SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Veteran Giants Pitcher Jeremy Affeldt says it's time for his fellow Christians to realize that Jesus loves everyone, including members of the gay community.
Affeldt, 35, is a veteran of all three Giants World Series runs. He's also a practicing Christian who took to his personal blog to discuss the issue and voice his concerns about how the rest of the world views Christianity.
"They look at us and say, 'You're just a bunch of Bible thumpers who are homophobic and you don't love anybody,'" Affeldt wrote in a post dated March 31st. "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.'"
Affeldt says he himself used to have homophobic feelings.
"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," he writes.
Affeldt goes on to implore church leaders to keep their congregations in big cities where they can better connect with the community.
"The Church needs to go to where the people are, and then love on them. We need to be with people wherever they are and wherever they hurt, because that's where Jesus is," he said. "As Christians and as a Church, we have to change."
The call to action is just the latest move in support of LGBT acceptance from the local baseball community. In 2011, the Giants became the first professional sports team to create a video for the 'It Gets Better' campaign for LGBT youth. Just this week A's closer Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend began a campaign to buy up tickets to the first ever A's LGBT Pride Night to ensure that the event is a success.
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