Elizabeth Drescher takes a hard look at the use of words like “hate” and “homophobia” in the wake of the Chick-fil_A controversy, and takes issue with Rick Warren’s attempts to paint himself and his followers as folks who love LGBT people, but simply disagree with those people and their advocates about their place in society. She writes:
So, of course it is not the case that you have to agree with everything an individual person does or says in order to genuinely love her or him as an individual person in the context of a specific interpersonal relationship. However, when you use conservative coded language like “lifestyle” to describe the lives of a particular category or class of people, you are engaging in hate speech, you are perpetuating a rhetoric of fear, even when you surround such rhetoric with words like “love” and “compassion.”
You can think you “love” me personally all you want, and you may enjoy my winning personality endlessly. We can disagree all day long about whether taxing the wealthy is the best way to heal the economy or which direction the toilet paper roll should go and still be the best of friends. But when you speak and act in ways that seek to limit the civil liberties, increase the risk of discrimination and violence, and damage the psychological and spiritual well-being of me and people like me as a group, you are not being loving. You are not being compassionate. And, for what it’s worth, you don’t come off as particularly Christian, either—at least not the kind of Christian that anyone would recognize through a cursory scan of Jesus’ teachings.