Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Open Letter to the Tailgating Guy Wearing the "God Hates Fags" Shirt

I am an atheist. I was raised Lutheran. I have read your bible. I have read your bible in three different translations from cover to cover. I still have the bible I got from my church for my confirmation. I have read it. I did a series on my blog summarizing, in plain English, exactly what the bible says.

And you know what? Nowhere in the bible does it say anything that sounds like “God Hates Fags.” Yes, the God of the Old Testament is a pretty fiery character, and murders his followers for doing anything he doesn’t like—heck, he even slaughters some of Aaron’s sons just for getting the mixture in the censers wrong during a service.

But Jesus said the laws of the Old Testament were in the past, and that the new way was not to build a church around anger and hate, but to love our neighbors as ourselves. When he said “I am the light of the world,” he was referring to his role as Messiah—that he would literally replace the Temple of Jerusalem, whose light could be seen for miles at night and which was, symbolically, the light of the world.

So I don’t believe in your God. I don’t believe in your bible as literal history. I don’t believe in Jesus as a human being who actually existed. But I’m relatively sure, as a somewhat studied outsider, that a belief system grounded in love has no business hating homosexuals or anyone else.

God doesn’t hate fags, sir. You hate fags, and you dragging a god you worship into your fight is why I find your beliefs small and petty. Because for every person who feels Christianity deeply and in a communal way that leads them to love, tolerance, and even acceptance, there is someone like you—someone louder than they are, who hides behind the supposed Word of God in order to pretend divine justification for their little prejudices and their fear-based hate.

You can’t speak it for yourself because you know you’re wrong. Don’t pretend God—who doesn’t even exist—is saying it for you.

Yours in tolerance,


Roger Owen Green said...

As a Unitarian once said, "we create God in our own image."

MC said...

I think Fred Rogers is who every Christian should strive to be... unfortunately, a lot of these so-called Christians stop a few notches above Fred Phelps.

daveawayfromhome said...

Hear hear! I dont know what God may or may not be like, but if the most visible Christians are correct, he's a petty, dictatorial asshole unworthy of worship (unless might actually does make right, in which case everything I learned about Jesus in sunday school was wrong)(or, as wrong as a made up story designed to illustrate a point can be).

Megan said...

My latest post brought me a flurry of emails from some person who wanted me to (1) take it back IMMEDIATELY and (2) burn in hell FOR ETERNITY and (3) accept Jesus as My Personal Savior.

The disconnect is astonishing.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I missed this post until Roger linked to it (I'm lazy like that), and I'm the worse for it.

I've spent years and countless blog posts urging—demanding, even—that heterosexuals do what you did in this post, namely, to stand up to the homophobic bullshit of the right.

I'm the son and grandson of Lutheran ministers. I know what the Church can be, which means I also know what, more often than not, it isn't.

So I thank you for saying what needed to be said. I sincerely hope that others will be emboldened to do the same because, frankly, my life, or those of folks I know, may depend on it.