Religion Shouldn’t Excuse Bigotry

Being an election year, it’s important to remember that religion should not excuse the use of alienation towards minority groups.

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MCT

Students from St. Mary's College, including Allison Yancone, left, offered a counter-message to the signs displayed by members of the Westboro Baptist Church group outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 6, 2010. Supreme Court justices pondered the vexing question of whether the father of a dead Marine from Westminster, Maryland, should win his lawsuit against the fundamentalist church group that picketed his son's funeral. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/MCT)

Catherine Crayon, Video Content Editor

In the Bible, Matthew 7:12 states, So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” This passage is also called the “Golden Rule” and many of us learn this from a young age. Treat others how you want to be treated. But somewhere along the way, people use the Bible to defend homophobia, bigotry, and hatred towards other minorities. These people claim they are pro-life but support the death penalty and the separation of families at the U.S.- Mexico Border. At what point are they contradicting themselves and when do these beliefs transform into an excuse for hatred?

Leviticus 19:18 states, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” Countless amounts of signs stating that “Homophobia is a sin” or “Gays are going to Hell”  have flooded the streets in the past few years. People are standing outside Planned Parenthoods screaming at every individual who walks in how they’re not getting into Heaven and God hates them. This is absolute hypocrisy at its most basic level. The teachings of Jesus, and most recently, the Pope, state to love everyone regardless of sexual orientation. To misconstrue the teachings of the Bible to justify bigotry and hatred is the opposite of what Christianity should stand for.

1 John 2:11 states “But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” The Bible in many cases condemns hatred against other people, especially and most clearly in this case. For a true Christian to hate LGBTQ+ people, people of color, or anyone in general is the utmost example of hypocrisy. It is absolutely against the teachings of the Church to be a bigot. 

There needs to be a heavier separation of church and state in our country. Not everyone will agree with everything you say, especially when it comes to religious beliefs. America was founded on the idea of freedom and justice. With an election just around the corner and a conservative Supreme Court Justice recently approved, women’s, LGBTQ+ members’, and many other minority groups’ rights are on the ballot. Don’t use an ancient text that has been translated thousands of times to determine who or what social justice issue should receive the most attention.