Responding to the Raw Hatred of the Gay ‘Nativity
Jennifer Hartline’s reaction here at The Stream to the gay “nativity scene” in California was spot on. She condemned it in literally the strongest possible words: “demonic;” “perverse;” a “lie … from the pit of hell.” If stronger words had been available — barring foul language, which is merely more shocking, not actually stronger — I’d have supported her using them, too.
She focused on the way the display rewrites God’s final word, erases women and defiles God’s design for families. That’s bad enough, but there’s more to be said about it besides. It’s raw hatred on bald display. We Christians now have to decide how we’ll respond to it, and other displays like it.
This gay nativity isn’t loving or inclusive. On the contrary, it’s quite unloving and exclusive, and not only to the Virgin Mother of God. By excluding Mary, woman has been excluded. Erased from the picture. No mother needed. Only a “gestational carrier” who is hired for her services and then dismissed after delivery. She is needed for parts, manufacture and labor, but nothing more. What could be more insulting to women? Why would any feminist stand for it? Why are the women praising this gay nativity so content to see Mary deleted from the scene? Why would any woman be happy to have her role as a mother dismissed as unnecessary?
From Gay ‘Nativity’ Erases Woman by Jennifer Hartline
When It Isn’t Really Hate
The word “hate” has been overused through all the years of controversy over gay marriage and variant forms of sexuality. Somehow “disagreement” has become equivalent to “hate;” but only when it’s Christians and other conservatives disagreeing with gay activists. When they disagree with us, it’s their expression of “tolerant” virtue.
We’ve all got our hatreds, petty and grand; but it’s especially tragic when we consider them so worthy of parading before the world this way.
We could have said in tit-for-tat fashion, “If our disagreement is ‘hate,’ then so is yours. You’re haters, too!” I haven’t seen much of that from Christians. More often I’ve seen Jesus’ followers put it more reasonably: “Whether we disagree with you, or you disagree with us, we simply don’t think disagreement equals hate. Could we please quit using that word to mean something it doesn’t mean?”
So in other words, yes, “hate” has been badly overused in this debate. This time, though, it fits.
And When It Really Is
Whoever erected this display must have known what it meant. They had to have known they were poking a finger in the eye of Christian believers. They must have realized it would spark anger. They had to have known it would provoke disgust. I can’t believe they wanted to accomplish anything else but that.
They had to know, too, how deeply Christians cherish the story of Jesus Christ, the Son of God born of a virgin, come to teach and to demonstrate God’s love to all the world.
They might not realize how much our relationship with Jesus Christ (and especially for Catholics, His mother Mary) is an actual relationship of love. But still they could hardly be oblivious to how important Christmas images and symbolism are for us — and how very close these things are to our heart.
Yet given that awareness — which I am convinced they held — they chose to aim a hugely symbolic arrow at Christians’ hearts anyway. They intended it to hurt. And it does.
So it’s not going overboard — it’s not some false “Christian persecution complex” — to call this hate. It is what it is.