It is my hope that the future Tyler Clementis of the world will hear love and affirmation from the pulpit in all churches. While that day may still be a long way off, parents can make a world of difference by choosing a church family that will embrace all God's children with respect.
When I heard the news that President Obama had selected yet another preacher with an anti-gay past to preside at the swearing-in ceremony, I wasn't angry; I was perplexed. When I read about Pastor Louie Giglio withdrawing from the inaugural ceremony, I also had mixed emotions.
I'm going to Texas to mourn the loss of a beautiful young girl at a vigil in the park where she and her girlfriend were shot. But I'm also hoping this tragedy wakes people up to the nightmares on the horizon that are sure to come if our foes don't halt their rancid and reactionary rhetoric.
For comedy I turn to Christian bigots, but they have let me down of late. What's missing from the current crop, what today's anti-gay preachers, with their infantile depictions of "poo-poo pansies," fail to provide, is camp.
It's Pride Month, and I'd like to take a few moments to reflect on the onslaught of sweet, sweet Christian love flowing in our general direction. Christian love is a very complex thing. At first You might think it's hate, but Christians are incapable of hate, so it's really love.
I've been tracking these recent calls by pastors for the death of LGBT people on my blog, and a few readers are seemingly excusing these pastors' behavior by stating, among other things, that they were "just quoting Scripture" or "thinking out loud." I disagree.
My fellow congregants: I stand before you today an angry man! I am hoppin' mad cuz a legion of sinners is pushin' a liberal agenda that will be the ruination of us all. You know what I am talkin' about, don't ya?! Eating shellfish!
It may be true that the "death to gays" pastors and their followers represent a tiny portion of evangelicals. But a much larger group of white evangelicals is not speaking out against the people making claims in the name of their religious faith.
Next time we want simply to dismiss Charles Worley, Sean Harris, Fred Phelps, and other "extremists" as "just a bunch of crazy fanatics," let us investigate the fuller picture by addressing where these attitudes and behaviors stem from.
While the most recent call to violence from a pulpit, courtesy of pastor Charles Worley, is just another example of a fundamentalist's misinterpretation and exploitation of scripture, it is threatening and poses a legitimate risk for me and other members of the LGBT community.