Does God hate gays?

No. Christianity is clear that God is love, and doesn’t hate any of His children. Anyone claiming to the contrary is badly misrepresenting the Christian faith. Such voices get far more attention than they deserve, and I won’t dignify any of them with a link.

The more significant controversy is whether gay relationships are by their nature sinful, or not. Christian social conservatives use biblical arguments to attack homosexual behavior rather than gay people.  They are typically careful to remind people to “love the sinner, hate the sin”.  For some, this maxim might just be lip service to cover up a prejudice to which the biblical passages provide convenient support.  There is no good reason, however, to believe that all or even a majority fit that description.  Just as it is possible to “love the sinner, hate the sin”, it is possible to disagree with someone’s argument, but give their sincerity the benefit of the doubt.

Other Christians interpret the same scriptures much differently.  There are just six passages in the entire Bible that deal appear to condemn homosexual behavior.  The most frequently cited one is in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, in the same chapter 20 that specifies the death penalty for adultery. Leviticus also prohibits eating pork.  The primary New Testament reference is in Romans, which is probably taken out of its proper context by modern critics of gay relationships.  (As an aside, homosexuality is just one facet of a larger difficulty in Romans.  Paul takes Old Testament themes at face value throughout Romans to help Jewish converts make sense of a Gospel that is in many respects very different.  I suspect his reasons can be found here and here.)

Even more significant, to me, is that Jesus is never quoted as having anything hostile to say about gays.  There are interpretations that suggest Jesus affirmed a gay couple, and that He explains that some people are born gay.  I think these interpretations are probably reading too much into the text, but they nevertheless seem to be consistent with the character with Jesus as revealed throughout the Gospels.  The same compassionate Jesus who, for example, is described as healing lepers (an unclean group in Leviticus) and refusing to enforce the law of Leviticus 20.  These contrasts lead me to a more general belief that the Bible is not free from error.  Where something elsewhere in the Bible appears to contradict something Jesus taught or the way He lived, I am going to trust Jesus.

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