We need to talk about “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

“Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

I’m going to need all the so-called Christians to stop with that crap right now. Why? A few reasons: 

1) That saying is not in the Bible. Anywhere. Not a divine command from on high. Go look. I’ll wait. 

2) Pretty sure there’s a whole lot more in the Bible about not judging people than there is about Jesus worrying about gay folks since he never once uttered a single word about it. Go look. I’ll wait. 

3) That saying you cling to so tightly in an attempt to disguise your hate and bigotry is actually a quote from Ghandi, a Hindu. So there’s that.

“But the Bible says…”

This is where you trot out the whole part about it being an abomination if a man lies with a man like he does with a woman. Here’s the deal: if you want to make the argument that we’re supposed to live by the guidelines of Leviticus, then you have to stick to ALL of Leviticus. That means: 

  • no bacon (sorry, America) 
  • no shellfish (sorry, Red Lobster)
  • no pigskin (sorry, NFL)
  • no tattoos (sorry, all musicians, bikers and artists)
  • no mixed fabrics (sorry, anyone who has every worn clothes)…. 


“But…but…hate the sin!” 

I mean, sure, you can parade out that familiar string of words – with all it’s judgement and patronizing ways – but let’s be real. Hate is hate. You’re not separating the “sinner” from the “sin” no matter how much you claim otherwise. You’re judging. 

I’m also pretty sure God doesn’t need or want you hating anything on his behalf. Flip through the Old Testament. He’s got that whole hateful wrath thing down pat if he really wanted to use it. I’m positive that he’s perfectly capable of addressing alleged sins without your intervention. “But we don’t follow the Old Testament. We got a shiny, new and improved version right here!” GREAT! I guess you can stop hating on the “sin” of being gay then since that’s Old Testament stuff. Glad we sorted that out. 

Want to hate on sins? Start with your own. Your Bible tells you that Jesus loved all sinners – no caveats, no conditions. 

“So I should just let these people live their lives, on their own, without me reminding them that a book says they’re sinners?” 

YES. A thousand times YES. I haven’t been to church in a while but I was raised Catholic. I must’ve missed the catechism class that said Christians should condemn, judge and double down on hypocrisy. Where you choose to sit on a Sunday morning doesn’t somehow give you authority over the actions of the fellow people you claim to love. You don’t get to pick and choose which layers of a person you remove until they fit your ideal of someone worthy of your love and respect. Spend a little less time worrying about making others repent for what you view as sin and worry about your own repetanance. 

Oooorrrrr ….

Do something really Christ-like and help the poor, the sick, the hungry. You know, Jesus-ey stuff. I’m pretty sure you’re going to get more points for making sure people don’t starve to death than sitting down with your cousin Steve and his boyfriend Jeff to tell them why they’re going to burn for eternity. 

You want to keep your little saying? Fine. But can I make a suggestion? A small modification? Let’s try this instead. 

“Love the sinner.” 

Full stop. 

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4 thoughts on “We need to talk about “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

  1. Some people nowadays confuse the true meaning of ‘freedom’, specially with this whole ‘religious freedom’ debacle.

    Religious freedom is that you can live without anyone questioning your religion or lifestyle or causing you physical or mental harm or puts you in a situation of disadvantage because of it, but NOT that you can go freely around questioning others’ religions or lifestyles or do things that physically or mentally harm or puts others in situations of disadvantage because your religion ‘commands’ or ‘allows’ you to.

    ‘My freedom stops where yours is beginning’ is a quote to live by.

    • angiedet says:

      You’re exactly right. I’m of the belief that the majority of these people realize that much but know they can hide behind their religion to justify their hate without actually having to *own* it. A lot of “it’s not ME necessarily, I’m just following what I was taught in church” types, like that makes it ok. They know they can cry out about religious freedoms if anyone dares to question them about it so they flaunt their hate and bigotry then pretend they are the victims when someone calls them out on it.

  2. […] Like I said, there has been a bit of kick back against this phrase in recent days, mostly surrounding the church’s ongoing discussion on how best to respond to the issue of sexuality in our culture. Some have gone so far as to say that “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is really just hate, and must be abandoned.  […]

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