Let Me Break It Down For You

Many of you will never know the fear of the threat of having your civil rights stripped from you, not being able to express the committed love you have by being able to wed the one you love, or fearing that you may be fired from your job merely for who you are in your particular humanity. You were lucky. You grew up attracted to the opposite sex. You don't know why; it was just natural for you; you didn't ask to be straight. You were raised in a straight world; and you took this straight-ness for granted.

Same here: except I wasn't lucky. I grew up attracted to the same gender. I don't know why; it was just natural for me; I didn't ask to be gay. I was raised in a straight world; and I was scared of this straight-ness. Everyone at church was straight. All my friends were straight. Politicians were straight. My co-workers were straight. The people at Burger King and Taco Bell and the movies and the ice cream parlor and the library and my classmates and teachers: straight, straight, straight. Or so I thought.

When I graduated high school, and moved to the big city of Washington D.C., I discovered that there were a lot more people like me than I had previously imagined. Think about it: I went from thinking I was defective, cursed and alone, to understanding that many more people shared my experiences. I actually was not alone. But I knew what disapproval from straight people felt like: social, political, and religious straight people.

There was a time when "homosexuality" was criminalized in this country. If a guy like me fell in love with a guy, and we wanted to be together like our straight friends, we risked being arrested for committing the crime of "homosexuality." The government was influenced by Christians in passing laws against "homosexuality." Here we are, two hundred and forty-one years later, and LGBTQ people are still having to fight for our civil rights.

But our foes have not changed. Conservative evangelical leaders (and please do not think that they rightly represent Jesus or the Christian faith) are still adamant in restricting our civil rights. They have nominated themselves enemies of LGBTQ people; and they have elected the Republican party as the vehicle through which to actualize their bigoted, unChristian, religio-politico right-wing agenda.

I will no longer attempt to woo and win such individuals. I will not tone down my rhetoric. I will not accommodate them. I will not pacify them. I will treat them with the same attitude that Jesus assumed with the Pharisees who deluded people into thinking that their Religious Right smear campaign rightly represented Kingdom values (cf. Matt. 23:1-39).

You may argue: "But you can catch more flies with honey." I don't want flies: flies are maggots that evolve into flying insects. Satan is even referred to as the Lord of the flies (2 Cor. 6:15: "Belial" refers to the Lord of the flies). These individuals have closed their ears and are not willing to reason. They have made themselves my sworn enemy; and, yet, I realize that my true enemy is the evil force driving them in their hatred: Satan.

"NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS TO ME, 'LORD, LORD,' SHALL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN." -- JESUS (MATT. 7:21)

Trump promised to stand for LGBTQ folk; but, along with his anti-LGBTQ sidekicks Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions, they have decided that the Civil Rights Laws will not apply to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and queer human beings. (link/link/link/link/link) Does the marriage between the Religious Right and the Republican party not make sense to you now? They are in bed together; they scratch each other's backs.

The apostate Religious Right whispers its anti-LGBTQ agenda into the ears of the Republican administration and that administration concedes. Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jr. and his boys over at Liberty University, Eric Metaxas, Michael Brown, Al Mohler, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Jay Sekulow, Pat Robertson, Rick Perry, Betsy DeVos, Stephen Miller, Jack Graham, Steve Bannon, Gary Bauer, Gary DeMar, Ralph Reed, James Dobson and a host of other LGBTQ-hating individuals must be in sheer ecstasy now. Meanwhile, I wonder to what extent this will affect my future and the future of other LGBTQ people, U.S. citizens, in this country.

You can easily dismiss this because this doesn't apply to you. Unless laws and policies affect you, on a personal level, understanding and empathizing with the fear and anxiety of such people can be difficult. But let me break it down for you. Imagine a different world -- one in which being straight was deemed weird, defective, even an abomination to a religious deity and the followers of that deity. You didn't ask to be straight; but there you are, attracted to the opposite sex, having absolutely no interest in trying to change that reality. All you really want is the right to love, to share your life with the love of your life, and to work to earn a living without fear of being fired merely because you're straight.

You were hoping that the Government would protect your perceived rights to be straight, to love, to work without fear and anxiety. But, alas, the political party in power, along with the religious group who thinks your heterosexual attraction is morally repulsive, declares that the Civil Rights Laws don't apply to straight people. What would you do? How would you feel? Could you affirm that religion? Would you vote for that political party who will not protect your rights as a U.S. citizen to love and to work? Would you cower before your political and religious enemies? I don't know about you, but I'm a fighter, and the fight is on!

ABOUT WILLIAM BIRCH

My photo

My name is William Birch and I grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition but converted, if you will, to Anglicanism in 2012. I am gay, affirming, and take very seriously matters of social justice, religion and politics in the church and the state.