Monday, February 6, 2012

Standing Up to Blowhards with Tarnished Trumpets

You may have seen this article about how one Minnesota community treats its gay youth and how some are standing up to confront hate and violence. There are some striking similarities to how gay youth are treated in some predominantly Mormon communities. I guess this shouldn't be surprising as most of modern Mormonism continues to drift toward the cultural sensibilities of the conservative Evangelical movement and its apparent quest to politicize and polarize all things religious in American life.

I'm encouraged that even amid rabid bullying, growing numbers are standing up and revealing the bullies for who and what they are. The vilification and vitriol will likely continue in the foreseeable future. And while there are more and more safe places for LGBT youth (and adults) who have been rejected by their families and communities, there still aren't enough.

Zealots who create environments of rejection that reward bullying behavior have blood on their hands. And here's the real trouble: They don't mind that they have blood on their hands. They believe gay people have degraded themselves and are not worthy of full human life. They are fighting a modern-day Battle of Jericho. In their quest to "save civilization," they act like the violent children in Lord of the Flies.

Joshua 6:20-21
20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

All in the name of God. And blood. And horror on this earth.

Most gay people are just fine with conservative Evangelicals believing what they want and living their lives. I, for one, see no need to dictate (or legislate) to a peaceful person what they should believe and how they should live their life, even if I vehemently disagree with their beliefs and way of life. Even if I felt differently, civil society would rightly demand better of me. Sadly, most conservative Evangelicals refuse to allow gay people the right to be free from oppression and violence. So much for the Golden Rule or all that stuff about Christian love.

Fortunately, in the face of true love, more and more people are realizing something very important: That when anti-gay forces attempt to speak fear and loathing with the tongues of men and of angels, they have not love, and are become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Life as a gay person is far better, and worth much more than these blowhards with tarnished trumpets would have anyone believe.

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