For years I have been saying that those who came out of the closet one generation ago (speaking of gay activists) want to put us in the closet today. For making that statement, I have been derisively scorned and ridiculed: “No one is trying to put you in the closet!” But as the tide continues to turn in favor of the gay activist agenda, I’m noticing a shift. People are now saying to me, “Bigots like you belong in the closet!”
Last Wednesday (January 25th), Dr. Frank Turek and I engaged in a radio dialogue-debate with gay activist Mitchell Gold, founder of Faith in America, which is devoted to “ending the harm of religion-based bigotry.”
Speaking at a reception on Capitol Hill December 2, 2011, Gold made reference to this alleged “religion-based bigotry,” saying, “I know those . . . three words might seem harsh or incendiary to some, but unfortunately those are the words that best describe the disease that has and is dividing our country and too many families.”
In other words, if you have any moral or religious or social objection to homosexual practice you are suffering from a divisive and destructive “disease.” In fact, if you simply affirm that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, not the union of two people, you are suffering from the “disease” of “religion based-bigotry.” And bigots, of course, should not be tolerated.
In the midst of our very spirited debate (the three of us are from New Jersey or New York), I repeatedly told listeners they needed to read the book Mitchell edited, Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America. In keeping with the sub-title, I reiterated that it was important that those of us who opposed gay activism understood the personal dimensions involved. In fact, I started the show by asking Mitchell to tell his own story, wanting others to know the pain he suffered growing up with same-sex attractions.
I also made clear that rampant, no-fault divorce among heterosexuals (including all too many Christians) had done more to destroy marriage than all gay activists combined.
Still, when I asked Mitchell what he thought I should do with my deeply held spiritual and moral convictions, the fruit of 40 years of study, prayer, and reflection, he basically said that I needed to keep studying until I abandoned my opposition to homosexual practice. So much for tolerance, diversity, and religious freedom.
The emails I received from those in Mitchell’s camp were even more enlightening (I have not corrected the typos).
From Rosemarie: “You are the one that is blinded by bigotry. Read how the churches handled slavery, mixed marriages, etc. . . . You and others like you will have a lot to answer for at the judgement. You might make it in the gates and you will most likely be surprised who is there and who is not there.”
From John: “I just finished listening to your program featuring Mitchell Gold, and I feel like crying. . . . It's such a bold, unquestioned arrogance. . . . I'm a very loving, open-minded athiest as an adult. I whole-heartedly wish that all of humanity would abandon belief in god(s) and truly learn what it is to be kind, and loving and gentle to each other. In all likelihood, it will never happen, but I sincerely believe it's the only way we will avoid extinction. Upon hearing the message of your show... (devicive, bigotted, self-righteousness) wrapped in the guise of love, I am far-from-assured in my hope for humanity.”
From Cindy: “As a Christian, I was deeply offended by your comments as well as Frank Turek's comments. . . . Your arguments are outdated and preposterous. You and Mr Turek reminded me of my grandmother when she would rant on and on about black folk. She was fearful.”
From Jeana: “More than 60% of the congregation in my church are divorced. Don't blame that on the gays. There are 4 pregnant unwed teenagers in my church. Don't blame that on the gays. Porn addiction is an epidemic among the married men in my church. Don't blame that on the gays. In other words stop blaming the world's problems on the gays just so you can justify your hate. You can deny your hate all you want but if you listened to yesterday's broadcast, your disgust and hate comes through loud and clear.” (My emphasis.)
From Jess: “I couldn't believe how obnoxious you and Mr. Turek were to Mitchell Gold. You two acted like immature teenage boys...bullying someone who's diiferent than you.” (But of course. Bullying!)
And clearest of all, from Pablo: “Free speech espousing hate even disguised as pseudo or real religious speech is still hate speech. Hate speech in any and all circumstances is not protected by US law. If you use religion to disguise your hatred of other groups you should be called out, fired, fined and shamed.”
Now, go back and re-read the opening paragraph and tell me if it sounds far-fetched to you.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.