The Christian majority is pushing back against equal rights for the LGBT community. The rhetoric is extensively negative, and they play the victim card vehemently. All we seem to hear is how granting equal rights to all, is somehow infringing upon their rights. It is a very shallow claim, considering that in Tennessee where the Southern Baptist Commission will hold their national conference there is an 81% Christian majority. The push back has been increasing over the past few years, with their anti gay sentiments getting even stronger. From the pulpits, the hatred is disguised in the “hate the sin, not the sinner” doctrine. The message is that in order avoid eternal torture LGBT youths and adults must deny who they are. The LGBT community must commit to a life of solitude and repress any feelings or longings for someone they love. This is an abject message to “preach” to anyone, and for the Christians majority to act as if Christians are the victims is abhorrent. They have overplayed their victim card while ignoring the true victims of their hate message.
The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network and WBIR report that in Tennessee alone the teen suicide rate has increased to a five year high. While not all of teen suicides are related to anti LGBT sentiments, there is a strong correlation. When a LGBT youth is told they must deny who they are to avoid eternal torture, it is emotionally damaging. Often, these youths are shunned from their communities and homes, and left with no one to turn to for help. The teenage years are an emotionally challenging time for any teen, but being shamed simply for who they love is overwhelming to some. Some hot lines and organizations exist, but a broader message of equality is being shouted down by those in the religious majority pretending to be the oppressed rather than the oppressor.