It came to me secondhand that friends at church are distressed that many Christians want to treat homosexuality as a sin different than the others. They (we) are thus less tolerant because we accept people with other sins in the church but not that sin.
I get annoyed at that because the shoe is on the other foot. We are being asked not to treat homosexuality in the same manner as other sins, but just the opposite. We accept thieves if thieves repent and endorse honesty; accept liars if they repent and tell the truth; accept the greedy if they renounce greed and embrace generosity. Yet here, we are being asked to accept the sinner who says his actions are just fine, and no business of ours anyway.
Yet there is one sense in which they do have a good point. In terms of content - the text - their complaint hasn't got a leg to stand on and makes no sense. Adding in the irrelevancies that they have met some nice gay people now that they are more out in the open, or that their children "do better" with this because they have gay friends does not add anything to the discussion logically. (As for friends and nice people, I likely have more gay friends than any of them. what part of "theater major" and "social worker" eluded them?)
Yet the logically irrelevant aspects point strongly to emotionally relevant ones.
It is absolutely true that there are Christians, perhaps even a lot of us, who do regard homosexuality as a worse sin than others, who have a visceral anger or condemnation that is greater than what we bring to dishonesty, avarice, violence, or even heterosexual sexual sin. I know people like that, including ones who become irate when their "personal issues" are pointed out to them, denying it hotly. (BTW, the old pop psych idea that these are folks afraid of sexuality in general or doubting their own heterosexual nature I reject as silly. Bring some data and I might listen, though I think such data would be hard to come by. That is a fantasy of those who disagree with them, stated because it feels good to believe and might sting when said. But there isn't any evidence for it.) They insist either that they don't hate it any more than other sins, or that they do, because so does God. They can quote you the verses on that. Not that they hear contrary verses, of course.
So. If my friends are ignoring the text and attending only to the subtext of the debate, they have some defense. But there are good reasons for backing off from subtext interpretations as anything more than supplementary data. They are far more susceptible to our own biases and emotional states than pure text arguments. Even the socially skilled among us make mistakes often in this. The nuanced expressions of irony, understatement, and hints of condescension or disapproval are missed at times even among friends. We "get it" more often than not, and so approximate that we always do. Not even close.
Next, we all need to learn to stand or fall by what we have actually said. Adhering to text aids that. It also keeps us in better contact with past ages and later ones, when we read the former or are read by the latter.
It is a sad thing that so many of us move quickly to the "nice people" standard without realising it. "Nice people" slides very quickly into "pleasant people" as the standard after which we will put up with any amount of sin from entertaining folks. Worse, we then begin to regard the prickly and stern, or even the socially unskilled, as "wrong" because they have disrupted the social comfort; not noticing that we have substituted social comfort for moral categories.* There is a certain cognitive dissonance, perhaps, in maintaining a friendship with someone who you feel is engaging in a great sin, and so one or the other has to give. I likely have areas where I do the same thing, and my response would be to cut you off and no longer be your friend. Not necessarily better.
*Rule of thumb. If you are absolutely sue you don't do this, then I call it very likely that you do it in some disguised form.