Freedom for All: Dismantling Ignorance Against the LGBT Community

rainbowflag“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

238 years later and we’re still fighting to ensure that statement rings true for all Americans.

Be it the Civil War, voting rights, women’s rights, Civil Rights as well as a host of other injustices, our country has seemingly always had to fight the issue of inequality.

Today, one of the biggest struggles is that of the LGBT community and their God given right to freedom.

That’s right, I said God given right.  As a Christian I believe God is indiscriminate in our creation.  Each and every one of us (by the Christian belief) was created by Him.  Homosexuality is no more a choice than heterosexuality.  How many people have you met say they struggled with their heterosexuality?  When someone tells you homosexuality is a choice, ask them if their heterosexuality was as well.  At what point did they find the same sex desirable but their moral obligation to God pushed them towards a heterosexual lifestyle?

What we face today is an escalating battle for the rights of all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation.  Because at the end of the day, who a person loves really isn’t any of our damn business.

But the real question is, why such hate?  It makes absolutely no sense.

Until 2011, gay soldiers had to hide their sexuality if they wanted to serve in the military.  For what legal means should they ever have had to hide who they are?  An American citizen denied the right to defend, and possibly die, for their country based on an ignorant view on their sexual orientation that has nothing to do with their ability to serve their country with honor.  What a damn disgrace.

I’ll take an honorable gay soldier representing my country over some fake, judgmental ”Christian” any day.

Ask yourself–if someone disagrees with a much more accepted issue, say tattoos, should they then be illegal?  Well, according to the Bible:

“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”

I met a Christian male who had “God hates fags” tattooed on his arm.  I quickly informed him the Bible clearly states we’re not supposed to have tattoos, but of course he didn’t care.  His slight against what’s written in the Bible was perfectly acceptable to him because he didn’t feel they were wrong.

So what is it about homosexuality that creates this blatant hate and irrationality?  To even say it’s illogical constitutes a vast understatement.

If you want to say it destroys the sanctity of marriage and family values, well guess what?  Divorce did that long ago.  Divorce is by far the largest catalyst that violates the Christian vow of marriage, yet there aren’t millions of  Americans supporting a Constitutional Amendment banning its practice.

So what’s really behind this open hatred towards the LGBT community?  Is it fear?  Is it ignorance?  Is it our own insecurities?  I think for some it’s all of the above.  We have a natural tendency to fear what we don’t know or understand.   We often project our own insecurities about ourselves, and our lives, onto others as to make ourselves feel better about the issues we face in our own personal lives.  Humans have a habit of resisting change and circumstances that diverge from their own personal experience.

Doubt me?

Look at race as a prime example.  There was a time where black people, for nothing more than the color of their skin, were seen as animals.  Second class citizens.  But why?  They’re exactly like every other human being, just a different skin color.  Yet white people viewed them as a lower class of person that couldn’t function at the same level as a white individual.

The reality was simply that they were different.  White people didn’t understand their cultures or customs and instantly degraded them to a subsection of human existence.   It was irrational and hypocritical that at the time we were declaring our freedom and liberty for all, we then excluded black individuals from being a part of the independence from tyranny.

It was ignorance and hypocrisy defined.

I think many just fear the idea of changing what constitutes a marriage or family.  It’s traditionally always been a man and a woman, vows before God, a couple of kids, a house and a yard.  That’s what a “traditional family’ is, right?  But what about the couples who choose not to get married yet do all of those?  Are they not redefining what constitutes a “family?” Should we pass a Constitutional Amendment declaring a man and woman can not live together, or have children, unless they are married?

Hell, Republicans had a leading candidate during their primaries last year in Newt Gingrich who had cheated on not one—but two wives.  Talk about a slap in the face to the “sanctity of marriage.”

So obviously it can’t be the morality thing otherwise Newt Gingrich wouldn’t even be in the discussion for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2012, let alone a leading candidate at one point.  So what is it?

Are people afraid the more homosexuality becomes acceptable, the more people will then turn to homosexuality?  I could see that as a plausible reason.  The numbers are clearly there.  The more homosexuality becomes acceptable, the more individuals you see openly gay.  Makes sense.  Except you would have to ignore the fact these people have always been gay, it’s just now they feel comfortable about being open with their sexuality.

And don’t ignore the very obvious fact as to why there seem to be more homosexuals today than in the past—our population as a whole has grown.  Of course there’s going to seem like more homosexuals today than say— 40 or 50 years ago.  But guess what?  There are more whites, blacks, Latinos, Chinese, Christians and Muslims as well.  The more people who are born on this planet, the more of each segment of that population you’re going to have.

The reality for those against gay marriage is—legally and Constitutionally-speaking, you don’t have an argument.

What’s your legal stance?  Your entire judgment against gay marriage lies in a Christian value not even all Christians support.  You push your religious ideology onto a country that explicitly says there will be a separation of church and state.

Let me state another simple fact—homosexuality is not a crime.

You may disagree with it, but guess what?  You disagreeing with something does not mean that it should be illegal.  If that were the case, almost everything in our society would be illegal.

Drinking, smoking, dancing, loud music, fried foods, candy, short skirts, meat, dairy—you get the picture.

Simply disagreeing with something because of a personal belief does not mean that it’s wrong.  It just means that you feel it is wrong.  And it’s hypocritical to claim a devout Christian set of values in your life, when the harboring of hate and ignorance towards the homosexual community is a direct contradiction of everything for which Jesus stood.

If your only argument against gay marriage is that it’s morally wrong, destroying the sanctity of marriage and family values, well I hate to break it to you—it’s too late.  Traditional marriages have been doing that for years with divorce, domestic violence, infidelity and countless other violations of marriage vows millions that straight couples swore to uphold.

So what does it really come down to?  I just chalk it up to ignorance and hypocrisy.  The human phenomenon of excusing their own indiscretions in life, while condemning another person’s.  They’ll claim a stance for strong Christian values that are against homosexuality, yet by their simple minded judgment about homosexuality, go against the word of Christ.  Words that included a message about not judging others unless you yourself can’t be judged.  In doing this, they become a walking contradiction of their own value system.

So, I say to those who oppose homosexuality and gay marriage, it’s your free right.  However, if you oppose gay marriage, yet cherish Christianity and our Constitution, I suggest you learn the values of both before you pass your judgments on either one.  Because in your small minded approach to both, you prove undoubtedly you don’t understand the concepts of either.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • jabberwocky

    I support gay rights/marriage 100%. Any thinking American should too.
    I am greatly disappointed the gay rights people felt it necessary to come out in favor of making illegals legal. It will hurt the gay cause overall.

    • Possibly, but it doesn’t matter – if we did not, then we ourselves would become the hypocrites. ALL people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and illegals are also among ‘the least of these’, those most disadvantaged societally and in need of help, and it would be contrary to our values not to support them when we are asking for those same rights ourselves. We cannot trample over others in our path to equality, step on those lower in order to elevate our own cause, we must bring everyone along together, or we invalidate the very thing we are seeking.

  • GANANA

    What an impact those last two paragraphs made for me! I have been searching for words for months to describe what happened to the Republican Party and you nailed it! It’s hilarious when you think about it….The GOP shot themselves in
    the foot….What a hoot!

  • MickeyP.

    What a great and truthful column! Thank you for taking the time to write it. What a great world we’d have if people just accepted others their differences!

  • Holly Swartz

    There is so much illogical content in this article, I am not sure that it is even worth a retort. Your reasoning in almost every paragraph lacks depth of taking a thought and carrying it through without bashing a person who disagrees with your thought – this is not logic. I am a Christian, some people say they are and are not (like the one you spoke of w/ a tattoo of “god hates gays”), which is a phenomenon dating thousands of years. Discernment is important as you mature. Obviously the Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever might believe in Him would have everlasting life.”

  • Jeremy

    I totally agree with Holly. This article is FULL of flawed logic. My favorite is GOD given right. NOPE God made man an woman for a reason. He made marriage between man and woman and no other way. Homosexuality was NEVER condoned in the Bible. Satan is connected with homosexuality like any other sin. It is not simply that I disagree with gay marriage, I know it is a sick sin and there is no way a person who was raised in Christian home (BTW most Christians DO NOT support queer marriage) and know what their private parts are for could possibly support such an obsurd thing.

  • sadisticon

    I wish I could agree with you on that whole “God” thing. but the fantastical foundations of religion violate every right-thinking natural impulse in my body.
    It is, nonetheless, definitely worth the time to fight for everyone’s rights. The problem with Christians and their particular brand of hypocrisy is that they want to condemn innocuous homosexuals and atheists but don’t ever make the same broad, hilariously misinformed diagnoses of the sinners in their midst. I do not wish them luck. I do hope that the best part of he 21st century will be a decline in reliance on superstition, mythology and bigotry to decide legislation for a multicultural, secular society.