By Tom Ehrich

I tried writing a novel once. It was dreadful. I got bored writing it, and I gather reading it was impenetrably dull.

Lesson: sustained effort on a single piece of writing isn't my strength. I do far better on shorter pieces, on diverse topics, finishing one, then jumping tracks to an entirely different topic.

I suppose that's why I enjoy the rhythm of coffee hours and cocktail parties -- two minutes here, five minutes there -- and go glassy-eyed at hour-long conversations.

In that same vein, I keep eight apps open on my computer, like a carpenter with eight tools in front of him.

Different strokes, as they say. My multi-task, short-focus way would drive someone else over the edge. We are all different.

And that simple fact needs to be lifted higher and higher in these increasingly intolerant and stifling times. God made us all different, and life certainly shows us our uniqueness.

The avalanche of anti-gay sentiment that seems to be cascading in Russia, Nigeria, and large portions of the US is the very denial of God's intentions. God made us male and female, tall and short, gay and straight, dark-skinned and light-skinned, clever and dull, and on and on.

It is simply ignorant to project our preferences onto God. Our ignorance turns to cruelty. And cruelty to repression. The fact that I can quote a Bible verse while brutalizing another person has nothing to do with God.

Our human contribution is to allow some to be free and some to be captives, to channel wealth to some and misery to others, to hear some voices and to ignore others, to see one person as absolutely beautiful and another as absolutely ugly.

We do that, and we should be ashamed.

Why should I even have to write this? Because we keep forgetting. We keep thinking our eyes are God's eyes, our ways God's ways, our fears and hatreds God's heart.

When Christian ministers are being raped and killed in the South Sudan, and gays in Nigeria are being forced to perform before a mocking crowd, and free-thinkers fear for their lives in Russia, some basic truth is being overlooked.

We need to say it again. And again.