some evangelical Christians express their unique brand of “love,” it
is usually time to run in the other direction. They seem to think that
love is insulting people with a saccharine smile and patronizing them
with phony compassion. May I suggest we buy these evangelical Christians
dictionaries so they can understand the true meaning of the word?
Exhibit A is Pastor Rick Warren (pictured right), author of the best
selling book “The Purpose Driven Life. On World AIDS Day,” he
and his wife convened a conference of 1,700 evangelical pastors to
urge them to
minister to people with AIDS.
“The fact is the evangelical realm of the church has failed in this area,” Rick
Warren told “ABC News.” “They put it off too long; they didn’t
“We’ve been wrong,” said Kay Warren, his funnel-cake-sweet
need to repent, say we’re sorry, and open our doors to everyone who’s
HIV positive and say, ‘He loves you."
Ostensibly, this sounds promising and a potential bridge to evangelical Christians
who have been a major cause of great suffering during the AIDS epidemic.
If you dig beneath the surface, however, it becomes clear that this effort
and the love conditional.
“People ask me, is homosexuality evil? I say, it’s just not natural,” Warren
For a moment, let’s forget that homosexuality occurs in nature, and is
therefore natural. Let’s forget that gay people have existed since oxygen.
Let’s forget that same-sex behavior is quite common in the animal kingdom.
Let’s forget that gay people are in every known society, no matter the
strictures placed on them. Let’s also forget the avalanche of new science
that points to biological origins for sexual orientation.
What we will focus on is the impact of Warren’s ignorant statement
and how it is a catalyst for spreading HIV. Indeed, Warren is not part of
but part of the problem.
The Warrens can offer all the syrupy “love” they want. But, from
my experience, the very people they are most likely to reach, gay Christian
cases, will only hear their unloving condemnation, which can lead to self-destructive
If they really want to stop the transmission of HIV, the Warrens will find
the moral courage to proclaim that same-sex love is equal to heterosexuality.
will recognize the inherent beauty in gay relationships and celebrate successful
The Warren family can also begin by holding their fellow evangelicals accountable
for their homicidal assaults on the gay community. For example, the American
Family Association is hawking an “ex-gay” video, “It’s
On the cover of the video is Michael Johnston, an HIV-positive “ex-gay” leader
who left the ministry in 2003 after he allegedly had unsafe sex with several
men in Norfolk, Va. The AFA’s spokesman Buddy Smith publicly acknowledged
Johnston’s failure calling it a “moral fall.”
So, it is disgusting, even demonic, for the AFA to continue promoting a product
featuring the disgraced ex-gay. They are not only committing fraud, but they
are helping to spread HIV. If Rick and Kay Warren want to be useful, they
can call the AFA and demand that this garbage be expeditiously pulled from
website and an apology be immediately issued to the LGBT community.
AIDS has killed millions of people while evangelicals have been, at best, indifferent.
It is great that they want to get in the compassion game a quarter of a century
after the fact. However, if evangelicals want a truly loving marriage with
the gay community, they need to treat us with respect in both sickness and
If they are going to condemn our loving relationships in the bedroom, there
is no place for them at our bedsides. The last thing anyone needs is more phony
love and purpose driven lies by intolerant right wing ideologues.