Hate speech, Christian teachings don’t jibe

In the last semester and the last few weeks, the Yale campus has been grounds for hateful speech. As a Christian social justice group, we have been troubled by all of these incidents of bigotry, but most especially the hate proliferated in the name of the Christian community.

For example, we disapprove of the homophobic e-mail circulated on National Coming Out Day by a pseudo-organization, NOGAYS, or National Organization for Gaining Acceptance for Your Sins. We believe that these students appropriated the Christian language of sin and redemption to advance a message of hate and intolerance.

In a similar vein, a recent blog publicized on Yale’s campus made claims that God hates Yale because the institution embraces queer people, Chinese people and “non-Christians soiling the memory of Dwight on a daily basis.” Not only does this blog disregard that Christian faith is based on verses such as “for God so loved the world” (John 3:16), but in its disparagement of campus diversity, the blog also fails to recognize the challenges faced by Yale’s sexual, ethnic and political minorities.

Most recently, we have been outraged to hear of the Connecticut funeral protests organized by Westboro Baptist Church, an independent, Kansas-based church. The group demonstrates its protest of American involvement in the Iraq war by claiming the United States is cursed because of its queer citizens. Many Christian groups have publicly disapproved of this group’s theology and actions, citing them as “hate-filled.”

We believe that the misuse of God’s word to advance mortal agendas of marginalization and hate constitutes idolatry and is a conflation of Christianity with degrading and nationalistic earthly ideologies.

Not only do some Christians disagree with the sentiments of these authors and groups, but many would also say these sentiments are not Christian. Readers should note that the views of the NOGAYS e-mail, the shameful blog and the funeral protests are not shared by all Christians and are certainly not reflective of the reconciliatory teachings of Christianity. Christians are called to love, not to use their commission as Christ’s disciples to oppress and exclude others.

As Christians, we stand in full solidarity with “the least of these” (Matthew 25:45). We seek to defend the rights of persecuted communities. In accordance with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-11), we believe in the resilience of the downtrodden and that all people are precious, belonging to and made in the image of God.

We do not write this out of a spirit of moral superiority but rather so that we may bring humble, compassionate criticism wherever it is due in this campus, city, nation and world.

At this point, we hope that all Christians think critically of Christ’s role in their life. Do we use Him to separate humanity or regard Him as our inspiration to love others and work for justice? As Christians, we must remember that we are instruments for God to work through and that our actions must reflect the spirit and righteousness of God. We pray that God will guide us to understanding during these difficult times.

Madeline Johnson is a freshman in Silliman College. Naima Coster is a junior in Timothy Dwight College. Both are members of Salt of the Earth: Christians for Social Justice.


  • Steve

    Hi, I know you wrote this some time ago so IDK if you'll receive this, but I was curious to your stand on Homosexuality? Now I'm seeing your tolerance as perhaps maybe to tolerant. I'm in no wise trying to be judgmental, I'm just stating how I seen the article. Jesus was very tolerant when it came to people. He walked & associated with many people, but one thing he always did was taught, aside from Love, was repentance & truth! Now once again I'm not trying to judge, but provide honest criticism. Sin is sin & it's a Christians job to combat sin! Now I've been & every Christian has been in the place where we see sin & act as if it's not there, or we don't want to offend, but how will the World know the right way to walk if we don't show them? My guess is if Christ lived in the World today he would be called a hate-monger because he tells it like it is, even when it offends somebody! I don't think gay bashing is right, but I know being gay isn't right either, so where do you start? You should never drive anyone away, but if they can't respect your stand in life, then there's nothing you can do about that. We as Christians should have love & compassion for everyone, even our enemies. As written in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, It (Love) does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It's a fine line to walk, but then again we're called to walk the narrow path!!!

    God Bless