Dear Conservative Christians,

I wanted to express my sincere regrets at how our recent exchanges have left you feeling.

It seems I’ve offended you in some way and I want to apologize for that.

I’m sorry you feel persecuted when I confront you, that you feel unfairly judged by my pointed words, or that it seems like I’m being purposefully cruel, as that isn’t my intention.

It’s just that sometimes my faith gets the best of me and in my sincere desire to help people I can come off a bit abrasive or rude or intolerant. Come to think of it, I guess I am intolerant: of sin.

You see, that’s all this is. I know what God wants for you and for the world, and as someone aligned with God, I feel singularly burdened to make sure that you’re aligned with me.

I know you didn’t start out this way. I know you were influenced, persuaded, (groomed if you will) by the people who raised you and the media you’ve consumed and the culture you’ve grown up in—and you think this is what God wants. Actually, it’s a perversion. The teachings of Jesus are actually pretty clear on this, and if you could see what I see, you’d agree that what I’m seeking is the best for you.

I need you to understand that this isn’t an attack on you, it isn’t bullying, it isn’t oppression (as much as it may seem from where you’re standing), it’s love.

I love you, but as a Christian I simply can’t support the sin of your homophobic and transphobic lifestyle. I know that you weren’t born this way, and that for whatever reason you made the choice to reject God’s plan for you.

And so, in love — I can’t allow that.

Which is actually an act of kindness, a sacred gesture.

To not confront you would be the most unloving act of all: to just leave you alone and let you live as you please and to allow you to continue in this blatant rebellion, well, I would feel like a really terrible Christian.

So, every time my words and manner seem in intrusive, every time you feel violated by my invasion of your privacy, every time it seems I’ve completely disregarded your humanity, forgive me. I only have your best interests at heart.

I’m hopeful that you will receive these words in the spirit in which they are offered and that they love you enough to change. I wouldn’t want to resort to actually passing legislation to force these things on you. (I mean, we can’t control people’s bodies with laws that reflect our religious beliefs. That would be theocracy, which of course, Jesus wanted no part of.

All of this to say, this is up to you.

You can fix all of this, with a little help. You can change. You can move away from the sins of your fears and phobias. You can find freedom from the evil that has taken hold of you. You just need to come to Jesus and repent.

Read his teachings and it will become clear. If it isn’t clear, you just haven’t prayed enough. You can leave your sin behind. Again, please don’t be offended.

I’m just speaking the truth in love, which one day you’ll thank me for. Pray your hate away.

John Pavlovitz


The original version of this Op Ed was published on

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