A very interesting article appeared in today’s National Post online (link here). Mr. Kelvin Browne shone the light of reason on the increasingly common anti-semitism in Canada which hides behind a thin guise of political correctness. It seems to be fashionable to tout well-worn arguments pretending to be in the know regarding Israel’s supposedly harsh bullying of its poor Palestinian neighbours. But Mr. Browne, a man who has suffered no small amount of prejudice himself, went to Israel to see first hand the realities on the ground in both Israel and Palestine. He hints, in his article, of a Media-led deception portraying living conditions in Palestine as worse than they are. In this I fully agree with him.
I wonder, though, if there is something of a Media-led deception at work behind the public portrayal of religiously-fueled bigotry against homosexuals? There seems to be no doubt that a great majority of orthodox adherents to the world’s major religions disapprove of homosexual practices. There also seems to be no doubt at all that there are far too many orthodox Jews, Muslims and Christians—both Catholic and Protestant—who have acted with prejudice and hate in their treatment of homosexuals… in Canada and certainly elsewhere. But I wonder if the Media has so spun this hot-button social issue so that when one holds convictions about the immorality of homosexual behaviour, one is automatically pre-judged himself as a bigot?
I for one want to go on record as grateful to Kelvin Browne for a good, thought-provoking article in defense of Jewish people and the right for survival of a Jewish nation taking refuge for over 60 years in the besieged State of Israel. As he argues himself, a disproportionate number of Jews have historically fought in defense of fair treatment of minorities (including homosexuals). As a committed follower of Christ holding the convictions of a Reformed, Evangelical, Protestant, I am a minority myself in the Canadian socio-political landscape. As such, I am happy to also go on record as defending the rights of all homosexuals to live free of persecution. More than that, in keeping with the teachings of the Bible, I am committed to a lifestyle, not of political correctness, but of love for all people, whether or not I agree with their lifestyles.
I don’t think it’s “tolerance” to shout down people who hold “Traditional” moral values. I don’t think it’s “tolerance” to shout down Bible-believers who believe in an absolute right-and-wrong moral Law rooted in the very nature of God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. Neither do I think it’s “tolerance” to despise the Jewish people for defending themselves with legitimate force, against all odds and overwhelming opposition, from the deadly hatred of radical Muslims on record calling for the destruction of the entire State of Israel. But I would not want to say that it is in the name of “tolerance” that I stand up to thank a homosexual man for his well-reasoned plea for common sense. I still do not agree with homosexual practice; nor do I agree with lying, adultery, theft or idolatry. It is not “tolerance” to treat liars, adulterers, thieves or idolaters with respect and dignity. It is love. Love that dares to hope that the God who sent His Son to die for such people—bearing the penalty both for their sin-guilt and for mine—is gracious enough to draw the hearts of all sinners to recognize their rebellion against God and cry out to Him to save them from His holy wrath otherwise in store for them.
…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13 ESV)