They need for us to want their approval in order to believe that they have power over us. They only have the power we errantly cede to them.
Shane Idleman
The omniscient Shane Idleman

via DeadState

The exceedingly noisy and irritating Shane Idleman is lead pastor at Westside Christian Fellowship. According to the IRS, that is really Leona Valley Community Church in Leona Valley, CA (2010 population: 1,607). On Friday Mr. Idleman thought it important for all of us to know: Why Bowing to the LGBTQ Agenda Only Validates Our Culture’s Sin.

It seems that these folks are incapable of appreciating the simple truth that we are not seeking their approval. The only power that they believe they have is to substitute shame for approval. We robbed them of that authority when we said that we do not care. “But, but they must care!” No, really, we don’t. We neither seek nor require their approval.

To insist otherwise, they refuse service to gay couples or misgender transgender people. When we complain about their aberrant behavior they take that to mean that we want them to acquiesce which translates, in some deranged minds, to seeking approval.

So, returning to Mr. Idleman, no one asked him to bow or to even be courteous. It is up to him how he will define himself. But first the obligatory victimology:

A 74-year-old school administrator was recently suspended for questioning Pride Month at her school and the addition of LGBT books to the school library. Additionally, a Christian teacher was fired for refusing to use a transgender student’s preferred masculine pronoun. A Missouri pastor’s Bible-based sermon on transgenderism has sparked vocal opposition from the local LGBT community and several local businesses. And the most heart-wrenching of them all, a news article reads, “Texas Court Forces Dad to Let 7-Year-Old Son Transition Into a Girl.”

Uh, that kid in Texas already transitioned. She is enrolled in school as a girl. Oh, the tragedy of it all! As for the rest of that, apparently we are obliged to ignore bigotry. We are supposed to be tolerant of intolerance according to conservative Christian lore.

Did I mention that Mr. Idleman is not terribly bright?

Sometimes I wonder if I’m caught in an episode of The Twilight Zone. Are we actually suggesting that a person can change their gender? They cannot. Do we really believe that homosexuality is simply an alternative lifestyle that God embraces? God forbid. Are we indeed going to penalize those who hold to solid biblical truth? It appears so.

Get a grip Shane. People cannot change their gender and that is the point. If people could choose their gender then it would align with their natal sex and no one would suffer with gender dysphoria. Transgender people would cease to exist. Furthermore, Shane, a sexual orientation (including those you do not approve of) is not a lifestyle.

As for the “embrace” of a deity, Idleman can believe anything he wants about the choices of his god. The overwhelming majority of Christians disagree with Idleman. I find it hard to understand devotion to “biblical truth” given the ambiguities present in scripture. According to some people thousands of years of biblical truth dictate that Christians should not exist.

No one should really care about anyone else’s beliefs. Conduct, however, is a different thing. Boorish conduct can give rise to a torrent of opprobrium. Furthermore, illegal conduct has consequences. Our society does not “penalize” people for their religious beliefs. Tom Cruise serves as living proof of that concept.

Many school administrators have voiced concerns in my area of California as well. “It’s not about tolerance,” they say. “It’s about embracing a lifestyle that is wrong, and unless you bow to the politically correct cultural norms, you will be dealt with accordingly.” It’s painfully obvious that those crying “tolerance” are not very tolerant of Christians. The reason is simple: Their agenda only survives as long as it’s not scrutinized. Their goal is to silence the voice of conviction.

The above is Trumpian anonymous validation. Idleman is speaking for himself, not others. California school administrators are unlikely to refer to variations in sexuality as a lifestyle much less to suggest that there is something wrong in being L,G,B,T or Q. Idleman can also save the Christian victimization. Again, no one cares what people believe. We do, however, coexist in a diverse society and, certain norms of behavior are expected.

The explanation of an agenda is laughable. How would Idleman “scrutinize” the fact that I have had same-sex sex? Why would he even want to? What business is it of his? Suffice it to say that the real agenda of sexual minorities is due process and equal protection under law. Nothing less and nothing more.

The fundamentalist Christian concept of our agenda is the quest for approval. Constructing that false mission is their need, not ours. They need for us to want their approval in order to believe that have power over us. They only have the power we errantly cede to them.

As I’ve said numerous times, I have nothing but compassion for those trapped in sexual sin. People who strongly believe in the Bible and God’s will regarding sexual behavior also strongly believe in unconditional love and forgiveness. To say that authentic Christians hate or fear those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the Christian faith. …

The above is unadulterated crap. No one cares about, or requires, Idleman’s phony compassion. Compassion means that Idleman sees something to be compassionate over. Being LGBTQ is not an infliction. It is simply a natural variant of human sexuality. Idleman makes no more sense than if he said that he has compassion for people with red hair. Suggesting that we have anything to be forgiven for is just more bigotry. He denies it but his message is a message of hate. I sometimes agonize over the gay or trans kids that these sanctimonious people have in the same proportions as everyone else.

I support the wording of the Education Code that [sic] states that we should not discriminate, harass, intimidate or bully anyone because of their actual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and so on. But speaking the truth in love is not discrimination, bullying or harassment.

The above is a yes—but which is the same thing as saying that he does not support what he claims to support.

As a pastor, the primary issues I deal with when talking to those who embrace homosexuality are depression and suicidal thoughts, but why are people even having these problems if the culture—everyone from Hollywood to Washington—truly supports that lifestyle? The reason is simple: conviction. God’s Spirit is still actively drawing these people to Himself. As I said to a man I recently prayed with, “Could it be that your depression and suicidal thoughts are being caused by your homosexual lifestyle?” He agreed that it was possible…

Later on:

Although dealing with sin is critical because of its destructive nature, we also need to encourage, love and support. When we forget about grace, we become legalistic and arrogant.

This guy has spoken of love many times. True love is depicted by accepting people for who they are. Arrogance and self-righteousness are expressed by judgmental people who profess to know how others should live their lives. Those who claim to speak for a deity are merely seeking their own glorification.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.