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Justifying Words of Hate: The Sins of the Religious Right

Updated on February 6, 2013
janikon profile image

Stuart has spent three years trying to convince his boyfriend he is not hiding books under their bed and they are certainly not multiplying.


I am white. I have unruly brown hair. I have blue eyes. I'm a writer. I'm a painter. I'm an actor. I'm a friend. I'm somebodies son and somebodies brother. I love to laugh. I actually like cleaning but rarely make my bed, I still think it's more comfortable messy. I hate when ice cream touches my pie crust. I dislike soda. I love taking photos with my iPhone and I'm addicted to Instagram. I'm twenty-seven years old.

I'm also gay.

I believe my sexuality does not define the person I am nor does it condemn me to hell for choosing to engage in a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex. There are many people who would agree with me but there are many people, albeit more vocal than similar-minded supporters, who do not agree with me. I have been forum jumping for the last week while I have been home with the flu and it has become increasingly obvious there is a very vocal sect of hubbers who believe I do not deserve the same rights, freedoms and liberties they enjoy unquestioned.

It begins with someone asking for others opinions on gay marriage, gay adoption, choice vs. predisposition or other Christians views on homosexuality in the bible and without fail someone leaves a comment condemning an entire society to hell. When questioned on how they could possibly be so brazen to assume sexuality and not the merit of an individual is the deciding factor in condemnation they instantly quote:

Thou shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination (Leviticus 18:22)

The forum is then instantly reduced from thereon to a simple match of wits with both sides attempting to out match the other. It becomes a conversation on the validity of the bible, on the existence of God and whose sins outweigh the other but there is never a conversation on the weight of the words used. There are very few times the acidity of those sacred words have on an individual who actually believes they are condemned for the feelings, urges and inclinations they have.

It would be a more interesting conversation if we were to focus solely on the justification so many can make for their words of hate. How they can rise in the morning and rest in the evening content with intolerance and bigotry they cast out into the world. The more interesting conversation would be how they are able to look themselves in the mirror and know they have sinned as greatly as any homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered but still believe they are going to heaven.

Hate Speech = Love

I've harboured an odd fascination with the Phelps family [the infamous people behind the Westboro Baptist Church] for most of my twenties, though I imagine my fascination mirrors a child's fascination with the sun; it can only be glanced at in short intervals before your eyes begin to burn. There are very few people who understand my need to understand the foundational arguments of the people who oppose my core set of beliefs, I've always been taught knowledge and understanding are the tools to defeat cruelty born from ignorance.

The most interesting thing about the Phelps family and many of the self-proclaimed Christians posting to the gay-oriented forums, message boards and in the comment sections of YouTube videos is they profess a unique type of love for the LGBT community. Each one of their beliefs, hateful slogans and derogatory remarks comes from a place deep within their hearts. They simply are more inclined and feel a duty to inform 'our kind' we are not right in the eyes of the Lord and need to seek repentance. Shirley Phelps-Roper has repeatedly stated her family [with their despicable signs and horrid practice of picketing funerals of fallen soldiers] love the world more than any of the "f** enablers" who choose to accept them for who they are and openly resist the word of the oh mighty God.

But what I find truly fascinating about this family and people like them is they are careful to leave personal opinion out of it, instead choosing to preempt opines with the bible reads or he says and here in lies the crux of the problem. How can you have a healthy debate with someone when the words which are being used they refuse to take ownership of and instead spend the time defending their religious stance.

They hide behind religious freedom and expression while making it known an entire sect of the population is wholly doomed to suffer in the afterlife. Whereas upfront homophobes take ownership of their opinions and insinuations these people only profess to be spreading the sacred word of the Lord and therefore can be held accountable for the actions of religious extremists.

Perhaps a better debate would be who in this sin-filled world will see heaven? Or how many people need to be damaged and broken by these hate-filled words before it leaves a mark against them in their plan for the afterlife?


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    • hisandhers profile image

      hisandhers 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      I agree that physical acts of love as described above (read: sex) are not always linked with true "emotional" love or however you choose to describe it. But I also think that we can safely say that sex is just one of many manifestations of the different types of love a human being can express towards another human being. Simply because you define this kind of love between two men or two women as being "yucky" does not make it any less valid. Does it bear any resemblance to the love experienced between a parent and child? Of course not. To suggest otherwise is sinking into some deep, Freudian territory unrelated to this Hub. Comparing homosexuality to the sexual abuse of a child is frankly irresponsible considering the only correlation that you seem to make between the two is that you find both of them disgusting.

      Demanding equal rights and acceptance for homosexuals is NOT about asking people to agree with or "like" what goes on between two consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedrooms. It's acknowledging the right of another human being to love another human being openly and without judgment. To me, that is true enlightenment.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

      Loving someone is not the same as when you go into the physical act like in bedroom behavior. You do deserve the right to liberty, pursuit of happiness. I think sometimes there are ones who get confused to believe they have to have a sexual relationship with someone they love. Parents love their children. It doesn't make it right to sexually abuse a child. It is kind of like the same thing when two men do it or two women. yuk!

      You are talented and I wish you blessings and enlightenment. I wish you much success in all you attempt to achieve in your life. :)

      Hope you feel better soon.! Chicken soup and plenty of water, ok? :)

    • janikon profile image

      Stuart A Jeffery 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      @jonnycomelately thanks for the read and the kind words.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 5 years ago from Tasmania

      Well written Sir, and I applaud your willingness and humility to explore the opinions of others.