuse my flipness, but what planet does Robert George live on? Historically, some of the church’s responses to gay people have been to shame them, hide them, ignore them, or even burn them at the stake. Maybe he personally doesn’t feel animosity towards gay people, but to generalize the entire history of christendom’s response as merely an “effective tool” is dishonest, slimy, and insulting.

    • Greg Hahn

      No, the “effective tool” he speaks of is that of accusing those that disagree with the homosexual acceptance agenda as haters. That’s clearly what he said, please re-read it.

      And thankfully, to my knowledge, no one has been burned at the stake in quite some time. Let’s try to stay in the 21st century, shall we?

  • Hannah Lewis

    A lot of gay people would probably disagree. I think the best thing would be to talk to the gay people in your lives and ask them how you/your church makes them feel. What matters isn’t what you say, but what you do AND how it’s received by the person it’s being done to.

  • Jason Russell

    Anyone can “feel” something, Hannah. My kids get are often mad when I correct them for doing what they have been told is wrong in our household. They are sad over being told they can’t continue in their wrong ways – they are sad they were caught. Do I suddenly second guess what they are doing is wrong because they “feel” like I’m against them? No, I explain that wrong behavior is wrong behavior – it’s not subjective…it is very objective. I would be an extremely bad father if I let my kids dictate their upbringing (since they’re so incredibly logical as children) based on their feelings of the consequences of their actions. Likewise, I would be an extremely bad friend if I didn’t explain to my gay friends why I think what they’re doing is only eternally hurting them, how Jesus died as a result of ALL sin, and how God is NOT ok with sin. But in the same way I extend grace to my children while they are “in their sin”, God extends grace to me and to my gay friends and calls us to trust Jesus to justify us and to turn from all sin with his help. But neither me nor my straight friends or gay friends should expect to be with Him for eternity if we only “feel” bad for being confronted with the reality of our sin.

    • Hannah Lewis

      Couple things: Don’t be so quick to dismiss feelings. They make up a HUGE part of the human experience. They are significant. If you tell someone you love them, yet abuse them every day and do it out of what you believe is love, and then that someone never actually *feels* loved by you and ends up in therapy because of your abuse and you never speak to each other again, than who has gained in that situation? Feelings ARE important.
      And a healthier way to view gay people is as your equal, not as your naughty children that don’t know better and you better/smarter than them as their “parent”.
      And I still hold that dialogue is the only true way to know how someone is feeling based on how you treat them. It wouldn’t hurt anyone to actually talk to the LGBTQ people in our lives and churches and ask them how we are making them feel, how we can make them feel more welcome, do they feel safe, valued in our churches, etc. Don’t just assume they know you don’t hate them, ask them how they actually feel.

      • Jason Russell

        I don’t view my children as naughty, Hannah. I treat them as human children acting like human children. Likewise I don’t treat my gay friends as naughty – I treat them as sinners just like me in need of grace. And don’t infer that I dismiss feelings. Feelings should never drive your life – feelings lie often. Sometimes I don’t feel that God loves me, but I go to His Word and I see Jesus and what he did for me, the sinner. I don’t make God explain why he’s being so mean to me because I feel that way. God’s not going to say, “you know what, because you “feel” this way it must be true that I’ve been mean to you and I apologize.” So feelings…feelings are a blessing and a curse.

        • Tim Elliott

          I think what you are missing is that your feelings only matter when they lead you to accept homosexuality as normal and sinless. Am I right, Hannah? Are you saying we are supposed to accomodate the homosexuals based on how they feel we are treating them?

          • Hannah Lewis

            I’m saying it’s not a bad idea to actually get to know and talk to the LGBTQ people in your life/church. See how they actually feel and what they actually think instead of assuming. You know, treat them like, oh, I don’t know, human beings, with dignity and kindness.
            But go ahead and misread absolutely everything I said. I can’t stop you.

        • Esther O'Reilly

          Right on Jason. Hannah, you’re speaking in very vague generalizations here. For example, you’re not distinguishing between people who are repentant and people who are still living in sin (e.g., cross-dressing, living with a partner). Are you saying that a church should allow a “transgender” man (i.e., a man who thinks he’s a woman) to continue attending indefinitely without changing his appearance? Are you saying that a gay couple who comes to church and openly shows affection with each other should not be spoken to, despite the fact that this is exposing young children to a sexual sin most parents would probably like to postpone talking about for several more years? Are you saying that a sober, yet loving explanation of the limitations that the disability of homosexuality places on a person in terms of how he can serve in church leadership, even if he has been baptized as a repentant believer, is automatically hateful?

          We wouldn’t allow a man to take a group of girls on a camping trip, even if he were a great man of God, because it’s simply not appropriate. It’s just based on a scientific fact about his identity as a man. Similarly, we shouldn’t allow a man who is attracted to other men to have a similar role with boys. Again, it’s based on a fact about who he is. We may love him, embrace him, and pray with and for him in his affliction, but discrimination is not a dirty word. Furthermore, this is not the kind of sin that everybody in the church absolutely needs to hear about. Pastors should be ready to listen in private conversations with a potential member confessing this sin, and if he’s repentant, accept that repentance. But for him to “come out” in front of the whole church is not necessarily the best way to go. As long as he has that close group of friends giving him the guidance he needs, who else, really, needs to know? This should be a deeply private battle.

          • Hannah Lewis

            I’m not saying any of those things. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I was just saying *talk to them*. A lot of Christians say they don’t hate LGBTQ people. A lot of LGBTQ people feel hated by Christians. And when you listen to their stories, they have legitimate reasons to feel that way, based on how they were treated by Christians. But when you talk to a lot of Christians, you find out they legitimately don’t HATE gay people. Somewhere miscommunication is obviously happening. There needs to be more dialogue. If you assume “I don’t HATE gay people, what are they complaining about?” Well, find out! You may legitimately not hate someone, but are not realizing how your actions or words are making them feel. For example, calling gay people “the homosexuals” is very derogatory, but something I see often on boards like these. Begin by learning the correct terms, for example, so when talking about LGBTQ people, it can be done with dignity, kindness, and respect.
            LGBTQ people are real human beings like you and me, with feelings, stories, hearts and minds. Many of them are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s treat them like it.

  • Nathan Collins

    I have a lot of respect for Robert George, so I’m especially disappointed by his answer here. Do you agree with his perspective, Denny? Besides seeming “out of touch” in all the ways pointed out by others above, his only point of evidence in support of his stance is that Christians have always proclaimed “the truth that all men and woman are precious” and “have a profound and inherent dignity, an equal dignity, as creatures made in the very image and likeness of the Divine Creator and Ruler of the Universe.” Surely there is a big difference between merely proclaiming the truth of something and embodying this truth in ways that are authentic expressions of Christian obedience, right?

    I do agree, however, that the gay rights lobby is all to happy to work the “Christians-hate-gays” narrative for all its worth. I just don’t think the narrative is entirely, or even mostly, a false one.

  • Gary Roberts

    there are gay people in the Church that do not act on their feelings, have repented and live celebate lives yet the Church does NOT accept them – they are still treated as more defective than Christians who sin in other ways. this guy has no idea what he’s talking about…

  • Paul Reed

    @James Bradshaw

    A Christian is right to boycott World Vision if they hire gays who “marry”. It’s far more important that World Vision promotes morality than feeding people. Food keeps one going for a matter of hours. But here’s the rub: No one will ever go to hell for being hungry or starving. But people do go to hell for sinning, and practicing and promoting homosexuality is a sin.

    • Ian Shaw

      If WV was only feeding children/people and not telling them about the Gospel, as to illicit a call & response, than they are not doing the Lord’s work. They may be claiming to be Biblical in nature, but if all their doing is feeding people out of “social justice”, (which is really nothing more than secular humanism) then all they are really doing is sending people to hell with their bellies full.

      That’s not the call we’ve been given to share Christ to the world.

  • Debra Walker

    I am very tired of the “gay” community and their advocates clamoring for “gays” to receive some special allocation of understanding or sensitivity. They practice sexual perversion, but not only do they practice it, they allow a huge political machine to make a travesty of civil rights to force those who want no part of it to be intimidated into accommodating it. Homosexuals indulge in the same perversion of sexuality that promiscuous heterosexuals practice in that it deviates from God’s proscriptions for sexual activity but you don’t see sex addicts demanding sensitivity and forcing schools to teach that promiscuity be accepted. You don’t have to be Christian to resent and dislike the lawfare conducted by “gay” advocates in our courts and the introduction of homosexual behavior to children in elementary school. I might struggle with the sin of hatred, because trust me, I am sick o death of the cacophony of the “gay” laments, but I am not asking anyone to legitimize that sin and afford me any special caring or sensitivity. Homosexuality has caused enormous damage in numerous ways, from transmogrifying language, to the idiocy of gender identification and now, the topics of pedophilia and bestiality are tiptoeing out of the closet as a result of the leniency and “sensitivity” afforded “gays”. Not to mention that it serves beautifully in the Marxist arsenal directed at destroying the family unit. Christians and non-Christians alike have every right to object to the homosexual “lifestyle” without listening to a bunch of nonsense about “hate”.

    • Lauren Bertrand

      Fortunately your pablum demonstrates quite effectively why the gay community shouldn’t budge an inch in their fight for their rights. Plenty of church groups openly profess the desire to re-enact Lawrence v. Texas, as well as their admiration for Russia’s treatment of their population. And why should the good Christians stop there? Yes, you most certainly do struggle with the sin of hatred, as manifested by everything you say in this paragraph.

      • Tim Elliott

        What wounded people those homosexuals are. How dare anyone tell them they are sinning…Don’t the Christians know they don’t have the right to place regulations on homosexuals? And thank God for your “holiness” Lauren–your stone has hit Debra squarely in the nose. Hopefully you can provide your righteous adjudication of other Christians’ hearts. We will wait on the edge of our seats.

        • Adam Ripka

          But….they are sinning. Christians don’t have to tell them that, God tells them that. Read the Bible, and if you don’t believe the Bible or believe in God then what do you care what anyone says, just go about your business and don’t expect churches and other institutions who hold to their religious convictions to accept it. FYI, the Jewish and Muslim faiths also call homosexuality a sin, and probably with a lot more aggression than Christians do.

            • Adam Ripka

              I totally missed the sarcasm, that’s the problem with written words. I see it now though, thanks for pointing it out. If I had seen Tim’s other comments I would have read this correctly.

  • Ian Shaw

    If you are walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5) as we should be, there will be fruits.I don’t need to hate anyone. Just develop a loving relationship with all people and the fruits will show themselves-Godly or not.

  • Miranda Dove

    I’m a christian and I still don’t see what is wrong with being gay. I mean I get that in The Bible it states that being gay is a sin ( not in those words of course ) but we all sin everyday and isn’t love love. So what if the love you feel is with someone of the same sex. Why should you be punished for it? I’m so very confused!

    • Tom Hardy

      Miranda, you are correct that the act of homosexuality is sin according to Scripture. You go on to give a “but” by the fact that we all sin everyday.
      Though nobody can deny that we all sin, however as Christians we should never excuse it for any reason. Our loyalties are to God and His Word the Bible and we know that God hates sin, so if God hates sin and if we want to please God, then we should hate what God hates. Read the first two chapters of 1 John concerning this and it should be very clear about sin.
      Concerning love, I think you are confused because you have a wrong understanding about what love is. Who should determine what love is? God or mankind?
      If you are a Christian you must answer “God”.
      In the case of love in the way you mention it. Ultimately what you are talking about is marriage, and Scripture is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. It is also clear that marriage between a man and a woman is a picture of the love between Christ and His bride the Church (see Eph. 5:22-33).
      A big problem I see concerning this whole issue, is many people (including some Christians) do not have a high view of God’s Word. They give into the wisdom of man and say God’s wisdom somehow wrong.
      As Christians that should never be an option to us, when we do so, it is sin and an affront to our God.

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