For teens confronting their own sexuality, a homophobic public that condones misinformation -- and equates homosexuality to "sin", to "mental illness", even to "paedophilia"--can make anyone desperate to hide those feelings inside themselves, and it can make The Future look so bleak that questioning teens would rather end their own lives.
Billy Lucas, Raymond Chase, Tyler Clementi, *Ryan Halligan, Asher Brown and Seth Walsh.
These six were "gay" teens who committed suicide in the U.S. this year and their deaths have sparked an international show of concern on YouTube and beyond. Their deaths resulted in sex advice columnist Dan Savage to launch the “IT GETS BETTER” Project on YouTube. "IT GETS BETTER" started with Dan and his partner Terry posting a video interview of themselves talking about how "It gets better as soon as you leave high school" in an attempt to show young gay teens that life won't always be horrible just because you're gay.
Within two months over a hundred thousand gay and straight people had posted videos, some telling very personal tearful stories. Some very successful gay adults.
"Hearing about these kids that have committed suicide, the reaction as a gay adult is always, 'God, I wish I could have talked to them for fifteen minutes or five minutes and told them it gets better,'" said Savage.
Savage said he thought he would never get permission from a school or a church or even the parents of teenagers to talk openly to young people about being a gay man living a full and contented life. "It occurred to me that I didn't need permission any more," Savage said. "I could upload a video and speak directly to these kids, and tell them before they commit suicide that it gets better."
WHY DO CLOSETED RELIGIOUS LEADERS SAY ONE THING AND DO ANOTHER?
But Rekers was just one of a long line of moralizing American evangelicals (John Paulk, Paul Barnes, Lonnie Latham, Eddie L. Long, Ted Haggard...) who have been accused of or admitted to having covert homosexual relationships while at the same time condemning homosexuality in the pulpit, to their unsuspecting flock.
For three decades the Roman Catholic Church has been troubled with a global epidemic of cases of sexual abuse by some of its priests. The Church’s response until just October this year when the pope made public apologies to the hundreds of victims of the priests' transgressions, was--in the past--to publicly deny and secretly pay off the accusers and then move the priest to another location where often the abuses were repeated. Whilst all this was happening, the Church continued to publicly condemn homosexuality as a sin.
Individually these pastors, priests and experts have been shown up to be hypocrites and bigots but they have also helped create a climate in which same sex relationships were and are demonized.
There are no worthy role models here and certainly the condemnation by fundamentalist religious leaders will have led to further guilt and confusion amongst those teens who were struggling to accept themselves, giving bullies a justification for their hateful behavior... "they deserve it!" for daring to be themselves, because they don't have the decency to closet themselves and deflect attention away by saying hateful things about "other" gay people.
BECAUSE IT'S CHRISTMAS
...and because Christ himself was all about preaching love and compassion
Isn’t it time for Church leaders to address the issue of homosexuality without the baggage of ignorance that allows bigots and hypocrites to make a mockery of all true Christians -- those who live the truth of "we are all sinners", and recognize that it is NOT for Christians to judge others, because as the bible says, only God should have that Right and Power.
Isn't it time for Church leaders to LIVE the better Christian values that Jesus preached to his disciples and to his followers? The values of compassion, acceptance and love--NOT hate--even, and especially for the most destitute and unloved peoples in his flock.
IF homosexuality was such an abomination to God, why was it neither one of the Ten Commandments, nor one of the Seven Deadly Sins?
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- To view or add Videos to The IT GETS BETTER Project
- Google "bullycide" for sites offering help
- iCUBED.us Jan 2008 Theme: TABOOS & PERMISSIVENESS
- List of Christian evangelist scandals
- Please also read ...
- VICTIMS BECOME VICTIMIZERS: What HATING gay people says about YOU
- Why Anti-Gay Bullying is a Theological Issue
- Anglican and Episcopal Churches accept homosexuality and bi-sexuality and consider them to be "morally neutral"
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