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by Hemant Mehta, “The Friendly Atheist”

Republicans in Iowa want to ban gay marriage in the state:

An Iowa House panel will begin hearings Monday on a bill that would repeal gay marriage in the state.

The Iowa Marriage Amendment (IMA) seeks to put a question on the 2013 ballot that would define marriage in the Iowa constitution as a heterosexual union –- and thereby reverse the 2009 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that brought gay marriage to the Midwest.

That’s not the reason I’m writing about this, though. What bugs me is how the “nice” Christians are reacting to all this:

“Several of us plan to bring a token of Christian love (like a small bag of cookies or other treats) to share with homosexual activists who we’ll be encountering Monday,” the group [The Family Leader] wrote in a newsletter to supporters. “It’s time we dispel lies about Christians, by tangibly showing love to people who struggle with homosexuality.”

Look at how sweet they are! They’re giving everyone cookies! Meanwhile, they are doing everything in their power to make sure gay couples cannot be legally wed in the state. There’s Christian love for you.

What lies are they dispelling, exactly? That Christians are the biggest barrier to marriage equality in the country? That they’ve done more harm to the institution of marriage than any of the couples they demonize?

Nope. They’re just confirming those things.

The cookie idea makes as much sense to me as those Christians who hold signs saying things like “I’m sorry for how the church has hurt you” at gay pride rallies — it seems like they’re our allies, but in fact, they will never come out and say they support gay marriage.

No, they may not fight it as vociferously as other Christians, but they do very little to voice their opinion either way. It’s the cowardly way to go.

What we need are Christians who bravely and proudly tell their church they support marriage equality.

In the meantime, keep your damn cookie. Unless you’re opposing this amendment, you’re part of the problem.

Hemant Mehta is the author of I Sold My Soul on eBay and blogs for FriendlyAtheist.com.