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I was on a trip recently heading north out of California. While trying to relieve the hours of boredom and lack of pleasant scenery, I got to thinking. I asked myself what things tend to get to me. Some obvious answers such as Oreo cookies and loud music immediately popped to mind. Once I was finished dissecting exactly what it was about Oreos that I found so repulsive, my mind turned to homophobia. Upon dissecting that, I concluded that I didn't have a problem with homophobia itself, only in how people dealt with it.
Think of it this way: If someone were to offer me an Oreo, I would politely refuse it, citing my dislike of them. If refusal wasn't an option, I would stomach the repulsive cookie as best I could to prevent offending the one who offered it. Homophobia is much the same way. A person may find homosexuals to be repulsive, but will interact with them to be polite. I can respect and appreciate their position. What I cannot respect is someone who would throw the Oreo back at the offerer citing how disgusting they are.
Even if one were to be so rude at the throw back the Oreo, I can still understand their dislike. But what truly irks me is when Oreo-haters expect that everyone should hate the black and white cookie. This is where I begin my ranting about religion.
As I have previously explained. I am a Christian. My faith in God has strengthened since coming out. I look around to my fellow believers and cannot help but to be saddened by what I see.
Along with the nation, I watched with horror as the Matthew Shepard beating played out. No one could avoid the feeling of outrage from the homosexual community. An outrage I do not share except on the terms of a man being murdered. What angered me was a simple sign I saw on the news. It was being held by a man and only had three words written on it: "God hates fags".
This sign upset me for two reasons. The first being that I firmly believe God is incapable of hate. God may be saddened or angered, but He does not hate. Hate is a human emotion. The second thing was how this man had so presumptuously assumed the feelings of another. Now, admittedly, men have been presuming the feelings of God for centuries. ('The plague is because God is displeased' or what not). To be frank, I do not assume a person's reaction until I have heard it myself. (An argument could be made that God *has* stated His intentions, but I've addressed that already on the previous page with the cited Biblical passages).
So, if this man held up a sign proclaiming "Dogs hate fags," does this make him right? I could test this theory by taking a shower (to be sure I had no smell of food on me) then walked up to my dog and ask "Pepper, do you hate me because I'm gay?" I can assure that she would jump up on me with demands to be petted. So perhaps she is biased. What if I went around the neighborhood and performed the same test with all the dogs I encountered? Now, sure, some of them would be aggressive towards me, but have they sat up on their hindquarters and barked "Yes, you fag! Now get out of my yard before I bite your gay ass!" Then I would know that the sign had merit. Perhaps a poll could then be conducted of the nation's dogs and a consensus reached. Because, I could have encountered the one gay hating dog in the nation. The one who wrote the sign so presumptuously speaking for all dog kind.
Now, I'm not saying that all Christians hate gays. That would be foolish of me since I have Christian friends who still speak to me. But a consensus would be nice. It is difficult to convince people that God is love when people presume that He hates some of us. I wouldn't swallow that argument and I certainly wouldn't expect that average Joe to sit and dissect it as I have here.
If this were a perfect world and everyone perfectly reasonable, what would I do about this conflict? I would ask that people either politely refuse the Oreo or eat it. This is not an unreasonable thing to ask since I have known people who are homophobic and do either or both of those things.
It is alright to agree to disagree on a subject. Frankly, life would be boring if everyone agreed that Oreos tasted good. Why bother to make any other type of cookie? The answer to that one is obvious. Because variety is also good. It gives us new experiences, insights, and tastes.
Now, Lemon Coolers I can go for...
January 9th, 1999