Dan responded this way:
Being told that they're sinful and that their love offends God, and being told that their relationships are unworthy of the civil right that is marriage (not the religious rite that some people use to solemnize their civil marriages), can eat away at the souls of gay kids. It makes them feel like they're not valued, that their lives are not worth living. And if one of your children is unlucky enough to be gay, the anti-gay bigotry you espouse makes them doubt that their parents truly love them—to say nothing of the gentle "savior" they've heard so much about, a gentle and loving father who will condemn them to hell for the sin of falling in love with the wrong person.
The children of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or at your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. You may only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, but your children have the option of attacking actual real gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.
....Oh, and those same dehumanizing bigotries that fill your straight children with hate? They fill your gay children with suicidal despair. And you have the nerve to ask me to be more careful with my words....
The religious right points to the suicide rate among gay teenagers—which the religious right works so hard to drive up (see above)—as evidence that the gay lifestyle is destructive. It's like intentionally running someone down with your car and then claiming that it isn't safe to walk the streets.
Which is why I argued that every gay teen suicide is a victory for the religious right. Because, you see, your side does use those suicides to "perpetuate [your] agenda."
Several of our regulars went over to Dan's site, and while agreeing with many of his sentiments, reminded him that there are many Christians who work for justice. Dan's readers mostly responded with the anger of the disenfranchised, which isn't very helpful, but is understandable. As we've discussed many times, the right wing's success in defining the word "Christian", as well as the rejection felt by many gay or gay-friendly people at the hands of right-wing churches, continues to provoke a backlash in the community.
And more generally, the injection of right-wing Christianity and the anti-intellectual, anti-science policy it engenders, into our public life (in clear contravention of our supposed Constitutional values) continues to be a thorn in the side of the non-believers. It is hard to avoid the outrage sometimes that the Roman Catholics and the Mormons and right-wingers are forcing me to live by their religious beliefs. The progressive Episcopal voices that I hear in our community here, while very welcome, seem too faint to hear on the national stage.
While I do try to make peace and defend the progressive Christians against my fellow non-believers (I am a Libra, after all ;-) I also have to agree with a certain frustration that was expressed in our discussion last year. The response to "Christians" behaving badly and being called out by the left, is not just to tell the left that "not all Christians are like that!" It's to call out the so-called Christians who are mis-behaving. Straight Christian allies can be our most powerful voice to those who are attacking us.
Still, I was proud to see our JCF and our Doxy lead the charge into the fray at Dan's to make the necessary comments. I encourage you all to keep it up, let your voices be prophetic, and agents for change and healing--and don't let the so called "Christians" get away with it.
Update: Here's gay activist and radio host Mike Signorile not putting up with it when another "Christian" calls him. The caller "would never hurt anyone's feelings" but thinks gays are going to hell. Signorile lets him have it--brutally.
Dan and Mike are both outraged. ARe they entitled? What do you think is the "proper response" --from them, or others, to the "love the sinner/hate the sin" protests?