Your title caught my attention, because I run into people denying Christian identity all the time, and while I know they mean well, I find it counterproductive.

Frequently, when I write an article about LGBTQ equality involving some Christian church’s abuse of LGBTQ people, much of the response I got is from folks denying that the people involved are actually Christians.

“Oh,” I’ll see in response on Twitter. “She’s not a true Christian,” or “He’s not a real Christian at all.”

This in reference to members in good standing or even clergy of major American Christian denominations. I understand these people are trying to define Christianity as to how it meets their own personal sense of goodness and morality, but I think the instinct to dismiss the Christianity of people who do evil things does everyone a disservice.

Yes, of course Christians who discriminate against LGBTQ people are horrible people. But dismissing their Christian identity goes a long way to dismissing the problem.

It’s easy to just say somebody isn’t a Christian. It’s much harder to challenge their harmful beliefs and actions — to fight for real change within institutional Christianity and among individual Christians.

I think when Christians dismiss the Christian identity of other Christians with toxic beliefs, they are actually turning their backs on important responsibilities.

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Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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