I’ve never been one for religion. I was baptized Lutheran as a teenager, and left the church after being cautioned by a woman I volunteered with that some churches allow nasty things like “women priests and homosexuals.” Given that, at the time, I was wondering whether I might be gay and I also had no problem with women in leadership positions, I wondered briefly what could be wrong with either of those things and left the church promptly.
Still, religious discrimination and Bible-“justified” bigotry are everywhere. These are pervasive problems the trans community faces, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that we’ll have to stand up against it at some point in our lives. With that and a caution to debate respectfully in mind, I present to you a selection of Bible verses that command love and respect for all.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
It doesn’t get any clearer than that. Anyone using the Bible to justify blind hatred is, plainly and simply, doing it wrong.
Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
Let this be a lesson to those who would try to “fix” us. We were made this way, whether you want to invoke God or nature or some other power as the cause. It’s up to no one to dictate how we should be.
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”
1 John 4:20
This one speaks to me in particular, as I’m often frustrated by the sheer hypocrisy of those who claim to follow a deity who commands love for all while displaying hatred for those other than themselves.
Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God and they who love are born of God and know God. They who love not, know not God for God is love.
1 John 4:7-8
Another in the same vein as the previous. Those who lack the capacity to love have no right to claim love for or knowledge of God.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This verse should speak to all of us. Hold your heads high, for there is reward in staying above petty hatred.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
This one’s a doozy. “It always protects[…]” What kind of twisted love must some have for their God if they seek to harm others with it?
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
A fitting end to any discussion, or even argument. Love is the hallmark of followers of Christ, not hate.