Disagreement and clarification do not constitute hate speech

In recent weeks, the Daily has printed various articles centered around the controversy of homosexuality and Christian beliefs. I have read these with interest, not only as a student on campus, but as a Christian, and as someone with heterosexual and homosexual friends. It frustrates me that we spend so much time focusing on sexuality, because as the column by Chris Hill pointed out, Jesus came to save the lost, not those sexually oriented one way or another. However, I do think a few clarifications are needed.

Lindsay Brown, whether insensitive or not, wrote to counter specific points in a previous column that inaccurately portrayed the Christian religion. Brown has the right to state the facts about a religion and its beliefs; that is not hate speech. I hope our country does not convince itself that religious freedom means believing things that do not offend anyone.

If there are absolute truths in this world, and right and wrong based on a universal creator, then those truths matter more than the discomfort that comes from living by them. It is not easy to live your life for something greater than yourself; this can demand sacrifice and pain. I am not pretending it is easy to believe homosexuality is wrong. It is also difficult to control gossip, or to keep sex within the bonds of marriage.

The validity of a belief is not determined by the ease with which it is believed. Christianity presents the most consistent God, a savior accessible to every human. David Galt’s Nov. 7 column mentions a loving God who embraces all his children. I believe in that God; repeatedly throughout the Bible, Jesus seeks out sinners, spending his time with those rejected by others. However, Jesus calls all of his children to live their lives in accordance with his truth.

I genuinely believe Christ came to seek and to save the lost, not to reject people or discriminate against them. Our campus needs to remember that if distortions about a religion can be published, so can the corrections. Christians are not writing these things to offend. Remember, simply because something offends does not make it untrue or hateful.

Please believe I am writing this with as much love for the scoffing, as well as agreeing, reader.

Abigail Cleveland is a English literature senior. She welcomes comments at [email protected]