Representative Steve Cohen walked into what can only be described as an ambush. Last night, at the weekly meeting of the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association, Cohen was attacked for his support of a bill that would provide stiffer penalties for people engaging in hate crimes, by the very people his vote sought to protect.
The world is one crazy assed place.
Aside from the normal racist, “He can’t represent us because he’s white” garbage thrown around, the biggest complaint seemed to surround the inclusion of homosexuals as potential victims of hate crimes.
Citing fears that he wouldn’t be able to bash gays from the pulpit, LaSimba Grey has been an outspoken critic of the bill. Unfortunately, Grey is being willfully wrong. The bill does nothing to limit protected speech, including the assertion that homosexual sex is a sin. Still, Grey and his followers continue to use this right-wing straw man to prop up their cause.
I’m no biblical scholar, but I challenge anyone to find a passage that quotes Jesus calling homosexuality a sin. Furthermore, I challenge anyone to find a passage in the bible where Jesus instructs humans to pass judgment on the “sins” of others. “Judge not lest ye be judged”, anyone? Indeed, in Matthew 7 it seems that in Jesus’ own words he instructs us to address our own problems first before trying to “fix” anyone else (Matthew 7:4-5). So, with that in mind, who is LaSimba Grey, or anyone else, for that matter, to pass judgment? Love the sinner, hate the sin anyone?
I suppose that preaching the forgiveness and understanding that Jesus speaks of in the Gospels just isn’t the stuff that will whip up the kind of spiritual nationalism that people like LaSimba Grey require to keep attendance, and by extension, tithes up. Nor is it the stuff of notoriety that Grey seems to crave. It is, however, a sad indictment on the state of Christianity in America, when the words spoken by the Christian savior are ignored in favor of worldly prejudice.
Perhaps the most saddening thing that I bring out of this development is that a leader in the black community would use the inclusion of another minority group as a means to block legislation that would serve his own people. This contradiction was not lost on the savior that Grey purports to glorify. As Jesus says in Matthew 7:15,
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”