Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We Aren't ALWAYS Right

Brian Johnson, a Wisconsin evangelist, along with his wife and son, wanted to attend a Gay Pride celebration at a Minneapolis park to hand out Bibles, but Twin Cities Pride tried to stop him. So he had to sue to be able to do so.

And, while this may seem strange, coming from me, but, good for him.

I am not a particularly religious man. I have certain beliefs that do not pertain to any one organized religious movement. For me, religion, or spirituality, is a personal thing, and it doesn't need a congregation, or a minister in a Mercedes, to be celebrated.

I am, however, also openly, militantly, proudly, gay, and I will defend gay rights at each and every turn. But this attempt to stop Brian Johnson from handing out Bibles has got me riled.

We want to be treated equally, as gay men and women; we want the rights, the benefits, the privileges afforded all Americans. We want simple equality.

And then we try to stifle this man's right to Free Speech because he doesn't like gay people, because he thinks homosexuality is a sin.

Well, guess what homos? He has that right. To believe what he chooses, to say what he wants, to dispense Bibles when and where he chooses, on public property.

Would I have taken his Bible? Doubtful.

But, I wouldn't have denied him the right to hand them out. There are plenty of gay Christians out there who might have taken his Bible, and maybe had a conversation with Brian Johnson, and maybe, or maybe not, changed his mind on homosexuality. I would have liked to see that happen.

But what I don't like is the fact that we gather for Pride, march for Pride, work to be heard, strive to be equalized, and then turn around and tell someone else to Go away because we don't like your opinion.

Think of how the LGBT community would have reacted if, at some church function in that very same Minneapolis park, gay people were told they couldn't enter the park, couldn't speak, couldn't hand out literature.

We would be blogging in anger and marching in anger and suing in anger.

You cannot ask to be treated equally, while denying equality to someone else.


Michael Rivers said...

I agree with you on this. On Saturday when I was in the park, I looked for him--but never saw him. I wouldn't have taken a bible, but I still wanted to see if everything was calm.

What we did find was some "preecher" and a few of his followers on a milkcrate, screaming out the usual "you're all going to burn in hell" words. Across from them, was a group of "us" screaming right back.

froggy said...

Annoyingly tricksy and irritating at times - we had folks handing out new testaments to students on the sidewalks outside school. Kids had to cross sidewalks to get to the bus.

Kyle said...

Bravo Bob! Civility and equality are only rhetoric, until extended to everyone. Especially people we don't agree with.