A few times each week when I come home from the office, I find a snack to enjoy before dinner and jump back and forth between Wolf Blitzer on CNN and SportsCenter on ESPN. Yesterday I was sitting at our kitchen table and the story on CNN was the release of Kim Davis who is the the Rowland County clerk in Kentucky who was jailed for contempt of court in refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Don Lemon, a CNN anchor, was a guest on Wolf Blitzer's show to offer his opinion on this story.
Now, I know some of you are curious as to why I am watching CNN and not another news network. Let's talk about that. If you only watch programming that agrees with your point of view politically and socially, you will become what many cable news shows are already...close minded, unteachable, arrogant, contentious, and obtuse. I want to understand what other people think, convictions and values they have that oppose mine. Not only does this help me discover my own blind spots but prepares me when I have the opportunity to converse with people who differ from me on varying political and social issues. Trust me. Once people who differ from you realize you have made an honest effort to understand their point of view, they will be much more likely to listen to your beliefs.
I am also irritated by shows, regardless of the network, that exist solely because controversy sells. Please don't be naive about both conservative and liberal programs regarding how they use conflict to boost ratings. Ratings equate to advertising dollars and all of these programs are businesses seeking a profit. I'm not implying that none of them are sincere journalists. But if the show you are watching tends to portray every other person on the planet who disagrees with them as an idiot...you may be at risk of becoming one! Have an appetite for learning. Have a grace for people who disagree with you. Have a heart of humility that recognizes we all have biases. Have a passion for what you believe that is always tempered by respect for others. (And as a side note, especially with the upcoming Presidential election, look for voices in the political landscape that are intelligently calm and have a reputation for fair play. Let me give you two of my favorites: Chuck Todd and David Gergen. The world sorely misses Tim Russert..what a treasure he was to the world of news and politics.)
Don Lemon. I was shocked to hear him compare Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin and do not support same sex marriage (regardless of what the Supreme Court has ruled) to racist whites of the pre-civil rights movement era. Not only is he wrong but he is being hypocritical. Mr. Lemon is black and he is gay. I am white and not gay so I will never be able to fully understand the bigotry that he has personally suffered in his lifetime. I am sorry for the pain he has endured because of hateful, thoughtless, uncaring people. I have listened to Mr. Lemon on many occasions expressing what I perceived as his frustrations with Christians who are unwilling to talk about the complexity of LGBTQI issues. I am frustrated by this as well! That is why I took the time to write the five part series on this blog entitle LGBTQI. Mr. Lemon, your comments on Wolf Blitzer's show last night postured you as the mirror image of those Christians who are uninformed and intellectually lazy. You categorized every Christian view against homosexuality as being the result of poor exegesis and faulty hermeneutics. Your laughable justification was to quote a fictional character from a former network television show, West Wing. No one can disagree that Aaron Sorkin is a creative genius but unless I am mistaken, he has not formal training in theology. You might want to find some better sources if you intend to lecture us on the proper practices of Biblical interpretation.
In addition, your comparison of Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin and oppose gay marriage to racist pre-civlil rights movement era bigots is appalling. I do not know one thoughtful Christian who believes people who are gay should be marginalized in our society, should be segregated, should be beaten and lynched, should be made to drink from different fountains, use different rest rooms, and sit at the back of the bus, not have the opportunity to hold positions of leadership in government, should not have the opportunity for employment as long as Christian doctrines are not a legal right for disqualification, should be made to feel unloved by God and devalued by people. I have no doubt people who profess Christianity are guilty of these tragic sentiments but those people sadden God with their sin of hatred and misrepresentation of Christ.
If you want to read a thoughtful response to what I believe should be a Christian's position on LGBTQI issues then I invite you to read the five part series on this blog. Please stop categorizing every person who disagrees with you as a thoughtless, ignorant, hypocrite. I trust you would not appreciate being labeled that way which is why if find it so confusing that you postured as such yesterday with your comments.