This clip shows a church in Greenfield, Greensburg, Indiana where a young child gets a hooting, hollering, cheering ovation for getting up in front of the congregation to sing “ain’t no homos in heaven.”
The delighted, amused reaction of the jackass behind the kid is what makes my blood boil. The kids don’t know any better. The rest of the congregation is faceless. But, that guy is clearly proud and happy that the child is using a slur to declare that gay people are excluded from heaven (and presumably condemned to hell.) So much for the pretense about loving the sinner but hating the sin.
Someone said that this does not reflect Christianity. That may well be correct. In fact, my reading of the Bible suggests that the ministry of Jesus does not particularly require any antipathy toward homosexuality. Paul Loebe suggests that the homophobic component of modern Christianity has nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with the “sexually insecure, homophobic” Apostle Paul. Even if No True Scotsman Christian would act in such a fashion, I think some account has to be taken of the fact that homophobia is frequently expressed in the name of Christianity. Many congregations take the position that gays are God’s children too and, if they are sinful, so is everyone else. God loves them all. If those sorts of voices were more prominent in our culture wars, I suspect incidents like these would strike less of a nerve for me.
Leaving the religious angle to one side, this is an example of a culture teaching its children to hate. I think such teaching is pretty much inevitable when a culture strengthens the “in-group” by defining itself against an “out-group” that is regarded as inferior in some fashion. I don’t know what it looks like from the inside, but to me, as an outsider, it looks like child abuse; breaking a perfectly good kid and teaching him to hate. Laughing and clapping and cheering by way of rewarding the kid for abandoning his good nature.
Update One friend noted that Greensburg was the town where 15 year old Billy Lucas lived before committing suicide after being the victim of anti-gay bullying in 2010.
Another friend noted that it’s inevitable that members of that congregation are or know and love someone who is gay and yet they rise and cheer in solidarity with these cretins.