Setting this up as an article, as I'm going to include a few links, here.
As some of you know, in response to several recent teen suicides due to the bullying of homosexual or perceived-to-be-homosexual teens, Dan Savage, an openly gay advice columnist, started the It Gets Better Project on YouTube. There are some moving videos posted, adults reaching out to bullied teens to tell them, yes, it DOES get better.
Dan has been vocal spreading the word about this project, and, if it reaches so much as one teen, if it keeps ONE child from dying, I can't imagine anyone saying it wasn't worth it.
Well, as you can imagine, someone took offense. This week's column heads off with a letter from someone who takes offense.
I heard an interview with you about your It Gets Better campaign. I was saddened and frustrated with your comments regarding people of faith and their perpetuation of bullying. As someone who loves the Lord and does not support gay marriage, I can honestly say I was heartbroken to hear about the young man who took his own life.
If your message is that we should not judge people based on their sexual preference, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason (including their faith)? There is no part of me that took any pleasure in what happened to that young man.
To that end, to imply that I would somehow encourage my children to mock, hurt, or intimidate another person for any reason is completely unfounded and offensive. Being a follower of Christ is, above all things, a recognition that we are all imperfect, fallible, and in desperate need of a savior. We cannot believe that we are better or more worthy than other people.
Please consider your viewpoint, and please be more careful with your words in the future.
I read this letter, and I actually started to think about it for a bit. Yes, it's wrong to judge people as a group. Dan's response, however, got my mind going another direction:
I'm sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments.
No, wait. I'm not. Gay kids are dying. So let's try to keep things in perspective: Fuck your feelings.
A question: Do you "support" atheist marriage? Interfaith marriage? Divorce and remarriage? All are legal, all go against Christian and/or traditional ideas about marriage, and yet there's no "Christian" movement to deny marriage rights to atheists or people marrying outside their respective faiths or people divorcing and remarrying. Why the hell not?
Sorry, L.R., but so long as you support the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples, it's clear that you do believe that some people—straight people—are "better or more worthy" than others.
And—sorry—but you are partly responsible for the bullying and physical violence being visited on vulnerable LGBT children. The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or in your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. And while you can only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, your children have the option of attacking actual gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.
Real gay and lesbian children. Not political abstractions, not "sinners." Gay and lesbian children.
More at the link.
He's right. It's all well and good to be polite and respectful... but a polite and respectful bigot is still a bigot. Telling your children, directly or indirectly, that any group of people is lesser, is not deserving of the same rights as everyone else, is teaching your children to be bigots... and is telling them that, since someone else is lesser, it's okay for them to torment and torture them.
The Mormon Church recently put out a statement that stated:
"We join our voice with others in unreserved condemnation of acts of cruelty, or attempts to belittle or mock any group or individual that is different — whether those difference arise from race, religion, mental challenge, social status, sexual orientation, or for any other reason,"
Sounds great, right? Except that it goes on:
The statement also reiterated the faith's belief that all sexual relations outside of marriage are wrong and said the church defines marriage as being only between a man and a woman. Since the 1990s, the church has worked to prevent the passage of laws legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide and helped generate millions to fund California's Proposition 8 in 2008.
"You shouldn't be CRUEL... but don't let them marry, that's WRONG." Sorry. Doesn't cut it.