Below is a quote from They Love Jesus But Not the Church, by Dan Kimball. Dan grew up outside of the church, as a rock and roll drummer living a musician’s lifestyle, where he had many homosexual friends. While not gay himself, he got to know them and cared for them. He writes:

“Coming from that background, I entered the evangelical subculture and was pretty amazed at most Christians’ lack of understanding of homosexuality. One of the first things I noticed was that the church consistently made a big deal about homosexuality and sex outside of marriage. I listened to how sermons depicted homosexuals and how Christians talked about them, and it seemed like they were talking about people I had never met. One time, I went to a Christian camp, and they showed a video clip of the gay parade in San Francisco. It showed people in drag and in bondage leather walking around and making out in front of the camera. The speaker then said something like, “This is what homosexuals are like!” He tried to rally the youth at this camp to see how terrible homosexuals are. I remember thinking, I have known several gay people, and none of them dressed like that, acted like that, or marched in a gay parade. It seemed to me the speaker characterized a group of people in an extreme way in order to manipulate impressionable Christian teenagers. I was pretty shocked at the stance most churches took toward all homosexuals, looking at them as their enemies.

Granted, a small percentage of homosexuals do fit in that extreme category. But so do some Christians fit in an extreme category, such as the fringe group that carries “God Hates Fags!” signs in public places. In the same way that people in emerging generations see extreme Christian groups and think that’s what all Christians are like, so have some Christians drawn conclusions about gays that are more caricature than reality. From what I have experienced, most gays are regular folks, living normal lives just like straight folks, and aren’t bent on converting children or anyone else to their sexual orientation. Yes, vocal gay activists get the press and are probably the ones you see on the street. But we can’t let them shape our impression of gays as a whole. We don’t like it when Christians are stereotyped by extremists, and we shouldn’t stereotype others because of extremists we see. Imagine if all Christians were stereotyped by the extreme fringe Christian groups who hold up signs saying “God Hates America” and “God Hates Your Tears” at funerals for American soldiers killed in Iraq. They get the media attention by their actions, but by no means do they represent the majority of Christians. We shouldn’t be stereotyping homosexuals in this manner either.”