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Growing up in a Christian environment and discovering you’re gay at an early age can be a traumatic experience for a young person. Being gay is not a condition that can easily be changed because of one’s religious beliefs.

Fortunately, America is a country that is open to enlightenment, unlike countries that are ruled by tyrants and religious extremist who control what their populations see or hear. Yet this nation still faces a threat from within.

The threat from within is not religious people, though they be Christians, Muslims, Jews or any other religion in this country, as there are many. Being a Christian, my freedom to serve my God and worship Him is important to me. But, also being a gay man, it is important to me that I am not forced to live by another person’s religious beliefs.

The difficulty I have with evangelicals is not their religion or even their opposition to many of the things they care about, such as abortion or even gay marriage. The problem I have with evangelicals or Christian conservatives in other words, is their demand that America’s laws reflect their own religious beliefs.

Evangelicals have had an impact on American politics for quite some time but now their power is waning. A Pew Research survey shows that 82 percent of Americans think that evangelicals are losing their influence in America.

I also sense that Evangelicals know they’re losing their grip but I also sense they have no clue of why, except to maybe blame the evil machinations of Democrats and liberals. I believe they’re losing their grip because a divided house will not stand, which is by the way, a biblical teaching.

The divided house I refer to is the Republican Party. Within this party we have the different segments, the same as the Democrats but there is a glaring difference. The Democrats’ different segments – African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, gay people, women and young people – do not contradict each other.

The GOP on the other hand is made up of social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. They have the gun enthusiast and the evangelicals, the Libertarians and the war enthusiast – all solid members of the Republican Party.

Another member of the GOP, which is actually a very small minority within the party, is the super-wealthy. This group of members actually has more say-so than any of the other groups and that’s because they have resources, resources that campaign-fund-hungry politicians need so desperately.

Evangelicals are losing influence because the interests of the super-wealthy are not always the same or in line with evangelicals’ interests.

Still, elected Republicans know that if they’re to win elections, they must at least seem to appease religious conservatives and the gun enthusiast and all the other factions of their party.  But in the end, the super-wealthy will have it their way.

Being a Christian, I know there are a lot of sincere people who are evangelicals and they believe in what they stand for.  But I must also admonish evangelicals; trying to bring Christ to the nation through political activism is not the way of Jesus.

It is my strong opinion that if over the last half century of our nation Christians had done what Jesus had instructed to do in his teachings and his life walk, they would see the results of their labors. Possibly hunger would be wiped out and maybe bigotry would have no place in this country.

People who are not Christians are likely to say they like Jesus but they don’t like Christians very much, because they don’t act like Jesus. I’d advise evangelicals to take that to heart. If they wish to shine the light of Jesus into the world, their example will be the best guide.

No one can tell another how to believe or what to believe in. When someone makes a stand on their religious beliefs, it will not be their stand that will affect change, it will be the example they set before others. Instead of pushing a political agenda that interferes with the freedoms of others, show others what being a Christian is about by reaching out to a lost and dying world.

Children are dying of hunger and disease by the thousands every day while some evangelical pro-lifers picket abortion clinics, demanding that even more children be born into poverty. First feed those who are hungry who are already born into this world before concerning yourself with those yet to be born.

Instead of an Angry God, show us the God of Jesus and the God of forgiveness and mercy. Teach us about love, not hate. Change our hearts, not our laws. Show us compassion, not disdain. Then my Christian friends, you’ll see that your influence will have a bigger impact on this nation than you could ever hope for.

Originally posted to Fidlerten Place on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:36 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Community Spotlight.

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