As a 51-year activist in the civil rights movement, I am becoming frustrated at seeing people in this country repeat the same mistakes of the past. In the 1960s I regularly heard “It’s against the Bible” when I was confronted for the “sin” of attempting to gain equal rights for African-Americans. Leaders of several churches would quote the Bible to me, explaining that not only were blacks inferior, but they were “sinners” – didn’t I know that these church officials were promoting “God’s word?”
As a matter of fact, no, I didn’t. I still don’t.
Change “black” to “gay” and I hear the same argument today, word for word. We look back at our country 50-60 years ago and are appalled at the small-mindedness and bigotry that was accepted at the time. Do we really want to look back 20-30 years from now at a nation that supported bigotry of any kind? Why are we promoting the same madness, and, more importantly, why are we using “religion” to justify it?
As an addendum, why are fundamentalists using something that is mentioned only several times in the Bible (homosexuality) as an example of a “moral” issue on which they take a stand, while giving to the needy is mentioned hundreds of times and they not only conveniently ignore this, but they actively fight against social programs for the less fortunate?
Bigotry is bigotry, whether it’s couched in “religion” or anything else. It sure doesn’t sound very Christian to me.
Adjunct Professor of Sociology