The greatest fear in modern the modern anti-gay world these days is simple: being viewed as a bigot. Nothing sends a chill down the area where the spine normally resides of our spineless, bigoted neighbors — than being called for what they are: Bigots.
For example, popular MSNBC host Rachel Maddow sat on a panel last week to discuss the Supreme Court’s decisions on marriage equality on Meet the Press with David Gregory. Other panelists included Senator Jim DeMint and professional “Christian” Ralph Reed, suddenly back in the limelight after being tied with Jack Abramoff. You might remember Reed from his Christian Coalition days where they put out “voter guides” to help Christians determine who the most anti-gay candidates were.
During the conversation, Reed, after being handed his lunch by Dr. Maddow, decided he didn’t like being called a bigot. Here’s the exchange:
Maddow: “Gay people exist. There’s nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist, but you don’t make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn’t make straight people’s lives any better.”
Reed: “…this suggestion that because somebody wants to affirm the institution of marriage that they’re ipso facto intolerant? By that argument, Barack Obama was intolerant 14 months ago. By that argument, 342 members of the House, 85 members of the Senate, including, by the way, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Pat Leahy, who all voted for this law, and Bill Clinton who signed it into law, were intolerant and motivated by an animus and a hatred for gays.”
Maddow countered that no one was calling them bigots. Which is, of course, the truth. The only one who dropped the “b” word in this topic was Reed, who revealed the one fear that he and his anti-gay activists have used as their latest weapon: They really, really don’t like being viewed as the bigots they are.
You see, while they spend countless hours, sermon planning, and millions of dollars in the political scene to keep LGBT people from gaining basic equality (the Workplace Equality Act still hasn’t seen the light of day in Congress), they want to convince us that they’re really not acting out of animus or bigotry.
So please, dear pro-LGBT person, Ralph Reed and thousands of anti-gay bigots…. er… activists would very much like for you to not think of them as bigots. After all, they’re just loving Christians who are doing what Jesus wants them to do — to keep the gays from being treated as equal human beings. Never mind the fact that Jesus Himself did not utter a single anti-gay word anywhere in the Gospels.
So, in the interest of public service, I have decided to help my fellow Christians out a bit — and offer some loving advice on how to not be viewed as a bigot. After all, that is obviously the greatest fear out there in Evangelical land (second only to the unspoken fear that we gays will destroy the fabric of society and make straight marriages illegal. Or something). Poor Ralph Reed. He really, really, didn’t like the idea of being a bigot. So let’s help him out, shall we?
How to Not be Viewed as a Bigot
1) Don’t work to strip or prevent the rights of your LGBT neighbors.
Yes, this one is kind of a no-brainer. No matter what you say or do, this is at the top of the list for a great many reasons. If you’re out there saying how much you “love the homosexual” yet have worked to prevent a local government from even adding sexual orientation in their internal nondiscrimination policy, then you are going to have a hard time convincing me — or anyone else — that you are not, in fact, a raving anti-gay bigot.
The simple fact is that if you have put any effort whatsoever in fighting against LGBT equality, you are a bigot. There’s no other way to put it. If you have even VOTED to prevent LGBT equality, then that was the act of a bigot. I don’t care how many times you convince yourself it was about “protecting” marriage (whose greatest real enemies are divorce, spousal abuse, domestic violence, and infidelity).
Allowing gay couples the right to a civil marriage has absolutely nothing to do with your marriage, your church, or your business. Unless, of course, your business is an anti-gay political organization disguised as a religious group.
2) Stop referring to us as “sodomites.”
Yeah, another “duh” moment. Especially since every time Jesus mentioned the city of Sodom, it was not about the gays. In fact, it was how outsiders were treated. Look it up. I dare you.
3) Stop confusing “sexual orientation” with “sexual behavior.”
We LGBT people might have a little different fun between the sheets than you might, dear straight person, but that doesn’t mean our entire lives are defined by sex. Seriously, we don’t refer to straight people as people who engage in heterosexual behavior.” I mean, really. What the hell is “homosexual behavior” anyway? Shopping? Dancing? Interior Decorating?
4) Stop blaming natural disasters on us.
Really? Did I even have to say it? The latest charge is that somehow forest fires are because of the gays. I still roll my eyes that somehow Hurricane Katrina was because of the gays getting married in Massachusetts. Seriously. Pat Robertson’s ‘god’ wiped out an entire Gulf Coast city because another state thousands of miles away lets gays get married. Or that same ‘god‘ would wipe out that same city because of a gay version of Mardi Gras that would have been held a week after the storm. Never mind the fact that the straight version of Mardi Gras isn’t exactly family-friendly.
Talk about piss-poor aim for a deity. Geez. It’s quite obvious that Mr. Robertson’s ‘god‘ is not the Creator of the Universe, but just an angrier, more shriveled-up version of himself. If that were possible.
5) Stop trying to convert gays into straight people.
Frankly, I don’t care how many times you bring up “ex-gays” like Dennis Jernigan (who is somehow “cured” because he fathered nine children) or the two or three other “ex-gay” poster children out there. In the real world, we all know that sexual orientation is impossible to be changed. Just ask other former ex-gay leaders like John Paulk, John Smid, and Alan Chambers. Gay people are gay. Straight people are straight. Bisexuals are bisexual. Transgender people are transgender. It’s not rocket science, folks.
So please, for the love of everything holy, stop trying to sweep your gay “dirt” under the ex-gay rug — and for God’s sake, stop parading these frauds as “proof.” We know better. They’re still gay as the day is long. Just because they’re better at hiding it doesn’t mean that they’re “fixed” or “cured.”
6) Stop trying to build a false “bridge” to the Church for LGBT people.
Really, we’re not idiots. We can smell a trap a mile away. When you build a “bridge” with the classic bait-and-switch tactic that they can be “gay” just so long as they don’t “BE” gay. Because, dear Christian, when you cheer on your straight buddy for his latest (heterosexual) sexual conquest and condemn your gay “friend” because he had a fling, that’s just dumb.
There’s not a single “bridge” that anyone would want to cross that would insist that loving, committed, monogamous partners should separate and live in celibacy for the rest of their lives. Asking us to do that just so you don’t have to think about us getting it on — well, that’s just pure selfishness. Get over yourself. We build relationships too. But we are not at all interested in crossing a one-way “bridge” just to make you feel better about yourself.
7) Stop going to gay pride festivals to look for people in assless chaps to show how “bad” we are.
People wearing assless chaps are about as representative of the gay community as Fred Phelps is representative of the Christian Church. We all have our extremes. When that’s all you focus on, then that’s all you’ll ever see. Yes, i’m talking to you, Peter Lababera.
8) Do not support the criminalization of homosexuality.
Another no-brainer. When the United States Department of State announces that they will withhold funding from countries that pass those laws, the proper thing to do is to support that decision — not to come out with statements in support of such barbaric legislation.
9) Stop using myths and lies to support your bigotry.
The Nazis were not homosexuals. Gays are not the same as pedophiles. NAMBLA has absolutely nothing to do with the gay rights movement. Same-sex parents do not harm children. Gays are not gay because they were sexually abused. Homosexuality is not a mental disorder.
10) Understand that we’re not you.
What does this mean? Simple. We are not interested in squelching your rights like you have done to us for decades. We’re not interested in preventing you from getting married. We’re not going to pass a law that makes it legal for someone to fire you because you’re Christian. We’re certainly not going to make Christianity illegal. Our agenda is, and always has been for you to STOP doing this things to us.
Frankly, you’ve been punching us on the face for years. It’s not an infringement on your rights to say “stop punching them in the face.” Never has been, never will be.
11) Admit you’re a bigot. And choose to change.
Sexual orientation is not a choice. It really isn’t. However, bigotry is. We do not have a choice about the situations we have to deal with in life, but we all have a choice on how we respond to those situations. Educate yourself. Make friends with gay people. I’m not talking about the “I have a gay friend” kind of friendship, either. Get to know us. Eat dinner with us. Talk with us. Let us tell you our stories. Let us tell you why it really is difficult, even in today’s times, to be gay.
You see? It’s not really that difficult to not be viewed as a bigot. All it takes is a few, common-sense measures that will keep you from getting slapped with that all-damning label. But then, it’s pretty obvious that those of you that have made a career out of fighting against LGBT equality are going to have the hardest time with this. After all, that first one — it’s a doozie.
For most of us, though, this is pretty simple. Don’t fight against my rights, and I won’t view you as a bigot. It’s not that difficult to understand.
Did I miss anything? Sound off below!