James O'Brien is Leading Britain's Conversation.
12 February 2017, 15:25
This caller was shunned by his religious family for being gay. Here he shares his story with Maajid Nawaz.
Jonathan in Worthing phoned Maajid Nawaz on his Saturday afternoon LBC show to share his story about being shunned by his family because of his sexuality.
He revealed to the LBC Presenter that he grew up in a very religious family and now lives a separate life because they do not want to know him.
Jonathan said: "Their views on homosexuality are that, quoting what my father said to me, if we lived in bible times you'd be stoned to death. I've experienced a lot of homophobia and a lot of rejection.
"It's five years this month since my parents disowned me all because I was born gay."
He continued: "It's very hurtful. I live in the same town, I walk through the street, I see my parents in the supermarket, they're on the next till to me, they put the shopping down and walk out.
"I have to struggle with this every day. It has affected my mental health. Fortunately I have some very supportive new friends."
The caller said that as a result, he's lost his faith, and would regard himself as an atheist despite being a "spiritual person".
He said: "I have nothing against other people with a faith, but I think it's about time we live in the real world. I'm very disappointed with religion."
Maajid then asked Jonathan to "deliver a message" to religious people who "don't understand".
Jonathan said: "In all the years I was brought up I keep hearing the words "unconditional love, we shall unconditional love" - that's not true.
"If you can't be accepting of other human beings and accept them for who they are...whether they be gay, straight, bi, transgender, if you can't, you may not agree, you might find something distasteful...but we need to follow, if you believe in Jesus, his example.
"We need to show unconditional love. And that means being accepting of one another."