“Most people are not trying to be homophobic. Most Christians are trying to be faithful to their understanding of Scripture.” – Rev. Dr. Delman Coates
Many in the LGBTQ community have experienced rejection, discrimination, or worse from religious organizations and people of faith. This is often true even within our own families. When this occurs, it is understandable that large portions of our community would, at best, distrust the faith community and view it as the enemy. But the truth can be more complicated.
For They Know Not What They Do by Daniel Karslake (ImageOut 2007 Documentary Audience Award-winner For the Bible Tells Me So), does an excellent job of exploring the basis of anti-LGBTQ sentiment originating in the religious community. While there are always some with questionable motives, a more balanced picture emerges, where it becomes clear that people of faith aren’t always the “bad guys.” People with the best of intentions can act badly because they misunderstand, or are misled. As Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis explains, “fear of culture plus fear of being wrong in the eyes of God is an unholy cocktail.”
This thought-provoking documentary uses interviews with LGBTQ people from devout backgrounds (one of whom is a survivor of the Pulse nightclub massacre), their families, and religious leaders – including Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in a major Christian denomination – to show that people of faith are not always the enemy, nor is there always malicious intent. While it points out the harm that has been, still is, and can be done in the name of religion, we should be careful not to paint with too broad a brush, because in many cases, those who seem to be deliberately causing us harm and have malice in their hearts might merely know not what they’re doing.
~ Christopher Roesch
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