No hate?

A response to this entry in our Hall of Shame:

Editor, Leesburg Today:

Melanie Gentile (No Hate, December 1) has written such an unintentionally hilarious letter that one has to feel sorry for her. After initially protesting that she doesn’t hate or fear “gays,” she then proceeds to unburden herself of a stream of hateful invective, in which she equates gay people with “thieves” and “adulterers.” Perhaps recognizing the irony, she then goes on to explain why she believes that gay people don’t actually exist: Because she doesn’t think that God would create people whose intrinsic characteristics would automatically be condemned.

Neither do I. This is an opportunity for reflection, and since Melanie has introduced religious teaching into the discussion I would encourage her to look more closely at what the Bible has to say about inclusion, and about rejecting the religious traditions devised by people to exclude other people. Rejecting the empty divisiveness of the religious authorities and bringing about a world in which we are all included at the table seems to be more what the message of Jesus is about.

As a society, we did eventually recognize that left-handed people were indeed “born that way” and that forcing them to use their non-dominant hand was both cruel and a waste of time – but not before generations of “deviant” children were subjected to such training, bolstered by snippets of Bible verse. At the time, people were quite convinced that they were doing the right thing.

For now, where we can probably agree is this: “We all make moral judgments. And we would probably all be better off making them about our own lives instead of others.” Well, yes. This is why those of us in the gay community object to the behavior of people like Melanie, who presume to tell us that our very existence is “condemnable.” To claim that this is not “hate” is a bit shocking, but I have no doubt that she sincerely believes it.

For some, even knowing and interacting with gay people isn’t enough to dislodge ideas that defy reason and contradict objective evidence. The task the rest of us are called to do is to be gentle with those like Melanie until the day when their eyes are opened.

David Weintraub, Lovettsville

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