Stop speaking for God

To the editor:

A local ultra-conservative radio host made some comments today that really bothered me. I don’t mean that I smirked at the radio, or that I said “well that’s wrong,” or mentioned to a friend that what he said was inappropriate. I mean that I felt hurt in my heart. I mean what he said finally struck a nerve so deep within my core that I felt it obligatory that I somehow express my disdain in hopes that I can reach just ONE person to change his way of thinking.

Let me first say I agree with the vast majority of Phil’s views on politics, life, religion and even humor. Phil is very vocal in his assertions and supports his views against the opposing caller or e-mailer with logic and evidence. I admire his ability to think on his feet and provide valid responses.

Yesterday, however, Phil did what so many conservatives, evangelicals, religious ‘leaders’ and politicians do so frequently: Phil used the Bible to assert his belief that homosexuality is wrong. He went so far as to say that “Jesus Christ would have been very vocal and adamantly against homosexuality. He’d let you know it.” From whence does this divine knowledge come? Does Phil speak with Jesus?

I’m not going to get into the semantics of the six passages in the Bible that can even remotely be construed as a disapproval of homosexuality. Why? The King James Bible has about 774,776 words. The six aforementioned passages are comprised of, at most, 50 to 60 words. That’s about 0.00006% (that’s 6 one hundred-thousandths) of a percent of the entire Bible. The REST of the Bible is filled with verses, passages and parables about loving one another. The whole point of the Bible is to teach people to LOVE one another. Judgment is God’s sole responsibility, not yours or mine.

Why do people who profess to live by Christ’s teachings use that tiny piece of the Bible to nurture hatred of their fellow man? They may claim to ‘love the sinner, hate the sin,’ but the truth is these people have a deep disdain and hatred for homosexuals. Why? I’m not sure of the reason, but I believe that the hatred is planted by the parents of these people, and it is nurtured by their friends, churches and the media. That’s how it was for me. But that’s beside the point.

Regardless of one’s personal or political views on same-sex couples, what business is it of anyone’s but that couple? Think about it, seriously. Does me being in love with another man and partnered for life with him affect you in ANY way, shape or form? Does it affect your wallet? Does it affect your health? Does it infringe upon your rights or freedoms?  Of course not! My homosexuality does not directly affect you at all.

“On the contrary,” you say. “I don’t wanna see you homos parading down the streets of my city. You affect me by poisoning our youth with your ‘perversion.’” Well guess what, I don’t wanna see ‘homos’ parading down the streets either. I think PRIDE is more detrimental to gays (and to society) than it is beneficial. Therefore I am not involved in PRIDE .

As to “poisoning your youth with my ‘perversion,’” that’s just as absurd as me saying that the television show House M.D. poisons doctors with its warped view of medicine. Homosexuality is not a disease, and it certainly isn’t communicable. The idea that any homosexual can ‘recruit’ or ‘turn’ another human being is just as ridiculous as the idea that a heterosexual can ‘transmit’ his heterosexuality to a homosexual. Trust me, if that could happen, I would be immersing myself among heterosexuals continuously hoping to ‘catch’ it.

Do same sex unions cost taxpayers money? Uhm, no. How would they? I’m not even going to justify this with an explanation until someone gives me a solid example of how same sex unions could even pretend to cost taxpayers a dime.

Who IS directly affected by my homosexuality? (And by ‘affected’ I mean which individuals experience some sort of adversity or unfairness just because I’m gay) Myself and my family. My mother will cry for an extended period of time, perhaps the rest of her life, and pray nightly that I will ‘change.’ My brothers and my father will hear snide comments from their ‘friends’ and from others that have a problem with homosexuality. They will find that their friends and extended family members will either vocalize their opposition or their communication will diminish. But does my family love me? In my particular case, yes they do. But many aren’t so lucky.

As for me, I will be taunted, verbally abused and possibly physically abused. I will be ostracized by most of the members of the church in which I was raised and was baptized.  I will feel and see a growing distance between members of my immediate and extended family. Thoughts of suicide will frequently cross my mind, and if I am strong enough to keep living, I may be murdered by an adolescent classmate because he feels threatened.

That’s how my family and I are affected. How on Earth could the effect on you compare? Are you so conceited to believe that your being ‘bothered’ by my sexual orientation is so important that the country should enact laws, even amend the Constitution, to ensure that my partner and I cannot have equal rights under the law? Perhaps you should go back and read the Bible. At least the anti-smoking campaigns can give scientific evidence that secondhand smoke is hazardous to one’s health.

But if you insist on using Leviticus as your basis for legislation, let’s go ahead and amend the Constitution to strip all marriage rights from adulterers, for that verse follows the ‘lie with another man’ verse that you so frequently cite as divine instruction to ban homosexuality.

So to all the evangelicals, conservatives, religious and ‘moral’ leaders out there, I pose this final suggestion. If I am wrong, and God truly believes that homosexuality is wrong, then I have sinned against myself. But if you are wrong, you have sinned against me and millions of others in the world. Which do you think is worse?

John Michael Weatherly
Nashville, Tennessee

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