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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Douglas Hartzler


One’s sexuality is a beautiful treasure, designed to be free of restraints from the norms of society. A treasure unbound to the standard of gender roles. Free from the expectation of marriage, from any societal anticipations, or even the duty pushed upon women to reproduce. Sexuality is to be defined through the personal interpretation of beliefs; it is an idea meant to be controlled only by the one in which it lies. Sexuality defines both expression and experience, ideas stretched beyond mere romantic endeavors, and into a capacity that defines the sum of one’s life. Sexuality is not brought into the world when life first encounters the light which follows birth, rather, it is found through the journey of one’s life, pushed by the genetics we bare, but that do not define us.

Who are we to tell others who they are? Is it a Christian’s objective to shun individuals with a sexual orientation that is different from that of their own? If the goal of Christianity as a whole is to show love and invite anyone and everyone with welcoming arms into their community, then why does the leader of a Christian university make a joke out of an individual with a differing sexual preference? Without any understanding of the background of such a person, no concept of what that person has lived through, a Christian leader spoke of them in such a way to evoke laughter. Why ridicule someone who has finally discovered who they truly are, and why ostracize them and cut them off from the true contentment that comes from both the expression and experience of finally being true to oneself? Many Christian leaders see such individuals as an opportunity to make a joke, an opportunity to affirm the already-evident discrimination from within the Christian community as a whole.

In Christian culture, a non-normative sexual orientation is viewed as blatantly wrong. But how can a person say they love someone if they refuse to accept who that person is? Why this strong resistance toward acceptance as a whole? And why must we as people become so concerned in the journey of another’s life to the degree that we refuse to accept them as equal? Many Christians use the Bible as a defining reason for their inability to accept those who are different. However, this justification for their reasoning is nothing more than a shield to hide behind, an excuse to show blatant discrimination. Some Christians even go so far as using their religion as an excuse to subject their child to inexcusable environments believed to convert the child’s orientation to being heterosexual. It is a shield they hide behind as they subject their child to extensive hormone treatment intended to further promote a heterosexual orientation, a shield used as an excuse to say goodbye to the child for months on end as a 14-year-old is sent to in-patient conversion therapy.

Such restrain remains toward a population of Christians as a whole due to the scars held deep within from the false bearers of the title “Christian.” Above all, love expressed in total acceptance is the goal. And acceptance heals. Yet how can such an ambition be achieved if one holds on to such adversity toward the idea of Christianity? A resentment toward an entire population is used as an excuse not to accept the true reality of who God is and what being a Christian means. Without the realization and release of a past offense, how am I any better than those by whom I have been scarred?

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