A couple of responses were posted that caught my eye. Well, one really, but it is a response(I think) to a previous comment, so I'll post both. The first comment in question was this:
"I wish more "Christians" stood up to the hate crowd within their ranks."
I very much agree, obviously. Then, another comment was posted:
"I never feel that bullying is okay in ANY situation; including a gay lifestyle. It is, however, contrary to scripture if you believe the Bible to be inerrant. It is not my place to tell others how to live,nor should I feel bad for feeling ...the way I feel. Bullying, when done by Christians is what gives Christianity a bad name. Promoting the gay lifestyle or endorsing it, knowing it is against God, is not what I consider to be the answer either. Where do we draw the line on what we call sin anymore? Everyone that knows me knows that I do not have a mean bone in my body towards others, but I have to speak up once in a while too. I know many do not agree and thats okay too :-) When we can no longer agree to disagree, we really have a problem right?"
On a surface level, and initially, it seemed like she was basically agreeing with the article, with the exception that, unlike the author, she disagreed with homosexuality. I'll admit that over the years, this person has learned to become much more respectful in how she states her opinion, although I unfortunately still can't get into deep conversations with her because we are just too different. Therefore, our relationship remains superficial(I will add here that this person is a close relative, so it's not like I can just end the relationship due to irreconcilable differences).
However, the more I thought about it, the more this comment angered me. Yes, fundamentalist, literalist Christians disagree with the rest of us on many issues, including homosexuality. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. If it were all polite discussion or even "I'll respect you, you respect me" in an adult fashion, that would be fine. But it's not. Even semi-polite, somewhat respectful tones such as this leads to the bullying and violence. Take the lines she said, where she commented that it is against God, referencing the scriptures as inerrant, and lamenting what is and is not considered "sin" in our society. If a young child were to hear that from his or her parents, that child would begin to see GLBT peers as "sinners'", and therefore "outsiders" or "unclean". And I need not go into detail about how harshly young kids treat outsiders. Or what if the child hears that from his parents, and comes to realize that he is a GLBT youth himself? Now, on top of struggling with sexuality, he will probably struggle with spiritual guilt as well. In fact, this study even points out that many Americans very well believe that churches are a contributing factor in GLBT-related suicides.
I'll never understand fundamentalism, even in its most polite forms.