The Christian who believes homosexuality to be an abominable sin against God invariably points to the Bible as justification for this belief. What else can they do? Such a person isn't about to blame themselves for their bigotry. The Bible is all they have: There exists virtually no other "proof" that gay people offend God. Challenge a Christian to make one single argument for homosexuality being wrong that doesn't quote or reference the Bible, and suddenly they're in a house of mirrors; suddenly the only thing they can only point to is themselves.
So they'll only close their eyes. "It doesn't matter!" they'll scream into their self-created darkness. "It does say so in the Bible! The Bible condemns homosexuality!"
They're flat wrong about that; it doesn't. But suggesting that such a Christian think rationally on the matter is like suggesting a shark think rationally after you've spilled blood into its tank. It won't; it can't. All it can do is follow its most base instinct and ignorantly thrash about, mad with desire to propitiate its fury.
So let's instead talk to our Christian about the one thing he or she most cares about: Jesus.
And what is Jesus' primary quality in the Gospels? Compassion. Jesus cared for nothing so much as he did relieving the suffering of others. That's why he came. That's what he was here for. That's his whole purpose.
One of the most famous incidences of Jesus relieving the suffering of another is told in John 5, wherein Jesus heals a man who'd been crippled for 38 years:
Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
Also on the scene are some Jewish leaders. They object to what Jesus has done. And why? Have they so little compassion that they actually prefer the poor man remain a cripple?
Of course not. They're outraged because Jesus disobeyed the Bible. And not in any small way, either. In healing the man Jesus brazenly violated number eight of the Ten Commandments: He worked on the Sabbath. ("Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy ... on it you shall not do any work.")
The religious leaders find Jesus' disregard for the letter of the law an offense too egregious to abide. And they weren't kidding about that: "So because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him."
Persecute him. Because he didn't wait until the next day to heal the crippled man.
So let's recap, shall we?
When faced with suffering Jesus did not hesitate; he did not prevaricate; he did not obfuscate. He acted. He was perfectly aware that in healing the lame man's suffering he was breaking a monumental and explicit command of the Bible. But he didn't care. He did it anyway.
Jesus chose compassion over legalism.
He ignored one of the most significant and weighty laws of the Bible, because it interfered with him doing the right thing.
Again: Jesus chose compassion over legalism.
Thus do we learn that any Christian who chooses to obey the letter of the Bible's law over extending compassion to another is utterly and blatantly failing Christ by failing to follow his example.
Gay people are suffering, and have always suffered, because legalistic Christians use the Bible as justification for at best treating them like second-class citizens and at worst viciously persecuting them. Such Christians disgrace the God they purport to emulate by continuously ignoring the example of His only begotten son.
The response of the dedicatedly legalistic Christian to this clear and simple reasoning is as predictable as it is inevitable. He or she will say that just like the lame man was physically sick so the gay person is spiritually sick.
"See?" they will say, "Both need Jesus to heal them!"
Which sounds reasonable. Except it ignores the fact that there is something objectively wrong with the lame man, whereas there's nothing whatsoever objectively wrong with the gay person beyond what the Christian uses his Bible to claim there is.
But when we turn to our legalistic Christian in hopes of a response to that we will find that he or she, having made their point, has disappeared back inside their hall of mirrors, there to spend their hours rapturously gazing at distorted images of themselves, and always mistaking them for God.
Follow John Shore on Twitter: www.twitter.com/johnshore