I Write Letters

[Trigger warning for homophobia; suicide.]

Dear Warren Throckmorton:

If you and your fellow Evangelical Christians really want to be "part of the solution" to stop anti-gay bullying, you'll stop teaching your children that being gay is sinful.

You can argue all you want that the solution is Christian compassion despite a belief that being gay is sinful, but as long as you believe and preach and teach that gay kids are inherently abominable to God, you're always going to be part of the problem.

And no, the philosophical contortions in which many Christians like to engage, claiming God only hates homosexuality but doesn't hate homosexual people, does not absolve you of your responsibility. Treating people as though their humanity is somehow separate from their intrinsic characteristics is not merely absurd bullshit; when you seek to wrench apart the components of people's whole selves and throw away pieces of their identities, it's just eliminationist rhetoric dressed up in its Sunday best.

This reflexive insistence that anti-gay Christians can't just toss away their institutional homophobia because it's in the Bible is contemptible nonsense. There are all kinds of things in the Bible that modern evangelicals don't teach their children, and for less reason than because to continue to believe it has demonstrably deadly consequences.

Listen, I'm not telling you what you should or shouldn't believe. I'm just telling you that it's disingenuous to pretend that your anti-gay beliefs themselves don't have cultural consequences.

Any well-known and widely-discussed and deeply-held belief of millions of people in a democratic nation is going to have cultural consequences. Especially when that belief marginalizes millions of other people.

If you really and genuinely and authentically want to be part of the solution, you'll take a good, long, hard look at the particular bit of dishonesty that is telling yourselves the belief itself is okay to have. Because there is nothing—and I mean nothing—that is helpful about telling "straight evangelical students that following your faith means treating your neighbors well. That means all of them - even the gay ones."

Even the gay ones. That shit, right there, suggests to the very students you want to dissuade from bullying that their gay peers are less than, which is the precise attitude that leads to bullying in the first place.

You can't hope to be part of the solution when your beliefs are exactly the problem.

You want to help? Stop marginalizing queers.

It's that simple. Anything else is an empty gesture, designed to make you feel good—not designed to help gay kids.


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