Lariat Letters: Bible says love your neighbors, even WBC

A false dilemma is when one is given a set of options and incorrectly told that those are all the options.

Example: You ‘must’ choose A or B, even though there is also C.

Since Westboro “Baptist Church” decided to protest at the Baylor/K-State game, I think now is a good time to discuss tolerance, and the false dilemma which has hamstrung the debate over its meaning.

For example, when the Cathy family (owners of Chick-Fil-A) stated that they personally found homosexuality morally wrong, they instantly had to defend against outlandish claims like that Chick-Fil-A would stop serving gay customers, despite the fact that they had not said, hinted at or logically implied anything of the sort.

The simplistic outlook that either “everything goes” or else you “hate fags” prevents deeper discourse.

I’d like to propose Option C: the often quoted but little understood “Love the sinner, hate the sin”.

The reason that this idea has trouble catching on is because we have also constructed a false dilemma about the nature of love.

Real love doesn’t mean you never correct or find fault with somebody else.

If it does, my parents must have hated me, because I got plenty of old fashioned correction as a child.

And despite the much used and abused verse from Matthew 7:1 — “Judge not, that you will not be judged” (English Standard Version) — Jesus never meant for sin to just be winked off, for if sin could simply be overlooked He would have had no reason to come to Earth in the first place.

In Matthew 18:15-17 He even gave the Church the process to discipline consistently unrepentant members.

Saint Paul would reiterate this process in 1 Corinthians 5, explicitly mentioning a sexually immoral member.

Grace without truth ceases to be grace at all.

However, I want to stress that this isn’t justification for calling down brimstone for any sin we see.

In Luke 9:52-56 the Disciples wanted to use heavenly fire to destroy a town that rejected Jesus, until Jesus Himself rebuked them.

Ultimately, the ministry of the Church is repentance and reconciliation, not condemnation (that part took care of itself, John 3:18).

I believe the most eloquent expression of this ‘Option C’ is found in John 8:11 when Jesus tells the adulterous woman “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more (ESV).”

Hayden Murphy



International Studies/Russian

The Westboro Baptist Church staged a protest at the Baylor/Kansas State game on Nov. 17.