May I now please express my personal beliefs concerning racism and homosexuality, and also, my opinion of the Christian stance on both of these issues?
Racism: Story One:
Define racism as you will; You can parse it small so that even seeing a difference of any kind between races is a sin, or large, so that only acts of hatred apply. For me, racism is this: To look down upon someone of a different race or allow such a mindset to rule your actions. You may call me a racist because I believe that the average person of Black African descent is genetically predisposed to have more vocal chords involved in the production of sounds when singing, or have more quick-twitch muscles in the legs than most other races. Call me a racist if I believe Caucasians are genetically predisposed to more easily sunburn or have red hair. Call me a racist if I assert that Asians are more likely to have more slender skeletal structures and be a bit shorter than the average of all races. But, in those remarks, I believe I am stating observations and not in any way making value judgements. There are so many differences between us in the gene pools, some of color, some of size, of strength, of almost any attribute you can name. I believe that those differences are blessings, in that variety is the spice of life and if we all looked alike and had the same attributes it would be a dull world, indeed.
I know that stereotypes exist, for instance, Asians are smarter, "White Men Can't Jump", Black guys run faster, etc. There are some stereotypes that are deadly to the soul to believe, for instance, that Asians cannot be trusted and Blacks are stupid/inferior and so on. There are many who believe stereotypes and inflict these lies upon their children and their children's children. Such opinions sicken me.
But let me tell two stories and then make a point. Herein I will write words I personally detest and I leave it to you, the reader, to decide if I was right in doing so.
I am considered a White Guy. In truth, we all have very mixed heritages. I can trace my ancestry from Anglo-Saxon and Norman sources, but also Native American Indian and the tribes that lived in Scotland before there were Scots and even the Asian invaders that swept across much of Europe long centuries past. I was born in a community in southern Indiana that consisted primarily of White people and they were all I knew until the age of about six years.
The first time I became aware of Black people was at a ballgame. Yes, I saw them around my small hometown sometimes, but no one said much about them and I was too wrapped up in the world of family and friends to give them a thought. Now, my entire family was crazy about the Cincinnati Reds and when the adults gathered they would speak of Frank Robinson and Gus Bell with such reverence that I believed that the Reds were almost gods on earth. Imagine my joy at being able to go, with my cousin, to a Reds game with my grandparents one evening!
Old Crosley Field was, even almost 50 years ago, a structure past its prime. But the lush green field and the chattering crowd impressed me immensely. Baseball was heaven on earth! Then the players came out onto the field to warm up and so on. I don't remember much about batting practice or anything else, I just remember my Grandma pointing out Frank Robinson, the best of the Reds, to me. He was a Black guy!
Revelation! My hero was a Black guy! I was so young I had not even begun to collect baseball cards, so I had no idea that Black people could play baseball. In my town, they kept to themselves and I never saw them save at a distance. But here, in Cincinnati, they put on uniforms and were known around the country as athletes.
Frank Robinson will probably always be my favorite player. As a young person, I saw how great a hitter he was and how determined a fielder and baserunner. He had the attitude that he would run through a wall to win and I thought that was so great. As I grew older, I learned more about him and decided he was even more admirable than I first realized. But back to the story...
Now, my hometown was in an area where we could go up into the hills and find arrowheads and multitudes of fossils and lots of cool rocks like geodes. Geodes were bumpy, round rocks, heavy, that had a treasure inside. They were quite hard, but when you broke them open they would be somewhat hollowed out and within that brown rock were beautiful crystals. I loved finding them, but they became a cause of contention between myself and most of my male relatives. Because, you see, in that part of the country, geodes were known as Niggerheads!
I may have been small, but I understood that Nigger was a derisive term for Negro, and that is what Black people were called. Therefore, while other kids and my own family called such rocks by that term, I referred to them as Negroheads and would not let laughter or mocking dissuade me. God bless my Dad, who also began to call them that, although it would have been better had he taught me the word, geode, and be done with it. I suppose his amusement at his son's crusading spirit gave him the greater pleasure and he left the academic world to someday teach me a better word. In retrospect, I can see that terming such a rock a Negrohead was scarcely better than the alternative, but I thought I was doing the right thing at the time.
I had a date with a pretty young girl I didn't know well, so this was to be our first official date. I was twenty-something, had just gotten my Honorable Discharge from the Army, and was back "home" in the town I had called home back in my High School years, South Bend. She was a hostess at a nice restaurant in town and I was to meet her at her place of work, take her home to get freshen up, and then we would go out.
I waited at the bar for her to be finished, and I had brought with me a yellow legal pad upon which to write. I often wrote poems or made observations to be incorporated in never-written novels back in those days and had a number of such pads that had been partly used. I must confess that I had accumulated them during my days as a military journalist, so I suppose the Army did send me with a few parting gifts, although they were given out to me willingly as part of my job and so I never considered them to have been stolen. I used them for work and I used them for my leisure and, now, there was for a time only leisure. I began scribbling something upon the pad.
My date, I will call her Diane, appeared just as I was about to head to the men's room. I asked if she wanted me to order her a drink (she did, and I complied) and then I left the pad there on the bar while I went to relieve myself. Upon my return, I found she had looked through the pad and, near the end, found a page with this one thing scribbled, "fuck you, nigger!".
You cannot imagine my shame upon seeing those words. For one thing, Diane's father was a Black Man and her mother was at least partly Black herself. Diane was lighter-skinned than either of them but she was obviously not a Caucasian. I always printed my words in all caps rather than write them out, for my handwriting is so terrible, and so it was obvious that I had written those words.
How could I explain? When stationed in Washington, DC, I had become good friends with a Black guy who I will call "Dooley", who in size and appearance remarkably resembled Muhammed Ali. When I hung out with him, I also usually hung out with his Black friends and therefore many of them became buddies of mine, too. Soon they became comfortable with me and it amazed how often they called each other the word, "nigger!" They would do it as a friendly term or they would do it to deride each other, but they would do it all the time. They just usually didn't do it around White guys, so I was taken aback at first. But then again, all these guys thought it was fun to call me "honky", like when something would happen and they would think my reaction was typically white and one of them would say, "You're just a White honky!" and everyone would laugh. And so it was that one day I was trying to write something and Dooley was razzing me and, rather than say anything, I just turned the pad around, opened it up deep inside, wrote those words and showed them to him. Dooley just rolled his eyes but as I recall it didn't stop him from bugging me until I quit writing and talked to him about what was going on.
I remember another evening when we had both shared a very potent joint and were sitting on a park bench, overlooking the Potomac, and drinking in the scene. Dooley confessed to me his greatest frustration, in that he was so good looking that he never knew if women wanted him for his good looks or for who he was on the inside. He wondered how he could ever be loved for just being him. I told him how much I would have loved to have his particular problem, but then I saw that here was this big strong guy with tears in his eyes and that he was actually deeply troubled. After months of being buddies and one very strong joint he was baring his soul. These were my pre-Christian days and I really had no answers for him. But I did say that I loved him as a friend just because I thought he was cool....and he always had good dope! That made him laugh, and that was the best I could do.
How could I tell Diane that "fuck you, nigger!" was code between friends and in no way racist? I did try and I think she tried to absorb it, but it was awkward and we just never got over it. That first date with Diane would also be my last date with Diane.
I tell these stories because I want you, the reader, to understand how vile racism is to me. I detest it in any form, whether it be Ku Klux Klan or Black Muslim. In our country we make Black vs White the headliner for racism, but certainly those of every race face racism in our country.
If you go to see the movie, "Amazing Grace", you will be reminded of the slave trade and the horrors of it, and the Christians that fought hard to see it ended. Like Wilberforce, I truly believe that all men of all colors are made by God and have the same inalienable rights as all other men.
Jesus believe this. Thus, he went to Samaria (to most of the Jews, the Samaritans were a cursed people who were inferior in all ways) to preach to Samaritans and most especially, to the Samaritan woman at the well. Consider that she was living in sin, was a so-called inferior race, and a so-called inferior sex, yet Jesus wanted to give her the same gift He sought to give to the Jews, the gift of eternal life in relationship with an eternal God! This is why so-called "Christians" who try to twist the Bible to teach that there are cursed or inferior races make me angry.
Because I believe this, I will also oppose racial quotas that are supposed to in some way "make up" for racism in general or the iniquities of the past. NO! Two wrongs do not make a right. This will pit me against those who claim to be against racism at times, but let them revile me for that. But I tell you that being a Christian is to attempt to be like Christ and Christ died for all just as He created all. In the eyes of God, all colors are beautiful and all languages are delightful and He would have everyone of every nation be aligned with Him. How could I believe differently? I knew it in my heart before I even knew God in my heart, it is Truth and all those who oppose that Truth are wrong.
My post "Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007"
brought forth many comments and one of them stated in part that "the only reason you and other fundies are writing about this is because it affords homosexuals some protections, and fundies generally hate any sort of legislation dealing with homosexuals."
Let us deal with that. First, I believe homosexuality is wrong, it is aberrant behavior. You would have no trouble, should you research, in discovering that homosexual relationships involve more domestic violence, more incidences of disease, more changing of partners, etc, than relationships that are heterosexual in nature. So experience teaches us that homosexuality is not all that good for society as a whole. Indeed, pedophilia is more prevalent among homosexuals than it is heterosexuals as well.
But wrong in practice and experience pales beside my primary reason, which is that God says that homosexuality is wrong. Do you need chapter and verse? I am sure you are all aware of the Biblical teaching. Permit me to share Leviticus 18:22-24
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
These are among the verses used to teach us that homosexuality (and bestiality) are sins against God. These are commandments God gave to His people, for all people, and they continue to stand, just as the admonitions to not bear false witness or murder also stand. I therefore assert that homosexuality is wrong and should be considered a sin, not accepted as normal and good.
The Bible says quite a bit in that particular chapter of Leviticus, for instance, Leviticus 22:20
Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her.
If you read that chapter, you understand that God says it is sin to have sex with your mother, father, aunt, uncle, etc. It also says that adultery is a sin! Now I challenge each and every one of you to search the Bible and show me how adultery or having sex with your mother is any lesser or greater of a sin than having sex with someone of the same sex?
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was compelled to walk around with an "A" upon her forehead to denote being exposed as an adulterous woman. I think some of my Christian brethren believe homosexuals should have to wear an "H" on their person, much like the Jews in the days of Hitler were forced to wear a yellow star inscribed, "Jude" until such time they were herded into camps and slaughtered like beasts. But they are so wrong!
Yes, I have had homosexual friends and no, I didn't think they were terribly wicked and depraved above all men. Before my coversion to Christianity I had been, at times, a druggie and a drunk and an adulterer and certainly a fornicator and violator of many laws of both God and man. There is no difference in the eyes of God, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God!" I am condemned for my sins unless, by the Blood of Christ and the mercies of God, I am forgiven. This is also true of those who practice homosexuality.
In my opinion, it was wise to have laws on the books prohibiting homosexual behavior since it is deleterious to the common good. However, the United States is not a Theocracy, it is a democracy based upon Godly principles. I understand, even as I disagree, the motivations of those who press pro-homosexual causes. Unfortunately, to decriminalize homosexuality has also meant that the homosexual agenda just moves the line forward. Homosexuals are trying to not just legalize their sins, but legitimatize them as well. How? By trying to change what marriage is, for one thing. Also, by trying to penalize those who speak against homosexuality by passing vague laws who, if applied in certain ways, could cause those of us who oppose the homosexual agenda to face jail for presenting our views! Freedom of speech is in peril, as is freedom of religion, by these pro-homosexual crusaders who are intent upon receiving a legal stamp of approval upon their sin and to criminalize those who disagree.
I oppose all efforts by front door, side door, or back door, to put an end to freedoms of speech or religion in the United States of America. I oppose all efforts to legally force Americans to recognize homosexuality as some kind of protected specialized behavior.
On the other hand, let's be clear on this point. I don't believe homosexuals should be discriminated against because they practice homosexuality any more than should be adulterers or people who exceed the speed limit. The true Christian sees all men and women as children of God who are sinners and need the mercy of God in their lives. Homosexuals are not a special set of people to be treated differently, as lepers were once treated in Biblical times. I say that Jesus healed the lepers, he didn't revile them. Christians should not revile homosexuals, just see them as sinners whose sin is no greater than the next-door neighbor who has an affair with his secretary.
Therefore, when I opposed the LEHCPA of 2007 or any related legislation, I am not doing it from prejudice or hatred. I am doing it on principle and with reasoning. To quote a commenter, "Worse yet, there are some key phrases that open doors wide that many people don't want opened. For example, Pike said, the bill is to "prevent and respond to alleged violations," meaning "the government does not even have to wait until a hate crime has been committed but may act pre-emptively to 'prevent' crime."
Pike is sort of right here, but trying to start a needless fire. Prevention. The bill authorizes the grants. These will be education grants to inform and educate about diversity. PRE EMPTIVE ACTION DOES NOT mean sweep people off the street and throw them into Guantanamo with no due process...oh, sorry, getting into a whole nother topic there..."
Nice try, but that is exactly the problem. This section opens the door for free speech to be prosecuted and for federal monies to be thrown at a problem from the wrong direction. I don't hate homosexuals, but I hate the idea of my right to oppose them being taken from me and my freedoms threatened because they have succeeded in crafting wrongheaded and dangerous legislation.