The past few days, some have commented on something Matt “Bam Bam” Barber, one of the most vicious anti-gay hatemongers in the United States, posted in a purported attempt to show “love” to “regular gays.” You see, he doesn’t want to talk to “gay activists.” One of the delusional lies Religious Right bigots tell themselves is that “gay activists” are some sort of special breed of homosexual, as we dare to ask for the same rights as everyone else, and that the rest of the gay community is somehow more persuadable.
I’m a gay activist — sort of. I spend my days writing and commenting about what’s going on in the gay world and what Religious Right bullies are doing to hurt the LGBT community, but I’m not a sign-waving protester, and you won’t see me at a sit-in anytime soon.
But I’m also just a regular person who happens to be gay, who lives in the South, and was raised around Fundamentalist Christian bigots [NOT YOU, MOM AND DAD], so I kind of know the language Bam Bam is speaking. So I suppose I’ll pore through this document and translate his words from “fundamentalist Christian version of love” to reality. Let’s go:
I write this not to professional homosexuals. That is to say, not to members of the well-funded, politically powerful homosexual activist lobby. They will mock and reject my words outright. They will twist and misrepresent what I say to further their own socio-political agenda. That’s fine. It’s to be expected. It merits little more than a yawn and an eye roll.
The yawn and eye roll are his defense mechanisms against the fact that his side is losing. Denial is a powerful tool, you see.
Instead, I write this to my fellow travelers in life – average, ordinary people, male and female, young and old – who happen to call themselves “gay.” I write this out of obedience to God.
Dear regular gays: he has, the second paragraph, already impugned your dignity and showed his hateful hand. You see, in Bam Bam’s world, you are not gay; you “call yourself gay.” Also, his “obedience” is to a version of god the existence of whom Bam Bam cannot prove. Remember that, as he hides behind his ugly conception of a deity, and as he uses fundamentalist Christian code-words in the place of outright hate.
It is my hope and prayer that you will consider what I have to say and take it at face value. My intentions are pure and my motives upright. If I can plant the seed of truth in just one person, and that seed begins to sprout, then I consider this letter a success.
I hope this does not find any of you “regular gays” eating a late lunch, as no one alive wants to hear about Matt Barber’s “seed.”
What I write may offend you. It may even infuriate you. But I hope it makes you think. Know this: Your friends have lied to you. Christians do not hate you. We love you intensely. We love you because of who you are, not because of what you do or because of who you think you are.
There he goes again. He doesn’t hate who you ARE. He hates who you “think you are,” because you, gays, are too damned stupid to know who you are, while Matt Barber is the expert. He knows he is the expert because he was fired from Allstate for being a bigot.
Still, to love someone and to lie to them is to hate them – especially when that lie inevitably leads to a tragic and hopeless end.
If you have a loved one, blindfolded and running full speed toward cliff’s edge, do you not yell, stop!
Of course, these things are true, and would be great sentiments if anything Matt Barber says could be verified as anything resembling “truth.” Unfortunately, they cannot.
All is not well, and you know it. On this path, “it” decidedly does not “get better.” It only gets worse. You will fall and you will die – perhaps not physical death, straight away – but certainly, an emotional and spiritual death.
Ermahgerd. You see, you gays, according to Matt Barber, you who are living happy, fulfilled lives with your spouses and your families, you who are thriving in your careers, should instead listen to a redneck lawyer in Lynchburg, Virginia, who would like to inform you that you are, in fact, not happy. Also, he would like to tell you that you are going to burn in hell. He cannot prove this, of course.
Fundamentalist Christian love for the win!
Your lifestyle – homosexuality – is always and forever, objectively and demonstrably wrong.
It is never good, natural, right or praiseworthy. If you have “gay pride,” you have “sin pride.”
Although homosexuality is not the only sexual sin, it is, indeed, sin.
Scripture is unequivocal on this fact throughout both the Old and New Testaments.
Better-educated Biblical scholars disagree, Bam Bam, and moreover, you still haven’t proven that your interpretation of a book you don’t understand, yet claim to live by, should be relevant to any sentient human being, because you can’t.
But this reality is manifest beyond the pages of Scripture. Unnatural behaviors beget natural consequences. So-called “homophobia” is not responsible for the fact that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-in-five “gay” men and adolescents in major cities across America have been infected – through bad behavior – with HIV/AIDS.
This might seem like sound logic, except when you look at the awful HIV/AIDS problem in Africa, which does not discriminate in any way as regards sexual orientation or marital status. Unless Bam Bam is willing to argue that being African is a sin (he does live in a town called “Lynchburg” and we do know the history of the fundamentalist Christian movement as regards racism), I’d suggest we take a little bit more grown-up approach.
Are you all feeling Matt’s “love” yet?
In almost every category – disease, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide – those who call themselves “gay” live and die with consequences that have nothing gay, in the true sense of the word, about them.
Most of those things have been linked (BY GROWN UP SCIENTISTS, Matt) directly to societal/familial pressures and disapproval, and studies have shown that, the more support gay people have from their families and communities, the less those terrible things — disease, depression, drug abuse, suicide — occur. The common denominator and problem is people like you, Matt.
Here’s his God Hates Fags moment, a baseless assertion which only makes sense to people who have been brainwashed into the backwards Fundamentalist Christian lifestyle:
Scripture admonishes: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). This does not simply mean physical death, but something far worse: spiritual death.
If I may be cheeky for a moment, I’d also point out that the teachings of fundamentalist Christianity are pretty clear that moderate/liberal Christians, Jews, goodness, all other non-fundamentalist Christians, are going to hell as well. Even if Matt’s right, and there’s no reason to believe he is, I’m still having a hard time coming to the conclusion that I’d rather spend eternity with a bunch of bigoted fundamentalists.
I know from which I speak.
No, you really don’t.
I am no better than you. I, too, once lived a lifestyle of sexual sin. Not homosexual sin, but sexual sin nonetheless. As a young man I did not treat God’s daughters as He intended and, instead, engaged in a lifestyle of selfish womanizing and fornication.
What is it with fundamentalist activists attempting to use big, flowery language these days?
Moreover, for the record — remember, this is about Matt Barber’s massive “love” for LGBT people — he is saying that the period he spent having one-night stands with bunches of ladies – yeah, I’m having a hard time believing it too — is the same as your life-long, loving marriage, if your partner happens to be of the same gender you are. Can’t you just feel his love for you?
The wages of sin in my life was death – spiritual and emotional death. I was on your same path.
But by His grace, I was offered and accepted “the free gift of God.” I, instead, was saved and given “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Do I still struggle with sin? Of course. Every day. We all do. We are fallen. We are sinners.
Still, Christ’s gift to me was forgiveness, redemption and life everlasting. My friend, that gift is available to you as well.
Snatch it up. Please.
He claims that, but yet still, can’t back it up. Since he supposedly veered away from that road, into the much greater sin of habitual, chronic, ignorant, lifelong bigotry, he really doesn’t know where the “wages of sin” would have taken him. He’s more than comfortable trying to convince you to ruin your own life, though.
During the Awakening 2011 – a national conference held, that year, at Liberty University – I was visiting with a young woman from the hard-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). I liked her. I loved her, in fact, in the way her heavenly Father, Christ Jesus, loves her and has enabled me to love her. I think of her and pray for her often.
In recent years, the SPLC has taken to smearing Christian organizations that defend the biblical sexual ethic as “hate groups.” After visiting for a while, I asked this young woman if she really believed that we Christians hate homosexuals. To my surprise she admitted that we do not. “But the things you say are sometimes hateful,” she added.
Her comment was probably a lot more nuanced than Matt Barber is able or willing to believe. It’s strange, though, that Matt would claim that his love is as good as his God’s, because it doesn’t resemble the God of the Gospels, at all.
Indeed, truth is hate to those who hate truth.
Mmhmm, they have an answer for everything. If all available reality shows that the sky is blue, Bam Bam and his ilk will point to a Bible verse that explains why we’re hateful for mocking their belief that it’s maroon.
The truth is that you have immeasurable value. You are a beautiful, unique, priceless human being. The very Creator of the universe, in the person of Jesus Christ, took such an interest in you that He meticulously wove you together in your mother’s womb. He loves you with a love that no human can fully grasp. Still, this is true not because of your so-called “sexual orientation,” but, rather, in spite of it.
God loves you even if you’re a faggot.
You are valuable and worthy of love because God created you in His image. If you define your identity based upon sexual temptations and behaviors your Creator has called sin – an “abomination” – then you are not fulfilling the purpose for which He created you. In so doing, you have become the sum total of your sins. You are in rebellion against God and you know it.
He made you to know it.
Here is another thing that Fundamentalists tell themselves, in order to keep the fallacies of their worldviews from making their heads explode: they believe that because they think they know that we are in rebellion against God, that we secretly, deep down, think/know it as well. This is absolute silliness. The only gay people who have those kinds of demons chasing them are those who have been brainwashed in the same evil way that Matt has. If you ask gay people who grew up loved and supported, they report that no, in fact, they do not and never did struggle with those feelings. If you ask a gay kid who grew up Southern Baptist? Well, yeah, sure. Most people who grow up in those environments have fought with a lot more doubt than they tend to like admitting.
Here, he takes his delusions and adds a full orchestra, bringing this Wingnut Symphony to its full climax:
Yes, the activists tell you to take “pride” in your “sexual orientation,” but you don’t feel pride. You feel ashamed, and so you try, in vain, to numb the shame with more of the very behavior that causes it. You will never fill the void you feel with drugs, alcohol or more sexual acting-out. These things only expand your emptiness.
You say you’re happy; Matt says you’re not. You say you’re proud of who you are; Matt says “nah.” You say you love your life; Matt says you’re ashamed and that you’re all addicted to drugs, booze and sex. You say, “actually, no, you moron, my husband and I have been happily monogamous for 35 years”; Matt sticks his fingers in his ears and whines, loudly.
Christ alone can fill the void.
And He will.
Thanks, Matt Barber. Millions of gay Christians would say the same thing, and they’re still happily, wonderfully gay.
Your open letter is a failure, and it doesn’t take a “gay activist” to see through its disgusting, hateful crap. Indeed, you have, in your attempt at “love,” given us chapter and verse on why we should consider people like you to be hate-mongers. I’m sure I’ll refer to your column in the future, as it will make my job easier.