Last night on Oprah Winfrey's talk-show incarnate, Oprah's Next Chapter, she interviewed megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes and asked him the inevitable question: "Do you like gay people? Yes/No (circle one)."
Jakes' answer was standard love-the-sin-hate-the-sinner fare. Of course it was. I understand and hope that the world is changing, but whenever an on-the-record anti-gay man of God is asked this question again, it amounts to nagging. "Now do you like them? Now do you like them? Now do you like them?" And Oprah doesn't help the matter the matter — she lets Jakes spout anti-gay sentiment while swearing off homophobia. That's sloppy both-sides-of-mouth lip service, and it's an epidemic. Get a backbone or drop out of the bigotry game.
That said, Jakes' shitty argument is useful for exposing this bogus mindset:
The perception in our society today is that if you don't say you're for same-sex marriage or if you say that homosexuality is a sin that you're homophobic and you're not for gay people. That's not true... It doesn't mean I have to agree with you to love you.
Actually, you do, because when you "disagree" with gay people, you are disagreeing with something that is fundamental to their existence: how they love. As a wealthy camel staring down the eye of a needle, Jakes is picking and choosing what Biblical teachings to adhere to. Furthermore, this line of thinking values an institution over human beings who are going to love each other and be together anyway, like they have been since the dawn of time. Jakes' "love" for homosexuals is worthless. Talk about redefining a concept.
T.D. Jakes has been quoted as saying that gay people are broken and that he wouldn't hire one. There are reports of him welcoming dialogue with gay families and his public response to his son's 2009 arrest after masturbating in front of a police officer was graceful. (The guy can talk.) The effort in his public positioning is palpable. "I'm not anti-gay, I'm not anti-anything. I don't want to be known for what I'm against," he told Oprah. But it's how he's bound to be remembered, if he even is at all.