Charles Worley is an Uneducated Pastor
The uneducated nature of demonizing gays
The Human Side
On his first day of kindergarten, some twenty years ago, an old and dear friend of mine came home with a crush, only to his mother’s surprise it was on another boy.
“No!” She had said, sweeping his blond locks away from his face, “You like girls, you are a boy sweetie!” She had smiled at him then, not thinking another thing of it.
Jordan* grew up with this knowledge firmly implanted in his head, not only from his mother but the world around. As high school took off and peers turned crushes into hook ups, Jordan felt the pressure to conform always trying to be interested in an assembly of body parts he felt more turned off by than turned on. Humans are strangely optimistic, as was the case with Jordan; despite his number of failed attempts to enjoy romantics with a girl he continued to try. Although his own mother had started putting together the pieces, old photos showed Jordan playing with dolls instead of trucks, slipping on his mother’s high heels and not his father’s work boots. When he finally came out, he surprised next to no one. Jordan was lucky, his freedom came without cost, his lovely family accepted him gay or straight, knowing what so few do- following your heart and publicly living gay is a difficult choice to make, it’s not a lifestyle anyone picks unless they truly feel inside there is no other way to feel whole.
The Charles Worley Side
Charley Worley will thankfully never met my funny, hardworking, and optimistic friend Jordan, because if he did he would only want to harm his kind spirit. In a recent sermon published by the church itself, Pastor Worley takes off on a scary tangent in which he proclaims all gays and lesbians be separated and then locked up behind electric fences. The angry rant can be viewed all over the Internet but let me warn you, the ideology behind it is as scary as the message itself. Worley somehow believes that by locking up anyone who is currently proclaimed gay, ‘they’ will not reproduce.
Is Mr. Worley implying that only gay people produce gay offspring? If so, I’m afraid he, and his followers who happily quote his words, need to take a trip back to basic biology. My friend Jordan’s parents were not gay, neither were his Grandparent’s and neither likely will his future children be. Being gay is not a hereditary trait, that’s just as bonkers as those who think ‘gay’ is catching!
Worley is quick to say he doesn’t hate gay people themselves, he only wants to help them change and he also wants to make sure they do not reproduce. His congregation complies, in Worley’s defense one woman told CNN, “He said he would feed them!”
So what causes people to think that my friend Jordan is some criminal, deserving of punishment, less human than heterosexuals? I argue the answer is education. Not the type we get in the classroom, memorizing the states, learning a biased history of our Native people, or spewing off times-tables. Regardless of what real families look like, in school we learn about one type of family: the regular middle class clan with a mom, a dad, some pets and a few kids. We learn to listen, behave, assimilate, raise our hand, and follow directions; is it any wonder people grow up so easy to manipulate? We are taught from day one to be manipulated by authority figures, which makes it all the more scary that someone like Worley is in such a position of power to preach.
In place of teaching kids about diversity, tolerance, and understanding other perspectives, teachers must busy their classrooms with what ideologies surrounding standardized tests see as more important. But in regards to the future of this world and it being a happy, fair, and equal place for all, these potent topics need to be staked in our curriculum. As of now, it’s not until college that these topics are taught in the classroom and experienced through service learning.
Not to say all of Maiden is a follower of Worley, because clearly they are not, but the fact that he remains a popular town Pastor, even with his unashamed stance, speaks for itself. To me, it’s rather unsurprising that only 10% of Maiden have a bachelors degree or higher. I don’t say this to be nasty or rude or to stomp on anyone who doesn’t have a higher degree; it’s not our individual faults that the basic fundamentals for a caring society are pushed off until higher education- and not always are they taught then.
In fear of offending parents and traumatizing students far too many issues have become taboo in the classroom, leaving students ignorant to anything outside of their neatly bubbled Scantrons. Religion is hush and so is homosexuality, therefore 90% of Maiden’s population is hearing Worley’s stance from an authoritative position without having any previous education on the matter to weigh against his confident claims. How can his congregation rebuke his words when growing up, school never mentioned the topic of gay marriage for it was too impure to discuss.
Maiden is demographically segregated with 10,884 of their 12,545 citizens being white and 93% only speaking English, not only has school failed to teach Maiden about diversity, of all kinds, but so has the makeup of their town. When we don’t see diversity on an everyday basis we don’t learn to appreciate it, we actually, instinctually, learn to fear it. The fact our public schools do nothing to lift the veils of reality only expand the problem; allowing the likes of Pastor Maiden to go on believing he is right.
*name has been changed
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