03/08/2012 08:31 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Growing Pains

It's time for Kirk Cameron to come down off his cross.

Cameron, a former teen idol, is best known for portraying the character of Mike Seaver, a likeable mischief-maker who had a cute best friend named Boner, on the sitcom Growing Pains, which aired from 1985 to 1992. Now at age 41, he is an outspoken evangelical Christian.

In an interview with Piers Morgan that aired Friday, March 2 on CNN, Cameron explained that because of his Christian beliefs, he feels same-sex marriage is "unnatural." Cameron also stated that homosexuality itself is "detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of society." There was, understandably, an immediate and quite vocal backlash from the gay community and its supporters. Cameron's assertions were extreme and completely unfounded. As a result of the fallout, Cameron then released the following statement:

I spoke as honestly as I could, but some people believe my responses were not loving toward those in the gay community. That is not true. I can assuredly say that it's my life's mission to love all people.

I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years -- without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach "tolerance" that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I'm in the public square.

I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect. I've been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally).

What a load of crap. First of all, I seriously doubt that Cameron has any gay friends. Secondly, calling something unnatural, detrimental, and ultimately destructive to society is hardly debating with greater love and respect. It's fear mongering and, yes, it is hate speech.

Kirk Cameron, however, now sees himself as the victim in all of this. Go figure. Lately, we've been hearing this quite a bit from the right. Perhaps Gary Bauer, former Reagan adviser and current president of the anti-gay organization American Values, summed it up best when he nostalgically opined, "Not long ago, virtually no one would have argued with [Kirk] Cameron's comments." That's true. For decades, conservative Christians have had free rein to impose their views on, and spread their lies about, anyone who refuses to assimilate to their selectively biblical, puritanical idea of how we should all conduct our lives. But as the gay community has become more prominent, the myths of choice and ex-gay reparation have been debunked, and the unjustifiable and systematic denial of equal rights has been challenged, we no longer feel forced to idly sit by while we are slandered, maligned, and abused, all in the name of someone's religion. This has caused more than a few right-wing hissy fits and cries of a "war on Christianity." They insist that they are being persecuted, when they are merely being held accountable for their shameful behavior.

Kirk Cameron and his Christian buddies are free to say anything they want, and I would never, ever deny them that right. They should, however, stop making excuses for their bad behavior, and stop apologizing. They have their beliefs; they should stand proudly by them. In fact, I would wholeheartedly encourage Kirk Cameron and his ilk to, as publicly as possible, keep lying, judging, proselytizing, and misrepresenting. I want them to continue flaunting and exposing the sheer ugliness of conservative Christianity. And we, in turn, will continue to respond, as is our right and our obligation. Their unfettered bullying has gone on long enough. Times are changing. And, that's a good thing -- for all of us.