As I’ve been watching and listening to the news this last week, I’ve found myself pondering the difference between “merely words” and “words with actions.”
We’ve all known people who can say the “right” words, but whose actions contradict what they’ve been saying. And unfortunately we’ve been seeing a lot of that recently–in my opinion!
If you’ve read my blog at least semi-regularly, you know I don’t like Donald Trump…for a variety of reasons. But his tweet at the beginning of June–the celebration of Pride for members of the LGBTQ+ community–struck me as a perfect example of someone saying one thing when his actions are a complete contradiction. His tweet said this:
“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals…. ….on the basis of their sexual orientation. My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!”
There are many problems I see with that, but a big one is what I would identify as hypocrisy! He (or his administration) are trying to take credit for “stand[ing] in solidarity” with members of that community while
- putting in place policies that allow health care professionals to refuse medical service to individuals who are LGBTQ,
- allowing businesses to refuse to serve members of the LGBTQ community,
- banning transgender members from serving in the military,
- removing information about the rights that LGBTQ Americans have from government websites,
- rescinding nondiscrimination protections for transgender students in schools,
- removing protections for transgender individuals at homeless shelters,
- not speaking out against violence experienced by members of the LGBTQ community,
- choosing and supporting justices who are openly anti-LGBTQ,
- cutting federal funding for HIV and AIDS research,
- making it difficult for individuals fleeing violence and danger to request asylum,
- supporting dictators and rulers who are among those who “punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
Unfortunately, his actions have emboldened others to join in negative words and actions toward members of the LGBTQ+ community–including a mayor who recently said that the only “cure” he sees for the “disease” of homosexuality and being transgender is to kill all of them! (Yes, I know he issued a public apology later…but the fact that he even said that originally is appalling.) And a number of “Christian pastors” continue to call for harsh punishment towards members of the community.
Because I am a follower of the One called Jesus, I want to state very clearly that these “Christian” pastors do not speak for me. Nor do I believe that their words are supported by the scriptures they say they believe in. I am reminded of a couple of quotes from the Bible they are so fond of using to attack members of the LGBTGQ+ community:
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34)
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… (Galatians 5:22)
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 25:36-40)
Pretty words without actions are just pretty words. So…one final thought:
When deeds and words are in accord, the whole world is transformed. (Zhuangzi)
Let’s do what we can to transform the world for good!