Blogger Steve Boese at A Tenable Belief has been spending too much time digging through the archives of exgay performer and activist Stephen Bennett.
In an undated video linked near the top of his personal testimony page, Bennett says:
We need to love the sinner, but we don’t need to love the sin. We need to love and respect all individuals, but we don’t need to tolerate. Jesus was not a person who tolerated. When the woman was caught in adultery, what did Jesus say to her? “No man condemneth thee, so go and continue in your adultery?” No. [Jesus said,] “Go and sin no more.” God is not a god of tolerance. And when you really think about it — this is really radical, what I’m about to say, and I don’t want people to misconstrue this — God is a very bigoted god.
In his effort to glamorize bigotry, Bennett misdefines tolerance: He suggests that it is bigoted and intolerant to say “go and sin no more”; Bennett then affirms bigotry.
But the evenhanded and cautious rejection of unethical conduct is neither intolerant nor bigoted.
It is tolerant to reject what one considers a subjective ethical wrong while declining to defame, bully or prosecute the presumed offender. Showing mercy and humility toward presumed offenders is neither permissive nor morally relativistic; it is a frank acknowledgment that most presumed offenses are not worthy of harsh punishment and that one’s own subjective behaviors may be comparably offensive or imperfect.
It is intolerant, however, to discriminate harshly and dishonestly against some presumed offenders while granting special privileges or exemptions from criticism to one’s own potential offenses. It is bigoted to assume and to teach — with little or no viable evidence — that an entire class of persons is without exception subhuman, corrupt, immoral, lesser than oneself.
A genuinely moral God — or person — does not make sloppy, ignorant, false, prideful, unflattering, and exploitative assumptions about entire categories of people. But Bennett does preach such assumptions. And that may make Bennett ungodly.
A tolerant God may tell sinners — including Bennett — to go and sin no more, when that same God could alternatively be a bigot and smash entire communities for the sins of a scattered few individuals.
Bennett seems to be saying, “I am a bigot and proud of it. And God is made in My image, therefore God is a bigot, too.” Mainline Christians would consider such talk blasphemy. Unfortunately, there seem to be little disincentive against blasphemy among exgay and antigay movement leaders these days.