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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: I Be All Persecuting Jesus And Shit

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Why do you persecute the Lord?

I am praying for you. And the day you see how horrible and wreckless your actions have been, you will be on your knees begging for the Lord's forgiveness. Keep this email, because it will happen. God almighty will enter your heart, even though it is blacker than black, filled with rage over your own hatred. But it will be lifted one day. I hope it is soon, because you cannot keep spreading these lies about good people.

Christians love, they do not hate. And real Christians love you and all mankind. I sin. My sins are the same as anybody else. But I ask God to forgove me through his son Jesus Christ. He's lifted me from so much pain. He's saved my family.

Praying for you that you will not hate anymore. I know the Lord has meaning for you. You will lead with love, not hate.

Sincerely,

Joe B.
Levittown, PA

P.S. I had a great childhood. Loved by my parents and grandparents. I am a Christian man, age 50. I have no hatred for homosexuality. My brother was a homosexual. He died from heroin abuse at age 28. My entire family loved him, and he was a Christian before he died. My views on homosexuality are the same as pre-marital sex, or telling a lie, or stealing a pack of cigarettes. They are all sin. I don't agree with sin, although I sin myself, but I try hard not too, I try to live the best life possible. I wanted to tell you this, because you made a comment that people believe in God because they were abused or not loved as children. Not sure where you get your ideas from? People from all walks of life believe in God, and have faith. And they have joy and love because of that faith.

My response after the jump...

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Dear Joe,

What the hell are you talking about?

When did I say that people believe in God because they were abused or not loved as children? Got a link for me? Because I don't think I've ever said that.

Maybe you've confused me those anti-gay Christian hate groups that frequently claim that childhood abuse and/or bad parenting turns people gay—are you thinking of that, Joe? Because I don't think I've said that abuse and/or shitty parenting turns people Christian. Indeed, Joe, my own personal experience serves as evidence to the contrary on both the induces-gay and induces-Christian counts: I was never abused and I had great parents—and I was a Christian well into my teens and gay long before that.

As for my sins, well, gee. Equating my love for my husband—which is expressed sexually and in a million other ways, large and small (did I sin when I made him eggs this morning?)—with stealing a pack of cigarettes is deeply insulting and strikes this baptized Catholic as kinda un-Christian. Also, allowing that straight lust/love can be expressed in a non-sinful-in-your-eyes manner—within the bounds of opposite-sex marriage—while insisting that gay lust/love can never be expressed without sin isn't the kindness you would like to pretend it is.

And, Joe, seeing how much straight sex is had outside the bounds of matrimony (the overwhelming majority of it!), it strikes me as odd that so many straight Christians are so singularly obsessed with gay sexual sin. If sin is sin, and all sin is equally wrong (stealing cigarettes, lying, premarital straight sex, any gay sex at all ever), why don't you people spend more time—why don't you people spend any time—preaching at and attempting to punish all those sinful straight people out there having all that sinful premarital sex?

But for the record: my love for my husband—whether I'm showing it by putting eggs in front of him or sperm inside him—is not petty theft and it is not a lie. Even better: our sex isn't premarital anymore! Terry and I are married in the eyes of our friends, family, and neighbors. We're also legally married so far as our state and the federal government are concerned—something I didn't think I'd live long enough to see.

Best,

Dan

P.S. My heart is not filled with hatred. Exasperation maybe, annoyance now and then, but hatred? Never. And I'm sorry about your brother's death. Here's hoping that his family of origin—including you—isn't in any way responsible for the drug abuse that killed him. That "he was a Christian before he died" aside, Joe, leads me to believe that your brother might have been rejected by his family for being gay—if so, that could've induced the despair and self-destructiveness that lead your brother to abuse drugs. I hope that wasn't the case, Joe, for your sake. Because it would suck to have to live with a sin that grave on your conscience.

P.P.S. I'm not sure what you mean by "persecute the Lord," Joe. If my not believing in the divinity of Christ amounts to persecution, well, then I'm just one among the billions of non-believers-in-Jesus or plain ol' non-believers who are persecuting your thin-skinned Lord. But maybe you're one of those Christians who sees queers refusing to put up with second-class citizenship anymore and perceives that as persecution somehow. Gay people are not trying to persecute you or any other Christians. No one is trying to take your kids away from you or prevent you from marrying, Joe, and no one is trying to create special carve-outs in settled non-discrimination law that would allow businesses and individuals to discriminate against Christians.

But again: no longer being able to persecute a class of people you used to brutalize with impunity ≠ being persecuted yourself. Please make a note of it.

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