f Humanisticus: Homophobic Pastors and the Importance of a Strong Reaction

Friday, 1 June 2012

Homophobic Pastors and the Importance of a Strong Reaction

After Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage (or simply marriage as gay people call it) there was the expected condemnation of the religious right. How dare the President of the supposed ‘free’ world support the concession of equal rights. And what is their quibble? Well it says in the bible, which they have probably never read but are assured by the man on the pulpit, that homosexuality is wrong. Apparently it also impinges on their religious freedom. How does it impinge on their religious freedom? Because it gives homosexual couples equal status in society and will force the religious to treat homosexuals as equals, and not the abominations the bible purports them to be. Now I will not delve into the religious freedom vs. civil liberties debate as I have already covered it, but what I would like to discuss are the more extreme views which have surfaced in recent weeks.

Below I present three videos, each propagating homophobic hate speech. The first is Pastor Charles Worley from North Carolina who proposes to confine all homosexuals into concentration camps surrounded by an electric fence and let them die out. Because we all know only homosexuals give birth to homosexuals, makes perfect logical sense (hard to convey sarcasm in text but I think I’ve done it), then again logic isn’t a religionists strong point. The second is a video by Pastor Kurtis Knapp of Kansas suggesting that the government should kill all the homosexuals because it says so in the bible, and the threat of death is an incentive to stay in the closet. The final video, although it is the least vitriolic, is the most disturbing. It shows a child of 4 years of age singing, and this is what he sings:

I know the bible’s right and somebody’s wrong
I know the bible’s right and somebody’s wrong
Romans 1:27
Ain’t no homos going to make it to heaven

So here you have a child, who has been clearly coached, disseminating homophobic biblical rhetoric and displaying one of many things wrong with religion. For the ridiculousness of religion to persist, young malleable minds must be moulded and indoctrinated with religious beliefs. All religious rituals initiating people into their cult/religion all occur before a child can develop cognitive faculties and reason on his own. Religion leaves a child no choice but to believe whatever magic sky man their parents believe. This in itself is not the biggest crime as no matter how ‘free-thinking’ people like to think they are, we are all indoctrinated in some manner culturally and socially; however, when a child is taught to hate at such a young age based on religious, or any beliefs for that matter, it is a crime. Many people say that it is child abuse however some think calling it such is a step too far, but what can be agreed upon is that it is not right. 

There is light at the end of the tunnel though. I had expressed concern that homophobia isn’t treated with the same disgust as racism or sexism, for instance I could easily call a gay guy a faggot and bring little or no condemnation upon myself but I don’t even feel comfortable to type a racist slur here, even as an example, such is the revulsion against racism, and rightly so. But the reaction of the media and of the communities, both national and local has relieved those concerns somewhat if ever so slightly. Many news agencies (even Fox!!) condemned those involved in the videos and converged on the churches to interview them. Local residents have expressed dismay and disgust and some even held protests. The most interesting aspect which fills me with a little hope is the pastors’ and their supporters’ reaction when confronted by the media. Not one has whole-heartedly stood by their comments and by back-tracking, not commenting, and distancing themselves from the comments there is the realisation that the people will not stand idly by and allow such bigotry. If the media and local communities continue to react in the same manner of disgust and revulsion that such behaviour deserves then such homophobic rhetoric will eventually disappear from the altar and may prevent children from being indoctrinated with hatred. 

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