Last week, I was on the website www.msn.com, where I have my primary email account. There was a story on there about Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck saying he would have no problem playing with a gay teammate. He was talking about basketball player Jason Collins coming out, the first active major professional athlete to ever do so. There was a comment thread after the story, and the conversation on there had rapidly deteriorated into those who were for or against having gay professional athletes actively playing in major league sports. More so than that, however, it had come down to those who were for or against homosexuality in general. There were the right wing commentators, against “the gay lifestyle,” and the left wingers, who were supportive. This is an issue that I feel pretty strongly about, and I wanted to comment. To do so, I had to create a profile on msn, which I was able to do fairly quickly, and then I made a comment. It was something to the effect of the people who were saying hateful things about gays being bigots, especially the ones who were doing so because of biblical quotes that were peppering the thread. I said that people who hate gays need to admit that it’s they, themselves, who are the source of the hatred…it’s not God. I said that there’s not a shred of proof that God exists in the conventional sense anyway. Of course, regular readers on the site will already know that I’m an agnostic, but with pretty strong atheistic leanings.
Man, did I set off a firestorm. I immediately got a slew of responses saying that it was me who was bigoted against religious people, that I was a godless heathen, that gays were condemned to burn because of what it says in the scriptures, and on, and on, and on. I commented one more time, both trying to cool these people down and also to defend myself, but it was pointless. Among the responses I got was this personal message sent to me, quite long, actually, several paragraphs, from some religious zealot, hardcore Christian fundamentalist, talking about how the God he serves is righteous, and he walks forever in his light and all that type of stuff, and that he would pray for me. It was just too much. This crap was just inundating my in-box. So I blocked the comment thread, so I wouldn’t have to hear any more about it, and let me tell you, I’ve learned my lesson. It’s a bad idea to comment on these threads. You’re not going to change peoples’ minds. The right wingers are going to think what they think, ditto left wingers like me, and no amount of sniping at each other is going to change anything.
Since this is my own website, though, and not a public forum, here, I can speak to my heart’s content, and only the responses I approve will be posted. Therefore just let me say: fuck all of you delusional, Bible-thumping, bigoted scumbags. Jason Collins was courageous for coming out, and I hope all other gay athletes follow his example. Those who are against gay rights, which is to say, equal treatment for those of all sexual orientations, are wrong, wrong, wrong. I don’t care what it says in the Bible, or the Torah, or the Koran, or any other so-called sacred texts. This isn’t a question of “well, we can all agree to disagree.” We can’t. This is important, just as important is the civil rights movement in the 60’s that continues through the present day. This is about right and wrong, good and evil, and those who spew intolerance, make no mistake, are on the side of evil. It makes it all the more unsavory, all the more reprehensible and unpalatable, that these people are claiming that they’re speaking the word of God, that they’re doing God’s will. I’m almost certain there is no God, not the way these people talk about it anyway, but even if there was, if denying gay people the right to love each other, to marry each other, to adopt children, or to do any of the other things that straight people can do was really his will, then I would denounce him in a second. But I know, in my heart of hearts, that’s not the case. I know I’m right about this and the hate mongers are wrong; it’s self-evident. And it’s sad that they can’t see that, and it’s sad that there’s so many of them. But as many awful, hateful, stupid comments as I got last week, there were at least a few rational, intelligent, sane responses from people like me. So I thank those people, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all this, but I feel compelled to anyway: you are standing up for what is right. Don’t ever back down. Don’t ever give in. Keep making your voices heard. And know that even if next time I won’t comment on a thread like that, just because what happens after makes me too upset and frustrated…I’m still with you. And I’ll speak out for what I believe to be right, here on the site, each and every time that I can.