“God loves mankind, but not the sin. He hates the sin.”
I woke up to this reply to my social media post about Manchester Pride last weekend.
The comment came from a former work colleague (I was his Induction trainer). I barely remembered we were connected on Facebook, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear from this rather shy and friendly young man, all these years later.
But when I read his comment, my heart sank.
For the purposes of transparency, here’s my original post in full:
God loves gays. Well of course. Why create something you don’t want? And lesbians, and, and, and, and… Hey guess what! HUMANS! This #Pride was the best Manchester has ever seen in my humble opinion. Some of the most remarkable floats, for me, were: Gay Christians, Gay Muslims, Gay Football, Gay Teachers, Diversity Education, Gay Construction and Architecture, Gay Blacks, Gay Emergency Services, Gay Parenting, Parents of Gays, Gay Civil Service, Samaritans, ChildLine, and Youth Suicide Prevention. A tremendously successful day of celebration, awareness, and EQUALITY. Cx
When she read this post, my mother – a die-hard Catholic– wept with joy. She respects my interpretation of The Bigger Picture, and she’s delighted for me.
Of course, not everyone is on the same page.
Let me share with you why I wrote my Facebook post in the first place. If you’ve read my books or attended any of my seminars, you know I don’t observe one specific religion. I was born and raised Catholic, but the real and effective guidance for transforming my life didn’t find me through religious spirituality, but through practical spirituality. The difference? To me, the latter is an invitation. An invitation to explore what you resonate with – beyond the set ways.
I believe we are souls on a journey. And whether that is true or not (I don’t preach it, just what I have come to understand), we are all here in a human form. That much we all know to be true. We are humans sharing the same home.
During the Pride parade, there were religious groups holding up beautiful placards with equally beautiful messages like, “God Loves Gays”,“Thank God for Lesbians”and “God Adores You.”
In a world where many religions preach love and kindness on one hand but persecute LGBT Plus people on the other, those encouraging messages being held up with pride during such an important (family) event, was met by huge cheers from the crowds.
This got me thinking.
If all religions pray to an omnibenevolent God, Creator of Everything, why would God be opposed to certain aspects of His Creation? Or Her, or It? (Isn’t it remarkable how we humans assume the liberty of assigning gender to God, by the way?)
I fail to see the logic to it. Just like water, for example, some is salty and some is fresh, we have oceans and we have rivers, there’s dewdrops and there’s torrential rain. The form may be different, but it’s all water.
So, the idea that an all-loving God would create humans but then not love some of them just doesn’t make sense. And that’s why I posted on Facebook after watching the parade.
Turns out I was unaware of a religious disclaimer: “God loves mankind, but not the sin. He hates the sin.”
Convenient, for sure.
Here’s what I replied:
“Thanks for your comment! It’s precisely why these events grow in importance and popularity. Love is NEVER sinful. Have a beautiful week ahead.”
And then I went back and added:
“It’s also remarkable that people always immediately attach God to religion.”
Thank God (pun intended) for the current global mental health awareness movement. People have never been unhappier, more anxious or depressed than today. Suicide rates are at an all-time high. Sexual identity (and the fear of expressing it) is often a huge contributor to poor mental wellbeing. And as if the self-acceptance and coming out journey is not comprehensive enough, once people do, they are told the way they experience and express love is sinful.
I wonder how helpful that is. 2020 is just around the corner. It’s time to expand our interpretation of love. We have a responsibility to save each other. Dogma-free love can do that.
When I say, “God loves gays,” I am not referring to a religious God but non-denominational Consciousness. A universal energy source of which all of us are an expression. To stick with the water analogy, we may not be the entire ocean, but we are water nonetheless.
Practical spirituality is a great enabler of insight into our often-complicated lives. It offers an invitation to explore ourself and our purpose in a refreshing way. Self-empowerment through Consciousness encouragement. Truly life-saving inspiration. Take it from me.
I am fully aware that speaking up against a statement that disappointed me (“He hates the sin”) and implying that it’s not acceptable, is as dogmatic as the actual statement, so I won’t be doing that. Throughout history, dogma and control have done enough damage to people’s mental health.
What I would like to share, however, is an invitation to love. It’s two-fold and simple:
If you struggle with LGBT Plus humans expressing love because you’ve been told it’s sinful, consider coming up with your own opinion instead and experience how good it feels to be an enabler of love in this one world we all share and call Home.
If you are LGBT Plus, remember that you are a divine expression of love. And there’s nothing sinful about that.