Christianity today is being used as a justification to spew hateful and discriminatory rhetoric towards individuals and groups that differ from the status quo of conservative Christianity today. Christianity has been taken hostage of by the Tea Party, and presidential candidates to justify the defunding of Planned Parenthood, refusal of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and fight for “religious freedom”.

Recently, Mike Huckabee flew to Kentucky to stand with Kim Davis upon release from jail. Kim Davis was the clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses due to her religion. Since then, Huckabee has been public about the ongoing “war on Christianity” in Obama’s America. Sadly, Huckabee is not the only Christian spewing hate. He is joined by the Westboro Baptist Church and the countless Americans. Just check out Right Wing Watch for more examples. Due to this hateful rhetoric, it’s rational to associate Christianity with hatefulness, discriminatory, close minded individuals.

That is, in part, why organizations like People For the American Way Foundation exist. We have to reclaim religion and values.

Christianity is not a religion based on hatred and disrespect. It is one of love, grace, mercy, and acceptance. Jesus taught a faith that embraces and welcomes the vulnerable, the poor, and marginalized. He saw the beauty and strength reflective of the diversity existent in the Father. He loved the “outcasts”with an immense love that lead to his earthly demise at the hands of the religious leaders of the day.

I am not here to preach, impose, or convert anyone into Christianity. I, however, want to apologize to all individuals and groups that have been harassed, shamed, or don’t feel accepted in the name of Christianity. I apologize for the hateful and discriminatory rhetoric used in order to pass bills to forbid same-sex marriage. I apologize for the sexist rhetoric used to defund Planned Parenthood and put women’s health in America at risk. I apologize to every marginalized groups that has been attacked by the Tea Party, presidential candidates, churches, and family members in the church. To me, that is not what Christianity embodies.

Christianity is rooted in equality. Everyone is a child of God. Christianity believes in justice and that any injustice against a child of God is an injustice against God. Christianity is not a rhetoric of hatred but one of love.

That is why I am a Christian who believes in progressive values of equality, love and acceptance for all.