Gays are not ruining the fabric of American society. Rather, anti-gay fundamentalist Christians are. Take a deep breath. These are not overly dramatic, vitriolic words. Don’t listen to the well-polished spokespeople on cable news, but listen carefully to their words privately or to ministers like the Rev. Charles Worley from Maiden, N.C. Think carefully. Take your time. You will see the road the Rev. Mel White lays out in his book “Holy Terror” is reality of what is happening, not some slippery road, what if argument.
I watch and read news as a big part of my day, you might say religiously. As a gay man, I have a unique understanding of the pain teenagers go through as they discover the sexual orientation they were born with but early on become victims of the Tony Perkins and Maggie Gallaghers’ of America who present the most narrow-minded, outdated and just plain wrong information of who and what gay people are, or of what marriage is.
I have been waiting somewhat desperately for their likes to be exposed so that young gay kids will no longer grow up in hostile homes or churches, so they will no longer live in fear and deep depression, so they will no longer commit suicide at a rate four times greater than heterosexual kids.
But it really hasn’t happened. I’m amazed at how journalists dig in and learn about Iraq or Afghanistan or North Korea, how they know so much about foreign affairs or the economy. So why doesn’t the media dig deeper when fundamentalist spokespeople spew their religion-based bigotry causing such harm to gay kids, their families and this country? I think I understand why: When you combine the lack of deep understanding about the subject and the fear of being accused of being anti-religious, that becomes a powerful force against being courageous on the airwaves or in print.
If any journalist reading this cares about helping young, vulnerable LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) teens then help is on the way. The Rev. Mel White’s new paperback “Holy Terror: Lies the Christian Right Tells Us to Deny Gay Equality” is the updated version of his brilliant hardcover Religion Gone Bad. You might remember his name as the ghostwriter for Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson. Before coming out Mel lead a tortured, closeted life as a writer, TV producer and minister in the evangelical church.
The Rev. White has gained a unique understanding of the fundamentalist agenda because he was so entrenched behind the scenes. He knows that since the fall of “godless Communism,” homosexuality and abortion have become the primary targets through which fundamentalists have created fear, raised money, and mobilized recruits. “Holy Terror” offers solid evidence that fundamentalist leaders are waging nothing less than a “holy war” against sexual minorities. The paperback edition includes a new introduction, which takes into account, among other current events, the Obama presidency and the rise of the Tea Party Movement.
History will teach America that a tragedy against a vulnerable minority community is being committed in our time. Journalists in the decades to come will ask why a better job wasn’t done to expose it. Why were journalists as complicit as the perpetrators of the vicious harm?
I know this for sure. The many journalists I know are good people. And many anti-gay Christians I know are good people. But too often good people do bad things. I think in the end we are in a fast-moving world. There are newsworthy events in every corner of the world and America. Journalists are moving so fast and in so many directions it is hard for them to really focus on any one subject. So I’ve set out to make it easy for everyone. Just read Mel White’s “Holy Terror” and you’ll get a quick, full understanding what is really going on under the sugar coated veneers of the Tony Perkins/Maggie Gallagher’s smiles.
Mitchell Gold is co-founder and chairman of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams