Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hate Speech

Bobby Griffith

I should be downstairs with the others tonight.  It’s Saturday after all and the girls are coming together and who knows what they’ll get up to.  But I have to get all this somehow out of my system.

I’m reading the book, Prayers for Bobby, by Leroy Aarons.  It’s been out for almost 20 years, I guess, but I’m just now reading it.  It’s the story of Bobby Griffith, a gay man from Walnut Creek, California, who committed suicide in 1983 at the age of 20.

Instrumental in his suicide was the fervid conservative Presbyterianism of his mother and their local church.  Mary Griffith, Bobby’s mom, has become an advocate for gay youth, and she has seen the error of her “Christian” ways.  Too late, though, for the beautiful boy who was Bobby.

I am angry and afraid as I read this book.

Christians did this!!!!  Just as they have done to so many other gay kids and young adults—including me—they made Bobby believe he was worthless in the eyes of God and humankind and that, unless he lived a life of impossible denial, he would always be worthless and dirty and no good.

I believe the Christian Church, when it comes to its attitudes about gay men and women, is a hate group and it should be denounced as such.  Its members sanctimoniously tell us gay people that we have “chosen” our “lifestyle” and we need to make another choice or we will remain an “abomination.”  They base their beliefs supposedly on Leviticus and Romans.  What they really base their beliefs on, in my strong opinion, is fear of the different, and the need for everyone in the world to conform to their ideal of human life.

The Church must—MUST—stop this.  Liberal congregations must speak out loud and in the media condemning the awful things that the fundamentalist sects preach night and day on TV, radio, and in print.  Individual tolerant Christians have to have the courage to say to their ignorant coreligionists that they are not only wrong, but sinfully, criminally wrong in their complicity in so much human suffering and death.  Moderate and liberal Christian parents MUST teach their children that being gay is being gay by God, and that taunting and name–calling and physical violence against gay kids is wrong, not Christian, sinful, and criminal.

If the Church wants to repent of all the evil it has done to gay kids, women, and men over the millennia, then it needs either to support gay people or shut the fuck up.  If we don’t tolerate a basketball star using a gay pejorative on the court, then how in the hell can we tolerate the garbage that Christian churches spew Sunday after Sunday about gay people.  It is hate speech, pure and simple, and it needs to be called as such and it needs to stop!


  1. Thank you. Good words to put out there.

  2. Glad you pointed out that we listen to garbage from the pulpit that would be legally actionable in any other arena.

  3. Jesus himself never even mentioned homosexuality. That's right...not a word is recorded as having been spoken by the historical jesus for or against! What he did teach is love for our fellow humans. That as I read it is the sum total of his message. It is a message that I try to follow, even though I do not consider myself a christian. It's also the message I taught my three daughters, one of whom is gay.

  4. "Christians" always seem to miss the part about God given free will and that THEY have to be loving and tolerant of others even if they don't agree with them, My attitude about it is that I don't care what people do in there personal and private lives, As long as they are good people that's all that matters.

  5. The entire Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments combined contain 6 admonishments against homosexuality. It contains 352 admonishments against heterosexuality.