There’s a lie a lot of Christians tell themselves regarding sexual orientation: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” It sounds fine in theory. It rarely works in practice.
The latest example involves Franklin Graham, demonizing LGBT people attending President Obama‘s welcome event for Pope Francis on Wednesday. He’s angry, not because the LGBT individuals in question did anything wrong, but because they have the nerve to exist in Graham’s world.
It’s wise of the Vatican to question President Obama’s guest list for the Pope’s visit next week — that list should raise a lot of eyebrows! The Wall Street Journal says those invited to the Pope’s welcome celebration include transgender activists, the first openly gay U.S. Episcopal bishop, and an activist nun whose organization supports abortion. This is disgraceful and obviously inappropriate. Is there no end to the lengths the president will go to in order to push his sinful agenda?
What exactly is the agenda here? There are more than 15,000 people attending the ceremony, including a handful of religious leaders who don’t fit Graham’s mold of Bigot-Based Christianity. They’re not all going to agree on everything.
Those transgender activists?
Another guest, Mateo Williamson, is a former co-head of the transgender caucus of Dignity USA, a group for LGBT Catholics. He said the Vatican’s disapproval of his presence at the ceremony “speaks to the necessity for continued dialogue” between transgender Catholics and the church hierarchy.
Mr. Williamson, who is transgender, said he would be attending the ceremony as a guest of Vivian Taylor, a transgender woman who was invited by the White House and who formerly served as executive director of Integrity USA, an LBGT advocacy group in the Episcopal Church.
In other words, religious leaders who happen to be transgender.
Sister Simone Campbell, the nun who supposedly supports abortion, is the woman who protested “cuts in federal funding for social services” with her “Nuns on the Bus” tour. She’s less interested in promoting abortion than advocating for contraception and helping women who have nowhere else to turn.
Both Williamson and Campbell are attending the ceremony as guests of other people, not President Obama. It’s not like he sat down in the Oval Office and came up with a guest list designed to stick it to conservative Christians.
The Pope may ultimately take pictures with attendees whose views he disagrees with, but no one’s expecting him to change Catholic doctrine as a result. To paraphrase his famous line, who is he to judge? If he doesn’t mind meeting people he disagrees with, what’s it to Graham?
Graham, by the way, has never asked himself, “Who am I to judge?” That’s all he does. He’ll judge you based on nothing more than who you love. That’s what his religion taught him to do. That’s why it’s a religion worth abandoning.