Jeremy Affeldt, a relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, says he understands why Christians are hated by many people and it has to do with their feelings towards gay people. In a post on his blog, Affeldt urges his fellow Christians to be more loving of gays:

Why do people who aren’t Christians hate us? They look at us and say, “You’re just a bunch of Bible thumpers who are homophobic and you don’t love anybody.”

We’ve brought that on ourselves. I don’t think we’re showing the love of Jesus. Gay people are asking for equal rights under the law, and we’ve got Christians saying “God hates you.” I get so angry because that’s not true! God loves you! Jesus walks with the gay community! I think Jesus says, “I love you just as I love someone who is not gay. I love you as a human being. I just love you.”

I had homophobia. I know what that’s like. But I was wrong to fear like that. God reached deep within my heart and changed me. Now I have gay friends and colleagues. There is no difference between us. Gay people are human beings, and I’m going to love on them just as God told me to love all human beings. God told us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Maybe if more of us did that, Christians wouldn’t be so hated everywhere we go.

Affeldt has talked in the past about how homophobic he once was and how when visiting the Bay Area he would stay in his hotel room lest he come in contact with gay people. He certainly has come a long way as his powerful blog post suggests. Go read the whole thing.