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12:27 am EDT 67°F (19°C) in Carthage, MO
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The seventh anniversary of the domain name “phatpage.org” finds me here in extreme southwestern Missouri, having just run an almost 250-mile (400 km) deadhead to get here from Hutchinson, KS. I’ll be getting loaded here shortly, and then I will have until Thursday evening to get to southeastern Kentucky. I sure am doing the Redneck Tour of America, aren’t I?
Those rednecks may be, well, rednecky, but at least they haven’t gone completely off the deep end like many so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christian’” leaders have lately. The latest thing to set them off has been some of the response to Jerry Falwell’s entrance into Hell eight days ago; my entry about that was just one of tens of thousands of such blog entries, articles, and other compositions all across teh intarwebz. Two notable Christofascist terrorist leaders, Peter LaBarbera of his own personality cult called “Americans for ‘Truth’” and radio host Stacy Harp, have been especially ugly and vicious in their Satan-motivated, Falwell-esque attacks on God’s beloved gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children.
I refuse to link to such offensive, anti-Christian propaganda, so it will have to suffice to say that one of their biggest Satan-approved talking points is to refer to GLBT people as “God-haters” or “Christ-haters.” In case it’s not obvious, you can tell they absorbed this rhetoric from vicious anti-Semitic groups, who make frequent (albeit utterly absurd) reference to Jews as “Christ-killers” even though (a) none of today’s Jewish people were around 2,000 years ago to have any part in it, and (b) Jesus Himself was a Jew — so I doubt He helped to kill Himself. Not only is this an effective use of Nazi propaganda by LaBarbera and Harp, but for that matter, it is (a) equally absurd and (b) nothing more than their attempt to deflect responsibility for their own deadly sins which will one day land them next to Falwell in Hell.
As I said, this claim is absolutely absurd on several levels. There are many GLBT people who are atheists or agnostics and don’t necessarily believe in the existence of any god, much less the Judeo-Christian one. I would like to know, how can they possibly hate something they don’t even believe exists? (Well, I know the Christofascist reply would be “denying God means you ‘hate’ Him!”, but this is a complete non sequitur that doesn’t address the question.) To continue with this line of logic, why would Hindu or Confucian or Wiccan or Pastafarian GLBTs hate something they don’t worship as a deity anyway? Why would Jewish and Muslim GLBTs, who profess faith in the same God as Christians (under a different name in Islam) but view Jesus as a prophet rather than a divine Messiah, hate Christ?
There are also many GLBT people who profess some form of Christian faith, from Anglican to Catholic to Baptist and many more. They realize the truth that by humbly following the simple commands Jesus gave us — things like “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31), “do unto others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12), and “judge not, lest ye be judged” (Luke 6:37) — they are demonstrating their unwavering love for Christ, and all of His children here on earth, every day. Speaking the truth about those who ignore these simple commands is not hatred of Christ at all; rather, it is showing loving Christian concern for all of the Lord’s children, even those who choose to defy His Word by displaying hatred and self-righteous condemnation toward other children of God.
Truly, it is those who ignore Jesus’ simple instructions to us — as Jerry Falwell did, and Peter LaBarbera and Stacy Harp among many others still do — who hate Him. Their charge that GLBT people somehow “hate God” therefore is a perfect example of what psychologists call projection — they project what they can’t stand about themselves onto their “enemies,” in this case the targets of their hate-motivated earthly political agenda. People like LaBarbera and Harp can con others into believing that they are good “Christians,” but they cannot fool God — He sees right through the evil in their souls. He knows that they so despise Him, His Son, and His Word, that they retreat into their own little fantasy world in which the Gospels and Jesus’ simple commands therein are nonexistent.
In fact, while LaBarbera accuses “the Left” of “re-defining ancient Christian beliefs” about homosexuality, we find that he is, yet again, simply projecting his own even more radical re-definition of Christian beliefs off of himself. The very title of a recent post on what amounts to his blog claimed that Falwell, the source of these classic, infamous quotes, “loved [gays] with the ‘Gospel truth’.” However, considering that the Gospel truth says absolutely nothing at all about homosexuality, and instead commands us to do the simple things I listed two paragraphs ago, it is obvious that LaBarbera has re-defined the Gospels — and in fact, the Truth about Christ Himself — in order to suit his agenda of anti-gay hatred.
Nowhere did Christ say, “To ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ means to constantly remind him of what a terrible, unrepentant “sinner” you think he is because of the way My Father made him.” Although so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christians’” often act as if that was Christ’s intention, such a belief is absolutely unbiblical and un-Christian. Christ did not put any conditions on his command to love one’s neighbor as oneself — so the only right way to read this command is that we must love our fellow human beings, all of them, without conditions or self-righteous condemnation. To do otherwise violates Jesus’ command that we have come to call “the Golden Rule.”
Another way that both LaBarbera and Harp make their anti-Christian hatred obvious is childish, immature name-calling. Harp, in particular, could hardly finish a sentence in one of her recent blog entries (remember, I refuse to link to such anti-Christian foolishness) without saying things like “sodomites,” “militant sodomites,” “earthly demons,” and “Godhaters” [sic]. LaBarbera, for his part, was a bit more restrained, but made at least two references to God’s beloved gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children as the “Immoral Minority” — playing off the name of Falwell’s 1970s political lobbying group, the so-called “Moral Majority.” Such childish slanders are blatant violations of God’s Eighth Commandment, which states “thou shalt not lie.”
Why, you ask, do I make entries like these? I’m sure they strike GLBT audiences as quixotic, and so-called “Christians” as evil, so I’m probably not making that many friends on either side. That’s not the point, though; I want to make it clear to everybody that Christianity and homosexuality are far, far more compatible than the likes of Peter LaBarbera, Stacy Harp, and Jerry Falwell — among millions of others — would have you believe. I’m also not really trying to convert GLBT people of other faiths, or no faith for that matter, to Christianity — it’s no skin off my back if somebody else keeps kosher, prays toward Mecca five times a day, doesn’t believe in any god, or whatever, as long as there is basic mutual respect for the human dignity of all people.
That said, I personally consider myself a Christian, having grown up Roman Catholic, and I believe I should do the best job I can of following and encouraging others to follow the simple guidelines that Jesus gave us in the Gospels. Although my source for these guidelines is Christianity, I believe that they transcend any one religious affiliation — I’m sure if I looked, I would find similar guidelines in almost every other major world religion. Above all else, though, I seek to undo the perversion of Christ’s message that has been foisted upon us by the so-called “religious right,” which includes the Catholic Church to which I once belonged. They are more interested in the judgment, condemnation, and self-righteous air of superiority displayed by the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, rather than the simple message Jesus left us.
Well, they’ve finished loading this refrigerated food into my trailer, so I have to hit the road.