Normally, the Human Right’s Campaign’s videos do not piss me off, but this one did, and for good reason.
The video was this clip of Pastor Charles L. Worley from North Carolina preaching to his congregation at Providence Road Baptist Church. Now, I went to an Episcopalian school for pretty much my entire life. I do not consider myself to be a believer in God, but I’m used to listening to sermons. I’ve heard a lot of homophobic, hate-filled sermons come out of the mouths of pastors like Mr. Worley, Fred Phelps, Ron Baity, Tim Rabon and Sean Harris, but this one seriously scared me.
Mr. Worley was offended and disappointed that President Obama announced his support for marriage equality (something that I was quite pleased with). He then goes on to say that the Bible is against homosexuality, as is God, and if you all out there in the world have any sense at all, you’re against it.
Thank Goodness, Mr. Worley figured out a way to escape the scourge of the homos.
Build a 100 mile long fence, put all of the lesbians in there, fly over it and drop in food ever so often. Do the same thing for the queers and homosexuals and (here’s the kicker, this is where his sermon just hits the nail on the head for me) have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. In a few years, they’ll die, cuz after all, they can’t reproduce.
Really, I can’t do this video justice, but I swear to you that I am not making this up.
Anyway, Mr. Worley’s sermon made me quite angry and here’s why:
1) There is a separation of Church and State for a reason. The Bible has been tailored to fit whatever people want to believe. They don’t pay attention to the parts about stoning women who aren’t virgins when they are married or stoning disobedient children. AND FOR GOOD REASON. The Bible is meant to be interpreted by its readers but it is not law in the United States. The Constitution is. There are a dozen different translations of the Bible, but there is only one Constitution, under which Thomas Jefferson penned the words, “All men are created equal.” All men. I want to make that very clear. Every human being was created equal, and everyone should be seen as equal in the eyes of the law.
2) Really? A fence for people? You want to put us in, effectively, a concentration camp and kill us off? The best part of his speech for me, however was him saying that the fence should be electrified, like we are nothing more than cattle, telling us that we are not worth the freedom that everyone else has. Gay people have been put into concentration camps before, but I’ll be damned if it ever happens again. I will stand up and I will fight back with everything I have in me, but I will not be put behind bars for a part of who I am that I cannot change.
3) Yes, two women or two men together cannot make a child, but being gay is not genetic. I have blue eyes because both my mom and my dad have blue eyes; however, they are both heterosexuals. Heterosexual couples do not only have heterosexual children just like gay couples do not have only gay children. We are born every day to couples of every variety.
4) I think the worst part of this video is that every single person listening to him, every single person in that church, agreed with him. No one stood up against him. Every single person agreed with the idea that all of the gay people in the United States should be put into a cage and eventually allowed to die. And that scares me worse than any haunted house or ghost story ever could. It terrifies me that people like that are still around, that they think it’s okay to put people behind bars when they haven’t done anything wrong. One pastor does not hold any power, but the hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who listen to him and pastors like him, hold it all, and that terrifies me.
So, here’s what I have to say to all of the people who agree with him, especially to Mr. Worley himself:
I respect that you have an opinion. I may disagree with it, I definitely disagree with it, but I respect that it is yours. I cannot stop you from believing in the Bible, nor do I wish to, but the second you started citing it as cause to take away my rights, I got angry.
People like you, Mr. Worley, are the reason I was afraid to go to school. People like you are the reason that I used to cry myself to sleep every night, scared that people would find out that I was transgender. People like you are the reason that I was too scared out of my mind to even fathom growing up and eventually becoming the man I was meant to be. People like you are the reasons kids and teenagers all over the country, with their entire lives in front of them, have committed suicide.
To quote Mary Griffith whose son Bobby Griffith committed suicide by jumping off of a bridge, “There are children sitting in your congregations. Unknown to you, they will be listening as you echo amen and that will soon silence their prayers. Their prayers to God for understanding and acceptance and for your love, but your hatred and fear and ignorance of the word gay will silence those prayers. So, before you echo amen in your home and place of worship, think. Think and remember that a child is listening.”
I’m not scared anymore. I am not afraid to stand up to you, Mr. Worley. You may think that we’re all weak and pacifists, that you can come for us and we will all go quietly to your concentration camps, but you are wrong.
I will fight you with everything I have. I refuse to go quietly into the night. I will not let you, or anyone like you, silence my voice again. I’ve fought the demons that people like you put into my head and my heart, but I rose above and I will never back down.
To you and all of the other pastors and the people in your congregations, you’ve been warned. You have made a lot of people extremely angry, and our armies are stronger than you have ever thought possible.
A transgender teenager