In responding to a viewer who asked if it was okay to 'Like' Facebook photos of same-sex couples, last week 700 Club host Pat Robertson replied that Facebook needs a 'Vomit' button for such pictures. "You've got a couple of same-sex guys kissing, do you like that? Well that makes me want to throw up. To me I would punch 'Vomit' not 'Like' but they don't give you that option on Facebook."
I was appalled by Robertson's vile comments. I wondered how the conservative Christian former Southern Baptist minister could reconcile such hate speech with the Biblical command to love your neighbor as yourself or Jesus' words that we are to love one another. I wondered if the 83-year-old former candidate for the presidency knows any same-sex couples. Surely if he did, he would understand that just like other sex couples, they experience joy and commitment in each other's love.
The Religious Institute decided that we'd show him what same-sex love looks like. We launched a Tumblr campaign, Show Pat Love, and asked same sex couples to post their wedding photos. Almost 100 couples did so: young people, older people, couples with children, secular weddings and religious ceremonies, some in casual clothes, others in tuxedos and wedding gowns. The Tumblr feed is stunning in its diversity and in the love shining from these couples' faces; many people have written me that they made them teary.
We hope that Pat Robertson and the management of Christian Broadcast Network and ABC Family Channel (which airs the 700 Club) will look at the photos. We hope that rather than make them ill, they will see what we see: couples from across the United States who dearly love each other and are making public commitments. We hope they will be reminded that faith traditions affirm that where there is love, the sacred is in our midst. We hope Pat Robertson feels the love.