The golden rule is the name given to a principle established by Jesus. It is found in two places, Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. In both places Jesus is instructing his followers how he wants them to behave.
Since this is a fundamental instruction from Jesus to his followers, I am certain that all Christians are aware of it. In fact, the principle is stressed often as a cornerstone of Christian life. I wonder, though, if many Christians have really understood the ramifications, and see it rather more as a life slogan than as a binding order from god Himself, because that is what it is.
Quite frankly, I just do not believe that many of the television evangelists who constantly use the Bible to attack other people with whom they do not agree, including other Christian denominations, really want to be attacked on television themselves. Do priests in pulpits who condemn the activity of non Christians really want someone to condemn them from their own pulpit? Do letter writers to newspapers really want letters published attacking and condemning them as they attack and condemn homosexuals? Do Churches who want to change our marriage laws and restrict marriage to one man and one woman really want a campaign mounted compelling all Christian ministers to be unmarried, as they want homosexuals to be unmarried? Do Christians really want false information and false accusations laid against them as some of them lay false information and false accusations against homosexuals? No? Then why are they doing it themselves?
This is not a matter of choice for Christians. Jesus was quite clear, Christians may only do to other people those things which they actively want people to do to them. Not, you will note, what they are willing to put up with, but how they want other people to treat them. How they wish to be treated, what their preference is, their intimate desire, not what they are prepared to submit to so they can say or do something negative. It is not a price to pay for permission to condemn, it is an expression of concern and respect for the humanity of every one of god's creation, it is an expression of the “agape” love that is so strongly emphasised by New Testament writers, it is an expression of the concern and consideration Christians should have for the feelings of those not yet washed in the blood of The Lamb. Most importantly, it is an act of obedience to god.
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