I’d like to share this sound bite from a fellow Christian with whom I deeply disagree on the issue of LGBT equality in church. Tony Campolo calls himself a “conservative”, which I guess makes me a “liberal” (whatever that means).
The bottom line is that I believe a loving and committed relationship between two people of the same gender is blessed by God and should be supported by the church. Tony does not agree with me on this. He believes that “same-sex erotic behavior” is inherently inconsistent with Christian morality.
However, in spite of our disagreement, I offer this clip from an interview with Tony because I so deeply respect his generosity of heart and mind. I also appreciate his willingness to leave room in church and society for those who see things differently than he does.
It’s worth noting that he also leaves room for disagreement in his own home and heart: Peggy, his wife of over 50 years, is an active and outspoken advocate for LGBT equality in churches. The two of them debate publicly on the issue and still manage to live together. I could learn something from them…
I offer this video to my LGBT friends and fellow “liberal” Christians as living proof that not all “conservative” evangelicals and catholics are ignorant bigots. Many of them (like Tony Campolo) are willing to speak out and fight for civil rights.
I offer this video to those on the “conservative” end of the spectrum as living proof that having an open heart and open mind toward others does not necessarily entail the sacrifice of one’s personal convictions.
Tony himself said it best in the video:
“I don’t care where you are on the theological spectrum or what your attitudes are on this issue. When we generate fear and hatred of a group, I think we need to take a good look at ourselves.”
This is what respect in the midst of disagreement looks like.