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Every season, The Real World lets us into the lives of seven strangers “picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.” But what happens when the people who stop being polite are Christian?

On the season premiere of Real World Denver, we met Stephen, a 22-year-old Protestant and Davis, a 23-year-old Southern Baptist who was also gay. The rapport between the two men was fluid as they discussed faith and finding a church in Denver. But the skies soon darkened over their blossoming friendship when Davis announced he was gay.

Five of the roommates, none of whom had professed to be Christian, welcomed Davis with open arms. But Stephen expressed much disappointment and slight disgust. After a critical discussion with Davis, Stephen said, “I think it is wrong that you are gay.” Davis responded, “What if I said, I think it’s wrong that you’re black?” The argument raged on for a few minutes and then was settled with perfunctory apology to keep the house happy.

I was nervous to see how both would act under the circumstances. Stephen’s lack of compassion appalled me. As Christians, we are taught to “Love the sinner and not the sin.” Davis’s comment–that he didn’t believe God created the Biblical law that cites homosexuality as a sin–also shocked me.

This episode ignited a tailspin of discussion among my friends. At the end of it all, all I could think was this: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. (John 8:7)” Stephen can’t judge Davis, because while he isn’t homosexual, he may commit other sins. Sin is sin, and Davis’s homosexuality does not trump other sins. But Davis should study the scripture deeply to understand what was God’s divine will–this God he presumes to believe in.

Of course this show is edit-heavy, so they would make the conservative Christian out to be a judgmental hypocrite and the homosexual Christian clueless about his alleged eternal damnation. So I’m going to give these two men the benefit of the doubt by watching a whole season, which is usually more time than any of us get to prove our own naysayers wrong.

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