Rosaria Butterfield and the trajectory toward anti-LGBTQ violence

Man, Rick Pidcock has become a must-read. His piece this morning on Rosaria Butterfield’s trajectory into anti-LGBTQ hate is really something. She’s one of those people that was lionized at my old evangelical church after she hit the scene - the perfect “ex-gay” story for them to hold up. She still spoke kindly about gay people in the church, even though she loudly said they were wrong. But no more:

Notice the shift in Butterfield’s language over time. She goes from considering Side B Christians as “faithful brothers and sisters” to calling them heretics. She goes from promoting hospitality toward LGBTQ people to promoting hostility, even referring to the conversation as a “war.” She goes from extending mercy to LGBTQ people to cutting off mercy due to thinking God was less merciful than she was. She excuses homophobia. She embraces conversion therapy despite its ineffectiveness and the harm it causes.

Phew.

Rick’s conclusion is spot-on, though. While evangelicals warn about a “slippery slope” of LGBTQ tolerance leading to full acceptance and embrace, they don’t recognize the slope they themselves are on: from dismissal and dehumanization to full-on hatred and violence.

So yes, once you begin interpreting the Bible through a lens of love and wholeness, there can be a slippery slope toward accepting LGBTQ people because planting seeds of love and wholeness will produce the fruit of more love and wholeness.

But there’s also a slippery slope on the other side. And planting seeds that cause the violence of disembodiment and dehumanization will produce the fruit of more disembodiment and dehumanization. The question we must face this Pride month is toward which fruit we want to slide.

Choose love, my friends. Love wins.