You Won’t Denounce Homophobic Bigotry?

You ARE our problem!

Edmund Burke probably never actually said this, but the quote is routinely attributed to him, and the sentiment is his.

I don’t know why good people accept evil. I can’t figure it out.

I opened an email from a friend a few weeks ago. I felt warm and happy to hear from him. It’s been a while. I ended up cold and angry. By the time I finished reading, I tasted bile.

You see, he told me he was shocked at one of my recent stories.

I cannot, no matter how hard I try, understand why people don’t step up to stop bullying, condemn hatred, and end social acceptance of homophobia.

Worse, I don’t understand why people constantly tell me I’m wrong for stepping up and for doing so loudly and without apology.

My friend told me that he would have to distance himself from me on the Internet, that he can’t have people thinking he supports my views. This is the second time a supposed friend has said that to me since the end of January. It’s the second time a friend has told me I’m wrong to morally condemn homophobic bigotry.

At the end of January as a matter of fact, Quora, the popular Q&A site where I was a very popular writer, banned me. For the very same reason.

I don’t know what it takes to get people to wake up.

Religiously based homophobia is evil. I don’t care if you’re a Roman Catholic, an evangelical Christian, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, a Muslim, or a Mormon. Religion is no excuse for hurting people. Your religious faith doesn’t make it OK to harm, stigmatize, judge, or condemn entire classes of inherently harmless, innocent human beings.

Shame on you. Knock it off. Stop being assholes.

But I’m not speaking to conservative Christians, Jews, or Muslims today.

I’m addressing other liberal, progressive people like me.

I have a question for you. What the hell is wrong with you?

Why do you keep telling us that we have to respect religious belief, even when those beliefs are wielded as swords to destroy innocent people?

Why do you keep telling us that we have to respect religious belief, even when those beliefs are responsible for suffering, homelessness, and death?

Why do you keep telling us we have to respect religiously-based homophobia, even as you freely denounce religiously based racism and and sexism?

I wrote my article about the Catholic Church in response to the Church’s horrifying policy of routinely teaching hundreds of millions of school children that we LGBTQ people are “depraved,” that we’re “ordered to great moral evil,” and that we’re “intrinsically disordered.”

I call bullshit.

That’s fucked-up nonsense that’s causing untold harm and suffering. It’s vile hate speech, and it’s indefensible.

And they’re teaching it to children! In their schools!

You dare tell me I’m the problem? You dare tell me I’m at fault for demanding that the evil end forthwith? What, does it offend your delicate sensibilities that I used the word “fuck?”

I call bullshit again.

If I said, “Fuck the KKK” or “Fuck Neo Nazis,” you’d have joined me in chorus. Yes, you would have. Stop trying to pretend otherwise. I don’t believe you.

You’re not queer, so you don’t have to care. Do you?

You don’t have to care that religiously based homophobia killed this gay kid.

Or this one.

You have the luxury and privilege to allow the hate speech to slide over your head, unremarked and unchallenged.

I don’t. I can’t. I won’t. Not ever.

I’m better than that. I’m sorry to say it, but I’m better than you. For when you allow evil to go unremarked and unchallenged, you take some of that evil into your heart. You make it part of who you are as you bow to the practicalities of complicity.

You need to stop. You need to stop now.

If you’re a Catholic, you need to stop contributing money to the Church until they agree to stop teaching hate to children. You need to write your bishop and demand that he cease and desist this instant.

If you’re an evangelical Christian and your minister preaches that queer people are sinners, you need to resign from that congregation, you need to be vocal about why you’re doing it, ,and you need to do it immediately. Yesterday, if possible.

If your rabbi or imam condemns us queer people, you need to loudly demand that they stop being assholes. You need to demand it right this very moment. Today.

If you can’t do those things, then you need to examine your heart and search out your moral failings. Wake up. There’s something wrong with you.

Most of all, though — don’t ever condemn me for speaking out. Don’t you dare condemn me speaking the moral truth.

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