An Easter Message of Inclusion

It's Easter Weekend and Christians around the world will be celebrating the resurrection of their lord and savior Jesus Christ. This year, in the spirit of the holiday, I'm calling on all Christians to start acting like Christians.

What do I mean?

One of the biggest issues here in America and around the world is gay rights. Many followers of the Christian religion have made their point of view loud and clear. The religious zealots will happily and viciously destroy any chance of helping this country grow up.

Take for example the pizza parlor in Walkerton, Ind. dominating the headlines this week. Memories Pizza has been billed by a local ABC affiliate as the "first business to publicly deny same-sex service" after Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law.

And in Georgia, there are a number of florists making the news this week because they refuse to serve gay couples because of their beliefs.

But being Easter weekend, a time when even the most unreligious attend church and open their bibles, what about the messages of love and inclusion that Christians are supposed to adhere to?

For example, Luke 6:31: 'Do to others as you would have them do to you.' Or Mark 12:31: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.'

In a country that claims to be a Christian nation, we have a funny way of demonstrating Christ-like behavior towards minorities. The root of the problem is religious dogma and the leaders who perpetuate it. Until we either update these archaic sexual beliefs or ditch them altogether, we will continue to suffer the consequences of conscious and purposeful ignorance. The problem is, our political and spiritual leaders are either living in the past or are terrified to evolve. Educated Americans know that gay people are no better or worse than anyone else, and should be left alone to pursue their own version of the American dream. This includes the right to marry.

Like it or not, equality is here to stay. This isn't some fad or temporary movement. With 37 states legally recognizing gay marriage and more people accepting it as the norm, in time, being gay will see the same acceptance as any other minority group. African-Americans, Native-Americans and even women all faced prosecution and discrimination of some kind and persevered. 100, and even 10 year from now, people who identify as LGBT will experience the same success, and in most cases already are.

The fact is America must evolve or die. So this Easter Sunday when you're celebrating the rebirth of Jesus, ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?" Would he spew his hatred toward his fellow man or extend his hand in friendship and peace?

If Christians are to really follow the examples of Jesus, it's time for many of them to reexamine their walk with him. I think I know what Jesus would do. The question is: What are you going to do?

If critical thinking tells you to follow Jesus Christ, Buddha, or Scientology, I believe you should have the freedom to do so. But when your beliefs start infringing on the freedom of others, something needs to be done.