THE BLOG

Challenges to My Self-Esteem

02/09/2015 11:36 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

I have a strong, healthy dose of self-esteem. This is fortunate because recently there has been a steady stream of damaging messages coming from the media, politicians and religious leaders. There are plenty of voices proclaiming that there is something wrong with me.

Because I am gay, there are people that believe I am possessed by the devil:

  • Holy Fire Ministries' founder Bert Farias writes in a magazine article that "Being gay is demonic" and that homosexuality "is such a putrid smelling demon that other demons don't even like to hang around it."
  • David Benham, fired from an HGTV program because of his extreme views, claims that he struggles against "authorities of darkness" and sees "demonic forces" behind the "homosexual agenda."
  • RenewAmerica's Gina Miller says that homosexuality is "demon-related."
  • The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer claims that the "homosexual agenda" is tied to a "directly demonic energy."
  • Mission America's Linda Harvey states that Katy Perry's Super Bowl performance was "invitation to demonic possession" and Perry's I Kissed A Girl proves her "flirtation with Satan."
  • In response to strides in gay rights in Texas, the U.S. Pastor Council called gay people "forces of spiritual darkness."
  • On The Manning Report, Pastor James David Manning exclaims that "Every sodomite, every lesbo, every homo, every fag, every transvestite, every LBGT person" is "demon-possessed" and that "God Almighty has given me the revelation that soon, after the court announces that they are to be protected by the Constitution to be sodomites, they're gonna also start cannibalism."

I do not believe in devils (or god, for that matter), so these inferences that I am demon-possessed are ineffective. Even if I did believe in Satan, I know that there is no evil presence within me telling me what to do. I have a good moral compass. I am certain that, if given more rights, I will not eat the flesh of another human being.

There are those that believe I am intentionally denying their freedom:

  • Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern states that the "LGBT people want to limit someone's freedom." She recently proposed three anti-gay bills because she is "protecting freedom" against the "homosexual movement" that does not want that "at all."
  • Faith2Action's founder Janet Porter, in the trailer for her film The Criminalization of Christianity, mentions "the radical agenda to silence the truth" and suggests that homosexuals are "silencing the gospel" and "assault[ing] our freedoms."
  • Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal implies that same-sex marriage is opposed to religious liberty. He is "a believer in traditional marriage" and "also a strong believer in religious liberty" and claims that there is an "assault" taking place against "First Amendment rights in society today."
  • Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered probate judges and employees in Alabama to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or recognize same-sex marriages despite a lift on the ban. His reasoning to defy the law? He cites his authority to "take affirmative and appropriate action to correct or alleviate any condition or situation adversely affecting the administration of justice."
  • Joe Bissonnette, in his Crisis Magazine article The Totalitarianism of Same-Sex "Marriage" writes that the legalization of same-sex marriage is "perhaps the single most audacious social engineering initiative in American history." He is concerned that "Free speech, the rights of parents, the right to preach and practise (sic) one's religion and the worn and tattered fibers of normative decency" will all be "deeply damaged." The text is accompanied by a graphic of a swastika inside a rainbow flag.

I am American and I believe in your rights. I also believe in my own rights guaranteed by our nation's Constitution. I am not a Nazi.

I believe in religious freedom. I want you to practice your religion. I do not want to practice your religion.

There are even those that do not see me as human:

  • Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey recently stated that "I am a strong believer in traditional marriage, and do not construe homosexual rights as human rights."

Last time I checked, I was human.

Sometimes, the gay community wants me to feel bad about myself, too. I am 50 years old and have the body of a 50 year old. Gay culture prefers gorgeous Abercrombie & Fitch model types, not middle-aged bald men. Last week, I went to a dinner party. The hosts spent the day preparing a huge, delicious feast for a group of gay men. I was hungry and heaped my plate with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, biscuits, etc. I sat next to a handsome guy who was less than half my age and had a terrific physique. He ate a plate of steamed carrots. Most of the men at this party were early- to mid-20s and physically attractive. The hosts threw out most of the food at the end of the night.

These challenges to my self-esteem are balanced by my dogs. Without judgment, my dogs love the gay, paunchy, married, old, bald, atheist that I am. I wish more human beings would do the same.