I have had a bit of fun tweaking the gentlemen at American Descent, especially in re their reflexive hatred of GLBT folk. Yet, I would be remiss if I didn't pause for a moment and remind anyone who might need reminding that the kind of fear and hatred exhibited there is, while amusing in a sick and twisted way, also indicative of a deeply disturbed individual.
When I first heard of Matthew Shepard's murder, I was hardly stunned; murdering a young man for the heinous crime of hitting on another man seemed par for the course for some people, like beating up a black man in the south, or a Chinese in California in another day and time. Yet, the more I thought about it, the angrier I became. Shepard was beaten to death for making the quite natural assumption that one of a pair of young men at a bar might be interested in a little fun. Rather than just say to him, "Sorry, dude, not the way I hang," they reacted in fear and rage and, after beating him, left him to die on the side of the road. Let me reiterate - Shepard's offense was making a pass at someone. That's it, and that's all. I say offense, because it is only offensive to someone whose mind is so twisted by bigotry as to believe it wrong for a young man in a bar to hit on someone.
I will not deny my own struggle with mixed feelings toward gay folk, especially when I was younger. I overcame it not because I am superior in some moral or personal way. Rather, I overcame it because I had friends who taught me a simple truth - they aren't gay people. They are people. They love a little differently from me, but then again, everyone else does, too. Some people would find my wife a knockout; others would just kind of shrug and say, "eh". Such is the way of the world. It's just difference, and a minor one at that.
Yet, such are the vagaries of the human animal that this minor difference is enough to spark a deep-seated rage among some people. It can become murderous.
I recently noted the passing of one of the dearest friend of my life, Steve Creech. Among his many wonderful qualities was his nonchalance about being out in a context where being out could very well be dangerous. I always thought he was so brave for that. I have known other folks, in situations that could or should have been far more comfortable and comforting and supportive who, for their own reasons, chose to keep their sexuality to themselves (I hate the term "closeted"; Larry Craig is closeted; some whom I have known have been open enough with those close to them, but just chose not to broadcast it far and wide). Steve, however, was just Steve, and being gay was about on a par for him with being legally blind. It was part of who he was, and he neither advertised it nor denied it.
The sickness on display over at American Descent in regard to gays and lesbians can be a source of amusement. It can also be, if not vented frequently, a source of danger. The kind of vitriolic hatred and bigotry there is the taproot of so much violence. While it is certainly fun to tweak them about their own latent homoeroticism (it surfaces so frequently), I think I should be honest enough to say that it can also be very frightening, too.