Transgender citizens of America are being demonized and horribly mistreated by the rest of this country, especially those claiming to be Christian, with an obvious spirit of fear and hatred permeating the language of those most determined to rail against the new wave of support shown to transgender individuals, by Target especially. Within the last few weeks alone, YouTube has been filled with videos of religious preachers infiltrating Target stores across the country and bellowing hate speech against Target customers, employees, and the transgender citizens that they seek to help.

This surge of transphobic hatred is a current example of a deep-seated corruption in this nation that many avoid discussing, perhaps out of fear that their voices won’t be taken seriously, or swallowed up by the tide of Godless, vitriolic malice spewed by multiple churches and powerful organizations claiming to be speaking God’s will. America, whether or not it admits, has tainted the image of God in peoples’ hearts from a loving, compassionate Creator into a being equated with the cruelty they’ve suffered at the hands of so many “Christians” who’ve deceived them into thinking that God hates them, and wants nothing to do with them.

Anybody who has studied the Gospels should be familiar with the story of Jesus Christ, sent to Earth as the Lord and Savior of humanity, but destined to be despised and reviled by those He came to save. One such group that constantly attempted to refute his messages were the Pharisees, who promoted a strict adherence to the Law of Moses, to every single letter of the Law, but were noted by Christ as men who utilized the Law without compassion and mercy. These religious leaders ostracized numerous citizens with their decrees, a choice that Christ despised.

Withholding compassion and reviling others due to a rigid adherence to rules of any sort is a dangerous, legalistic choice that damages others instead of raising them up as God intends. With the recent influx of “bathroom bills” and such, numerous religious organizations and leaders throughout America have labeled God’s transgender children, with a strange focus on transgender women, as potential pedophiles and rapists out to hurt women and children. Instead of using their influence to address the horror of anti-transgender violence in America, especially the high rate of murder against transgender women of color, these people choose to focus on a shallow issue due to their fear of what they don’t understand.

No matter who it’s spoken against, a lie is always sin. Churches that have declared transgender people to be mere crossdressers out to harm women and children have heavily sinned against God’s children, and have only succeeded in proving to the world that they lack the integrity and compassion cherished in the true faith. This lie is a probable source for much of the violence perpetuated against this country’s transgender citizens, especially the wave of murders in 2015 alone.

This fact holds true for every discriminatory belief preached by churches across America. Be it the notion that all gay individuals have AIDS, or are solely promiscuous, churches have promoted hate instead of love against God’s children, while covering it up in the pretty shield of “love the sinner, hate the sin”.

Again, one must remember what Jesus said regarding this. As He said, good fruit can only come from a good heart, because the heart, be it loving or filled with hate, is the source of all words that come out of our mouths.

A truly loving message would result in a person feeling love for themselves, others, and for God. A message filled with hatred is doomed to provoke the exact opposite reactions, with a strong potential for a newfound hatred of God, who only wants to be in a loving, Fatherly relationship with each of His children.

This is one of Americanized Christianity’s greatest sins: pushing so many people away from God, who has come to be despised by the weary, ostracized members of our society. Because so many people wearing cross necklaces and brandishing Bible verses have chosen to use Christianity as a façade to make their own fears and prejudices seem acceptable, Christianity as a whole is now associated with the evil running rampant in our country, that comes in the form of every discrimination imaginable.

If this nation wants to be hailed as a truly Christian country, then it’s time for America to renounce the false prophets who have ruined the image of God in the hearts of its citizens, and atone for the damage done to all who have been hurt by the lies spoken against them by individuals and organizations lacking the all-encompassing love of God Almighty.