Thursday, January 17, 2013

Should 'Christians' have the right to harass gay couples?

The hypocrisy stings when it comes to some folks who call themselves Evangelical Christians.

Most specifically, I mean the folks at the American Family Association's fake news source One News Now.

The news source constantly inundates its readers with anecdotal tales - some true, some extremely spurious - about how some "Christians" in America are picked on or "persecuted" for their beliefs.

But it strangely makes a 180 degree turn when those who call themselves Christians are the aggressors.

In a recent controversy in New Bern, NC, a lesbian couple was eating at a restaurant, The Stingray CafĂ©  After they had finished and paid their bill, the owner, Ed McGovern,  handed them a note attacking their relationship.

The note told them that their relationship was hurting their loved ones and that his daughter was involved in a lesbian relationship and it reportedly destroyed her.

According to Think Progress:

McGovern said he wrote the letter because he did not approve of the McPhails’ kissing and confirmed that he has done something similar for a lesbian couple in the past. The McPhails say they weren’t kissing — just holding hands — but that’s besides the point.

One News Now is claiming that the couple is urging folks to boycott the restaurant.  I'm sure if that's true or not. However, they have gone public with a beautifully written piece telling their side of the story:

Lesbians and gays are not monsters lurking among the normal people in your restaurant, monsters from whom you need to protect your children. We are normal people. We have children. Instead of focusing on what separates us, look at what brings us together. With the freedom to speak comes the responsibility to recognize intent, and the responsibility for the effects of your words. What was the intent of this letter? What is the intent of those who single out gays and lesbians to condemn them? If it is to pass on love and compassion, then evaluate how you do so. Writing a letter was a selfish act on his part. Handing a letter to someone you do not know and then washing your hands of the situation so that you can pat yourself on the back for doing "the right thing" is a cop-out. Do you want to spread love? Try a conversation -- not one of attack or analysis but of equal discussion. 

However, what if this couple did call for a boycott? Would you blame them?

If you was a supporter of One News Now, you would.  The news source posted a slanted story quoting only one source - our friend "Porno" Pete LaBarbera - in defense of the restaurant owner's actions:

"The women had the audacity to say that he wouldn't do this to any other married couple. Well, that's because homosexuality is not marriage and they're not really married. The homosexual lobby, you've got to believe, they want to start suing people like this bold Christian man who merely wanted to tell these lesbians that they're in sin."

"Christians needs to support this man -- Christians all over the country -- but especially in this town," LaBarbera urges. "They're going to try to put him out of business. This is the time for Christians to rally around this man who was merely exercising his right to speak out and speaking out as a concerned Christian."

First of all, I don't know where LaBarbera got the lawsuit idea from. The couple did not indicate that they wanted to sue McGovern.

But more to the point, where is the common decency here? Folks like LaBarbera and "news sources" like One News Now are constantly whining that gays are "forcing" people to accept homosexuality.

This couple was merely eating at a restaurant. So what if they were kissing or hold hands. It certainly doesn't matter because the owner took their money.

The unfortunate fact here is that what McGovern, One News Now, and LaBarbera objects to is the couple's existence. It's not enough for them to disagree with homosexuality. They seem to want gays to alter our lives in order to support to their standards of morality.

And if we don't, they should have the right to "correct" us without reprisal because . . . well God said they can.

That doesn't make a damn lick of sense to me.


LucyInDaSkyWithDiamonds said...

THANK YOU!! At least someone gets it

David Harley said...

Maybe the evangelical Christian Right should stop quoting Old Testament laws. They don't do so in most other cases.

The Catholic Church has sufficient intellectual integrity to ground its stance in the centuries-old reasoning of natural law, which is applied to all manner of issues, even if individual Catholic campaigners seem motivated by fear and loathing.

The fundamentalist and evangelical Right, on the other hand, usually grounds its attack on a specific reading of the the Levitical prohibition, from among a long list of laws, such as the dietary prohibitions, which most of them consider to be no applicable.

Exodus 21:7 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

Leviticus 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

It is said that Jesus threw this commandment in the face of critics who were picking and choosing which commandments were important. [Matthew 15:4; Mark 7:10]

Jon said...

I was reading the comments following the linked LaBarbera ONN piece. Someone was asking why you don't hear about Christians calling for boycotts of LGBT owned businesses. Someone pointed out the JCPenny boycott. And then I thought of the Disney boycott. And the DeGrassi/Teen Nick boycott. And the boycott of Archie Comics. etc... It was clarified that the commenter was seeking Christians boycotting small LGBT restaurants and businesses.

It occurred to me that almost no LGBT or LGBT-friendly person is stupid enough to refuse business to people because they oppose equal marriage rights or because they just came from worship services at Church.

Meanwhile, Christian business owners do whatever they can to piss off customers who live differently like them by handing out anti-gay letters or by refusing to sell them wedding cakes or by charging higher prices for being a liberal or by refusing to rent space for a reception.

Maybe that's why you don't see too many Christians boycotting small LGBT and LBGT-friendly businesses over poor service.

65snake said...

"this bold Christian man who merely wanted to tell these lesbians that they're in sin.""
Right, because otherwise how would they know what the xtian opinion was? They are so secretive with their beliefs....


Jon said...

I find it sadly humorous that he waited until they'd been served and paid their bill before giving them the letter. Personally, if I were receiving the letter, I would've asked for any tip money back!

Anonymous said...

i have to protest this move of putting "Christians" in quotation marks. i understand that pro-gay Christians feel embarrassed by their fellow Christians that oppose gay rights (i was once one of these pro-gay Christians). but how is it anyone's right to decide how another person believes and identifies? if you are ashamed to share the title "Christian" with someone, put your own house in order by engaging with anti-gay Christians rather than taking the easy road and defining them out of existence. remember, there are lots of anti-gay people who love to delegitimize LGBT people's identities. i'm sure most pro-gay Christians have encountered some anti-gay Christians who say they can't really be Christians because they believe the bible says homosexuality is wrong. i have even been told i can't really be an atheist because "everyone knows god exists, deep down". it even makes sense to me that some religious people would want to deny LGBT and atheist identities, because it makes it less difficult to believe we're going to hell if they think we stubbornly *chose* to be this way. but that doesn't make it right, and neither is denying anti-gay Christians their identity.

BlackTsunami said...

Sorry but putting the Christians in parenthesis is a right which I will continue to do for two reasons:

1. It is to indicate that not all Christians are like them.

2. I have a serious problem with them claiming that title, not because of their disagreement with homosexuality, but because of the tactics they undertake. While Christians have debated whether or not homosexuality is a sin, I think all Christians will agree that lying and bearing false witness are sins. And if you freely and DELIBERATELY do these things while calling yourself a Christian - which many of these folks do - I have a right to question your identity as a Christian.