Saturday, April 18, 2009

Against Religious Homophobia

This is a question worth looking at seriously. After all, homophobia fomented by religious fundamentalism is having a measurable and deadly effect on our youth:
In less than two years there have been four brutal teenage deaths resulting from homophobic bullying. Just last week Carl Walker, an eleven year old in Springfield, Massachusetts , who never actually identified as gay, hung himself with an extension cord from the 3rd floor landing of his home. This was after his mother repeatedly implored his school to do something about the homophobic bullying he experienced. Last summer a transgendered teenager, Angie Zapata, was brutally murdered in Greeley, Colorado. Last February Eric Mohat, a 17-year old student from Ohio, who also never identified as gay, committed suicide after being repeatedly harassed with anti-gay epithets such as "fag" and "homo." His school went to trial last month as a lawsuit was filed by his parents, not because they want the school's money, but because they want to know why the school didn't respond to several requests for action. Also, last year, Lawrence King, a fifteen year old who identified as gay, was shot in the head twice in his English class. He died a few days later.
This homophobia isn't just appearing out of nowhere, and we need to stop dancing around the issue. When nutjobs proclaim you cannot follow your faith, that you are going to hell, that you are a crime against nature, how the fuck will that not have an impact? How will the flocks of these so called houses of God (who is supposed to be LOVING) treat gay people when they view them as satanic aberrations?

When the bigots are National Organization for Marriage suggest they are coming together in love it is the worst kind of doublespeak. They are working out of fear. Fear of the different. Fear of losing power of people. After all, why do they care whether or not homosexual couples can get married? Will it hit them directly? Via the Colbert Nation:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest

We need to start talking about homosexuality and religion honestly, and that means criticizing those who use their pulpits to incite violence unto others. Free speech should always, always be protected from censorship, no matter how vile. But it is also always open to criticism and social pressure. Homophobic rhetoric simply has no place in a civilized society, and is utterly undeserving of the reverence afforded by its implicit "off limits" nature. Its open season baby, and I'll start with the first volley:

If you dehumanize homosexuals, you are to blame before God for the violence that befalls them. To follow God is to be compassionate, not hateful, and you are not living up to your own potential as the beautiful, innately holy being that you are. So cut that out. Stop hitting your gay brother and sister, and maybe do something nice for them. You'll feel better about yourself and your place in the world.

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